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2009 Southern California Half Marathon Race Report

So I’m guessing you all want a race report with complete pictures and the whole 9 yards. You’re lucky because I am excited to tell you that I PR’d by roughly 10 minutes. Yes. I think this is very odd too, especially since I didn’t train for this race and signed up on Monday when it was on Saturday. It almost makes me mad, because I didn’t really try and I still did much better than my first real race. Anyways, the night before, Mr. R and I searched for something for my toe, but with no success and my forgetting of my moleskin from home, I figured if I got some bloody socks, oh well. Then we went to dinner at Macaroni Grill and it was delicious. I got some pasta and tried to fall asleep early.

It was nice to have the race so close to my house because I literally woke up at 6:15 and left the house at 6:30. I decided on wearing the pink long sleeve with my Nike Half Marathon underneath. My good friend Billy said he would take my pink shirt if I wanted, though I did run part of the race with it tied around my shoulders, which was weird, but totally worked. I ate a bowl of oatmeal and drove about .5 miles to the parking area. I then met up with Billy and his gf Sara, who are two of the coolest/nicest people EVER, and then a whole bunch of people from the CA Runner’s World Forum, which looks to be yet another thing for me to be addicted too.

Sara and I talking before the race, yea I was freezing, and I don’t know why I look cross eyed.

Billy and I finally meet!

She’s for sure going to Boston soon… :)

So Sara and I positioned ourselves at the front of the pack and lined up about 5 minutes before the horn went off. I plugged in my revived plus and once the horn blared we took off. Sara left me in her dust and I had to remind myself that the race was a workout for me, not a race to kill myself in.

This was me, around the 2 mile marker. I look like I’m laughing to myself. Embarrassing.

The first few miles were good and I oddly enough ran almost perfect even splits. The course was a lot of out and back and it was fun to watch the runners in the front of the pack and the winners so far out ahead of me. I tried to calculate my time in my head and my pace that I was on and I realized I was running decently well for my goals that I previously set for myself. I remembered at mile 4 that one of my goals was to drink water along the race. I started to take water from almost every aid station and pinched the cup and tried to get as much down as I could. This worked REALLY well and I thank the guys before for the pinching cup tip. I didn’t spill any water on myself and took a cup about 5 times, and only slightly choked during drinking twice.


Around mile 6. I look like I was winning! Only in my dreams.

By the way, was a little nervous about the skirt. It was AMAZING! I loved running in it, and can’t wait to find some more deals on them so I can get some more.

Around mile eight, I died. I wanted to stop running, I was tired and I wanted to walk. I have NEVER had this much of an urge to walk. I knew if I walked though it would be even harder to keep going so I continued to slow down my pace just a little bit and kept running. By mile nine, I wanted to quit. It was odd because I am not a quitter, but I knew it was because I didn’t have the mileage under my belt. My feet were hurting a little bit and I was just tired. I continued to trek on and Billy was SUCH an encouragement the entire way. Every time I saw him I laughed.

By mile 10 I was cruising and just kept thinking I only had a 5k left. Once I start a half marathon, it’s all about ticking off the miles. Getting to 10, I was just thinking, you have to run 3 10 minute miles and you will do better than the Long Beach Marathon. I KNEW I could run 10 minute miles. Heck, I could run three 9 minute miles so I continued on. This is where Billy asked me if I wanted my Power Gels. I took two and they just sat in my mouth for about eight minutes until they dissolved. They were more of a hassle than a booster. Chewing and running was not as easy as I thought, but I cannot even imagine eating a GU either. This is something I’m going to have to do some more experimentation on.

My music during the race was really great, I felt like I barely ever had to change it, but of course, Billy somehow managed to get a shot of me changing my music.


Finally I reached mile 12 and thought okay, you are going to finish this beast right here, right now. I knew the area and I knew once I rounded the corner where the finish line was.
Ya, see those two guys on the right side in the white and gray. They totally cut me after the finish before the chute narrowed down. I didn’t care but seriously. Whatever. I thought it was funny. I knew I was on pace for a 1:40ish so I was glad I could keep it up. I didn’t feel like I had a bloody sock during the race at all, but alas,


The balls of my feet were killing me the entire race and I had to keep reminding myself that the end was near and I was going to finish. I finally finished with a time of 1:48:41, and 480th overall. After everything, I am super excited about the Surf City half now. I know I can hopefully PR again and with proper training I know I can do well. Another thing I’m excited about Surf City is that I know Sara will BQ there and it will be super exciting for her.

Sunday Mr. R and I went for a short 2.5 mile run and I again got another bloody sock. It is now a different toe that it was before, which is weird, but I will be getting something to stop the bleeding soon. Tonight I’m going to hit up the gym and do 40 minutes of cardio and some hardcore weights. I’m really going to train hard with weights these weeks leading up to Surf City because last week I didn’t want to load up with weights and be SUPER sore for the race this past Saturday.

Overall the race was a success and I really enjoyed it. It was a little bit too warm for the weather to be comfortable for a run of such distance, but the skirt worked perfectly and the l/s was great for the beginning and short sleeve was great for the remainder of the race. It was also somewhat windy and running into the wind was NO FUN. I will post my splits later this week for the race according to my Nike+, which is off by .6 of the total race distance, and some official race pictures once they are posted. I worked a lot on drinking water and getting hydrated and I’m not too sore today still but my quads are pretty sore. It was GREAT meeting up with so many bloggers and runners and I can’t wait to meet up with more of you guys out there!

Today on the other hand, is a really big day for me and if it does happen it will be an exciting and needed change for me I’ll post about it tomorrow.


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  • Reply Jodi

    PR’d by 10 minutes and you didn’t even train. Who ARE you?! Way to go girl! That bloody sock was pretty intense though – yikes!

    January 12, 2009 at 11:33 am
  • Reply Pink Pearls & Muddy Sneakers

    Congratulations! The race sounds amazing, and I will cross my fingers for you for tomorrow’s mystery post… :)

    January 12, 2009 at 1:24 pm
  • Reply Marlene

    Congratulations on the kick-ass time and PR! Awesome!!

    Those are some great pics – love the big smiles and your outfit looks great.

    But your foot foot/toes!! Eek!

    January 12, 2009 at 1:37 pm
  • Reply Jess

    Congrats on the PR! That rocks! I hoe you can get the bloody sock thing taken care of!

    January 12, 2009 at 1:45 pm
  • Reply aron

    awesome job!!!!!! you did great and i love all the pics! you are going to do really great @ surf city!

    January 12, 2009 at 1:49 pm
  • Reply audgepodge

    Way to go!!! You’ve got some great race pics too – I always look like a hot mess in mine. I hope you get the bloody toe thing resolved too b/c as much as I love your blog, I am not really lovin’ those pics! :P

    January 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm
  • Reply Amy

    Woo hoo! That’s AWESOME! Nice job!!

    And so… I’ve always been anti-skirt… but, I dunno… now you got me thinking maybe I should try one out.

    January 12, 2009 at 1:51 pm
  • Reply ilovesteaks

    Great to meet you although it wasn’t really the first time! I’ll try harder to keep up with you next time. Funny thing, I was using the same trick when I was at mile 10… I was telling my legs, “you have to at least give me 10 min miles!” Anyways, I hope you figure out what’s causing the bloody toe!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:03 pm
  • Reply RunToFinish

    wow how do you get good race pics, I always look like a tool!! :)

    Way to go on the PR

    January 12, 2009 at 2:03 pm
  • Reply Marcy

    YAY!!!! CONGRATS CHICA!! Maybe this is a sign you shouldn’t train?!? LOL JK!! What a fantastic job.! Whoot!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:05 pm
  • Reply Mojito Maven

    did i mention you’re my hero????? way to go!!

    and ouch aboutt he bloody sock!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm
  • Reply Denise

    Congrats on the PR!!

    And man, those toes! Does it hurt when they bleed?

    January 12, 2009 at 2:16 pm
  • Reply Glenn Jones

    Great run Danica! I was nice meeting you. Pop on over to the forums sometime to meet a bunch of other great California runners:

    Congrats on the PR and see you around!

    January 12, 2009 at 2:26 pm
  • Reply rinus

    A good race time and you can run 1:40 the next time…

    January 12, 2009 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply mrjwhit~

    Ok, that sock is serious. Please check that out. Way to go on the run.

    January 12, 2009 at 2:56 pm
  • Reply The Running Knitter

    Congrats! You did awesome!

    January 12, 2009 at 3:47 pm
  • Reply Julianne

    Omg! Congrats on your 10 min PR! I love that you signed up on Monday (totally last minute) and kicked butt!! Sorry to hear about the bloody toes. I can’t wait to meet you at the SFM! Wait, are you thinking about the RnR San Diego at all?

    January 12, 2009 at 3:51 pm
  • Reply d.a.r.

    Oh my gosh, that is REALLY awesome!! Holy cow! 1:48 is a GREAT time. Way to go!

    By the way, how on earth is it fair that you still manage to look so gorgeous while running a half marathon?!?!

    January 12, 2009 at 3:53 pm
  • Reply Burger

    Again – SO proud of you Danica. Imagine if you had actually trained for this race, haha.

    And if you were struggling, I sure couldn’t tell! All smiles as always.

    Great, great job – see ya again in Surf City. Awesome PR!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:00 pm
  • Reply Burger

    oh, and welcome to the CA Runner’s World forum…you’ll love it there!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:02 pm
  • Reply Jamie and Craig

    Wow! Congrats. You did an amazing job! You are a total inspiration! Maybe I will have to sign up for something to motivate myself!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm
  • Reply Jamie and Craig

    Ok how funny is it that we just commented on eachothers blogs at the same time? LOL!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:34 pm
  • Reply J

    Those pictures look great! I love that you wore pink – I should think about doing that for my next race because you really stood out and I could pick you out of each picture perfectly! Great job on the PR!! Prolly since you had no stress and just relaxed then everything turned out!! After reading this you make me want to run this half!!

    January 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm
  • Reply ECrunnergirl

    YAY!! Congrats on the “1:40ish”!! That is soooo cool girlfriend…and the skirt is way too cute! I have one too and I love running in it!

    I am so excited for you…you are on your way to some seriously speedy running and I know first hand how exhilarating it is to get to that level!! Nice job on that PR!!

    Pictures were great too! You look way happy!!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:17 pm
  • Reply That Pink Girl

    Congratulations that is AWESOME! Way to go!!! (and the skirt is too cute!)

    January 12, 2009 at 5:32 pm
  • Reply jlc

    Wow, you totally make running look like a FUN time. If you had a video, I would so buy it. ;-)

    Haha. Congrats on the PR! That is amazing!!!

    January 12, 2009 at 5:41 pm
  • Reply D10

    Awesome job! You looked like you were having tons of fun in all the pictures! Sorry about another bloody sock:(

    January 12, 2009 at 5:48 pm
  • Reply Allie

    Congrats on the PR! Sounds like all in all you had a good race! Wondering what is on the agenda for tomorrow’s post….!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:01 pm
  • Reply X-Country2

    You are seriously the cutest race runner ever. Like all smiles and teeth.

    Awesome time! No telling what you’ll do when you get some training under your belt!

    January 12, 2009 at 6:13 pm
  • Reply . Becca .

    Well when I need some running inspiration I’m heading right over to the Chic Runner. :) Love it! Way to push though with your bleeding foot, lol!

    Hi, I’m Becca!

    January 12, 2009 at 7:20 pm
  • Reply . Becca .

    Oh, yeah, I’m moving to SoCal this summer. San Diego, baby! I also LoooVe my Nike+. Love love.

    January 12, 2009 at 7:21 pm
  • Reply skinnyrunner

    Congrats, you did awesome. you got such great pics too. love the bloody sock. thats hawt.

    January 12, 2009 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply Cindy

    good job! that’s a great time. man, you and your bloody socks. ouch!

    January 12, 2009 at 9:06 pm
  • Reply Tom Ritchie

    Nice job on the race! Always nice to get a PR. We may fly down from Alaska to run the Surf City this year too. Keep on running! Check out my blog.

    January 12, 2009 at 10:40 pm
  • Reply joyRuN

    Congrats on the PR! Great job :)

    January 13, 2009 at 12:20 am
  • Reply Katie

    Wow, wish I looked that happy and cute when I run! Where did you get that skirt? Is it really made for running??

    January 13, 2009 at 6:12 am
  • Reply Oz Runner

    Congrats on the run! Sounds like a fun one, and great job on the PR.

    January 13, 2009 at 6:39 am
  • Reply Mrs. Jetplane

    Congrats! I wish I was a runner. Mr. Jetplane ran the Chicago Marathon a couple of years ago, I was so proud of him. You all are crazy running people.

    January 13, 2009 at 7:20 am
  • Reply I Love Your Whole Face

    If I was you, I would be concerned about the bloody socks. That is crazy. I have never had that happen. I wear Nike running socks, which are really well padded and I cut my toenails ridiculously short. Also, I lube up my feet with tons of vaseline. It is a huge help and my feet usually feel great, even after a marathon! hope this helps.

    January 13, 2009 at 8:33 am
  • Reply Lacey Nicole

    mystery ending!!! heyyyy congrats on the race, PR WHAT-WHAT?!?! HEHEH, wahhooooo.

    what a great recap, love all the pictures!!!!! that’s awesome you felt so good til 8-mile, now with more training you’ll feel that good for even longer, hopefully. that is CRAZY about all the foot-bleeding, it makes me cringe, i hope you remedy it soon!! that’s a lot of bloody socks!!! you must go thru socks like WHOA! heh.

    January 13, 2009 at 8:36 am
  • Reply Kim

    Great job! Congrats too! After you’ve done a race-you tend to knock off a lot of time cuz you know what you’re in for.

    Sorry about that toe…hope you get that figured out!

    January 13, 2009 at 8:42 am
  • Reply chia

    Jeepers. Are you sure your shoes are big enough? That’s just brutal!

    Great showing girl! You’re a rockstar!

    January 13, 2009 at 10:17 am
  • Reply BeachRunner

    Congrats on a great PR. Great pics. It looks like you had so much fun. Sorry about your foot. Yikes on the bloody sock pic.

    January 13, 2009 at 10:40 am
  • Reply The Laminator

    Hey, I know I’m late, but just wanted to say congrats on a great race. Loved your race report too. Awesome PR! Great way to start off 2009!

    January 13, 2009 at 10:53 pm
  • Reply Brooke

    Congrats! Way to PR!! I ran the 5k…first race since high school, and I did pretty well! So apparently it was an excellent day for races :)

    So you only drove .5 miles…hmm, me too! You live in Irvine right? I’m in Woodbridge… I’m Brooke, by the way :)

    January 14, 2009 at 10:46 am
  • Reply The Happy Runner

    Nice job on the race!!
    Sorry about the blood, though :-(

    January 15, 2009 at 11:22 am
  • Reply sara

    Danica, i know i’m really late in posting this but CONGRATS again on your awesome PR! you are going to kick some serious booty in Surf City … can’t wait to see how you do!

    January 15, 2009 at 3:00 pm
  • Reply OhMyLaughter

    Okay… so I love this blog :-)

    January 18, 2009 at 8:17 am
  • Reply Ms.Droark

    I love your blog. I want to say THANK YOU for writing it, it’s awesome. I’m currently training for a marathon, I’m super nervous, but reading this got me excited to run some halfer’s before the actual big event!
    Keep up the good work

    January 18, 2009 at 10:21 pm
  • Reply 2009 Races and Medals | Chic Runner

    […] started off the year running in the Kaiser Half Marathon in Irvine, CA and finished in 1:48:43, which was about a nine minute PR from my first half marathon […]

    December 29, 2009 at 6:49 am
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