#45 Rock The Ocean

  • June 6th, 2015
  • Long Beach, California
  • Rock The Ocean
  • Sharon: 2:27:10
  • Tim: 2:21:28


45 down only 7 to go.

That was hard! Now I know how fast I can run when I try my hardest. Usually, when I start to hurt in a race, I slow down or walk. Not this race. Usually, I tell myself that I have to run next weekend, I’m not wimping out (right), I’m just being smart. I tell myself that all that matters is finishing, my time is not important. But this race time did matter. And I was determined to break 2:30. I ran as hard as I could. I’m so glad it’s over.

As always (it seems) that we had to get up at 3am to get to our race on time. I had my favorite race day breakfast of a banana with almond butter and a Mama Chia (apple flavor) as well as a large cup of coffee.

#45 Rock The Ocean

The Charlie Alewine (of Charlie Alewine Racing)

This is the exact same race course we did about a month ago (Beach Mania) where I got my HM project PR. Ever since then I have been targeting this race to break 2:30. Besides being a course I loved this was the closest race we could find. I like this course so much that we are doing it again next month. I know it might seem like it would be boring to do the same race more than once but I really like knowing what to expect. There’s a study which shows that if you are familiar with a course you will run it faster. I think I read that in Runners World. I recommend this as a way to gain an edge. Before my real PR (2:01:01) in Tucson I ran the course 3 times before race day. At this point, redoing a race is the only way for us to preview a course.

#45 Rock The Ocean

I’m a lumberjack (and I’m ok)

Saturday morning I was amped for this race. The weather was perfect and I felt good. Because the course was an out and back done twice it was easy to keep track of my splits. This course has the most perfect running surface. There is no dodging aggressive bicyclists because they have their own path. The running path has a slight elasticine feel. It’s like a track surface next to the beach.

#45 Rock The Ocean

Can we get something like this on the promenade in SD

I have 2 handheld water bottles so I came up with a plan that I hoped would cut a few seconds off my time. Hey, every second counts when you have a time goal. I left my second water bottle at the aid station so instead of stopping for water I just grabbed my full handheld at the halfway point. This was a beautiful run but I have to admit that I was looking at my watch and planning my walker evasive maneuvers more than looking at the scenery.

#45 Rock The Ocean

Tim takes a photo to show me what I missed

I waited until I was into the second half of the race to play my music. It helped. The last 4 miles were really hard. I had to keep reminding myself that it did matter. I repeated the mantra, “don’t walk” (sometimes out loud) rather frantically. With only two miles left I thought I was actually going to be able to run the whole race but a strange thing happened with just under a mile left. I came to a slight hill and my body just stopped running. There was no decision involved. I was actually surprised to find myself walking. It was the weirdest feeling. I only walked about 30 seconds. As soon as the tiny hill started trending downhill I forced myself to run again. It was not easy, everything hurt at that point. I was also feeling a bit nauseous. I had no end sprint in me. I ran across the finish line and collapsed on the curb while I waited for the darkness to stop swirling.

Usually after a HM I’m not hungry but after this one I was really hungry. One of the great things about Charlies races is the food. His aid station treats everyone like an ultrarunner. He has the perfect combination of sweet and salty foods. Never have pretzles and cookies tasted so good.

#45 Rock The Ocean

It took me about half an hour to stand up for this picture

We meet the most interesting people at Charlies races. Check out this girls story. (Blanca Ramirez) She holds the world record for being the youngest girl to run a marathon on all 7 continents. She was 12 when she achieved this. She said New Zealand (so on my bucket list) was her favorite. She ran the HM and her 6 year old brother ran the 10k.

#45 Rock The Ocean

You did what ?!

Completely off the topic of running: I’m sure everyone who knows me is thinking – WTF is up with that hair? Well my plan was to strip my hair then put a nice gold color on it. After stripping the color out my hair it was so dry that I decided to wait a week to put more color on it. I was afraid my hair would fall out. Hopefully next week I will be golden blond and not – a cotton ball and an orange mated on my head – blond.


  • I had to cut around a couple groups of walkers


  • We like the vibe of Charlies Races (friendly, low key)
  • Parking right next to the start/finish
  • Great running surface
  • Scenic with no chance of getting lost
  • Charlie keeps it inexpensive while still doing t-shirts, medals, trophies
  • Fully stocked aid station
  • Friendly interesting runners

I was very pleased with this race. And not just because I overnailed my goal and felt like the queen of willpower, but because Charlie puts on a good race. If you live anywhere near the LA area check out Charlie Alewine Racing. The only person I would not recommend charlies races for is someone who needs a lot of crowd support with aid stations every mile. Try one of Charlie’s races if you are looking for a more low key, personal race experience. This race was scenic, fun and I highly recommend it. Also being able to park next to the start/finish is a huge plus when you are exhausted and you just want to go home. See you next month Charlie.

Well damn – next month I have to run faster than 2:27:10.

Only 8 more chances to leave a comment (please).

#45 Rock The Ocean


  1. Hey, CONGRATS! I knew you could do it! And we know you’ll do it again! The course does look beautiful and fun to run on. And thanks for making me snort coffee into my lungs with the “orange and cotton ball mating” comment! And also for getting the Lumberjack Song stuck in my head on permanent rotation!

    I’m with Marilyn, what are we going to do on Fridays?!?? Let us down easy, wean us off slow. We’re starting to get panicky!

    • I’m definitely going to write a monthly blog. We plan to do a marathon within a year. As part of our training we will still be doing HMs just not every weekend. We want to explore SD. I would love to keep writing my blog every week but with going to school and training for a marathon it would be too much.
      I’m sure you’re busy with work but my offer of a beach and futon still stands. We could run on the beach. Hopefully we will be in Elkton over Christmas. Maybe we could do a run then.

  2. desertmarilyn

    Wow! Congratulations, Sharon, on your PR!!! And to Tim for (apparently) not having an a-fib during this race. Even though I knew you had bleached your hair, Sharon, I almost screamed out loud when I saw the first photo – – so happy you’re waiting to color again, but oh my, it will be a good day when you put the color on. However, I must say, I like you as a blonde! Before I forget, I thought the mural at the end of the post was terrific. It would be a great T-shirt, don’t you think?

    Delighted that you have found your HM place, your comfort zone, your place to shine. It’s neat that Tim takes the photos so you can concentrate on setting your records.

    Again, to both of you, I am so proud of you and what you are doing. Young Blanca had a big head-start on you! What a terrific young lady. But look what you two have accomplished in the past year, including a huge move, job change, HMs every weekend. It’s been amazing watching all the goings-on. As I always say, you continue to amaze (and many times, amuse) me! Love reading your blog every Friday, Sharon, and I just thought, what am I going to read on Fridays after the HMs are over? Think about that, will you?

    Sending you both love and lots of laughter, hugs, and joy. See you soon!

    • I’m glad everyone is finding my hair amusing. I put a gold color on it but I think it looks the same.
      I hate to have to report that during the second half of the race Tim did have an afib problem. Luckily he was afib free this Sunday.
      I’m going to be doing a blog about once a month as we train for a marathon. Every week is too much for me. I am a slow writer and spend more time writing my blog than running.

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