Tuesday, February 5, 2013

RACE REPORT: Surf City Half Marathon | Back in the sub2's

Training for Surf City has been a unique experience.  My confidence was depleted after several races I missed running a sub2 Half and then of course, dealing with the heavy leg syndrome and the gluten-intolerance issue.  There were times I was going backwards in my training & racing, not improvements. 

My daily workouts with DDPYOGA has increased my flexibility and muscle tone - but would it be enough to get me to the sub2 Half time?  A finish time I have not seen since July 2012, at the San Francisco Half.

I put in my head that I was shooting for a solid 2:05, my fantasy goal was to be in the sub2.  I knew this race was a gauge to see if my body was healing and was I on the right track.

Angela and I left Vegas and drove straight to the Expo - next to the Beach.  We arrive moments before it opened.  Once opened, we picked up our packets, shirts and expo bag. 

We met up with my good friend, Diana Kitching.  Almost immediately, we connected with Joe Taricani. The one, the only Host of THE Marathon Show.  A friend to many and a great Ambassador to the sport

Joe Taricani - The Marathon Show

He put my name on his event sign (he carries it during the race)

It was time to visit some of my favorite vendors friends

iFitness - Hailey is always a treasure

BeeCause Charms - Suzanne. She created my Mother-in-Law memorial charm I wore on my shoe for St George Marathon
Island Boost - LauraI had the pleasure of connecting with her last week and she has formulated a fueling liquid gel that is GF & Vegan. Best part, it is formulated with coconut water - so, no need to drink water after the fueling. I am anxious to try it. 

More Fun Pictures!

Diana & Paula

Diana & Angela

Andrea Kooiman and I

Paula & I


Angie and I went out to eat. We found a BBQ style type of restaurant that served GF.  I had a BBQ Brisket sandwich.  It looked interesting - and yes, I ate meat (I do that every once in awhile).  It was yummy. 

Next morning - I did a quick DDPYOGA workout in the hotel room. That wasn't pleasant, I felt like I was going to fall on the bed, every move.  I need more space to do this workout, that is for sure.

We headed back to the Expo for a quick stop to see Joe Taricini broadcast The Marathon Show.  Both Angela & I were interviewed (I am at 7:35 & 11:50)  Angela is at 19:35.  LINK TO SHOW

Angie Whitworth Pace. We met at the St George Marathon. She was running her 50th Full Marathon. Congrats to Angie!

Finally met Eddie McCoy - (also, part of The Marathon Show)

Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel for a quick meal.  Angela and I brought our own food. She made a yummy brown rice mixture. We added grilled chicken and baby greens.  I used Balsamic vinegar as my dressing.

Then, I was craving a cupcake.  Being the great friend that Angela is - she agreed to drive me to a GF bakery.  Well - it wasn't just GF. It was also soy-free, egg-free, dairy-free and nut-free.  It wasn't the worst cupcake I have had, but it wasn't even close to the best.  Adventure done. Now, we can say we were there.

We walked around the Huntington Beach pier and I bought these Ladybug earrings to wear on all my races for 2013.  There is also a matching necklace, but I don't wear necklaces, very often.

Then, we are off to dinner.  Met up with Marathon Mitch and he brought his friend, Donna.  She is a 50 Stater.  Great dinner at BJ's - until....I had dessert. They have an great allergen-free menu.  I ordered the GF Pizookie and ice cream. Within a few moments after finishing it, I knew it was not GF.  Luckily, I had my Gluten Enzymes. They are not a fix-all, but it helps.  By the time we reached the hotel, I could feel the gas expanding in my stomach & the cramps.   Poor Angela, she was so concerned.  My worry, I was going to keep her up all night.  Luckily she slept through the night and my 8+ times getting up and going to the bathroom never phased her.

Awoke at 4AM - not a night of sleep but little napping.  Oh joy.   My mind was in a good place.  I had felt better, but I also knew I had felt worse - so I was happy I was not too bad. For breakfast, I had a pinole pancake with peanut butter/color spread & one big bottle of coconut water.  I opted not to take any fueling before the race - my theory was to have less in my tummy, to keep the bloating away. 

Even though the weather called for cloudy and foggy all day - that was not happening. It was quite evident we were going to have a warmer day.

I went back and forth to the porta potty a few times, but overall - I felt fine. Not great, but fine.

Got into my corral.  I was in the 1:55 corral.  That was a sub2, so that's good for me. Met up with friend, Jessica Deree.

Gun goes off and typically the first mile, my head is in a REVOLT.  Not this time. I was feeling very relaxed and love being back on PCH for another race.  I told my Ladybug it was "her race" - she had to be my legs. I was tired and still somewhat bloated.  I could not depend on my own strength.  Well, I think Ladybug was a LITTLE too peppy that morning!  The sea air must of made her happy. I kept saying, "slow it down! Seriously...all I need is a sub2 not going for a PR"

At mile 3.5 we make the turn to go up Seapoint and then come down at mile 5.  That's the best view of the course. You see the ocean on the decline.

Back on PCH - everything is still going great. I don't feel fatigued and no stomach problems. At the Marathon Mile 11 I came up on my friend Diana Kitching.  I could tell by her body language she was struggling.  I SCREAMED at her, "TRUST YOUR TRAINING!" She just looked at me.  I literally turned around and SCREAMED even louder, "DIANA, YOU GOTTA TRUST YOUR TRAINING!"

She smiled and gave me a thumbs up.  She has been working so hard - she needed this race.  How did she finish?  She PR'd!!!

Turn around is at Mile 8.  Everything is still fine.  Coming up on Mile 9.5 I felt my heart rate SKY ROCKET in my chest and that moment my stomach started to cramp up.  I have no idea if it was related, but I knew I had to slow WAY down.  Looking at my Garmin, I was still a minute ahead of my fantasy goal time of a sub2 and easily beating the 2:05.  I did run/walk intervals from miles Mile 9-11ishy.  

I crossed the finish line in 1:59:08.  Victory!  I had the sub2 again. 

A few moments later - I saw some Vegas buddies.  Tracy Aukamp had her first sub2. She claims I am responsible for motivating her, but it was all her.


I made a promise to myself, I would give 100% effort and that I did.  I feel I ran smart and accomplished what I set out to do.  I got that monkey off my back and I was able to gauge my fitness and new fueling (I used Honey Stingers gels and chews). This was a major accomplishment on my road to complete healing. 

I turned on my cell phone and those not at the race were already texting me.  I can't tell you how special it is to share in my victories with friends, close and far away. 

Angela also had a great race.  She had struggled her last two races and she came into this event, also needing a mental boost. She got it. She accomplished her sub 2:25.

Great day for both of us! 

Angela, Mitch and I went to the beach

Mitch and I
My attempt at looking buff
Thanks to DDPYOGA for helping making me strong to get my sub2!

We did the traditional surfboard photos 

I look forward to coming back next year. I love this event and course. Next year, I will have achieved the Surf City Legacy Status (for those who run the race, 3 years in a row).

Great times with all my friends, great event, great course and another great race memory in CA!

(c) C. Ragsdale 2010-12
Run F.A.B.,

Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
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*San Francisco Marathon Ambassador 2012-13
RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist & Public Speaker
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  1. Great report! My friend Katy Beth is in your pic (blue tank, wild blonde curly hair!) and finished within seconds of you! :) Congrats on another great race!

  2. Hi Megan, that was the first time I have seen Katy Beth since November 2011. It was great to catch up with her.

    1. Awesome. I love that girl - I went to undergrad with her and she came out to run Surf City half as it was my first full. Great being able to run with her! :)


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