4 Apr

On Sunday, April 3rd I ran the Medio Maratón de Madrid (13.1 miles, or 21.097 km). It’s been awhile since I ran a half-marathon, and I had a great time so I figured I’d share the ins and outs of the event.

The strategy: In 2007, I was on some sort of distance kick and ran 3 halves that year (Orange County, Santa Cruz, and the Disneyland Half Marathon). The first two were great – I actually got a cool little trophy out of Santa Cruz for winning the 19 and under category. My love for the 13.1 faded fast though with my under-performance at Disney. The insanely hot temperature, ugly Anaheim streets when we weren’t running through the park or Angels’ stadium, and the eventual tendinitis combined to make me take up indoor cycling as my go-to cardio. I decided I wanted to give it another go with the Madrid half and began training in January, mostly with one long run per week through Casa de Campo, supplemented with treadmill runs and weights throughout the week. My goal for Sunday was not to PR but instead to run sub 2-hours, since my last foray into half-marathon running was rather tragic.

pre-race: My friend from high school and college, Hannes, is living and working in Hamburg, Germany so he came down for the weekend to run the race as well! We did a couple of light runs together Thursday and Friday, and spent Saturday relaxing and getting our stuff together. We picked up our generous race packets – for 18 euro I got an awesome dry-fit shirt and enough food to feed a small family for a week, as well as my bib. In typical Spanish fashion, though, safety pins weren’t included so we had to trek to the nearest chino to make sure we got those. We carbo-loaded with pasta that night, made some epic playlists, and checked out the course map, etc. Right before I went to bed, we realized that last year, someone DIED at the starting to line because he was literally trampled to death. Nothing like reading that to calm the pre-race nerves. Awesome.

race-day: We got the start, located at Madrid’s famous Retiro Park about an hour before gun time. We got our chips, checked in our jackets, and made our way to the start. After many chants of “QUE NOS VAMOS!!!” by over-eager Spaniards, the gun was off. The on-site DJ picked B. Spears’ “Womanizer” as the track to send over 12,000 people off into the streets of Madrid. It was cool with me, but Eye of the Tiger might have been a little less random. The course was hard but interesting – the first 9k approximately was gradual uphill, followed by gradual downhill, with the last 4k being pretty intense, with one steep hill toward the end. I jammed to my music (my playlist ranged from Lady Gaga to Kid Cudi, house remixes of current pop hits, and good ol’ Dr. Dre), watched out for potholes, and clocked in a time of 1:44:44. New personal record in Madrid? I’ll take it.

post-race: I met up with my friends who had come to cheer me on, stumbled onto the metro, ate everything within sight at home, and spent the better part of the evening catching up on American television and limping around. One day later, the soreness hasn’t subsided, but I am happy with my experience with the half and looking forward to training for another one as soon as possible.

7 Responses to “half-hearted.”

  1. Steve Clow April 4, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    Hey congrats on the great race, superb time and outstanding GOOGLE AD for an upcoming 5K at the bottom of your post!

  2. Steve Clow April 4, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

    …. Darn, now the ad is gone. Traffic burst probably crashed their server.


  1. be my guest. « That's G - June 26, 2011

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    […] for years – from high school cross country to runs through the Berkeley hills, and even the Madrid Half Marathon! We wanted a low-key, local race and the Harbor Run 10k met our needs. I was also stoked to race […]

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    […] vacation years ago to Maui, to my first run in Europe in Lucerne, Switzerland in 2006, to running the Madrid Half Marathon in 2011. running xc senior year with my friends and teammates angela + kelsey. . “]hannes, […]

  4. new workout plan. « That's G - August 5, 2011

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  5. two thousand eleven: the playlist. « That's G - December 31, 2011

    […] was a fabulous month – I kicked it off by setting a PR in the half marathon in Madrid (my friend Hannes also ran it!) I also developed my intense love affair with 100 Montaditos, went […]

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