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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Surf City Marathon!

On Super Bowl Sunday, while others were getting their pre-game parties or snacks together, 6 beautiful friends and myself were running the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach, CA!!

Our adventure started on Saturday morning as 5 of us (Me, Teresa, Liz, Carol and Raquel) flew out. We hit the Long Beach airport (our new favorite airpot) pretty early. We pick up our rental car and headed straight for the expo. The expo was pretty great. The L/S race shirts were great. They even had an area where you could try them on before you picked them up to ensure a good fit. We shopped around and all came out with lots of new cool gear, took photos on the big wave and headed to the hotel to check in.

Our hotel was AWESOME! Teresa and I shared a huge room (which we quickly grew into), which had a cool surfer, beachy, motif, an ocean view, a terrace, living room area with a huge bean bag chair in it! We were loving it and felt like we needed to entertain there!

After we got settled in Teresa, Liz, Raquel and I went to a cute little Italian restaurant that Jim and Jen recommened for our pre-race meal. It was a little pricey, but delicious! On the way home it started to rain super hard. We all got a little nervous, but were keeping good thoughts for a dry race. Since we had an early morning we were back in our rooms by 7:30pm.

The alarm went off at 4:30am. We got up, ate some breakfast, got dressed and met in the hotel lobby at 5:45am. It was a little chilly, but dry as we walked to the start. We met up with Bev, took some pre race photos and headed to the corals. We met up with Kathleen and nestled in for the start. At 6:30am the race began!

We all split up pretty quick. Teresa, Kathleen and I were together for the first mile when they decided to follow the 4:30 pace group. We wished each other luck and I hung back. There were a lot of Marathon Maniacs on the course and I would run and talk with them as I passed a yellow shirt. Some Maniacs not in Maniac shirts would talk and introduce themselves to me also. It was fun (so far). I decided to to keep my eye on the 4:45 pace group.

The course was beautiful. We ran through this park which was lined with children cheering and bands playing. It was awesome. Once we left the park, we hooked up with the 1/2 marathoners. This was hard. The course now went from 2,000 to 20,000! It was hard for me to keep my pace after 10 miles, running next to someone with fresh legs. I had to really watch it. We all stayed together until about mile 16 when we split off. The 1/2 marathoners headed to the finish and we headed to the beach-side path. I was already starting to fade. I never feel this bad until mile 20-22! I had to really suck it up mentally to continue.

The beach path was really pretty, but long. It was an out and back at this point. It was hot (for me) and seeing people running toward me gave me a false sense of how far I was from the turnaround which came right before mile 21. I went in and out of feeling good and feeling like I wanted to stop. I pressed on and at about mile 23 caught up with Teresa who was not feeling well. We ran together for a few minutes and she told me to go ahead.

At mile 24 I looked at my watch and realized I was on track for a PR! My confidence came at the same time as th charlie horses in both legs! I couldn't run. I walked until they stopped then tried to run again. I would get a minute maybe two and they would start up again. At this point, while disappointed that my PR was out the window, I just wanted to finish. At 26 I saw the finish and went for it. That's when I saw my dear friend Heather cheering for me! I made it across the finish in 5:03:25. Only 3 minutes from a PR! I got my medal (the coolest medal EVER) and met my friend on a patch of grass where I could see the runners as they came in while we caught up. After a while, I saw Liz and Raquel and we headed back to the hotel (thanks for the Diet Coke Liz!).

After we all showered and changed we met in our room for photo and snacks and pre-Super Bowl fun. We moved our party to the Sushi restaurant next door, where we ate, watched the game and discussed the race. By 8:00pm we were full and sleepy. Back to the room we went for some well deserved rest.

The next day we recovered by renting bikes and going on a 10 mile ride along the beach. AHHHHH!

Surf City was a hard race, but I would do it again. The race was really well organized and we had a blast! All of us finished! Special shout outs to Kathleen who ran a strong race, Liz and Bev for getting a PR and Teresa for being a great roomie, Maniac and friend!


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