Friday, July 12, 2019

Epic Rock Tahoe Half Marathon Race Recap

Epic Rock Tahoe Half Marathon Race Recap
Last month I ran the Epic Rock Tahoe Half MarathonIf you recall, back in March I wrote a post about being a part of the #sweatpink team and the 5 things I was looking forward to for this race. You can check out that post hereIt was a lot more challenging course-wise for me but other than that it did not disappoint. One of the best things that I enjoyed about this race was meeting and hanging out with the Sweatpink/Fitapproach crew!

PACKET PICKUP: Packet pickup was at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe. It was set up outside at the Guitar Plaza. Nice and fast easy pickup. Pickup was from 2pm-10pm. I like how they are open late for those that get in later. It's a nice option as not many races do that. There were some neat vendors but it wasn't huge. 
Rock Tahoe Half Expo
Here's a shot of the shirt. Not bad! 
Rock Tahoe Half shirt 2019
Like I mentioned earlier, highlight of the weekend was hanging out with the Sweatpink crew. We were all able to stay in an awesome house right by the lake. 
RACE DAY: There are 2 race starts for this race. The first start is at 7am for those that are projecting 3-4 hour finishing times. So basically this option is for the walker/joggers. The 2nd start time is at 8am for those under 3 hours. Having the slower runners first was interesting and different for me because most races have the faster runners first. I guess that there must be some time limit for the course and this allows for the slower runners to finish within the time frame. Anyway, our start time was at 8am. The course is point to point so there are shuttles that take you from the finish to the start area on Spooner Summit. Fortunately, the house we stayed at was about halfway from the start, so Hubby was able to drop some of us off at the start line so it worked out great and we didn't have to get up as early as shuttle pickup was at 6:15am and 7am for the 8am start.
Rock Tahoe Half start area
It was so nice to not have to rush in the morning. We got to the start around 7:30am so just enough time to hit the potty and quickly warm up. It was nice to see they had some refreshments at the start. 

Got some pre race shots with the sweatpink crew and then we lined up. 
The Star Spangled Banner was sung and then we were off. The race started exactly at 8am.
Rock Tahoe Half start line
Starting on Spooner Summer, I knew it was downhill at the start. I love downhill so it was nice to just go with gravity. Coach Dawn had this run be a training run for me. She had me going easy the first 3 miles on the downhill. She wanted me to enjoy the scenery and just be comfortable which was really easy for me to do.
Rock Tahoe Half marathon
I even got to meet Liz on the downhill. It was fun chatting. We realized we had both done similar vacationraces half marathons and she was talking about her next race which was Glacier, the next weekend. Hope you had a great race Liz! 

My first 3 miles came in at:
Mile 1 - 8:08
Mile 2 - 7:32
Mile 3 - 8:01
They were fast splits but I was just letting gravity take me down. Then Coach had me do one mile moderate and one mile easy. Mile 4 came in at 8:08 and mile 5 at 9:10. Mile 5 was supposed to be easy but I found it hard with the hills. I think the altitude was affecting me as well because even easy wasn't feeling easy. The scenery however, was pretty awesome. Seeing the lake as we went down was so cool. Coming right on mile 6 was Cave Rock. 
 Here's a shot inside cave rock. :)
 I always love free race photos! The cameraman was right outside cave rock for this shot.
From mile 6 to the finish Coach Dawn wanted me to start increasing effort from easy-moderate to moderate with another push in the pace for the last mile. The effort should be around marathon effort. (equiv. to around 8:15 on flat) and not force the pace on hills.

I remember there being a nice big hill between 6 and 7. Any type of incline on this course I had major struggles. I did see Hubby and the boys right after a big hill and it was so nice to see them.

I even stopped to take a selfie. I was already so out of keeping the 8:15 pace. I needed to just stop if even for a bit. :)
Mile 6 came in at 8:25. From then on came ups and downs until the end. With the walker/joggers starting before us I did catch up to them and seeing them walking also made me want to walk which wasn't good. The hills especially were the places that I was tempted to walk. 
Below is a chart of the elevation that I got from Strava. You can see that we start at around 6800 feet and finish still at 6000 feet so we are still at high altitude even at the finish. Notice all those ups and downs too. No wonder I was so tired.
You can see how tired from my splits too!

Mile 7 - 9:21
Mile 8 - 8:45
Mile 9 - 9:56
At least the people at the aid stations were great cheerleaders!
At mile 10 we turned off of the highway onto the Round Hill Pines bike path. It was a nice change that took us into the trees. But yet again some hills during mile 11.
Mile 10 - 8:48
Mile 11 - 10:07
At least at the top of the hill had this awesome aid station. I did take a few jelly beans. :)
Mile 12 - 9:18
Mile 13 - 9:12
Right before the finish, I saw Hubby and the boys cheering me on along with some of the sweatpink crew. I was so happy it was almost over and sprinted to the finish line. My last .1 came in at 6:38/pace. 
I was so happy to cross that finish line. It was a tough course for me and for it to be over was sooo nice. My time ended up being 1:55:30. Not bad considering I stopped multiple times. I really was not prepared for all those hills.
Post race goodies were awesome! Each participant got this Rock Tahoe bottle with water in it and they were also handing out Nuun tablets to drop in them. There was also a table with fruit.

 It was hot so this spray of water was really nice!
Oh I can't forget about the free beer! It was local and oh so good after the run!
Cheers with the Sweatpink crew!
 It was great to see Heather and some of the Running Lushes group too!
Overall the race was organized really well! It was a tough course with the hills and being at altitude but it was beautiful! It's a great challenge that I wouldn't mind doing again. At least next time I'll know what is coming. Lake Tahoe is awesome so this race is another great reason to visit the lake again! Oh the bling is pretty awesome too!
Rock Tahoe Half medal 2019
 Happy running!

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