Surf City Half Marathon
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
I did it again, participated in another half marathon! On February 6th I walked/ran the Surf City Half Marathon. This is my second goal (of 3) for getting back to events that I love doing. They are a mental and physical challenge.
My day started early (3:45am). I arrived early for the event to beat traffic and get good parking. After eating and a bathroom break, I took a short nap before making my way to the start area. I’m not the only one doing this as many in cars around me went through the same ritual. It was cold but not too bad and thankfully not much marine layer for the beach.
I made my way to the start area to stretch, chat with others, look over the gear others wear or carry, look at the signs spectators bring to cheer on friends and family and just wait.
The Surf City event benefits the cause for mobility (providing wheelchairs and other services) to those who need it. They said $1.4 million was raised.
Once started, I was trying to get into my walking groove but was distracted by my watch. Somewhere before Mile 2 I realized my watch reset, so I lost the steps already tracked and the time logged. Also, I no longer could see the current time. I think this distraction cost me some walking minutes since my speed slowed. Finally I just had to put this out of my mind and concentrate with getting my walking rhythm back.
One thing I like now, is the big hill was changed to occur at the beginning (around mile 3 or 4). When I last did this event, it was called the Pacific Shoreline Half Marathon and the hill occurred around Mile 8 or 9. It was good getting it out of the way at the beginning. So I thought. We came down the hill and walked back to PCH and turned toward Bolsa Chica. My rhythm was still not great and I kept thinking at what point are going to make the turn to come back down PCH heading to the finish line.
This half marathon had pacers for various times and usually I don’t pay attention. But this time I wanted to see if I could better my time and thought, great here is the 3 hour pacer near me, if I can keep ahead or even with them I could better my time by 15 minutes. What an achievement that would be!! This wasn’t to be since they got ahead of me (without me noticing) and the next time I saw them was after they made the turn at Bolsa Chica, well ahead of me.
After this I just tried to settle in and enjoy the weather since the sun was peeking out and the waves looked great especially when you saw the surfers doing their thing. My legs were feeling good and finally my sneakers weren’t feeling too bad.
During the race I kept talking to 2 sisters who were also walking. They were fast and many times I would run to catch up to them. Anyway, near the end the faster sister went into a serious speed walk mode and left us behind. We kept walking and at the end ran it in to get a good “photo finish”. LOL
I loved doing this event but was happy to have it end. Best of all you got free beer at the end. Did I mention this already? Everyone loved this. Some spectators kept shouting, “keep going, there’s free beer at the end”. One guy even had on his race number “Beer Run” in lieu of his name.
So, after all that I checked my time and it is 3 hours and 11 minutes. This is 4 minutes faster than the half marathon I did in October. Nice but I think the time savings is really due to not taking any port-a-potty breaks.
Next event – the LA Marathon in March. We will travel (walk/run) from Dodgers Stadium to the Santa Monica pier. I can feel my nerves starting to shake.