Surf City Half Marathon Race Report

4 Feb

I am going to be very honest, there were 2 reasons that I signed up for this race.  1) I thought the medal was cute.  (I should be “above” racing for a cute medal…but I am not)

medaland 2) Jen Small was going to be there!  Jen was one of the first bloggers to embrace Tough Chik.  When she emailed me and asked to partner with Tough Chik, I was skeptical.  But one thing you will learn (or know) about Jen is that she is honest, enthusiastic and loving.  She believed in my brand and work hard to get out my message.  I pretty much owe my early social media connections solely to Jen.  She really changed my business.  We live on the 2 furthest points from each other, me in So Cal and Jen in Maine.  So I was NOT going to miss my chance to hug this amazing woman be picked up my this amazing woman.

484873_686472201374982_15677058_nSo what is Jen like in real life?  Exactly as you would expect.  Warm, friendly, fun, energetic and she gives great hugs, which is a big bonus in my book.

Back to the race…well…not yet…

Saturday before the race we had a Tough Chik meet-up/beach party.  A few of the Team Tough Chik members who were running and some locals braved the parking dropped by.

Jenifer, Dee-El, Theresa, Laura, Dawn, Robin and me (Shannon)

Jenifer, Dee-El, Theresa, Laura, Dawn, Robin and me (Shannon)

Keen Raffle Winners!

Keen Raffle Winners!

It was great to meet some of the new Toughies and catch up the members who are now my friends.

This race morning started like every race morning, with an alarm so early my cats look at me like I am nuts and don’t even get up to beg for treats.  When you confuse the cats and they are to sleepy to beg for food, now THAT is early.  Stupid early.  I was concerned about parking, as this is a HUGE race, so I was able to catch a ride with one of my team members brother-in-law, who lives down the street.  It is kind of weird to get picked up a 5:30 AM by a complete stranger, but we had a lot in common and chatted non-stop to the race.

Paul (my ride) and Me

Paul (my ride) and Me

Sunrise as we are walking to starting line

Sunrise as we are walking to starting line

Some of the Toughies met before the race started for a group pic and Julie woke up and rode down to cheer us on!  Now she is real trooper!

I promise we like each other!  We were so cold! Julie, Theresa, Dee-El, Judy and me

I promise we like each other! We were so cold!
Julie, Theresa, Dee-El, Judy and me

After a quick photo op, we went our separate ways and I headed to my corral.  I was shaking uncontrollably I was so cold.  It was probably 50, I mean not cold, but I admit that I am a total weather weenie.  I was suppose to take off at 7:57 but I *might* have been in the wrong corral, because we didn’t take off until quite a bit later and there was the 2:30 pacer right in front of me.  But I hate feeling like everyone is passing me, so I was okay starting with a slower group.

Crowds of folks at start line

Crowds of folks at start line

We finally got moving and I remember a friend telling me to start of painfully slow.  So that is what I did, and it wasn’t that hard.  There were so many people, and I was so cold that it was hard to get faster than a 10 min mile that first mile.  I had studied the course map and knew were the one hill was at around mile 3, so I told myself to keep it nice and slow until past that first hill.  About 2 miles in, I had to go to the bathroom.  OF COURSE!  Now you have to go!  Sometimes you and your body are NOT on the same page.  The lines for the port-a-potties at that first stop were very long, so I kept on going.  My plan was to go either on the way up the hill or at the top, knowing that I can haul butt down hill and maybe get some of my time back.  I had also decided that I was going to stop my Garmin and not count potty time. LOL

Right before mile 5 there were some port-a-potties and I begrudgingly waited in line to go.  A couple minutes later, I was as good as new and ready to move on.  I was feeling really good.  Pacing myself, drinking water and moving.  Except everything was moving.  I wore a flip belt with my phone and money and a race belt.  Both of which wanted to twist, turn and rise up on me.  It was driving me nuts.  I didn’t want to snag my new team shirt by pinning my number, but this was crazy annoying.  I think around mile 9 or 10 both final stayed on my hips.

Around mile 10 I started to get stomach cramps. Not buckled-over-cramps, but my stomach-is-unsettled cramps.  This is also the point where I realized that I would be cutting it very close to the 2 hour mark.  I really, really wanted a sub-2 hour race, but knew that it wasn’t a sure thing.  This is the point where I am doing the math in my head and to what pace I need to run these last miles.  I started to feel down, realizing that I was going to miss it.  I was close to tears, when I see Sara.  Sara is amazing and one of the coolest gals I know.  She is on Team Tough Chik and also lives in the OC.  She knew I wanted a sub-2 hr run and I was actually using her training plan.  She came up to me and asked me how I was feeling and what time I had.  At that point I was an hour and a half in and had over 3 miles to go, plus a gradual climb.  She told me that I would be cutting close, but I could do it.  She blew me a kiss and was off.

After that I just pushed as hard as I could, at this point it was right around mile 11.  I think I started pushing to early and around 12.5 I hit a wall.  I looked at my watch and knew there was no way I was going to cover the next .6 miles in 5 minutes.  I just didn’t have it in me.

SO CLOSE!

SO CLOSE!

I finished my first real Half Marathon at 2:03.  Even though I was a little bummed I didn’t get my sub-2, I knew that I gave it my all.  I left everything out there and I did the best that I could do.

Me and Sara

Me and Sara

Overall this was a great race.  Beautiful, well organized and pretty dang flat, which is huge for us!  I have a sub-2 hour half in me, so I guess I will have to try again next year!

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2 Responses to “Surf City Half Marathon Race Report”

  1. Urban Running Girl February 5, 2014 at 4:12 am #

    You did great despite not reaching your goal. You will definitely knock off that 3 minutes. Congrats.

  2. Michelle Bouchard February 5, 2014 at 5:37 am #

    I’m still searching for that sub-2 as well. 2:02 and 2:01…. grrr.. so close but yet so far. We’ll get it!! Glad you got to meet Jen, she’s a hoot!

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