Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Surf City 2013 race report: Getting salty

This past Sunday I ran the Surf City half marathon for the second year straight. Located in beautiful Huntington Beach, CA this is a half I really enjoy. The weather is great, the sights of the ocean divine and the surf board bling at the finish line an adorable addition to the medal rack.

Of-course, despite it being a race I look forward to, I was filled with all sorts of worry.

After the issues at Ragnar and the calf pain I've been experiencing lately, I have to admit I was nervous.  On top of the issues, I didn't feel as trained as I would like to have been. I knew I wouldn't come anywhere close to PR'ing but deep down I prayed, "just let me finish." "Just let me have a race I don't hate and get to the finish line."

At the start of the race I felt good and as ready as I'd ever be. I concentrated on hydrating as well as I could (considering I flew in the day before) and I finally remembered to wear compression socks on the flight to help.

Cute LogHeads t-shirt: shamelessly plugging the new show
I'm producing for DIY network! ;-) 

I also rolled the dice and made a deliberate, usually, "no-no" game day decision. I decided to try something new. I found SaltStick at the expo and bought some. SaltStick is a product that combines sodium, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamin D to help you replace electrolytes - you can take it every 20 to 30 mins when you are sweating or exerting yourself - it has gotten a lot of great reviews from athletes saying it's helped reduce cramping. Since sports drinks usually upset my delicate tummy (it's always something with me! Right?) I have been using coconut water - but it just hasn't been quite enough.

So when I saw them at the expo, I remembered that people had recommended them to me along the way but kept forgetting to check them out. When I saw them, I figured I would give them a shot - even tho I was rolling the dice with my tummy I thought the risk would be worth the reward.

During the race, I felt good. I worked at keeping my spirits up. I remembered the people who can't run when I felt doubt creeping in. I kept my pace comfortable. I usually ran somewhere between 11:20 - 12:00. I just didn't want to hate the last few miles so kept it conservative. I slowed thru water stops to hydrate (it was warm) and would walk for a second or two but did very little real walking, which made me happy. Although for the last 4 or 5 miles I did have to stop several times for a minute here and there to keep stretching my legs - they were getting tight, though didn't cramp! (HURRAH!)

Right around the 7 mile mark, I saw a familiar face! Caroline! I can't believe I saw her - I was barely glancing that way and it was such a great moment. I shouted her name and she saw me - we stopped and hugged quickly. It was an awesome pick-me-up and it really put a smile on my face for the next mile. Finally we met!! :-)

So between the water stop strolling, the stopping to stretch and a potty break - I ran this race a full 20 minutes slower than last year! Last year my average pace was a 10:59 and this year - 12:30 - (tag time - actual running time if I don't count all the stops and stuff was 11:45 or something - Garmin automatically pauses.)


And I'm sooooo OK with that.

Not for one second did I hate this race. I had fun. I enjoyed the day.

I think the SaltStick worked - which I took every 30 mins more or less... (I also took 2 1/2 gels -  1 every 45 minutes - the last was a half) - nutrition overkill? Probably but whatever keeps those god awful cramps away!

I think that with better training (more medium length runs and long runs), yoga, stretching, foam rolling - combined with a little more experimentation with nutrition and hydration and I'll be back in a place of aiming for better pace, eventually. But for right now. I'm happy that I had a good run.

foam rolling with a friend the day after Surf city...
I needed to take a few steps back in order to get myself going forward again. I've learned it's not how fast you get to the finish line it's getting to the finish line that is most important to me -- and getting to the finish line and still being in one piece.

And in other news…

We premiered our first documentary film yesterday at the GRAMMY® museum at downtown LA yesterday. It was a red carpet premiere and very exciting! It's GRAMMY® week so it's pretty exciting. The film is called "Happy on the Ground: 8 Days at GRAMMY® Camp" and you can now rent or own it at iTunes and Amazon! Too cool. Click on either link to check out the trailer.

On the red carpet with my producing partners, Dan - Me - Angela


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