Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Surf City Race Recap

First of all, I was super excited to run Surf City.

In fact, in a small way, I owe the Surf City half marathon a huge debt of gratitude because it was one of the prime movers in getting me to take up running in the first place.

You see it was right around this time in 2010 that my friend Angela posted about her medal and accomplishment in running 13.1 in this race.

Angela talked about the medal and her accomplishment on FB and I marveled how it would be cool to be able to do such a thing someday.  At that point I was about 40 pounds into my weight loss journey (with still having 50 to lose) and thought it was an impossibility. I mean, me run? Not for 13 seconds, never mind 13 miles. Ha.

But it was the perfect storm - between her pictures, my kind of wanting to do it and my making a "life long bucket list of goals" more about the back story here… and in any case, just a few days later (my bloganiversary is tomorrow in fact) I was signed up for my very first half.

So back to Surf City.

I wasn't sure I'd ever run this one even tho it looks awesome and beautiful.  Primarily the issue was that it happens on Super Bowl Sunday every year and that's pretty much a holiday in my family. Being away on Super Bowl Sunday is worse to hubby than being away for his birthday or our anniversary but somehow I was able to finagle it this year. (If the Jets were in the big game, however, that would be grounds for divorce… unluckily/luckily, the Jets remain tried and true - and out of the Superbowl…)

Anyway I made it happen and got out here for it.

The day before we went to the Free Wheelchair Mission dinner. Angela raises money for them every year and they are the main charity tied to the race. It was a beautiful dinner. The Free Wheelchair Mission raises money to provide wheel chairs for people around the world. Their mission is to literally "lift" people up and off the ground. In poorer countries, if you have a disability that affects your mobility you are literally forced to drag along on your hands. It's quite touching what these folks do.

Lin, one of the recent wheel chair
At the dinner Josh George, a primo wheel chair racer athlete who's taken the gold in event after event for the USA was the key note speaker. He's heading to London in August.

He was awesome and even let me take a picture with him:

with big time athlete Joshua George - awesome guy
I can't think of anything more motivational or inspiring pre-race than remembering how lucky we are that we GET to run and use our feet, legs, and heart to move.  These healthy legs are such a gift!

After dinner, I careful laid out my race-day clothing and we hit the sack.

4:45 AM rolled around quickly and we were up and raring to go - we strolled downstairs, waited for the shuttle and off we went.

Ready to go!!
As we shuffled around the starting line - I had to pee a million times - but I'm glad I got it out of my system pre-race because this was the first race that I didn't have to stop at all for a porta-visit during the run! Yay. I'm a big girl now!

So we were off. I felt good and I was rarin' to go. I kept trying to pace myself as to not start to fast.  The first two miles - i felt a little stiff. Probably from the traveling and I was on my feet a lot leading up to race day, unfortunately. By mile four, I was in a groove and feeling great. I definitely was feeling awesome.

It was a pretty place to run.  I kept my pace, enjoyed my music, and had my gels and beans in a good rhythm.  I skipped the sports drink they were serving because I'd never had it and didn't want to risk a San Diego repeat.  I grabbed water thru every stop but ran thru them - never walking.

I couldn't remember my Jersey Shore half time but wasn't thinking I was gonna beat it. That was my previous PR race. I was mid-marathon training at that point and long runs were 16 -18 miles. In any case, my goal this time was to finish this one under 2:30.

So I ran, and pushed, and ran. Around mile 6 or 7 I started to get annoying side stitches.  Nothing too terrible but annoying - eh, I've run thru worse - I shook it off and kept going. The 10th and 11th miles I was definitely starting to feel tired and my legs  were starting to feel pretty fatigued.  But I was in the homestretch!  I like to pour it on in the last mile and did all I could to pick up the pace.

I love the finish chute - the crowds, the excitement, that big beautiful "FINISH" sign. Ahhhh - I crossed the mat. I thought I came in around 2:24 or so - Yippee! I well beat my 2:30 goal. I couldn't exactly remember my Jersey Shore half time so I looked it up: I did the Jersey Shore in 2:24:47 (11:01 min mile…)   Another medal on the books!  :) 

sweetest medal
As far as PR, it was going to be close. My Nike + was a little off (actually was reading 13.3 miles for a 10:48 min mile… it's kinder than my mother) so I was going to have to hold my breath and wait for the chip time results… When I went online I was psyched to see:

YIPPEE! 2:23:47 A PR by mere seconds… And I broke out of the 11min mile avg - something so pretty excited about 10:59 ;) I'm also pretty proud of the split time as you can see on the bottom left.

A great race overall.

Me and Ang after the race!
I would definitely recommend Surf City and hope to do it again next year (that is if the Jets don't make it to the Super Bowl. Hey. Stop laughing. It could happen… ;) 

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