May 10, 2013

5/5/13: OC Half Marathon

This makes half marathon #12 for me. This race brings me back to 2012 since it is the first race I ran coming back from my hamstring injury. It just so happened that my good friend Caroline is dealing with an injury this year so I decided to give her some support out on the course. I knew what this race meant to her. I knew she was determined to finish it. I knew she needed to finish this race so she could begin to deal with her injury. I knew I needed to be there with her to help her since her family was not going to be there as they always are.  This was her race. It was not mine.

Caroline invited me to stay at a local hotel with her since the race had a start time of 6:15 a.m. We went to the expo on Saturday afternoon and then had dinner at a local mall. We went back to our room and talked, drank tea, ate some snacks, laughed and then decided to call it a night around 11 p.m knowing that we needed to wake up at 4 a.m. to catch the 5:05 a.m. shuttle to the start. 

RACE DAY:
We hopped on the shuttle in the morning and arrived at the start with little time to spare.
 
We immediately made our way to the porta potties. The lines were really long and almost all of the them were out of toilet paper. By the time we got up there they were out of seat covers too since those became the toilet paper! People were not happy! I happened to have some napkins with me so I got lucky plus I squat and never ever sit!
We made our way into corral 5 and waited for our turn to start.It was 61 degrees and windy at the start but the weather turned out to be just perfect. The sun never came out the entire time we were out on the course.

 
Caroline did not want me to stay with her and she tried to get rid of me multiple times but I knew she needed me and I wasn't about to leave her on the course alone. I finally scolded her and told her to stop looking at me and focus on her race. She was threatening to run and telling me that I was going to have a horrible time on Athlinks.com and all sorts of crazy stuff but I just ignored her and distracted her by doing things like this.
 
I think she finally stopped trying to get rid of me at mile 12 since none of her threats were working! I just could not find the heart to leave her and I knew that the right decision was to stay with her and make sure she made it to the finish line. This was decided earlier in the week when I ran my half marathon on the treadmill the Friday prior to the race. That was an experience!
I enjoyed this race because I had the opportunity to appreciate the course and to see things that I would not normally notice or pay attention to. I was able to "stop and smell the roses," and sometimes you just need to do that. I noticed how beautiful the course was, the amazing homes along the course, children waving from their windows, all of the mile marker signs, all of the cute pets that were hanging out with their humans that were supporting the runners, acting silly for the photographers and I even noticed a home that still had their Christmas tree up! I never do these things because I zone out and just focus on finishing. 
The time passed very quickly even though we were walking/jogging the course. It was over before I knew it and I left Caroline around the 13 mile mark to run to the finish. I finished in 2:57:58 with a happy heart. I did not care about my time. I wanted to see Caroline finish her race and I know she wanted a finish line photo. She finished with her hand over her heart for Boston and she didn't vomit or have dry heaves! Sorry Caroline..I had to say that.
 
Her husband was not there to take her photos so I was her substitute photographer but with my iPhone. We hugged each other at the finish and had a little moment before we headed over to pick up her Beach Cities Challenge medal. I think she was happy and I was happy for her. This picture pretty much sums up the way we were feeling out on the course.

 
I can also tell you that walking a half marathon might sound easy but it is not. I was sore in places that I have never been sore before! I am now one race away from getting my Beach Cities Challenge medal! The last race in the series is the Long Beach Half Marathon which I will run in October. I can't wait to get my hands on that medal. 

15 comments:

  1. you are such an awesome lady! GREAT job being such a GREAT friend!

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    1. Thank You Michelle. This race was about friendship and support not a PR or anything else.

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  2. I love the picture at the end where they caught you two together smiling!

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    1. Thank You Terzah. I felt great and enjoyed myself 110%!

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  3. Congrats on finishing a race for the true purpose of running, having fun and doing so with others!

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    1. Thank you Abbi. I totally agree with you. This was one of those races where I was reminded why I really run.

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  4. You are seriously awesome - what an amazing friend! And I'm glad you were able to appreciate just taking all the sights in. It's so easy to get lost in the hub-bub of racing. I missed half the views of our DC race, apparently, because I was so zoned in. WOO for Beach Cities!

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    1. Thank You Megan. Caroline is a great friend to me and I didn't think twice about lending her some support.

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  5. The best way to enjoy an event: fun, friendship, taking pictures, running and a lot of smiles. Congrats to both of you.

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    1. Thank You. Sometimes it is good to just enjoy a race less the stress of time.

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  6. What a fun race with Caroline! It sounds like you two had a great time running together.

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  7. Congratulations on another awesome accomplishment!

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  8. What a great running buddy you are! Kudos for being there for your friend. I ran the OC also, my first ever full marathon. Let me tell you those last five miles sucked. But I really enjoyed the first half of the course for the reasons you stated . . . lots of crowd support, I even offered to pay a kid 100 bucks for his skateboard. My favorite sign was one that read "THIS PARADE IS REALLY CONFUSING!"

    I'm also going for the Beach Cities Challenge medal, but I won't get mine until February at Surf City.

    Take care!

    Chris
    www.splitsandgiggles.blogspot.com

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  9. Thank you Chris for the kind words. I had a great time out there and the weather was perfect. Congratulations on running your first marathon and earning your BCC medal in February!

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  10. You two are so adorable together! Kudos to you for being a great friend!

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