#40 OC Half


40 down only 12 to go.

Happy anniversary to us. May 1st was our 17th wedding anniversary. I love that May Day is both a celebration of spring and a cry for help. Tim took me to a lovely, fancy pants place called Oceana Coastal Kitchen. It was only a couple of blocks from our apartment. Did you know that you can forget how to walk in high heels? It felt like I was walking like a truck driver who dressed up as Barbie for Halloween.

#40 OC

Look – they make Barbie’s shoes in my size

We had a seat with a bay view on one side and a jelly fish tower on the other. The food and service were great but the wine was even more amazing. It was called Silver Oaks and was the best wine I have ever tasted. And I have drunk a lot of wines. On the way home we stopped at Lahinas, the dive bar behind our place, for a mai tai (my favorite drink). While there we saw Nicole, our friendly neighborhood ice cream lady and she insisted we do a shot called Surfer On Acid with her. I hadn’t heard of it either. It’s Jagermeister, coconut rum, and pineapple juice (oh my).

Saturday morning we had a CPR class at 8:30am. I don’t recommend doing a CPR class hungover. After CPR we went home, packed, kissed the cat and drove to our hotel (The Best Western) in Costa Mesa. Because our race started at 6:15am and our bus left at 4:15am we decided to get a hotel, so that we didn’t have to leave the house at 1am. The hotel was only 2 blocks from the end of the race. They were super friendly and had a late checkout as well as a late breakfast buffet for runners. It was one of the best hotel experiences we have ever had.

I saw that this race had a net downhill so I secretly made it a PR target. Well, not so secretly, because I told my friend Marilyn and Tim. So, of course, I did something stupid to sabotage myself. I often want to eat crap food when I am hung over and on the way back to the hotel from packet pickup we went past a Jack in the Box. Yep – suddenly I had to have a Sourdough Jack (no bacon, extra pickles) and curly fries. Why, Sharon!? Race morning both of us woke up feeling like people who rarely eat fast food feel like when they eat Jack in the Box for dinner. Even though I felt awful I still made a vow to try and PR. Is the suspense killing you? I missed my PR by 9 seconds. 9 seconds! I had a 2:35:07 PR on December 28th.

#40 OC

I felt worse before this race then after

One of the things that bothered me about this race was all the petty little ways they tried to make extra money. Not only was there a fee to park on race day but there was a expo parking fee. There was also a fee if you were picking up someone else’s bib. This just reeks of trying to figure out how to squeeze a little more money out of runners. That said, the packet pickup was quick and easy for such a large race.

Race morning our alarm went off at 3:30am so we could catch the bus at 4:15am. We could have caught a 5am bus at the hotel but Tim didn’t trust it because it wasn’t on the official race shuttle list. So besides starting the morning out with Jack in the Box tummies we were also bickering. I’m very suspicious of couples who say they never argue. I suspect they are either lying or don’t communicate at all. We communicated while getting ready for the race, on the bus, and during about the first 5 miles of the race.

#40 OC

You’re not helping

I had a fever and a tummy ache for most of this race and truthfully the race details are a little fuzzy. I remember being grateful that it was cool and overcast. I know the first half went through a ritzy neighborhood because I asked Tim to take a picture of some of the houses.

I'm glad I don't live here - imagine having to clean a house that size

Besides great houses and ocean views there were some amusing signs and costumes.

#40 OC

2nd race in a row with a dancing banana

The worse part about this race was that it was way too crowded. They didn’t wait at all between waves. Often a race will start bunched up but then spread out. This race was crowded for the entire run. There were even traffic jams a couple of times where we almost came to a complete stop, once under a bridge and once on a bike path. I spent a lot of extra time weaving around people. My Garmin said that I ran almost 13.5 miles instead of 13.1. Oddly enough, I felt better as the race went on and only stopped for a walk break once. I even ran negative splits.

#40 OC

You guys are not funny (OK – maybe you are a little funny)

I really thought I had my PR. I ran as hard as I could! I was so close. At least my consultation prize was chocolate milk. My big takeaway was don’t eat at Jack in the Box the night before a race [or ever – Tim].


  • Assigning a bogus bus time to get people to show up early
  • Not having our hotel shuttle on the list
  • Parking fee at both expo and event (just greedy)
  • Race was way too crowded
  • Sponsored by a non-alcoholic beer


  • 6:15 start helped beat the heat
  • Scenic course
  • Bag checks
  • Wearable t-shirt
  • Fun course signs and costumes
  • Plenty of port-o-pots
  • Nice medal
  • Chocolate milk
  • Looked like a fun after party but we didn’t stay
Just another after photo

Just another after photo

I’m not sure if I recommend this race or not. There were some things about it that irritated me (but I was in an irritable mood) like the parking charges, the bus mess up and how overcrowded the race was. On the other hand, it was a net downhill course through a scenic area with an amusing crowd and chocolate milk. Like all big races it was spendy. It looked like it had a good after party with beer and bands but we wanted to go home and left shortly after finishing. If you do this race I recommend staying at the Best Western. You can walk to the bib pickup and avoid the parking fees.

Please leave a comment.


  1. Hi Tim and Sharon,
    It was a pleasure to meet you both today at #50 for you and #26 for me.
    Thanks for your encouragement.

  2. We were there 12 years ago but in September. Actually it will be June but am watching the weather. My theory is to layer, layer! It might be nippy on out watching the glacier s but have great new jacket that rolls into nothing and goes in my back pack and is going to be warm.
    Off to the gym in just a few minutes.. we are still the early birds and spend three hours there three days a week but lesser time on the other two days we go.
    Love you and thanks for the quick reply.
    I wish we could see you this summer but Alaska will be our biggie! We’ll see though.
    Jane and John

  3. Loved reading this and I am still so amazed at you two! Happy Anniversary many days late as well. 9 secs.. well, make it up next time. I am so far behind in reading mail from friends but I always think I will have time to read it later and it never happens.
    The new web site still doesn’t show up so hope this goes through. It has been almost 12 hours.
    Love to you both! John and I leave May 30th for Seattle and then catch the cruise ship back to Alaska on June 1 for two weeks. Our 52 anniversary is June 15. I hit 75 tomorrow, May 14, but feel like I am 55. Well, sort of!
    Love to you both. You look wonderful and life is good for you.

    • Happy Birthday! Maybe you feel 55 because that’s how old you look (at the most). Sounds like a wonderful trip. Bring warm clothes. I have been to Alaska in May and it was cold. Thanks for the encouragement. Big hugs to you and John I miss you guys.

  4. I also loved the “communicated” bit — we had our 10th anniversary on the 6th, and boy, it took a few years, but we are now able to “communicate” without having the world collapse. I avoided arguing with a German scorpio for as long as I could (you just can’t win), but now he gets his ass “communicated to” when he needs it! But seriously, Happy Anniversary! I would think the “Surfer on Acid” had more to do with your race sickness than Jack in the Box. Congrats on your near PR — imagine how good you’ll do when you don’t want to hurl curly fries into a garbage can! The “no one made you do this” guy is my fave picture of the week.

    • Happy anniversary. 10 years is a big deal. Tim is also a Scorpio and can be pretty stubborn. I had a full day between the surfer shot and the race so I’m sure it was a Jack attack. I’m embarrassed to admit that this not the first time I have made this mistake.

  5. Happy Anniversary Sharon and Tim! I LOL’d when you said how you ‘communicated’ all the different times before and during this race :O)

    Hmph – sponsored by a non-alcoholic beer – there’s the problem right there. At least you discovered a nice hotel!

  6. desertmarilyn

    First of all, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! Sounds like you two really did it up. Too bad you didn’t skip the Jack in the Box! Well, now you know how you can grab that last 9 seconds you need. I was happy to see that the HM was in my old neighborhood. And I loved your comments about the amusing crowd and chocolate milk. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that are the things we like the best.

    When I saw the number of HMs you’ve finished, it really hit me how dedicated you two are to this project. 40 races — unbelievable! It really is a huge, huge thing you’re doing. And you still sound focused and happy about it, except for a few grumbles here and there, and your comment about having a “discussion.” Hilarious!

    My comments are starting to all sound the same. I’m going to have to come up with some new words other than happy, awesome, proud of you, loved your comments, etc. Will be looking in my Scrabble dictionary this week for alternative gooey words. Meanwhile, I’m sending you love and hugs, pride and admiration. Please have a coffee for me at Woody’s, and I hope to get over there to see you again soon.

    • Thanks Tim really could not have been a better romantic winer and diner that night. I was quite impressed. It just seems impossible that we have been married 17 years. Time goes by so fast. Thanks for the ecard and a special thanks for the mountain top wine cartoon. I like it so much I printed it. You nailed it -Yay Us.

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