Monday, February 14, 2011

Surf City Half Marathon Recap

At the start of the year, I was determined to run as many marathons as I possibly could. As noted in my previous posts, I ran Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona and absolutely loved it. What’s next? I really wanted to do Surf City since it was one of the races our Long Beach Team in Training had been training for all season. I knew how excited I was for my first race and how great it was to see familiar faces out on the course so I wanted to be right there with them. 

For whatever reason I waited to register and when I finally did decide to do so, Surf City was sold out. In my defense, I’m still fairly new to marathons. I know now to register ahead of time and not wait until the last minute. I was really bummed and thought if anything I’d just go run with our team but truth be told, deep down, I really wanted the medal and the glory too.

As luck would have it, a bib literally came to me. My wonderful friends who I’d met in Long Beach last year were registered but weren’t able to make the trip. I know marathon organizers would frown upon this transaction but you can’t just let a bib go to waste if the original registrants can’t participate. I owe this entire experience to Marianne and Randy. Your kindness and generosity are beyond words and I am truly grateful for this gift.

Expo weekend came and I couldn’t believe that just three weeks ago I was in Arizona. I remember how well I’d been running leading up to Arizona but Surf City was a bit different. There’s always those races you get insanely nervous to run…Surf City was definitely that race for me. For some reason, I’d felt incredibly weak the days leading up to it. I’d run two miles and feel completely wiped out. I had no idea how I was going to do 13. There was no turning back at this point. I’d picked up the bibs, looked around the expo for a bit (found some rather interesting items), and went home to get all my gear ready.

I'm asssuming this is the type of underwear you wear for a marathon...the MARATHONG! LOL!
I could not sleep at all…again my darn nerves worrying about crossing the finish line. 4:30 a.m. came so quickly and off I went to meet up with some of our teammates running the marathon. We got to Huntington Beach rather early and sat in the car for a while not wanting to be out in the cold. Tired and cold, we finally got out of the car and made our way to meet with the rest of the team. The thrill of being out there with them was exciting. For many of them, this was going to be thier first half marathon and also for my friend Rudi who I'd gone to grad school with. Ahhh that first time feeling! We took pictures and waited for what seemed like hours.

Our Long Beach Team in Training at the start line
I promised some of our teammates we’d run together but in typical marathon fashion, too much shuffling during a race and we lost each other. I managed to stick with one of our teammates, Jennifer who actually kept me going the entire time. “Follow the pink shorts!” I kept telling myself and that I did. We kept weaving in and out of the crowd trying to get ahead. We stayed at a good pace, around 9:40 per mile up until around mile 8 or 9. We were tiring out as we hit a few inclines. “What comes up, must come down!” I told Jennifer. The only problem was…it never felt like it went downhill or at least that’s how it feels after so many miles.

I trudged through the last four just exhausted but I never stopped running…well my last few miles were more of a jogging pace but I did it. I crossed the finish line at 2:17:58. Right before collecting my medal, I took a deep breath and cried. Why? I can never explain to anyone who is a non-runner without getting a weird reaction. Really? You cried? It’s not like a sobbing cry or tears streaming down your face, it’s more like a release of emotion that you’ve held on to for the last 2 plus hours. It was a great feeling in an exhausting kind of way. I looked back to find Jennifer but didn't see her. It turns out she finished about 45 seconds after me. I walked around in a bit of a daze, picked up my gear, and reunited with some friends and our teammates at the TNT tent.

I want to congratulate our TNT participants who not only toughed out 13.1 miles but also helped raise money to fight blood cancers…you are all heroes in my book! GO TEAM! Till the next one…happy running!

Some more post race pics:

I was promised a mimosa by the Alpha Running family so you bet I went over to collect. They’re a great running/training group out of Los Angeles. Thanks to Coach C. for the welcome and congrats to Rudi on his first race.

The beautiful Surf City medal!

Sporting our Team in Training shirt and my rockin' new medal!


  1. Haha! A marathong? I wonder how I missed that... Well, truth to be told, I cannot understand how I missed you, especially considering we must have been running this side by side.... But maybe I won't miss you at the race for the cure! :-)

  2. Well done! Now I know why I didn't see you on the course - I was looking for a purple shirt! Oh yeah, that and there were 17,000 half-marathoners :)

    Congrats on running a strong race! After you get a full under your belt, you'll be able to relax and enjoy half-marathons more. Keep up the good work!