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Surf City Half Marathon
Surf City Half Marathon Race Recap (Half Marathon #3)
I went to the expo with my friend K on Saturday. Everything went smoothly and I enjoyed my first family free expo (nice to not be rushed). I picked up some new arm warmers and a decal for my car and lots of free goodies.
This isn’t too shabby a place to run a race. Actually, the Ragnar Relay started in the same spot. Such a pretty place. That hill in the background is actually about where I live. Fun to see in the distance.
Gotta take the chance to be goofy when given the chance:
I only realized during the race, that this next picture is the mile marker for the Marathon. And, I probably didn’t realize it until about mile 5.
The nice long sleeve tech tee (although I don’t think I really need a long sleeve shirt ever in our weather), but it’s nice to have something colorful.
I loved that we were also given a reusable shopping bag.
My new car decal. Yep, on the back of my cool mini van.
Race day morning. My alarm went off at 5AM and I downed a very unsatisfying cup of coffee along with a banana with sunflower nut butter on it. I did my Pain Free stretches, gathered my gear, put on some sunscreen (that seemed weird to do in the dark) and was out the door by 5:40.
I was to park my car at a coworker of MMT’s condo which was right on PCH. That turned out to work perfectly. I walked the few blocks to the starting line and was able to see the start of the Marathon.
I was meeting K at the starting area (we drove separately due to post race plans). At that point (6:45AM) I received a text from her saying that she was just leaving and running a little late. I took a few moments to gather my thoughts before I responded and in that time, she responded that she was just kidding and was waiting for a shuttle at one of the lots. Phew. Glad she had a sense of humor.
Then, I found my blogger friend Kristie who was with some of her friends. They loaned me a sleeping bag to wrap up with and that was so amazingly fantastic. It was cold! (remember, wimpy CA girl here, I think it was 50*). We visited for a few minutes (and I ate my oatmeal that I had brought) and then I finished my trek to the start to meet up with K.
It was all good in the beginning. We were keeping with the 2:1 run: walk that we’d trained with. We started with the 3:00 pacers and hoped to stick with them.
Mile one was a little too fast, so we slowed down. By mile 2, I thought our pace was better. The twinge in my ankle was back.
By mile 3, the twinge in my ankle went away. Weird. Maybe it needed to warm up. At this point, we turned and went up a small hill for a while. Then the small hill became a big hill. We were making a little loop around and heading back down to PCH when we made a quick stop for a picture.
Another view of home – this time with a little harbor thrown in.
By the time we made it down the hill, we were well into mile 5. I could tell at this point that K wasn’t doing so well. We had lost sight of the pacers and I was doing all the talking and felt like I was running out of things to say (surprising, I know). Our average pace was keeping pretty consistent at about 13:30ish.
We came upon a port-a-potty station just into mile 7 and made a stop. At mile 8, we made the turnaround and it was to be a straight line back to the finish, all down the coast. K wasn’t happy.
At mile 9, she said she needed to walk. We were heading back up a little incline and I thought she was saying she just wanted to walk for a little bit. No, she was done. She said so and we agreed to walk as fast as we could but that we would walk the last 4 miles. She told me several times to run ahead, but that wasn’t our plan, so we stayed together. Besides, my ankle pain had come back and it was probably best for me to walk as well.
After a few minutes and a few water stations, she seemed to be getting back together. She was able to talk again and seemed to perk up. We enjoyed the scenery – dog beach, lots of runners, the marathoners who were running on the boardwalk which really wasn’t closed to other people (that had to have sucked). We started making up stories about the people we were passing and we were having fun again.
Then, we saw the finish line! She said we should run. Ok… let’s go! Uh, that may just have been the hardest 50 meters ever! My legs had no desire to go any faster. 9 miles of running and 4 of walking, I was done. We laughed at our gimpy gaits as we crossed the finish line. 3:19:07.
K getting her medal!
With that last little semi-sprint (okay, it was a total slow jog), my ITB started to scream at me. Uh oh. It hurt a lot the rest of the afternoon, but by the evening was quieting down. My ankle still hurts, but just about the same as it did a week ago. It’s like there’s a little tendon or something that runs right along my inside ankle bone that is tight or inflamed or something. Why does the pain comes and go?
Oh, I forgot to mention… we started pretty late. Our wave should have started at 8:07 and we started at almost 8:40. During that time, I glanced at my phone to see an email from friends that we were planning spend the Super Bowl with. Uh, the host family had an outbreak of lice yesterday. Uh Oh! We were more than welcome to still go over (no, thank you). I didn’t get to sort the whole situation out until I was driving home, but we passed on the activities. We’ve dealt with lice twice in our house and I have no desire to do that much cleaning and laundry all at once ever again.
So, because of the late start and our slower than anticipated finishing time, I was late to get back to Dude’s tennis match. To make matters worse, I had forgotten to take his racket out of my car (thankfully he borrowed one). And, traffic getting out of the beach area and to the freeway was horrible. We finished the race at 11:40AM and I didn’t get to the tennis courts until 1:45! Ugh.
So we had a little private family party to watch the Super Bowl. Actually, it was perfect. I couldn’t have wished for anything better than to spend the afternoon with my three most favorite people in the world. MMT went a little crazy at the store and we gobbled on lots of yummy food. I was able to sit in sweats and compression socks and no makeup and have a beverage and relax for the rest of the evening. Perfect.
Lessons learned during this race:
A Half-Marathon is hard – it takes a lot of mental effort to stay in the race
I think miles 9 and 10 are the most challenging. It’s all mental.
I went into this one planning to just have fun, but it was hard to know how to balance fun with encouraging my friend who was having a hard time and to not push her too much and make things worse
I like to race alone. I like listening to my music and drowning everyone else out. I love to people watch. Running a training run with company is fun, especially a long and slow run.
Next up – lots of rest. No running for a while for me. I’m going to see if I can get this ankle thing to go away on its own. I’m going to cut my distances way back. I’ve registered for the OC Half Marathon in May, so I’ve got lots of time.
Congratulations to my awesome friend K for finishing her first half marathon! I’m also glad she wasn’t cursing me at the end for encouraging her to have already signed up for #2.