Race number 4 was the Surf City Half Marathon. It was an out-and-back course along the Pacific Coast Highway with a 3-mile detour up a hill.
Goals: I’d just run the Manhattan Half Marathon the weekend before, so I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel, not to mention jet-lag and the extra 5 miles I needed to run, so I set the usual goal of running between the water stations and hoped I could manage a 2:20.
Expo day: I took no chances and let Shayna know as soon as I’d signed up that I was running Surf City. We met at Alice’s in the Park, with her little one, my siblings and their families, and Pete and Ahi. It was my first time meeting Pete and Ahi in person, so I was especially happy at breakfast. The giant cinnamon rolls were pretty nice, too. After breakfast, we fed the birds (I was super-irritated when a pigeon tried to land on me), then went to the playground to play for a bit, before going to the expo. At the expo, I had another name-rage incident and had to go to the Solutions booth to have my gender changed to female. I didn’t want a repeat of New Year’s Day, even though I knew I wouldn’t be placing at this big event. I found Dane’s booth and stood in line to have him sign my bib. It was my first time meeting him in person, too, though we’ve been acquainted on-line for about 3 years. We had to be back at my sister’s house to see the rest of the family by 1 and still needed to go to Roger’s Gardens, so we had to say goodbye.
Race day: I ended up in bed with a migraine for most of Saturday afternoon. When I woke up on Sunday morning, I was still nauseous, but the headache was gone, thankfully. I had 18 miles on the schedule, so my brother and I ran a bit together, then he stopped to rest and I kept going. I was supposed to run 3 before, but I suspect that I only managed about 2.5. I looked all over the place for people I know, but didn’t see anyone. I thought I saw Ahi pass by when the marathon started, but I’m not sure about that. My brother planned to stick with me until the first water station, so he jogged along with me. I was supposed to be running at a 10:50 pace. I stayed on the left side of the course to watch for my sister, who was running the 5k. I missed her, but stayed on the left to watch for people I knew ahead of me on the course, especially the marathoners. I stayed steady on a somewhat slow pace, but was ahead of where I was supposed to be. I felt comfortable, even though the PCH section after the hills is a bit difficult to get through - long low hills that drag on past oil fields and a marsh. It was a lot nicer this year, than last year, when we ran it in a driving rain storm. In the 9th mile, I realized that I was on pace for a 2:15, if I just pushed it a bit. I waited until the 11th mile and then started building my pace slowly. I took off about a minute in the 12th mile and another 30 seconds in the last mile. I passed my sister, who cheered me on to a sprint finish and then we did the usual post-race thing (water, pictures, post-race goodies). I had two miles left to run, so my sister ran an out and back away from the race and then we jogged slowly back towards the car. I tried to find Shayna, but we had to get back to my sister’s place, because she was expecting guests later.
Official stats: my official time was 2:13:28 for a 10:11 pace. My splits were 9:53, 10:03, 10:08, 10:47, 10:12, 10:23, 10:32, 10:31: 10:48, 20:42, 9:34, 9:00, and :56 for the last tenth of a mile. I was 4958 out of 10790 total runners, putting me in the 54th percentile. It was 46F and foggy.
Celebratory treats: On the way home, we stopped at a coffee place my brother likes and I got a chorizo breakfast burrito. We also had Wonderland cupcakes and a veritable feast for the Superbowl, including Scott’s chocolate mousse.
Next up: Bronx Half Marathon (2/8)
Thanks for all your support!!
Pictures are available at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7411850@N04/sets/72157613380302857/.