Monday, February 6, 2012

RACE REPORT: Surf City Half Marathon | Love this Race!

I have a new race to add to my Favorite Races.  Surf City Half Marathon.

I have so many runner friends who have raved about this race, I had to try it this year.  So glad I did. 

From the Expo to the post-race festivities, it was a success.

Surf City Half/Full Marathon is located at Huntington Beach, CA. This would be my first California race.

I love Huntington Beach, CA - always have. I love the sense of dog-friendly sense of community. It's always great to visit. My last trip to Huntington Beach was the start of our family vacation in September. It is where we celebrated Honeybear's 12th birthday and said our final goodbye's to Ladybug.

I arrived at my hotel on Friday. I chose a hotel that had a kitchenette so I can make my own food. I didn't want to chance ANY possibility of eating the wrong thing in a restaurant. The Ghost of GI issues, still haunts me.

Upon arriving at the Expo (which was located on the beach, in tents) - the vibe was very upbeat and positive. This is my largest race since 2010. 20K racers had registered for this event.



Received a great tote bag and long sleeved shirt: (the tote bag was used for grocery shopping the next AM)



I strolled around the Expo. Met Kristen from iFitness Belt. So great to meet those I know so well via email. After driving almost 5 hrs, I am sure I wasn't great looking. 

I didn't food sample anything and used hand sanitizer, a lot (another precaution).

After the Expo, I headed to the hotel and settled-in for the night

The next day - I had the pleasure to spend some quality time with one of my clients, face-to-face. Tanya Memme, Host of A&E's Sell This House. Being her Social Media Manager has been such a delight. Here is a picture of her and I (and her beautiful daughter, Ava).

Me with Tanya Memme, Host of A&E's "Sell This House:Extreme"

Later - my friend, Julia Beavers stopped by the hotel. Bring me a HUGE box of Oranges and Grapefruits from her neighbors Orchard/Garden.

That night, Julia and I had fun along the beach shore. It was so relaxing. Here is a picture of me at the Beach.



Woke up the next morning at 4am to load up the car. Left the hotel around 5am to get to the shuttles. I wanted to be at the Start in plenty of time to see the sun come up.


Met up with other Half Fanatics for a group photo:



Here is a picture of me and The Endorphin Dude. This is now our traditional photo. We started the photo position in Vegas. Love this guy. 



Watched the Full start. Tried so hard to find my friend, Casey C. She was going for her first-ever sub4 Marathon. I couldn't find her :(

Julia Beavers came to the race to support and take pictures of me. I have the best friends, I am telling ya.

When the Half Start got into the corrals. FLASH BACKS to Vegas! But, I could tell this crowd was well controlled. Thank you, God.

I started the 3rd Corral back from the Elites, to start around 7:49. And yep, that's when we started!

My goal was to run a sub1:55. I was using this race as a training race for the LA Full. No better way than to have a long run, huh? On the Pacific Coast Hwy.

  • Straight (north) up PCH until the 2-3 mile turn into the neighborhoods. I saw Julia at Mile 2 and told her I was feeling good - no problems. I was keeping pace, just behind the 1:50 pacer. Right where I wanted to be.

  • Mile 4-5 was our first hill. Not an incline, a hill. I kept saying "slay the dragon" to myself. Attack at the head (towards the top) not the tail (bottom of the hill). I passed quite a few runners. At the summit, it turned again to go around the block, so it gave me a chance to level out my breathing before going downhill again.


At the downhill Aid Station, I took my PowerBar Strawberry/Banana Gel (with a swig of water, of course)

  • Coming off the downhill, sharp corner to go back on PCH Northbound.

Turn around was at Mile 8.

  • At Mile 9, starting to feel the energy waiver, I took a Swedish Fish.

Shortly, after, I REALLY felt my energy waiver and I started to loose my focus. Didn't get my refocus until about Mile 11.5

  • Anyways, there is another good climb at Mile 10. "Slay the Dragon"

  • At Mile 11.5 I took my last PowerBar Strawberry/Banana Gel.

  • At Mile 11.75 my focus came back and I was doing well. Looking at my Garmin, I knew I couldn't PR, but I was well ahead of my goal to sub 1:55.


  • Crossed at 1:53:42. Very happy with that finish.

Once I got my head in the right focus, drank some coconut water and ate an apple. Met Julia at the Gear Check and it was post-race picture time. I was thinking about WHY I had such issues at Mile 9ish.  Then, it dawned on me.  I mixed up my Fueling.  I typically take my Gel at Mile 9 and Swedish Fish at Mile 11.  I reversed it.  Duh!

Here is a picture of the Medal. It looks kinda orange, but it's a wooden Surf Board with the Medal Emblem. So cool!

With Ladybug's Ball:




Here is a picture of me and Julia. (I am so UNphotogenic after races)



Afterwards, I walked down the the local Subway to get a Veggie Sandwich (and Avocado) with Sweet Onion Dressing. It was good to keep walking around for a bit, kept my legs limber.

Headed home and walked in the door at Half Time for the SuperBowl.

And what happened to Casey? 
She accomplished her first sub4 Full Marathon!!!! WOOHOO! So, proud of her.

See you next year, Surf City!

(c) C. Ragsdale 2011-12
___________________
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Running Coach, Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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