#34 - Spring Equinox


34 down only 18 to go.

When it comes to my diet, apparently, I have to learn the same thing over and over. My good friend Marilyn, from Tucson, got in Friday morning and stayed with us for 3 days. We pretty much ate out breakfast, lunch, and dinner those 3 three days. I so know better and even one restaurant meal usually equals weight gain for me. Also, note to self: yes – a glass of wine a night is good for the heart but 3 glasses of wine is bad for the ass (I’m pretty sure I knew this). I gained 3 pounds in 3 days. My Fitbit confirmed what I suspected – menopause has slowed my metabolism to a crawl. I don’t care, it was totally worth it. I would take 3 pounds for getting to eat and drink too much with Marilyn any weekend.

Sunday we went whale watching. We saw minke, gray, and even a humpback whale. As cool as it was to see the whales I enjoyed the dolphins (which I learned are a kind of whale) even more. We saw hundreds of them. They like to play in the wake of the boat.


Lets go surfing!

We also took the ferry to Coronado Island, Sunday. Marilyn gave us a gift card to a fancy place called Il Fornaio and it was delicious (thanks Marilyn!). Note to self, tiramisu is not diet food (I’m pretty sure I knew this). We also went shopping and Tim got me a cool stretchy fabric belt to hold my phone while running (thanks Tim). I hope to review it next week.

#34 - Spring Equinox

A lovely day

We had to get up at 4am to be at Huntington Beach by 7am for our race. Luckily traffic was light and it was a perfect weather day.

So – have you ever made somebody so furious that they washed your car? We had a very strange experience while waiting for the beach parking lot to open. As always, there was a line waiting for the gate to be raised. The garage door we were in front of opened so Tim pulled forward to let the guy out. Oddly, he then parked next to the curb and Tim backed into line again. The guy stormed over and from my side of the car started screaming at Tim to move the car away from his house. Tim told him that he would move as soon as the lot opened. The guy went nuts and started screaming in my face. I rolled the window up because he was acting like a crazy tweaker, so he went over and started screaming at Tim from Tim’s side of the car. He yelled something like, “Do you want to get wet?” and then stormed off into his garage. He came back with a hose and started hosing down the car. I took a picture of his address and license plate in case he did anything more violent then wash our car. I never seriously feared for our safety but he made me really mad because I could tell that Marilyn was scared. The parking lot opened and Tim parked just ignoring the psycho car wash.

#34 Spring Equinox

Why does a skinny, American guy have a SUMO license plate?

We have actually done this exact course before. Some people might think that doing the same course twice in the same year would be boring but I loved it. I knew the course well enough not to get lost but not so well that it bored me. I also remembered the course well enough to know that it ended in a slight downhill, which is my favorite way to end a race. I liked not having to think too hard about this race. My goal was to finish faster than the last time I ran this course, which I did by over 8 minutes.

#34 Spring Equinox

A nice addition to our before picture

This race was an out and back done twice for the HM (once for the 10K and 4 times for the full marathon). The first section is a slight incline and coming back a slight decline. I like out and backs because I enjoy seeing Tim. On a double out and back I get to see him 3 times.

This is what the start of a low key race looks like.

#34 Spring Equinox

I hope superman didn’t hurt his shin

#34 Spring Equinox

Don’t worry. I won’t be in front of Tim for long

Even though I was feeling nauseous I was able to get into a zone and run the first 9 miles without stopping. Warning – crude language ahead. I have become convinced that the secret to a good run is a big dump on race morning. Although it works, I don’t recommend the, too much wine before a HM, method.

#34 Spring Equinox

I love the Go Mommy crowd

Luckily, Marilyn agreed to take pictures for us because I would not have gotten a picture of this awesome guy. Around mile 9.5 he passed me while I was walking uphill. There are no words to express how lame it feels to be passed by someone who is juggling. He shamed me into running again. I managed to pass him and keep him behind until the end. My mantra for the last 3 miles of the race was – Don’t be passed by a juggler. I think he was doing the full marathon.

#34 Spring Equinox

Look at that concentration

Tim usually does a full speed sprint once he sees the finish line. Thanks to Marilyn we have the first pictures of Tim at the end of a race.

#34 Spring Equinox

Go Tim!

Tim often comes out and runs the last bit of a race with me then peels off at the finish line. He tells me that I’m looking great, that I’ve got this, that I’m almost there, etc. I grunt and maybe nod but he knows that means, “Honey, I appreciate you coming out to encourage me, it helps a lot, I love you.”

#34 Spring Equinox

Another picture we couldn’t have gotten without Marilyn

#34 Spring Equinox

I like this picture even though it makes me look fat

Almost finished and I see this. Apparently, Marilyn was busy making friends with people who had poster board and sharpies. I hope she knows that my grunt and nod to her meant the same as my grunt and nod to Tim.

#34 Spring Equinox

Our first sign

Yay – another HM completed, time to party. And by party I mean take 2 Advil, send Tim and Marilyn off to eat dinner at Amplified Ale Works, and crawl into bed at 7pm. I pride myself on never being sick so it was pretty embarrassing to be sick while a friend was visiting. Sorry Marilyn – I know I am irritable when sick.


  • No T-Shirt


  • Close Parking
  • They have my favorite Gu (Salted Caramel)
  • Next to the beach
  • Last quarter is a slight decline
  • Fun people watching
  • Good aid stations
  • Friendly runners and volunteers
  • Good Vibe
#34 Spring Equinox

A nice addition to our after race picture

Obviously we liked this HM enough to do it twice. I loved rerunning the course. Although I really like the A better World Running events I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that anyone can do this for free. There are bathrooms and water fountains all along the beach path. But no medals or caramel Gu. That said, if you don’t care about getting a t-shirt, I would recommend this race. It is put on by a nice group of people and has a good feel. It is also inexpensive by CA race standards. I find small races like this more fun and personal. You might even see another A better World Running race report before this project is over.


You know I love comments


  1. Those are great pictures — you need your own official photographer at every race! And boy do you look fabulous!!!

  2. Loraine Chapman

    Hi Sharon. I’ve been following your blog for quite a while but have never commented before. The pictures are great. You look soooo happy and so does Tim. Marilyn, of course, was in heaven. The juggler was a kick.
    BTW, every Monday I do the stability ball exercises you introduced us to at the FitCenter . They are a main part of my exercise routine. So much fun and so good for the abs!

  3. Can I say that this was my favorite of your HM races because I got to be there? There, I said it. What a great day it was for me, to be able to share the passion you two have for running. I say share because I shared the joy and fun, but not the running and the pain!

    I thought I would be bored waiting for you two at the finish line. I had no idea what a social and fun event an HM can be. Even the psycho with the hose at the parking entrance contributed to the adventure and fun. I can only hope that he’s getting the anger management and heavy medications he so needs and deserves.

    It was the first time I’ve been to a marathon, and I had no expectations except to have fun and watch you two. I met the most interesting and lovely people, and ended up having a great time waiting for you to come back. I’d go to a marathon with you two any time! And I hope I get to to do just that again soon.

    Thank you so much for including me in what I consider one of the craziest things any friends of mine have ever done. 52 weeks of HMs…..boggles my mind, especially after seeing you run.
    I admire you so much, you two, and now am even more in awe of what you do.

    A huge thank you to both of you for the wonderful time at the beach, the sand and fog and sun, being out on the ocean again, for Woody’s, all the awesome food we ate, (and yes, the wine, of course!). But mostly for your friendship and allowing me to be a part of something that is so dear to both of you. Can’t wait to run my next HM!!!

    • Hi, Guys!
      First, I have to say this is the most unfriendly website to reply.. it has taken me two minutes to get in and that is frustrating, but nothing you can do. I have to log in each time and it’s a pain but it is worth it to write you and see what you’re doing. Maybe I was doing something wrong?
      I know this was a blast for Marilyn as that was all we had been hearing about and now to see her and read what she wrote, I know this was a milestone for her. I am sure she will be sharing in yoga next week.
      I am so glad she experienced you running and the wonderful people at races.. not just half and full marathons. Runners are truly the most wonderful people and that is what I miss about not racing anymore. The loyal fans who follow the runners are just as special as well. Races are never boring!!
      Loved your whole blog and the car getting washed! Wow, what a guy. The photos are super and Marilyn got in some good ones, too.
      Yes, you have to be careful about what you eat and drink before a race and I remember taking dumps before each race. Way to go!
      I am so proud of you two and love that you are so happy and living where you really want to live.
      Much love,
      Jane John sends his love as well.

      • Hi Jane I’m so sorry that you are having a hard time leaving a reply. Something is won key because you are replying to Marilyn. That is why my reply to Marilyn showed up after yours. You are not the only one who has had this problem but some people have had no problem. So I don’t know what is going on with this. Tim is pulling out his beautiful hair trying to figure it out. Next time we are in Tucson we will get to the bottom of this. I appreciate the effort you take and love hearing from you more than you can know. Give John a big hug from me and a big hug to you.

        • Well, this time it wasn’t as long but sometimes I find it hard to reply and it just keeps going and going. Actually, my reply was to you but guess I had to got through Marilyn’s reply to reply to you. This is confusing! Probably a lot is due to my part and not doing something right.
          At any rate, it is fun to read your blogs and see the photos and the fun you’re having.
          It is worth the effort to write you and Tim and to stay in touch.
          Where is the next one??
          Guess I’ll have to wait and find out! Oh, today was April Fool’s day and I reminded part of the class the year you were taking us through poses and then said to take our legs around our neck, or something ridiculous! We all looked at each other and said WHAT?? Then you said APRIL FOOL’S! I half expected Marty to do it but she didn’t. We miss you!
          Double JJ’s
          Love you both!

    • I’m glad you weren’t bored at the HM We were afraid you might be because we knew how long it would take. It was such a pleasure to get to spend 3 days with you. Thank you so much for taking pictures. They were the most interesting part of this blog post. I’ll talk to you soon. I hope the rest of your vacation was fun.

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