#51 - Rock the Ocean

  • July 18th, 2015
  • Long Beach, California
  • Rock The Ocean
  • Sharon: 2:38:15
  • Tim: 2:39:29


51 down only 1 to go!

It just got real. About the middle of this run, it hit me that unless one of us brakes a leg or the Zombie Apocalypse happens before next Sunday, we really are going to finish this HM project. I got a little emotional (but I didn’t cry). I have a tendency to start projects then move on to something else before completing the project I’m working on, so it feels good to know I’m going to see this through, regardless of how misguided it may have been.

#51 - Rock the Ocean

Sunrises never get old

This race was a bit of a disappointment. It was both me and Tim’s least favorite Charlie Alewine Racing, race but nowhere near our least favorite race of the HM year. Charlie was out of town and Haywood was filling in for him. This is a hard race report for me to write because I like Haywood but I need to write an honest report about my experience. This was another repeat race and at this point a big draw for me about repeating Charlies races is that Charlie recognizes us and treats us like old friends. Haywood asked my name twice even though it was a small race and he had met me at 4 other races, one of which he talked to us for a while and we told him about our HM project. Unfortunately, Haywood needs to work on his organizational skills. Some examples… He told us we had 5 minutes before the start of the race at 6:14 (the race started at 6:30) so I ran to the bathroom. He thought I was doing the quarter marathon when I came through the first loop (that bothered me way more than it should have). He asked me my time as I sprinted to the finish and asked me a couple of time before someone told him to give me a minute. I was literally so winded I couldn’t talk and it was distressing that he didn’t notice something that obvious. I was making – give me a minute – hand gestures. He also had no table and had food and drink on his car hood. I like that Charlies races are low-key but all of these little things added up to a race that bordered on being sloppy. To be fair, Haywood had been up since 3am so it is not surprising that he was a little loopy.

#51 - Rock the Ocean

Yay clouds – I hate it when the sun tries to kill me during a race

The weather was blissfully cloudy. It even rained a bit. A nice rain, not like the mean, cold rains that we endured in Oregon.

This just wasn’t my day. I was hoping everything would come together and I would have a chance to go after a final PR but my Achilles started hurting almost right away. Even so, I tried to run for as long as I could. It helped that Tim ran with me for the first half of the race. I made it almost 10 miles before I had to take a walk break. At the half way point Tim had to stop and deal with the parking. He lost over 15 minutes because the parking ticket machine was having issues.

There were a couple of things about this race that made it more of an obstacle course than usual. There was some sort of beach festival and trucks were parked in the pedestrian path for unloading.

#51 - Rock the Ocean

Tempting to stop running and go shopping

Another issue was that A Better World Running was also having a race that day. It was a fairly large race (for a beach path) and had some oblivious runners hogging the path.

#51 - Rock the Ocean

Please share the path

My body was exhausted before, during, and after this race. I was glad when it was over. My favorite thing about this race was thinking about how I only have 1 more race to run and then I get to not run for 2 weeks (or until my Achilles stops hurting). Although that makes it sound like I just want to get this project over, I am super excited to be running in my favorite city, San Francisco, next weekend. I tried to run as hard as I could but by mile 2 I knew I had no chance of a PR. I did manage a finishing sprint but my asthma does not like the humidity, so I was gasping for air and unable to talk for about 5 minutes. My Tucson lungs find high humidity like breathing soup. Nothing too awful happened this race. I didn’t have stomach problems and I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out from heat but I just couldn’t find the motivation to ignore my pain and dig deep. I missed my PR by over 10 minutes. I was sore on the way home but not as sore as last week, so that’s something. I know I really pushed this race because I was sore the next day.

#51 - Rock the Ocean

Hang in there – only one more race

Haywood did a great job with the after race food and beverages. I discovered that I love Vitamin Water after running. I took a Martinelli’s to go. Haywood also had a giant bag (50 pounds) of giant potatoes. So everyone got a potato. I like potatoes. Thanks Haywood – that was a nice touch.

#51 - Rock the Ocean

This wins the unique swag award


  • We missed Charlie
  • Haywood needs to be a little more organized
  • Charlie has done away with trophies ( this is one of the few races that we actually have a chance at a trophy)
  • Better World Running seems to be taking over this location
  • Unloading trucks on the path
  • Parking ticket machine was on the fritz


  • Parking at the start/finish
  • Great running surface
  • Beautiful views
  • Free giant potato
  • Overcast
  • Excellent assortment of food and beverages
  • Although he was a bit scattered Haywood obviously cared about this race and was very friendly
#51 - Rock the Ocean

Raul Santana doing the 50K

Although it sounds like I am so over this HM running thing I am really looking forward to next weekend. We are finishing our project in style with the The San Francisco 1st Half Marathon. San Francisco is a very special place for us. We moved there shortly after we met and SF is where Tim proposed to me. I’m going to enjoy that race if I have to walk the entire course. There will be no PR attempts next weekend. My goal is to take a record number of pictures.

I would always recommend Charlies races, preferably when Charlie is there, which is most of the time. Charlie is clearly the heart of his races and the vibe is different when he is absent. I missed his upbeat but calm and focused energy. If you decide to do this race and Better World Running is having an event as well, pay close attention to the turnaround markers. If I wasn’t familiar with this course, I would have turned around a little too soon because BWR starts in a different place and has their own chalk directions. This will not be our last Charlie Alewine Racing race. And that is the best recommendation I can give. If you read this, Sorry Charlie (I’ve been dying to write that), I know this is the most negative review I have given any of your races. We will see you some weekend as a training run, as we are foolishly doing a full marathon in November.

Only 2 more chances to leave a comment. I love comments as much as I love bridges and chocolate milk at races.


  1. I read the sweet notes you wrote to each other at the gym this morning, as I was waiting for yoga to begin.
    We have celebrated your birthday today by having fun and going to an afternoon movie. Wow! Gameface Media wants to interview you next?? Way to go and we will be reading about you in sports magazines, I bet.
    We do celebrate you and Tim in this accomplishment.
    Love you!
    Jane, well, John too.

  2. Alyssa Donahue

    Hi, Sharon! My name is Alyssa and I work for Gameface Media. We would love to interview you about your experiences and this awesome year you’re having! Can you please email me at alyssa@gamefacemedia.com? I can work out the details with you there. Thanks!

  3. I forgot to heck some things!!

  4. I will comment when we get home. Reading this on my smart phone is way too hard. Using Beth’s computer but we have things to do. Hang in there!!
    Love, Jane

  5. desertmarilyn

    Good morning Sharon and Tim! I’ll bet you’re already on your way to San Francisco, but hope you read this before you start your LAST race. I am delighted to read that you love comments as much as you love bridges and chocolate milk. You will be seeing one of the most beautiful bridges in the world, and I’m sure there will be chocolate milk for you after your last HM. It should have some champagne in it (haha).

    I love the potato “award.” Very original. There must be some way to preserve it along with all your interesting medals.

    You two will be in my mind and heart all weekend. I’ll be thinking of how good you’re feeling about completing this insane project, and finishing it in style in The City. A place close to my heart, too, as you know.

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

    • Good morning Marilyn. We are leaving tonight after Tim gets home from work. We hope to make it past LA tonight. We will have most of Saturday to play in SF before the race on Sunday.
      Thank you for your lovely phone message.
      There won’t be champagne but we are bringing the bottle of wine we got at the Enchanted Forest trail run and will drink it Sunday.
      It is nice to be looking forward to a race.

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