Feb 4, 2013

2/3/13: Surf City Half Marathon Recap

Half Marathon #9 is  done! It was definitely not my best race but I learned a lot from it. I am now very happy that I decided not the run the full marathon because it would have been less than spectacular! I do want to congratulate Megan who ran the full marathon and exceeded her goal. It was her very first marathon so please stop by her blog and give her some love!
I went to the Expo with Caroline on Saturday morning and we played photographer for one another. The weather was perfect on Expo day and I wish it would have been the same on race day.
Caroline and I talked the whole way to the Expo and the whole way back. We have some great conversations about everything from running to life in general. I actually thought of her several times during this race because she continues to run through some tough situations. She inspires me to keep going when I feel like giving up. Thank You Caroline for inspiring me, especially on this day.

The race was very well organized and even though there were almost 21,000 runners signed up, these people know how to handle things. The corrals were very easy to get into and there was very little crowding until the race was about to start. 
We didn't get stuck in traffic which we thought was bound to happen. Shuttles were provided free of charge from several locations to minimize the traffic issues. We were planning on valet parking at the host hotel which is right at the start but they raised their price to $35.00 on race day so I passed on that. We ended up parking in a residential area about 3/4 miles away and the walk was a good warm up for me. We waited at the host hotel until it was close to start time to use the restrooms and just relax a little. It was nice to have access to "real" bathrooms and not just the port-a-johns which I really dislike. The restrooms on the beach were also available for use so I never saw any big lines which is a big plus!
Most of the course takes place on Pacific Coast Highway and it's a beautiful view. I was hoping to feel some ocean breeze with all of the sun beaming down but that didn't happen. The race organizers did a great job of keeping the marathoner and the half marathoners separated so there weren't any issues with that. The course was not overcrowded either and most of the runners were half marathoners and women :)
I did a lot of things wrong which made this race less than enjoyable for me. I am in no way making excuses for my less than fabulous finish but just want to share some of things that I learned so that I don't repeat them in the future. The weather was supposed to be overcast and cool. The temperature was in the high 50's but the sun was out the entire time and there was no shade on the course whatsoever. I was looking for that break from the sun but it never happened. First of all, I was a little overdressed thinking that it was going to be cold since it was by the beach. I saw some posts on Facebook stating that it is very cold at the start which is wasn't. The weather was actually pretty nice when we arrived so I left my jacket in the car because I knew that I was not going to need it. I wore a really thick Lululemon shirt with my Flow-Y sports bra underneath. The shirt was new and I didn't realize how warm it was going to keep me. I thought about taking it off several times but was too embarrassed to run in a sports bra so I suffered instead. I didn't have sunscreen on all the places that the shirt covered so I didn't want to risk a sun burn either.

I also decided to try something new and carry my hand held water bottle. Carrying something in my hands for 13 miles was very annoying to me so I wish I would have stuck to my hydration belt instead. I am used to my belt and it works much better for me. I probably won't do that again either. I didn't even GU during this race because it was awkward trying to open the GU and hold the hand held at the same time. I know I am so lame!

Other than all of the mistakes I made, my shin starting bothering me at Mile 3 or so and I had to stop to stretch and figure out how to proceed with my race. I thought I was feeling good the first three miles but maybe I started to quickly and my shin was not happy. It was at this point that I decided to back off and just focus on finishing. Injury is no fun and it's never worth it! I was not happy but didn't want to make matters worse and I was not going to walk unless I absolutely had to. I texted my husband to tell him that my shin was acting up and that I was probably not going to make it in for a while. He told me to walk and take a break but I just wanted to finish as quickly as I could. I also witnessed a girl running next to me throw up and then I felt like I was going to be next one!

When we arrived back at the car after the race, we noticed another runner walking back and forth looking for his car. I felt bad for him and offered to help him look for his car. We drove around looking for his car and we found it. He was more than grateful for our help and I was glad that we were able to help someone. I went home feeling much better having done something to help someone else.

I finished in 1:53:26 but got this super cute surfboard medal which I love. I know that it is not a horrible time but it hurts when you know that you should have or could have done better. I am sure you all understand what I mean. I thought it was going to be a two hour finish so I am thankful that it was better than what I anticipated! I am okay with it today and I am moving on.
I know that every race is not going to be a perfect race and things can possibly go wrong. My main focus is on the Beach Cities Challenge medal and I have now completed my first race in the series. I saw the medal in person at the Expo and boy is she pretty!
Here are the ugly details if you are interested.
After the race I enjoyed the Superbowl with my family. Grandma came over and watched the game with us and she cooked some of her amazing food for us. She even made us some chocolate covered strawberries that were to die for!
I am not much of a football fan but I do enjoy the commercials. My favorite one was the Anheuser-Busch commercial with the Budweiser Clydesdale. I am an animal lover so naturally I cried. As a matter of fact, I don't think there was a dry eye in the room!

24 comments:

  1. I'm sorry it didn't go as plan, but your time still was exceptional! I'm sorry your shin was acting up. I know first hand how frustrating that is. But even though it may not have been your best, you still rocked it. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Christy! It was a learning experience for me but I am okay with it now.

      Delete
  2. Oops on trying the handheld, I am with you on those, the belt is best. I hate things in my hands for that long. Sorry you didn't have he race you wanted, luckily there are always more!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was laughing at myself this morning because my arm actually hurts from holding the hand-held lol! I usually take it with me on shorter runs and it works perfectly. I think I need to work my arms more too so I can handle carrying my hand-held! There is always another race so I will just let this one go and hope for a better one next time.

      Delete
  3. Well done!!! I am very envious of your time!
    I've stopped running with all containers and just shove my gels/bloks in my bra. Have to put a lot of faith in the volunteers, but so far so good. I hate carrying anything on a long run.
    I won't run in just my jog bra in public either. Just can't do it. I will in my basement on occasion but even then I feel weird. Dunno.
    My cousin lives just a half mile from the start. Love staying with her - I get to get up with the sun and have the trail all to myself. Then she usually has breakfast waiting for me. Heavenly!!
    Might be out there in a few weeks ... we shall see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Kathy! I really need to learn how to run without my own water but I am afraid that I will get thirsty and I will not be near a water stop. You should definitely add this race to your list since you have a cousin close by. It is a great race and would work out great for you.

      Delete
  4. Great job! I love that the medal is a surfboard, super cool!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Missy! I am in love with the medal! It is really cute and very detailed. You definitely need one of these to add to your collection!

      Delete
  5. That is a great time, well done! And your Superbowl food definitely looked worth running a half marathon for :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You! The food was definitely worth it. I think I overdid it! Hope you have a great week!

      Delete
  6. ah you are way too nice..thank you for what you wrote about me...I agree with you on everything about the race..
    I hope you chin gets better quicly and that is nothing serious..I enjoyed going to the Expo with you and I feel so lucky that thanks to our blogs we got to meet! Here's to a cloudy day for Pasadena!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope Pasadena has something better in store for both of us. I am looking forward to it and can't wait to cross over the bridge! Thank you for going to to Expo with me. It was fun!

      Delete
  7. I'm proud of you Sandy for not giving up & finishing. Love your re-cap & positive attitude. I know it didn't go the way you anticipated but, there's always, always the next race around the corner. That beach cities medal sure is nice! Great goal to work towards. :)

    Your grandmother is quite a cook!! :) Congrats on #9!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Pam. I thought about quitting a few times but know that I would have regretted it later on so I pushed through it hoping that my shin would not suffer. It feels okay today so I am not sure what happened on race day but it is just one of those things and you move on. I am glad that you had a great race. You are such a strong runner and I hope that someday I can be just half of what you are :)

      My grandma is a great cook. I have tried to duplicate some of my favorites that she makes but they just don't taste the same. I think it needs her special touch. I told her that it must be the pans that she uses or something magical like that.

      Delete
  8. You are so adorable surfing!!! I'm sorry the race didn't go as you wanted! I hate being over dressed!! I carry a hand held for all my races...mostly because my hips are too big to have water bottles strapped to them!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Nancy! I usually wear a pair of Nike Tempo shorts and a simple tank top and that does the trick so I think I need to just stick to that since it has never done me wrong! Your hips are too big..you're funny! I have the big hips but I guess I am just used to the belt. For me, the hand-held would take some getting used to for this distance. Hope you and the family are doing well.

      Delete
  9. You make me smile - thank you for the shout-out! I'll have a post to comment on soon! :)

    You blow me away - awesome time, even if it's not your best. NEXT time, we will meet! It's a must!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are welcome! I am so proud of you! Get that post up so I can hear all about it!! Yes, we must meet next time!

      Delete
  10. Sandy, I think you did great considering everything--that's a really strong time (I actually read this last night but ended up being awake all night with my poor little sick son, so I couldn't comment until now). And it IS a cool medal. :^)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You Terzah. I know that my time was not horrible but I really wanted to have a decent race and that did not happen. My half before this went really smoothly and even though my time was not great either it went well. I hope your son feels better soon. There is nothing worse than a sick child since neither one of you gets sleep and it is stressful. Take care and thank you for your continued support.

      Delete
  11. For your shin hurting you came in at a fabulous time. Definitely be proud of that. That is one awesome medal too!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank You. My shin has calmed down and I am hoping that it stays that way. It doesn't like speed or long runs :( We are going to have to fix that!

      Delete
  12. Hi - I found your blog through a link on someone else's blog. $35 for parking?!?! I get irked at $15 for the Disney races! I had to laugh at your comments about the handheld bottle instead of using your water belt. I did the same thing at the Holiday Half and hated it the whole time.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for stopping by! My other half was ready to pay the $35.00 and I had to stop him! No more hand held for me. I just have to stick with what works for me on race day. It is amazing how little things like that can change your race.

    ReplyDelete