November Coffee: Malibu Half & Half Marathon Training

By | November 5, 2021

I mean it’s not a lie!

I am over virtual races, especially expensive commercial ones, but this one is tempting. The sugar bomb drink this week was the white mocha hot chocolate which… tracked and moved on.

Coffee Time!

Over non-virtual coffee, I’m joining Coco and Deborah to talk about the Malibu Half, which is next weekend, and half marathon training overall.

I’ve been writing this post on the run for about two months. I really wish someone would invent a brain-blog transmitter because of course I’m crashing it on post day.

Also on the run, I was listening to Abbey Cooper on Ali on the Run (OK, but a little too much god for my comfort) and she talked about process goals, something I hadn’t thought about. Of course once I googled, they’re all over the running internet. Two really good reads here and here. I guess I sort of had one in increasing strength training, but it’s definitely something I’m going to think of for my next half in January/April. Running Rogue’s Episode 253: Deciding What’s Next For Your Training gave me similar food for thought. Why? Because I still have no idea what my “half marathon pace” is, or what my goal is, despite thinking about this for most of October.

Before I get there though, I have to say I’m pleased with my training. I didn’t end up following the race’s training plan or, to be honest, any.  It made me realize why I really needed to train with a group for the marathon because while I’m happy to get in the miles, I’m not good at following a plan. I got in all my long runs, but didn’t do any speed work or the hill training I’d planned on until the last few weeks. I’d say oops, but the reality is there was no way in hell I’d have hill trained during this gross summer, so yeah. Most importantly, I stayed healthy and 99% pain free, which was amazing given the mileage increase. Thank you strength training!

On to Malibu…

I mean with any destination race, my goal is to have fun and enjoy the weekend getaway. I’m flying in Friday and out Monday and excited to have a long weekend with a dear friend who I haven’t seen in more than two years. We’re having post race dinner at Gladstone’s, our favorite Malibu-ish restaurant and hope to walk off any post race stiffness at Point Dume. So yes, my goal is a fun girls’ weekend, especially after this crazy year and a half we’ve lived through.

Oh, you meant race goals.

Do I have A and B goals for Malibu? Not really.

My Half Marathon times are fairly consistent, save for two (see below). In reverse chronological order:

      • ZOOMA Bermuda Half Marathon + 10K: 2:57:01
      • Mohawk Hudson River Marathon: 2:49:05
      • United Airlines NYC Half: 2:39:50
      • 2019 Publix Fort Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon: 2:44:17
      • 2019 NYRR Fred Lebow Manhattan Half-Marathon: 2:42:26
      • Brooklyn Half Marathon: 2:34:35
      • 2018 Publix Ft. Lauderdale A1A Marathon: 2:50:08
      • 2018 NYRR Fred Lebow Manhattan Half: 2:41:09

Proud Turtle!

I throw out two times: 2:34:35, a unicorn** that I will never see again and 2:57:01, I was injured and I had no business running that race. Other than those two, I’m within a ten minute range: 2:39:50 to 2:50:08.

I ran 13.25 in 2:44:24 a couple of weeks ago, but that was moving time. There were water, stretch and photo breaks. There will be photo breaks because the race is on PCH. Will be weird not to have a beach sunrise though-still remember my first time in California and how weird it was to have north be in the “wrong” direction when I faced the ocean.

I would like to run 2:42 but I think 2:45 is more likely. I just want to enjoy it, as if it’s possible not to enjoy a race along the beach. It’s going to be a little warmer than I’d hoped, if the ten-day forecast is to be believed so if 2:45 turns into 2:50? Well, I know it’s not my training’s fault. I’m confident and excited going into this race, it’s amazing what an injury free training cycle does.

**Oddly my two far best times are races that began in Brooklyn. Wonder what that means for the NYC Runs Brooklyn Half in April?

Unrelated, but I can’t post this week and not talk about the Marathon.

It’s NYC Marathon week

Central Park is glowing ahead of the marathon

This was a wonderful run view Thursday night. Zero FOMO, but so thrilled for friends and colleagues running it this year. They’re going to have perfect weather.

Do you find it easy to set a goal? Do you know your race paces? What’s your favorite destination race?

20 thoughts on “November Coffee: Malibu Half & Half Marathon Training

  1. Liz Dexter

    “still remember my first time in California and how weird it was to have north be in the “wrong” direction when I faced the ocean” – yes! I have always holidayed on the south coast and when we went to the east coast for a holiday I was really confused when the sun rose and set in entirely the wrong place! In fact it’s worse as our house faces south, too, so it’s right when I’m here AND away! Anyway, love the marathon photos and you have got the miles in for the half so all good and have FUN!

    1. cari Post author

      Iceland was one of my only south coast experiences, although I think I looked South off Australia at one point because I remember “Waving” to Antarctica. I mean Iceland was all kinds of weird anyway with winter skies and the rolling sea and wind, but the ocean belongs on the east! Also weird, running morning and night in all the seasons has taught me the the sun doesn’t exactly rise in the east.

  2. Chocolaterunsjudy

    Process goals can definitely be hard. But important. Having fun could absolutely be a process goal.

    It’s hard to go from these cold temps to run a half in warmer temps — but you never really know what will happen on race day. Just sayin’. 🙂

    Good luck & run happy!

    1. cari Post author

      Yep, I don’t think it will be as bad weather wise as my lack of acclimation in Florida went I went from February in NYC to 80s and humid.
      Run Happy is a guaranteed goal. Probably truly my A goal along with finish smiling.

  3. Deborah Brooks

    Ah you are going to have the best time in Malibu! Can’t wait to hear al about it. Yes, running pain free is the best outcome. Strength training is a must to stay healthy for me too. Thanks for linking up

  4. Darlene S Cardillo

    I laughed when I read how you trained. Have I influenced you too much or are we just the same person.

    But we finish all our races… fun is the key goal and uninjured is a close second.

    That’s my wish for you!

    1. cari Post author

      We are, except for your dislike of Peloton
      BUt I think we figured that out a while ago 😀 I’m just not very disclipined. Never have been, but I love running so give me all the 8-10 mile runs.
      Thank you! Same for your half. We’ve got this

  5. Kimberly Hatting

    As has been said, I think fun should be front and center. I’ve had some of my better finish times from NOT having any pace or specific finish time goals. For me, I don’t embrace the stress of that (but I know many thrive on the challenge). Best of luck!!

  6. Wendy

    I am so excited for you to run Malibu. What a great place to do a comeback race. I ran Big Sur and fell in love with California–for the second time! Have so much fun!!! <3

    1. cari Post author

      Funnily enough, their hashtag? #CrushtheComeback
      Big Sur Half is on my list, course looks absolutely stunning. Thank you!

  7. Coco

    I suck at all kinds of goals!

    Being so far removed from setting race goals, it’s hard to appreciate the difference between 2:42 and 2:45 as far as running a good race and being proud of yourself. I truly just hope I finish smiling this weekend — or at least don’t have to limp to the beer tent.

    Your weekend plans sound great — including the post-race fun.

  8. Jenny

    Yeah, Chris McClung has some good pearls of wisdom! It should be interesting to see what your half marathon time is with this “casual” training cycle. You’ve been doing strength work and have not been injured- you may be surprised with a fast time! Of course the weather always plays a role. And in the end you want to enjoy it and have fun with your friend- so a no-stress race is the goal. Good luck!!!

  9. Debbie @ Deb Runs

    I can’t wait to read all about your race in Malibu! How fun to be meeting a dear friend there and get to hang out.

    My favorite destination race was probably the Big Sur Marathon. We had a lot of fun and didn’t take the race too seriously so we could enjoy ourselves. We went with a group of friends and visited with friends who had just moved to San Jose.

    1. cari Post author

      I really think enjoying the day/week/end is the best part of a destination race. There’s a reason we pick a particular course or destination, and I wouldn’t want my enjoyment of the place to be decided by a race. That’s part of why I almost dropped to the 10K in Bermuda, but I’d met the pacers and knew I could finish so decided to go with the Half.

  10. Marcia

    I feel the same way about NYCM. Zero FOMO but what a glorious race and that final stretch through CP is something every runner should experience. I’d blocked out until recently that in 2014 when I ran it the wind was unrelenting. It’s crazy what we choose to forget. Have so much fun in Malibu! What a beautiful place to run!

    1. cari Post author

      While I don’t do the Fort Lauderdale Half every year, it’s bonkers to think my last beach race was with you-way too long ago. Also, FLL is one where I totally block out the sun and how hard it is despite being “fast and flat”

  11. Kim G

    I’m also pretty much done with virtual races but I will do them only if they benefit a charity. I anticipate I’ll start doing live races in person next year but I think it’s going to be hard for to get back into ‘race mode’ after two years off. I love watching the NYCM yesterday and my dad asked me if I wanted to do it again and I quickly said No, lol. No FOMO here at all.

  12. Black Knight

    I cannot imagine how can be scenic the Malibu Half route.
    To have fun and a nice post-race is a very good plan. I always choose races where I can spend good time after the race.
    All the best.

  13. Pingback: Race Recap: Malibu Half Marathon –

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