#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].

Cons

  • 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

Pros

  • 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.

#39 La Jolla

 

39 down only 13 to go.

This road HM had more intense hills than last weeks trail race. My running shoes have 370.2 miles on them and they are dead. Running downhill I felt each footfall jolt through my body. This week I am going to get new shoes. I love getting new running shoes. General guidelines say to replace shoes every 300 to 500 miles. I will still wear these shoes for short runs. I have noticed that my shoes need to be replaced more often now that I’m heavier. I also land heavier than I used to which wears shoes out faster. I’m sure it must have sounded like BarBar was chasing them, to all the people I passed on the downhill.

The La Jolla HM was only a 15 minute drive from our house. One of the many nice things about living in San Diego is that there are so many close races. This is nice for us because Tim works on Fridays now so it is more challenging to travel.

This HM was a point to point with the option to park at either end. We chose to park at the end point and take the bus to the start. I’m glad we did even though it meant getting up earlier. I really don’t like to hunt down buses after running a race. I was impressed by the luxury buses. Most of the race buses I have been on were old school buses that made scary noises. A father and son who were running the HM together sat across from us. How cool is that?

#39 La Jolla

I wonder whose idea this was

There were 6 waves based on what you thought your finishing time would be. I was wondering why Tim’s bib number started with a 5 and mine started with a 6, when we signed up at the same time. I always overestimate my time because I hate to get passed. Tim came back a wave to start with me.

#39 La Jolla

I promise that this is the last before picture in this awful shirt

This race had some stunning ocean views.

#39 La Jolla

Ocean view from a bridge

It also had awesome musical entertainment.

#39 La Jolla

Watching people work their arms while I work my legs

It soon became clear that not everyone was as fast as they thought they would be. In the first mile I started to see walkers with bibs from the 5th wave. I made a game of looking for the lowest bib numbers I could find. I passed a bunch of 4th and 5th wavers, a couple in the 3rd wave and one very fit looking guy in the 2nd wave who must have been having an awful day.

#39 La Jolla

Love this shirt

Both Tim and me started out with flip floppy tummies so I thought I was going to have an awful race but once I started running I started to feel stronger. I was able to run more than the first 5 miles even though there were some hills I would usually have walked. I knew the big hill was coming at mile 5.5 so I promised myself I would walk then. Much to my surprise I saw Tim ahead of me talking to a girl and running slow. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to run long with him because I needed to walk and Tim kept running up the Torrey Pines hill.

#39 La Jolla

Entering Torrey Pines

This race I realized that I talk out loud to myself just like a crazy person. I turned off my music when I started walking and said, “no music for walkers”. A woman next to me looked over and said, “That’s pretty harsh”. I noticed that most people were walking the hill. Tim has such a good eye for signs. I thought this picture was hilarious.

#39 La Jolla

Runners are so disobedient

The climb was hard but beautiful. Park rangers were out with signs and encouragement. This is the woman who made all the signs.

#39 La Jolla

I love owls

My favorite part of the race was the downhill after the Torrey hills climb. I flew past dozens of people. At least it felt like I was flying. I was probably only doing about a 9 minute mile.

#39 La Jolla

Every race should have a dancing banana

Unfortunately, the last couple miles of this race were pretty ugly with awful roads. And the race director must have known it because they had volunteers directing runners around potholes and telling us to be careful. I thought that was a nice touch.

Tim spotted a woman wearing a Sculpin t-shirt. Sculpin is a great beer made by a local brewery. I don’t usually like beer very much but I like Sculpin. On a hot day my favorite is a cold Grapefruit Sculpin. She was running Tim’s pace so he was just joking when he asked if she was sponsored by Ballast Point. It turns out she was.

#39 La Jolla

Ballast Point – Sponsor us!

After sprinting across the finish line I recovered in the medical tent for about 5 minutes. I used my asthma excuse but really I just wanted to sit in a chair in the shade and catch my breath. Tim also headed for the shade of the tent after the race mentioning his a-fib when they questioned him.

This race had chocolate milk! All races should have chocolate milk. We sat under a shady tree and listened to a fairly awful band as I drank my milk. There was a beer tent and after party but we didn’t go. I was sore and short of breath and just wanted to go home.

#39 La Jolla

We survived another race

After the race I found out that we had run right by Tim’s office and I didn’t even notice.

Cons

  • No designated race parking ($15 parking garage)
  • A section run next to heavy traffic (one lane was closed)
  • End on a crappy section of road
  • Quite pricey

Pros

  • Luxury buses
  • Plenty of port-o-pots
  • Ocean views
  • Running through Torrey Pines Park
  • Course music
  • Crowd support with fun signs and costumes
  • An aid station with baby wipes!
  • Chocolate milk
  • Handed a paper bag full of snacks after the race
  • Beer garden and band
#39 La Jolla

Tarzan ran the entire race barefoot

I woke up Sunday morning feeling tired and dreading what I knew was going to be a hilly race. I was wrong. I loved this race. It doesn’t get much better than running through Torrey Pines and along side the ocean in the same race. This race was beautiful and fun. It just had the good vibe feeling. In spite of the hills this is a very beginner friendly race. Everyone in the middle of the pack seemed to be walking the hills anyway. I would highly recommend this race. It’s quite popular and did sell out so if you want to do this race don’t wait until the last minute to sign up. The only real negative was that this was a spendy race but all the bigger races in CA are. I would like to do this race next year and maybe stay for the beer party.

#39 La Jolla

I feel sad and lonely. Please leave a comment and I will feel happy and loved.

#38 Foxy Trail

  • April 19th, 2015
  • San Diego, California
  • Sharon: 2:45:34
  • Tim: 2:36:00

 

38 down only 14 to go.

Although I would have done a few things differently (I can sat that about almost everything) I loved this race. I was a little worried because most of my – what the hell was I thinking – races have been trail runs. This was a beautiful HM with some challenging climbs but nothing as scary as we faced in FOURmidable. My quads (front of thighs) also known as my – you shouldn’t run so fast on the downhill – muscles, were sore for a couple days after this race. This usually happens to me when I run trails. I do love to run downhill as fast as I can. Yes, I have fallen but not during the 52 T-Shirts project.

This race was on trails around Fletcher lake about 40 minutes NE of San Diego. At the packet pickup I had to go back to the car and get my ID. Actually, Tim went back to the car and got my ID while I stood in line for the bathroom. I thought having to show ID to pickup the bib was a bit of security overkill for a race that didn’t even have chip timing. I think any race that has more than 100 people (this race had almost 300) should be chip timed. We always start near the back (as we should) but apparently some people don’t get it. Hint – if you know you will be walking in the first mile you belong in back. I understand why people would want to start towards the front. Gun timing makes the final time of slow runners appear even slower. I ran about the same pace (according to my Garmin) as I did last weekend but the course was much harder (in a good way) this week.

#38 Foxy Trail

All our before pictures are starting to look the same.

Once again, this race reminded me how important it is to be mentally prepared. Because it was a trail race I told myself to expect hills that would make me cry, roots and rocks that would try to trip me, and no shade or clouds. This was actually a beautiful trail with lake views and even bridges. I’m still not sure why bridges make me so happy. There were hills but I was able to briskly (for me) walk up them. There was a rocky section but it wasn’t very technical and there were no mean roots. It did get hot towards the end but I never got nauseous. Well a little – but that was during the first 2 hours because we had leftover pizza for breakfast. You might want to pay close attention to the next sentence as it is full of hard earned advice. Never eat pizza for breakfast on race day. I find it works well for me to think the worse will happen then be pleasantly surprised.

#38 Foxy Trail

Brilliant – And single ladies, he was a nice guy

Not even a mile into the race I followed up my pizza breakfast with a bug chaser. It made me gag but wouldn’t come out even though Tim stopped to whack me on the back. All this talk about how healthy it is to get out in nature doesn’t fool me. I know that nature is just as likely to drop a rock on your head (or a bug in your mouth) as it is to give you a spiritual experience. That said, I actually enjoy trail running more than road running.

I'd rather see this on TV - just kidding

I’d rather see this on TV – just kidding

This was one of the most beautiful races we have done. The course was a, sort of, out and back. The return trip covered some of the same trail and some new parts as well. I was slow enough to see the front runners fly by. The first guy was so fast and elegant that I just stopped and watched him run. I didn’t lose much time on that one – he was out of my sight in about 4 seconds. After the turn around there was a different trail for a while that then merged with the first trail. Tim must have been on the turn around trail before it merged, because I didn’t see him coming back. ūüôĀ Much of the trail was shady which I love but poses a unique problem for me. About 16 years ago I had 2 detached retinas and I now have very little depth perception so everything looks slightly off of where it really is. Shadows make this way worse for me because I can’t quickly read the terrain. There was only one rocky section where I had to slow way down, otherwise this was a very smooth trail. It sounds like my eyes would make me hate trail running but it is the opposite. I enjoy the deep focus I have to have on trails. It’s a meditative experience for me. OK, maybe running in nature can be a spiritual experience. In fact, beware – embarrassing woo woo confession ahead – sometimes when I need energy I will put my hands on a tree and ask for help. Don’t make fun of me until you try it – it works.

#38 Foxy Trail

I have trouble distinguishing shadows from rocks or holes

I tried a new hand held this race and loved it. I usually carry a 12oz, this time I carried a 20oz. I only had to refill it once and didn’t even finish my water. I have 2 goals before this adventure is over. One of them is to run a HM without stopping to walk (9 miles is my current longest) and the other is to break 2:30 for my time. This means taking almost 7 minutes off my fastest time. I think my new handheld will help me at least take a couple seconds off that each aid station stop. There are a few net downhill races in June that I am targeting for these goals.

#38 Foxy Trail

I love my new running gear

Close to the beginning (and end) was a fabulous bridge. I have no idea why running over a bridge gives me energy but it does. There is just something cool about running with air under the feet. I got excited when I saw the bridge in the distance and couldn’t wait to run on it.

I like tiny bridges as much (if not more) than larger bridges.

#38 Foxy Trail

You’re so cute

Tim likes signs almost as much as I like bridges.

#38 Foxy Trail

Not only did I not see any frogs – I didn’t even see this sign

This course was really well marked. My biggest fear during trail races is that I will get lost. During the race briefing the director said that some of the signs had been tampered with. I have heard of this happening at races before. What is wrong with people? Why would someone try to mess up a race by destroying trail markers? It sounds like he suspected mountain bikers. He warned runners about aggressive mountain bikers, saying, “They think they own the trail.” Most of the bikers I saw were very polite but there was a group of 3 who, it seemed, were trying to run runners off the trail. Tim knew exactly who I was talking about when I mentioned them after the race. Tim said he saw them almost run someone down, in front of him, so he stopped in the middle of the trail to tie his shoe. Damn – I love that man.

#38 Foxy Trail

Well done

Even though I faded in the last 3 miles, I was able to sprint in. Because of my asthma I usually cross the finish line wheezing and looking much worse than I actually am. This time it worked out in my favor because a very concerned looking person on the medical team lead me to a chair in the shade. One thing I liked about the race was that once you crossed the finish line and got your medal you went to a little table and got your t-shirt in a beer glass. And there was free beer. What I didn’t like about the after race was that they had no food. None. They had pizza that was supposed to be there at 10:30 but we left at 10:40 and there was still no pizza. I’m guessing the reason they did this was to encourage people to hang around for the awards ceremony. To be fair they did state this clearly on the website and recommended that fast runners bring a snack. Still, I question the wisdom of serving beer but not food. Come on Dirt Devil racing, how hard would it be to have some bananas available.

#38 Foxy Trail

Look closely – it’s a bird tree

Cons

  • Port-o-pots were not obvious and the park bathrooms ran out of toilet paper
  • No food at the finish line
  • Watch out for speedy mountain bikes

Pros

  • Close parking
  • Port-o-pots (once you found them) as well as park bathrooms
  • Very scenic
  • Well marked, well groomed trails
  • Bridges
  • Good beer (Lagunitas)
  • Frequent (for trail races) aid stations
  • Attentive medical personel
  • A ramada that allowed runners to get out of the sun

I loved this race. It came at the perfect time for me and reminded me of what I love about trail running. We have done some pretty gnarly trail HM’s so it was nice to be in a trail race that I could run instead of just survive. I would say this race is beginner friendly. It was well marked and had plenty of aid stations. Most of the course was very runnable. However, if you are a road runner who has never done a trail race this did have some pretty good rolling hills and a rocky section. Don’t expect to PR. Overall a well organized race with a beautiful scenic course. Just watch out for bikers and bring your own banana.

#38 Foxy Trail

I was beaten by a pregnant cow

And now for something totally un-running related. We love living in SD by the beach and Tim loves his new job. Life is good.

#38 Foxy Trail

This about sums up our new neighborhood

Please leave a comment.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

 

37 down only 15 to go.

So Big O Tires tried to kill us on the way to Hollywood last weekend. This race report almost didn’t happen because we barely made it to the expo in time to pick up our bibs before they closed. We sprinted into the expo with only minutes to spare. We got our bibs and as we were on our way to get our t-shirts they were shutting down and kicking everyone out. The woman at the t-shirt booth had to dig out a box she had put away to get Tim’s shirt. We got the breaks done at Big O in Pacific Beach on April 4th but didn’t drive the car (except a couple blocks home) until the following Friday. I think it is a bad idea to for a Saturday race to have no day of race packet pickup. Moist people work on Friday so it turns the event into a locals only race or an inconvenience. Tim took a half day off and we left at 1pm (expo closed at 7pm) so we would have time to check into our hotel and play at the expo. We were in the carpool lane, on interstate 5, when we started to hear some pretty scary noises coming from the back of the car. At first, we though it was someone else’s car because, of course, our car won’t make a noise like that. The noise got much worse very fast leaving no doubt that it was our car. Tim managed to get across 5 lanes of traffic (I closed my eyes) and take the next exit. He took off the tire to see if he could figure out what was wrong. I guess it was clear what was wrong. When they put our new breaks on they left out 2 bolts! [They didn’t bolt the left, rear caliper back on – Tim]. I don’t really understand any of this but Tim says the breaks could have seized and flipped the car. I know it was serious because when Tim called Big O they did everything they could to help us. They called a tow truck to haul us to the Big O in Carlsbad. The tow truck was pretty fast but by this time we were worried that we were not going to make the expo. We even started looking for last minute Sunday races. When we got to Carlsbad we found out the tow truck guy didn’t take credit cards so Tim had to run and find an ATM (Big O did reimburse us). The guy running the Big O in Carlsbad was a huge jerk. Right away he made clear that we were his lowest priority and that the only reason he was dealing with us at all was because he had to. He seemed to take a personal dislike towards us. It sounds paranoid but he was beyond rude. Maybe he didn’t like the looks of Tim (he was a no hair, Fox news type) or I looked like his ex-wife. I don’t know what his problem was but as soon as we realized that our car would not even be looked at for hours, Tim got on the phone to Big O in Pacific Beach and they set up a rental car for us. A woman from enterprise picked us up in Carlsbad and drove us to their Carlsbad office to pick up our rental car. The Enterprise office is south of the Big O in Carlsbad. We were going away from Hollywood. I almost screamed. Kudos for Enterprise for getting us out of there in record time. For once I didn’t complain about Tim driving too fast. Thanks to Tim’s skillful(?) driving and lack of traffic police, while we didn’t get to see the expo we did get our bibs, so we were able to run the race.

We stayed at the Budget Inn only a few blocks from the starting line. The hotel was a a little run down but the room was clean and more than half the price of everything else in the area. If you ever run this HM I recommend this place (room #108) for it’s price and location.

We found a little hole in the wall pizza place, Fat Tomato Pizza, for carb loading where we talked to a German couple who were also running. The pizza was great.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

My – Don’t I look smart – glasses

The race started at 6am so we set the alarm for 4:30am. Once we are finished with this project, I hope to never get up before the sun again. It’s a good thing we stayed so close to the start because Tim wore the wrong shoes and had to run back and change. It was a bit chilly so I had on my favorite flannel shirt and Tim had on a hoodie which we planned to leave at the bag check. Turns out that the bag check was at the finish line. How are you supposed to put your warm clothes in the bag check if it is at the finish line? Maybe they reasoned that people would want to put a change of clothes at the finish. Most races transport your bags to the finish if it isn’t a loop course. Anyways, Tim actually wore one of those crappy race backpacks with the string shoulder straps, stuffed with our warm clothes, for the entire race. Once again, I nominate him for husband of the year. I suggested ditching the clothes but it was his kung-fu hoodie and he knew it was one of my favorite shirts.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

I like the sign in back

Much like last weekend, this race had some great costumes. Unlike last weekend, that’s not all it had going for it. This race was actually well organized.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

Marilyn, I found a Marilyn for you

We stated in corrals which seemed to have nothing to do with finishing time but worked out well. I didn’t really see that much of the course because I was too busy chatting and people watching. It was all on pavement through the streets of Hollywood. There were plenty of fully stocked aid stations as well as port-o-pots on the course.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

Happy birthday – Have som pain and suffering

This course was a little convoluted and doubled back on itself a couple of times. Being the queen of getting lost I was a little worries when I saw the course map but there were so many people and such good traffic control that it was never an issue. I got to see Tim a couple of times. He must have been flying in the beginning because he was way ahead of me when I saw him the first time.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

Thanks for reminding everyone what’s really important

Another nice thing about this run was the music along the course. Live music is a great distraction. I liked the drummers so much that I ran back to get a picture but it turned out blurry. Luckily great minds think alike(really Sharon, cliches from someone with a Masters in creative-writing) and Tim got a couple unblurry pictures.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

I have seen people running with flags at quite a few races. They always pass me and it’s always awesome.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

Works the arms as well as the legs

The second time I saw Tim he didn’t seem to be as far ahead as he was the first time I saw him. I was afraid that he was having a problem with his a-fib and I found out later that I was right. It must have been very frustrating for him because he said that he felt great but every time he tried to run after mile 8 his heart rate would spike. I think it might have been caused by the stress of Friday.

How awesome is this guy? Tim took this picture. The sad thing is – I never even saw this guy. He was too far in front of me. I hope I’m still running in 25 years.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

I’m 77 and a half years old

Around mile 10 I smelt a major pot smell. Three guys were sitting on a bench passing a joint in daylight with a whole road full of runners passing them. I was in the middle of the road and could smell it clearly. I thought it was pretty bold given that there were cops all along the course. I think marijuana should be legal but not in public where everyone around you is affected (I feel the same way about cigarettes). It made me want to take a nap. “I’m going for a run”, said no one, ever, after smoking a joint.

I got a little nauseous during the last 3 miles and had to stop and walk (plus I was tired) but it was nothing like the last couple of weeks. I was able to put on a sprint and pass 3 people in the last 10 seconds before crossing the finish line. I like passing people too much.

#37 Hollywood Half Marathon

Check out our ninja weapon medals

Cons

  • Must get to expo before 7pm Friday to get bibs (hard on out of town, working people)
  • Drop bags at the finish line
  • Pricey ($125) for what you get
  • Shirts ran a little small
  • They ran out of small and medium shirts for women

Pros

  • 6am start (helped beat the heat)
  • Well organized
  • Fun vibe with costumes
  • Frequent aid stations
  • Iconic landmarks along course
  • Good traffic control
  • Music on the course
  • Cool medal
  • Emailed runners their time day after race

This race was a lot of fun. I would recommend it with the caveat that it seems a little spendy for what you get. We didn’t make it to the expo so maybe they had lots of freebies there. The shirt is wearable and they had a cool medal. The course was interesting in parts with good crowd support at the beginning and end. It was a little hilly but completely beginner and slow runner doable. A great place to dress up as your favorite movie character and not get weird looks. The runners made the race interesting. I could have put in many more pictures of costumes. At many races I have seen the sign – Worse parade ever – This race was actually a good parade.

Please click on comment to leave a comment. I love comments.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

 

36 down only 16 to go.

This race should have been called the Peace-Love-Chaos-Run. After last weeks poor, poor, pitiful me report, I was hoping to write a peace, love, great race report, this week, but alas, it was not to be. The website made it look so groovy, There was a long line at packet pickup. They mailed out the first 300 bibs but we still needed to get our shirts. Someone walked up and asked if they could pick up their shirt because they already had their bib. Yep – no need to stand in line if you already had your bib. We weren’t the only ones who got out of line. Thanks for telling us. The next problem was that they were completely out of tech shirts and only had cotton. This was not a problem for me because, at this point in my race shirt collection, I prefer a cotton shirt that I can wear in real life. However, I overheard a couple people (who had checked the tech shirt box on the registration form) who were pretty upset. I saw a lot of people wearing the shirt for the run. Oh dear – cotton shirt + heat = chafing. Someone who doesn’t know not to wear a cotton shirt for a HM is probably a new runner and a bad case of hamburger arms could turn someone off running forever. That said it was a great shirt with no sponsor logos all over the back. I will actually wear this shirt. In many ways this race reminded me of the St. Patrick‚Äôs Day Half Marathon. Both races had a theme and the runners who dressed up were the most interesting thing about the race.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

Damn hippies

The MC was doing his best to keep the crowd in the corrals entertained while waiting for the race to start. It wore thin quickly. The race started late. The MS’s forced enthusiasm took on a desperate edge as he tried to engage the crowd in banter, “Any Birthdays? No, any anniversaries?”. It was painful. Then when the race was ready to start he sent the HM out in 2 or 3 waves (it was too confusing to tell) but people had stopped listening to him for the most part and were so confused by the waves that some 10K people went out with the second wave of the HM. Like I said, peace, love and chaos. We tried to tell a woman who was in the 10k that she was in the HM crowd but she was sure that she was right because she had seen the first wave go and thought that was the HM. She told us so in tones suggesting how stupid we were. We tried.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

He tried so hard

This race had no port-o-pots (that I saw) at the start and instead relied on the park bathrooms. The bathroom had 2 stalls, one being a handicapped stall. It was not enough. They also ran out of toilet paper. They did have port-o-pots on the course and there were lines at all of them.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

I wish I would lose or forget this green shirt

The course itself was ok. THe harbor had a mild fishy smell but was pretty. The run was on a crowded bike path. Bikers are always a problem on these paths but this was much more of a family path so there were a lot of distracted kids on bikes and skates.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

I found the, “Backpack full of snacks” girl

Although this course was blissfully flat I had the same problems with heat as I did last week. After the first 2 hours every time I tried to run I got nauseous and had to walk (it didn’t help that they started late). I’m glad I had my own water because the turnaround aid station, at mile 11, was out of water. Out of water! I think this was the worse fuck up out of all the fuck ups that happened during this race because it was actually dangerous. Not everyone was running with a Camelback full of water. Did I mention how hot it was. There were almost 70 people who came in after me in a race of 420 (really!). That is a lot of people who needed water. It they get nothing else right a race needs to have enough water.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

Just look at that RUN smiley face

This race had some great volunteers but it also had the most amount of sullen teenage volunteers out of all the races we have done. And that is a lot of sullen teenagers. Even the aid stations that had water weren’t filling the cups fast enough so runners had to wait for water. At one aid station (the one without water) I overheard volunteers complaining about the heat. They were sitting in the shade. Did I mention this race had no shade but the overhangs at the aid stations? I should have sat on them to get a couple of seconds out of the sun.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

At least it was flat

Cons

  • Long disorganized line at packet pickup
  • Ran out of tech shirts
  • Not enough bathrooms or toilet paper
  • Started late
  • MC so unclear that some 10K people went out with the HM
  • Course was crowded with families and distracted kids
  • Confused volunteers sent some people around the loop twice (thankfully not us)
  • Aid station ran out of water

Pros

  • Nice shirt
  • Nice Medal
  • Fun hippy costumes
  • Good varity of after race food
  • Emailed results the same day
#36 Peace-Love-Run

Awesome!

This race was a mess. Really – get it together before someone collapses from dehydration. I didn’t write about volunteers sending peole around the course twice because I only heard about it afterwards. We ate at Woodstocks (my favorite SD pizza place) and I talked to a guy who ended up running more than 14 miles. He said that he was not the only one that volunteers misdirected. So unless you have a desperate need for a hippy shirt and medal, I would not recommend this race for anyone. I think the hippy theme was appropriate because the race appears to have been organized by the highest people in California.

#36 Peace-Love-Run

Motivation???

Please leave a comment, I’ll leave a response.

#35 Chino Hills

 

35 down only 17 to go.

This race was the first time during a HM that I felt truly tired of this whole project and wished it was over. I have done harder races (FOURmidable, The Enchanted Forest Wine Run) that were more physically challenging but this race was a mental low for me. It started off hard and just got harder.

My favorite thing about this race was getting a sleeveless T-shirt. This is the first race where we have gotten a sleeveless T-shirt. I think most runners do most of their running in a singlet.

It was chilly at 7am but warmed up quickly. Instead of taking my long sleeve to the car I put it behind the registration table. I promised myself I wouldn’t forget it. This is the 3rd shirt I have lost this way. I had this shirt less than 3 weeks.

#35 Chino Hills

Goodbye shirt – our time together was too short

I walked almost from the start. It quickly became apparent to me that I was still feeling weak from being sick last week (whatever was wrong with me started Friday night and I didn’t feel like myself until Wednesday morning). I hate feeling weak. I just couldn’t run for very long without walking.

I don’t want to write a long negative, poor poor pitiful me race report but I also want to be true to my experience so I am going to write a long negative, poor poor pitiful me paragraph that sums up my race.

#35 Chino Hills

It never looks as steep in the photo

What really slayed me was the heat. By the second half of the race I couldn’t even run without feeling nauseous. I was also having trouble breathing because of the dust. Dust is always a problem at the back of the pack in a trail race but other runners were the least of the problem. The real dust was from the many mountain bikers that went screaming by. That was not only dusty but scary. This race also featured steep climbs and descents, being chased by biting flies, mud, misinformation at the aid station, almost no shade, not enough water, and I was running by myself for most of the race (most people were way ahead but a few were behind me).

Even though I had a hard time physically (nausea, asthma attack from the dust, heat exhaustion, etc.) the worst thing about this race was that I allowed myself to get into a negative headspace. I know that no good can come from allowing my mind to go to its dark place during a race but I was out there having a one woman pity party. I was having such a good time at this party that I continued it after the race with an internal dialog, (I’m fat, I’m weak, What the hell am I doing this for? I’m tired, maybe I’m too old for this shit, who needs to run up a mountain anyways? etc., etc.) that soon had me telling myself to shut the fuck up and chill out. The big lesson here is not to let my negative mind spiral out of control. I felt just as ill and tired the week before and I was able to do what needed to be done with a minimum of drama.

Note to self: Do not give in to self indulgent whining that only depletes the body of much needed energy.

#35 Chino Hills

Yay downhill

The wonderful volunteers at the last aid station took a look at me and gave me a chair in the shade. Another volunteer got me ice. Thank you very much. However, I also got some misinformation that made the second half of my race even harder because I was expecting something else. A volunteer told me that the last 6 miles of the race were all downhill and shady. It was mostly downhill (but by no means all) but there was almost no shade. Please – if you are a volunteer make sure you know what you are taking about.

#35 Chino Hills

Looking back fondly at the downhill

With all the dust and heat I couldn’t help but worry about Tim. He is allergic to dust and heat is a major trigger for his a-fib. In the distance I saw him sitting on the ground talking to a bicyclist. I totally forgot that he sometimes comes out on the course to encourage me across the finish line. Maybe because my mind had been hanging out in the dark side for the last couple hours, I panicked, thinking he had been hit by a bike or was sitting under the tree because his a-fib was acting up. I was so worried that I was able to run up to him. But no – he was there to make sure I was OK and had even brought me a bottle of water. Somehow I managed to stop walking and actually run across the finish line. I’m glad I did because the photographer (Skip Rodgers) was selling the photos, for a donation of any amount, as a fundraiser to buy iPad Minis for his 4th grade classroom. What a great cause and I love Tim’s photo.

After the race all I could keep down was a sprite. I tried some potato salad about half an hour later but my tummy still said, no. Tim was wonderful. He reads me pretty well and could tell how gone I was. Shortly after getting me a sprite he went to the car and got our dry clothes. I was so exhausted that I had to sit on the toilet to change out of my sweaty, wet clothes. It took me about 10 minutes. I felt wrung out for the next couple of days. How ridiculous is it to get heat exhaustion in March! I’m worried that we are going to be in for some hot races before the end of July.

#35 Chino Hills

I’ve had better runs

Cons

  • We heard it was 20° hotter than average
  • Dust from scary fast mountain bikes
  • Aid station misinformation (it was not shady)

Pros

  • Beautiful course (so I am told)
  • Sleeveless shirt that I will actually wear
  • Left out gallons of water after last aid station
  • Very nice medal
  • Nice after race food spread
  • Photos for a donation to benefit his classroom (he emailed a thank you)
  • Well organized

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Oddly enough I would recommend this race. I would not recommend the HM for anyone who is new to trail running but they also had a 10K that had quite a few first time trail runners. If you don’t mind some climbs and eating some mountain bike dust this is a beautiful, well maintained course. This race was well organized and had a great food spread including hamburgers, hot dogs, and salmon burgers on the grill. Maybe it won’t be so hot next year.

#35 Chino Hills

comment (please)

#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.

Dolphins!

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.

Cons

  • No T-Shirt

Pros

  • 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.

#34

You know I love comments

33 - St. Patricks day - T-Shirt

 

33 down only 19 to go.

This is going to be a fairly short post because there was nothing exceptional about this race. It was our hottest race since last summer so that made it more of a challenge. We picked up our packets on Saturday. The expo was lame but packet pickup was quick and smooth. They had a nice t-shirt without crappy sponsor names all over the back. It’s actually a shirt I would wear. The expo had a disturbingly republican theme. There was a republican party booth that was registering people to vote which seemed out of character, to me. There was also one of those awful, “family pregnancy crisis center” booths that display plastic fetuses and tries to intimidate women out of getting abortions with scare tactics and bad science. I think it is a terrible idea to have politically polarizing booths at a race expo unless you have both sides represented.

33 - St. Patricks day - pre-race

Too hot for sleeves at 7am

This race started about 20 minutes late which was even more annoying than usual because the high for the day was 93°. In March!

33 - St. Patricks day - Tim

Tim in Protestant and Catholic colors

I wasn’t feeling very well so I encouraged Tim to take off before the first mile. This was by no means a scenic course. In fact, I found it ugly. It was run through the cambered, potholed streets of El Cajon. Volunteers did their best to control traffic but they had to stop runners numerous times to let cars through. Traffic was heavy so most of the run had vehicles spewing exhaust in the next lane. The only scenic part of the race were all the runners who dressed up for St. Patrick’s Day.

33 - St. Patricks day - warning

I love shenanigans

I’m glad I had my music this race. It started to get really hot after the first hour. This HM course is an out and back. I was a little worried when I saw Tim because sometimes heat triggers his a-fib. He was soaked when I saw him so I was afraid he was pushing too hard but I later found out that he had poured water on himself to keep cool. There weren’t many spectators (maybe because it was so hot) and even the volunteers were a mixed bag. Some were very friendly but others were kids on cell phones who obviously did not want to be there.

The after race party was also underwhelming. Post race food was a water and a banana.

On a more positive note the medal was outstanding. It was huge and has a great St. Patrick’s day design.

33 - St. Patricks day - post race

This necklace is too heavy

After the race I collapsed in the shade like I usually do. On the other side we saw a guy puking and not looking good. The volunteers at the finish were a bunch of kids obviously talking about him and pointing but doing nothing. Tim got him two bottles of water and got him into the shade. Volunteers – if you see someone puking and disoriented ask if you can help, don’t just point and snicker.

Cons

  • Political right wing booths at the expo
  • Started late
  • Ugly, boring course
  • Being stopped for traffic
  • Running next to traffic
  • Uncomfortably cambered roads
  • Minimal food after the race
  • No medical personnel that we saw

Pros

  • Nice tech shirt
  • Huge, cool medal
  • Festive St. Patrick’s Day runners

I think it’s obvious by now that I would not recommend this race. It had very little to offer. It did have a nice medal and tech shirt so maybe if you live in the area, collect medals and really want an excuse to wear a green tutu, this race might be worth it for you.I like races for the run itself and this HM was hot, hilly, smelly (exhaust), ugly, and run on awful slanted roads. It may have been because I wasn’t feeling great but I found this race boring. I have written before about races that just have a great vibe, well this was the exact opposite. Besides the negatives of the race itself I thought it had a no energy, no magic vibe.

Please leave a comment and let me know I’m still being read. I love comments.

32-SD Half - T-Shirt

 

32 down only 20 to go.

I love expos. Yay shopping! I love clothes shopping and book shopping. I even like grocery shopping. But my favorite shopping of all is running gear shopping. At most expos Tim puts on his – I am patiently waiting – face while I dart into every booth promising not to be too long. This time, much to my surprise, Tim did more shopping than I did. He got a visor with a no sweat in your eyes promise (it worked) and a magnetic pouch stuff holder (a bit bouncy) and a white t-shirt that is almost the same as his favorite brown t-shirt, except white, so better for summer. Both of us did a biomarker test that supposedly scans where your body is out of balance by simply putting your hand on a sensor then recommends essential oils to fix the problem. I’m skeptical. I had all sorts of things out of whack (I’m not skeptical about that) and had seven different oils recommended. Tim bought me an oil called slim and sassy for metabolic function and fat burning. It couldn’t hurt and it did smell good. Thanks Tim. At the physical therapy booth I got a feet and leg massage. I found out that my left leg is longer than my right. Interesting. I also got a free french braid that looked so awful that I took it out as soon as we got home.

Packet pickup was quick and easy. Yay – a tech shirt without a million (or any) sponsor logos on the back. Living in San Diego we didn’t mind that there was no day of race pickup. I have noticed that most larger races don’t have morning of race packet pickups. That makes sense from a logistical standpoint but must be a hassle for anyone who wants to do the race but not stay in San Diego the night before.

Even though we left the house a half hour later than Tim wanted we were there in plenty of time. He always wants to leave early because he is afraid that we won’t get a good parking place (I also like to chill out after driving – Tim). The race before this one we were so early that the race director wasn’t even there yet.

32-SD Half - Before

Tim’s new visor and t-shirt

I like it when someone sings the national anthem before a race but this time it was more annoying than pleasant because the singer took the opportunity to preach to the crowd. I found it very off putting and I could tell by the scowls of some around us that I was not the only one. I thought it was inappropriate. This HM prides itself on attracting, not only people from different states but people from different countries. I wonder how Jewish people and Buddhists felt about having to hear the good news about Christ our savior before their run?

I thought having the speakers and MC on the bridge was brilliant.

32-SD Half - Start

Don’t Jump

While standing in our corral, waiting for our wave to start we met Nessa, a woman doing her first HM. She was so excited that it was contagious. She made me realize that I have lost sight of just how amazingly cool it is that we get to do a HM every weekend!

32-SD Half - Nessa

Nessa ampped to be doing her first HM

Although we have been vacationing in San Diego for almost 20 years and now live here, almost all of our time has been spent in the beach area. This race started in the downtown Gaslamp district. This is such a cute area that I want to come back and do some exploring (shopping) when I’m not running.

One thing I like about big races is all the crowd support and distractions. I’m glad I ran with my phone because Tim didn’t take any pictures this race.

32-SD Half - Signs

No witty caption necessary

I passed this woman then ran back to get the t-shirt of the week photo.

32-SD Half - For a good time

Tim ran with me for just over 4 miles before kissing me goodbye.

After the Gaslamp district we ran by the harbor then over a bridge. I still love bridges! Unfortunately we also went under a bridge where the scenery was an angry homeless guy smoking.

32-SD Half - Bridge

A view of a bridge from a bridge

This race had great musical entertainment. I bet it was a long day for the dancing dog. That costume must have been hot. He was moving.

32-SD Half - Band

My People

32-SD Half - Band

Mariachis – am I back in Tucson

I love San Diego. Between checking out new places and taking pictures time went by really fast. I enjoyed myself. Even though I am not very competitive and would usually rather chat than run hard I do like to race for the finish line. I spotted a woman a bit ahead of me that I thought I could catch so I put on a full sprint. She sped up but I passed her by seconds. Kind of obnoxious but hey, it’s a race.

Yay – I found Tim easily. After the Huntington Beach snafu we had a plan but didn’t have to use it.

I think this was our biggest medal yet. And heavy. I know we have gotten behind on our medals page. It should be updated soon. I never used to care about medals but I’m starting to get into them.

The after race organization was great. Chocolate milk, they had chocolate milk! And they handed it to me just past the finish line. Nothing is better than chocolate milk after a long run.

32-SD Half - After kiss

Couldn’t be happier

In a most sadistic move, you had to climb a set of stairs after the race to get your goody bag of snacks. Luckily, at the top of the stairs they had benches and volunteers handing out baby wipes. This is the first time I have seen baby wipes at a race and I love it. It felt so good to wipe the salty sweat off my face. We sat on the bench, ostensibly to wipe our faces with our newly acquires baby wipes but really because stairs after a HM = bench, yay. We started talking to a guy we had met at one of the A Better World Running races. Already, we are getting to know some of the race hobbyists in CA. Meeting new people has been one of my favorite parts about our 52 HM project.

32-SD Half - After

Cool mural (at the top of the stairs)

Cons

  • Being preached at before the national anthem
  • Quite Pricey
  • Running next to road and freeway exhaust
  • Awful tasting drink on the course (Ultima)

Pros

  • Easy packet pickup
  • Great expo
  • Nice course showcasing the Gaslamp district and harbor
  • Great crowd support
  • Fun musical entertainment
  • Nice sponsor free tech t-shirt
  • Huge medal
  • Chocolate milk
  • Baby wipes!
  • After race bag of snacks
  • After party with $1 beer in all Gaslamp resturants
32-SD Half - Street drummers

My favorite band

I wold definitely recommend this race if you don’t mind spending more for a quality product ($125). All the music, great bling and touches like the chocolate milk and baby wipes don’t come cheap. This would be a great destination HM. It is relatively flat, a lot of fun and with 6000+ people you will never be running alone. We give it two thumbs up.

#31 - Marina - t-shirt

  • February 28st, 2015
  • Long Beach, California
  • Rock the Marina
  • Sharon: 2:53:54
  • Tim: 2:26:40

 

31 down only 21 to go.

My favorite part about this race vs. last weeks race (Fourmidable) was that I could walk the next day. And it didn’t rain. All week the forecast predicted rain so I was prepared for an Oregon moment. I wore the running rain jacket that Tim bought me as part of my incentive package for moving to Elkton. He knows how much I love running clothes. A slight downside to our HM project it that, because we get a tech shirt just about every race, I will never again be able to justify buying another running shirt.

#31 - Marina

Please don’t rain

Because this race started at 6:30am and was in Long Beach we had to get up at 3am, again. Our upstairs neighbor must hate us when an alarm goes off at 3am on Sunday morning.

This race is put on by Charlie Alewine. He puts on inexpensive, small, low key events every weekend in much the same way A Better World Running does but he also has t-shirts and trophies. He is a really friendly guy and his races have a great casual vibe. We need to find a group like this in San Diego. This was the smallest race we have ever been in. Only 6 people in the HM and 8 in the marathon.

The course was both a loop and an out and back. It was a loop around the park and then an out and back along the marina, 3 times. Tim ran with me for the first loop so I didn’t get lost. Even so, I may have gotten lost if another woman in the race (Jackie) was not running just in front of me for most of the race.

I could tell from the start that I was going to be slow. My legs felt heavy after the first mile. That’s a sure sign that I wasn’t fully recovered from last weeks race. Tim said his legs didn’t feel fresh either. I’m not surprised. My legs were – it’s hard to walk – sore until Thursday.

#31 - Marina - bike rack

Love this bike rack

This was a beautiful run if a little crowded. The race started at 6:30am so there wasn’t much traffic or many people for the first loop. There was some sort of rowing event going on and I found myself dodging walkers carrying oars. Also traffic picked up and it became more challenging to cross the road that connected the park loop to the marina.

#31 - Marina - Flag

Great place for a flag

I caught up with Jackie and we ran together for a loop around the park. It was nice to have someone to talk to. She was doing the race with her friend but, like Tim, her friend was faster than her so they just cheered each other on the out and back. They are doing the LA Marathon only 2 weekends after this race.

#31 - Marina - Friends

Good luck in LA
(Jackie, on left, and Miriam)

I stopped to fill my water bottle and take a puff on my inhaler and Jackie pulled away. I managed to keep her in sight which is probably what kept me from getting lost around the park. She slowed down the last mile so I managed to escape being last but only by 30 seconds.

#31 - Marina - 5mph

No problem

Even though his legs were heavy and he ran with me the first loop, Tim won a trophy for 3rd place. Yay Tim. If he hadn’t run with me the first loop I think he would have gotten second. Tim seemed rather embarrassed to have won a trophy for what he considered such a slow time.

#31 - Marina - Trophy winners

Our shocked 3rd place winner
Allison (1st), Miriam (2nd), Tim (3rd)

This was a fun race. People hung around afterwards to talk and eat. The woman who won was doing this as a warm up for the LA Marathon. In fact, everyone but me and Tim, who did this race, will be running the LA Marathon. We have been talking about doing a Marathon towards the end of this year. I’m trying to push for Tucson as out first full marathon because we could party with our Tucson friends afterwards.

Cons

  • I found the course slightly confusing
  • Had to cross a busy street
  • Dodging rowers walking with oars

Pros

  • Friendly race director and runners
  • Scenic, mostly flat race
  • Inexpensive
  • Nice medal and T-Shirt (and trophy)
  • Good food
  • Early Start
#31 - marina - after

Yay – it didn’t rain

I would definitely recommend this race. It was a lot of fun. Very casual but still well organized. We hope to do some more of Charlie’s races in the next 5 months. We both enjoyed this race and really liked the race director.

#31 - marina - mural

I love murals

#31 - marina - tile wave

Tile wave – cool

Please leave a comment or ask a question.