This morning, I ran my 11th half marathon. Add that to my other 3 full marathons and that brings me up to Race # 14 in my quest to run 20 endurance races before I’m 30. I still have three more years, so looks like it will be an easy goal to achieve!
As I said yesterday, I was not really ready to run today. My head was a mess and I woke up pretty tired this morning. Luckily I had everything laid out the night before so I didn’t have to think much this morning.
Last night, one of my friends told me to go out there, thank the volunteers and run because running makes one feel human again. That was really good advice, exactly what I needed.
It took me an hour to drive and park in Huntington Beach. But the parking was easy and free so I can’t really complain. I listened to NPR and tried to ignore the fact that I’d be running 13.1 miles in an hour. Worked like a charm! I met up with my friend Valerie first thing. She picked up my bib yesterday for me. Thank you!!!!
From her hotel room, we could see the crowds starting to line up along the coast. The sky was overcast, perfect for running.
I thought it would be chilly by the beach, so I wanted to test out my Asics arm warmers that Santa brought this year!
I decided at the last minute not to wear them in case it got too hot. I rather be cold than hot.
I love when races let you customize your bibs. Mine said Kelocity!!
The corrals were lined up according to pace. It took us a while to find our area. 20,000 runners is a lot of people to weave through!
We inched closer and closer to the start line. I was in complete denial that I would be running soon. I stretched out a bit and finally it was our turn to go!
Valerie and I decided to try to run together as long as possible. We settled on 5:5 intervals to make sure we didn’t burn out. The run felt really easy, but I was afraid I’d jinx it if I got too comfortable.
Valerie is a great running partner. We have the same pace and she always has something motivating to say.
The miles were flying by. I barely looked at my watch, I felt like I was floating along.
On paper, the course is pretty boring, just an out and back with one deviation. But I have to say, I LOVED it. It was so simple and everyone was there was enjoying it for what it was. No bands, no gimmicks, no distractions.
There was an abundance of water stations, which was nice. They also served Vitalyte, but I don’t drink that, so I used my own Cytomax instead. They also had Sharkies at two points on the course, and I declined those too.
I kept seeing this girl, I loved her shirt. It says “Follow your heart, but run with your soul.” It was fitting for me today. I was there to do something healthy for myself—both physically and mentally.
Around Mile 7, Valerie and I split off and I turned my IPod on and ran my heart out. I cranked the music really loud and let my mind wander. I really felt like I was floating along. My legs felt light and strong and I was busting out those miles one by one. No shin splints, no knee pain, no tight hips. It was the type of run you dream about.
During the last few miles, the sun came out. Normally, I hate running in the heat. (I hate the heat in general, I really don’t belong in Southern California). But today, I just felt the rays on my face and looked at the ocean sparkling next to me. There is a lot in this world to be grateful for.
Around Mile 11.5, I saw the 2:45 pacer. He was way up ahead of me at one point, and I caught with him and then PASSED him! That’s never happened before!
The last mile I started to get a little tired. I wanted to walk, but I kept pushing through. I was counting down the minutes in my head. I think I passed five or six people in the last .2 miles. (Sorry if I ruined your finish line photos!)
Although I was happy to be done, I really felt like I had another three miles in me. I didn’t care to find out for sure though. lol
The finish line area was pretty organized, but it took a while to get through. They gave out goodie bags of snacks (which is nice so you don’t have to carry all your stuff separately.
They also had a Beer Garden which allowed for two free beers, but that didn’t sound like the best idea at 11am with an hour drive ahead of me!
The medal is really cute. It’s a surf board!
I finished in 2:46 which is my second best time ever. Given my attitude going into this race, I am extremely proud of myself. It really does prove that sometimes you just need a good run to make things right in the world again—or at least in my soul.
Total Time: 2:46
Average Pace: 12:42
Mile 1 – 12:11
Mile 2 – 12:26
Mile 3 – 13:12
Mile 4 – 12:47
Mile 5 – 12:35
Mile 6 – 12:26
Mile 7 – 13:06
Mile 8 – 12:51
Mile 9 – 12:17
Mile 10 – 12:43
Mile 11 – 13:19
Mile 12 – 12:01 <— Fastest mile!!
Mile 13 – 12:16
Mile 13.1 – 11:20
I spent the rest of the day at a fun superbowl party. There was lots of buffalo chicken dip, guacamole and random other things consumed. It’s safe to say I am no longer in my calorie deficit for the day. #1 reason why I love running.
And since I don’t like football, I took pictures of myself (when I wasn’t eating, obviously!)
It’s only 8pm and I’m already to go to bed. I’m wiped!