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Surf City Half Marathon Race Report

So to start this off, I’m very disappointed and upset about this race so I’m sorry if this isn’t my normal peppy upbeat post. I just have to share with you guys and then I hope to never think of it again. I know I can’t keep beating myself up about it, but I literally cried about it yesterday. Sitting at my computer desk, tears rolling down my face, crying. It was bizarre, but I felt like it was a good cry and that helped me to not be so hard on myself. After that little preface, read on!

So the night before the race we had a little forum encounter from the Runners World Forums. It’s incredibly motivating to me to meet more runners and hear more stories. Everyone was so nice and it was a blast to meet more people that I ‘talk’ to daily on the forums.

Here’s the whole group!
With Sara and Rachel, these girls are amazing and such an inspiration to me!
Billy was there being Billy and talking shop with everyone.
And this is Charlie Pro, he’s just straight amazing and if it wasn’t for him I would be much more off my time.

So the day of the race I woke up feeling really good, like over the top good. I felt strong and ready to race. I picked up my cousin who was running the 5k and we were both ready to go and got amazing parking right off Main Street.


After she started her race, I went back to the car took a gu and got myself ready for my race. I jogged to the starting line and was feeling really good. I also got to meet up with P.O.M too before the race at the expo on Friday and we found each other in the throng of people. I got off to a great start and my first three miles were strong. At the three mile, I was at 23:16 and my pace was 7:46. I was feeling really good. I was running well and my feet weren’t hurting too bad. Around mile six the balls of my feet started to hurt a little bit.

Then mile seven came. I ate my gu and drank lots of water on the course. I was starting to feel my stomach cramp up and it was beginning to hurt around mile seven. This was when I felt like mile eight would never come. I kept looking for a sign and hoped that it was coming soon but I was so out of it and I knew if I lost my focus I would walk the remainder. For the first time I felt like giving up. I didn’t care. I didn’t want to keep going I didn’t want to run anymore I was so over it. It was really weird, I almost started crying and I was really upset at myself for having these feelings. I never want to quit, and I can run for so long normally but yesterday it just wasn’t in me.

For some reason mile eight seemed so far away. At 8.2 miles I was at 1:04:16 and my pace was 7:51, but I felt like I was sloshing along it wasn’t good and I was already upset with myself. There wasn’t much crowd support and the course was much different that I thought it was going to be. My mind was just not in the racing mode and my body was matching my mind. I felt like a slug.

This was when I found a guy and just ran with him. Sometimes when I try to run with other guys I feel like they are intimidated and speed up a little bit because they don’t want to get ‘chicked’. He didn’t leave me though and he didn’t seem to mind either, who knows what he really was thinking though. He was a little bit taller than me, wearing a gray tank top and had sleeves of tattoos. He was wearing a beanie and when my music was soft I could hear his. I ran next to him for the next 3.5 miles. I must have been super annoying but I knew if I didn’t give myself a goal like staying with someone that I would just sputter out and be done.

I started out with a long sleeve tee and took that off around mile 3 and had to carry it with me until mile 9 when I think I saw Mr. R and tossed it at him. I was so upset with myself at the time I couldn’t believe what I was doing. I felt like my paces were so far off and I was just having a horrible day. Finally mile 10 and 11 passed. This was when I knew it was almost over. I knew it was soon going to be done so that gave me a little bit of hope. I was still running with tattoo man and then I saw Charlie Pro. Without him I would of been a complete meltdown.

He ran with me (after finishing second in the 5k for his age group running 18 something. Crazy! I know) and told me that I was looking great. His friend Kevin got me all the water I needed and kept me right on pace. They told me when to kick before the finish and told me to be strong and steady. Keep the even pace. The balls of my feet were just killing me and I just wanted the race to be over. I hadn’t seen anyone I knew besides Mr. R at Mile 9 and I was so, so grumpy. Charlie and Kevin helped me get to the finish line and I seriously owe everything to them. I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch. 1:45:58. Sweet, I had done it.

Then I checked the times later online at home. The website said 1:46:00. I literally started bawling. I felt like after all that, could I really hit 1:46:00 on the dot? Seriously website. I am disappointed in you. Other than that! Gosh, I feel like that was such a rant and I’m sorry. Not every race is going to be great and I am glad that I of course finished the race. I am incredibly sore today, and still in a glum mood about the race. I watched so many of the finishers in the marathon and I did get a little bit excited because I know soon that I will be able to say that I also have ran a marathon.

My cousin and I after the race.
I hate you Surf City.

I’m taking today off and going to try to go for a little jog tomorrow to see how my body feels. I’ll probably cry about the race once more and then be over it. I’m looking forward to getting my mileage up and running some fun races now for a little bit. I’m looking forward to marathon training and being able to complete a full marathon and enjoy it.

Congrats to Sara who qualified for Boston. When she crossed the finish line I almost cried. I am an emotional mess lately!

Here’s the rest of the stats from the Surf City Website.
Overall: 1005 out of 10743
Women: 248 out of 6513
F 18-24: 29 out of 536
Age/Grade: 62.12% Place: 1018
Finish: 1:46:00 Pace: 8:06
Tag Time: 1:46:00
Gun Time: 1:47:08

And on a completly unrelated and happy note, TOMORROW I’M GOING TO BE POSTING ABOUT MY GIVEAWAY! Hooray! :)


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  • Reply Jodi

    You did it, and you never quit, and that’s what matters! AND you PR’d, AGAIN. I am proud of you!
    And if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t even be running 5K’s. Thanks, Coach! ;)

    February 2, 2009 at 11:10 am
  • Reply X-Country2

    You did it! I know you time wasn’t what you wanted, but you powered through and some days that’s victory enough.

    Take some time to let it out and be disappointed, but get back on the running horse and get ready to kick butt in the coming year!

    (And I know this is little consolation, but that race skirt is way cute. :o)

    February 2, 2009 at 11:39 am
  • Reply P.O.M.

    That is such an awesome time. I wish it was more fun for both of us. There’s always the next race. At least we both PR’d. It was great to meet you!!!

    February 2, 2009 at 11:44 am
  • Reply Denise

    Aw, I’m sorry. I wasn’t nearly as upset because I did it to myself, but I still understand. Some days just are not good race days. Don’t beat yourself up, you did SO well. I would be so happy with your time. Oh, cute medal! Much better than NO.

    February 2, 2009 at 12:01 pm
  • Reply d.a.r.

    You finished! You wanted to quit, but you finished. I think that says more than your time :) I am so proud of you that, is so awesome.

    Let yourself be disappointed and recharge as you have time.

    Oh, and cuuuuttteee skirt!

    February 2, 2009 at 12:03 pm
  • Reply Hi! I'm Erin

    Amazing how a number on a website can affect us, isn’t it? I felt that way after the past two 10Ks I ran.

    You’re still an inspiration to those of us who hope to finish a half-marathon in 2:30!

    February 2, 2009 at 12:05 pm
  • Reply Candice

    Congratulations on your PR! That is awesome! I’m so sorry that it wasn’t the greatest of runs for you. It always sucks to have those kind of days. But as runners we know they’re inevitable..and the important part is that you didn’t quit. You pushed through even when it hurt, and to me that’s even more admirable than just having a great race.

    I had a 10 mile training run on Saturday, and I thought of you as inspiration during it. It was HORRIBLE. Every part of my body hurt by mile 6, and if it was based solely on that run I would quit my running career right now and never look back. I thought of you during it and it encouraged me to think of you at the half. So thanks for that!

    And here’s to getting back out there and kicking butt on the next go ’round! Congrats again!

    February 2, 2009 at 12:18 pm
  • Reply Spike

    It sounds like you had a good race. I have learned more from races where I struggle, lost hope, lost focus, and hurt, than from races where I felt great and earned a pr. Now you know, and your body knows, that you can persevere through any race. Often, time is the least important thing we take home from a race.

    February 2, 2009 at 12:21 pm
  • Reply Brandi

    Girl you still did great! Don’t let it get you down! You finished!!! Some would have just given up and let their head do all the ‘running’, not their body! Way to stick with it!!

    February 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm
  • Reply Run Mommy

    I think your finish time and pace are excellent. I know it is upsetting when we don’t reach our “head” goal but you are a great runner so hang your hat on that. :)

    February 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm
  • Reply aron

    oh danica, i know these races and it sucks that those emotions and disappointments overshadow and AMAZING race and PR!!! you did awesome! 1:46 is such a great time and you should be very proud of yourself. you stuck to it and kept running even when you did want to quit. you are an amazing runner! get another cry out and move on, you have big things ahead of you :) congrats again!

    February 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm
  • Reply Mojito Maven

    I know that I have ZERO running experience, but even on your worst day you are still an inspiration to me! That being said, i’m sorry the race was not what you wanted it to be! *HUGS*

    February 2, 2009 at 12:30 pm
  • Reply kristen

    I DREAM of a 1:45 HM like that. You have nothing to feel bad about. You totally rocked that course. If it were easy – everyone would do it, right?! Way to stick with it. That is an acomplishment in itself – your an inspiration to me!!

    February 2, 2009 at 12:32 pm
  • Reply D10

    Despite all of your feelings and pain, you ran great! Way to PR. You stayed mentally tough and sometimes the race isn’t all about speed. Well done. There are more and better races ahead!

    February 2, 2009 at 12:33 pm
  • Reply Tania

    I hate those days when I’m just feeling sluggish, even though I’m running at the same pace. You are one to look up to, though! I can only wish I finished a race like that in the time you did it! You did great!

    February 2, 2009 at 12:40 pm
  • Reply LyndsAU

    girl you are an inpsiration to us all. not giving up is so important!! I am proud of you and I have to say I am quite impressed. Don’t be so hard on yoruself. You did great :)

    February 2, 2009 at 1:03 pm
  • Reply Kelly

    Mentally, you may have been a wreck, but from where I stand, it looks like your time (and AG place) was great. Congrats on finishing!

    February 2, 2009 at 1:04 pm
  • Reply J

    You did well – i know the feeling, I felt similar Sunday after my track meet! You ran a great race – keep your head up, you are a great runner!

    February 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm
  • Reply Brown Eyed Girl

    Sorry it didn’t go as good as you wanted but you pushed through it! I am so pumped to go running tonight after reading your post. You are so inspiring!!

    February 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm
  • Reply Emily

    Wow, you ran an amazing race despite the mental letdowns you were having. I think that is sweet! Imagine what will happen on a day that those mind-F issues aren’t happening. I’m proud of you.

    February 2, 2009 at 1:17 pm
  • Reply Amy

    Sorry that you struggled so much during the race… but, it’s awesome that you stuck with it and PRed! In a few days when you put it all into perspective, I’m sure you’ll learn a lot from this race and be really proud of your perservance!

    February 2, 2009 at 1:20 pm
  • Reply Tom Ritchie

    Nice job. You were able to finish even though you didn’t feel great. Sometimes you just have to stay course and the bad feeling will go away. Just think of all the people who don’t run and never experience fatigue or pain. I think they are missing out. When we are able to overcome and work through the pain and finish, we become stronger runners. Way to go! I like those surf board medals too.

    February 2, 2009 at 1:27 pm
  • Reply Kim

    You poor thing. I hope you’re feeling better. You did an AWESOME Job! Some days we have it. Some days we don’t.

    Just for the record…if I ran this half marathon in the time you did-I would be a SUPERSTAR! YOU ARE A SUPERSTAR girl! I could only DREAM of a time like that.

    You are awesome. You ran 13.1 miles. Enjoy that.

    February 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm
  • Reply Shorty

    I think you did an amazing job! Give yourself room to look at what you can do to improve if that’s what you feel is necessary, but don’t knock your results. You did great!

    I’m still aspiring to get even a tiny bit close to the results you are yielding. I’ve got a long way to go…I’m a total novice runner, haven’t invested in a running log like you’ve recommended, and can barely get myself motivated to run farther than a mile at a time. I had improved my run time to 9:45 a mile before the holidays, but I’m back up to 10:40 now…yuck!

    So, back to my original point… you rock!!!

    February 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm
  • Reply Ulyana

    That’s the time of my perfect half-marathon! Very inspiring to see you push through the end. I had a couple of marathons where I walked after a certain point. It is incredibly disappointing to spend a lot of time and effort into something you love and then it all to seemingly go to waster because of how weird that one day the race falls on. But then after some time, you look back and you appreciate even the worst-est races of all. They are there to make us stronger. Your next one is definitely going to blow your mind!

    February 2, 2009 at 1:33 pm
  • Reply sara

    awww, Danica, i wish i had known yesterday so i could have found you and given you a hug. i’m sure you know this already but some races (even if they are PRs) are just huge bummers for one reason or another. your experience reminded me of more than one race i’ve had in the past few months. i’m so proud of you for sticking with it and not quitting. a lot of people would have given up and started walking if they were going through all that.

    you looked great out there running and you were a big motivator for me on the course–i got excited whenever i heard you yell out my name. seriously, when i saw you running i had no idea you were going through so much!

    congratulations on the PR, 1:46 is an awesome time and you’re in great shape heading into your marathon training. i know it’s not much consolation, but think about it this way: if you ran a 1:46 feeling bad, think about how well you’ll run when you’re feeling awesome.

    hugs again … you rock!

    February 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm
  • Reply Burger

    Wow – didn’t know you had such a bad time out there. When I saw your time, I was initially so happy for ya. Still, I say better to have a crappy day + a good finish time rather than a crappy day + a crappy time.

    You hung in there which shows a lot about your mental toughness and resolve, which you will need for the marathon. Charlie is indeed awesome but it was definitely your legs that carried you through to the finish.

    Great job out there Danica and great seeing you again. I’m proud of ya…see you out in the trails!

    ps- I need to buy you sleeves! No more long sleeve shirts that you need to figure out what to do with halfway through a race.

    February 2, 2009 at 1:56 pm
  • Reply Marcy

    LOL you’re so cute! You did fantastic chica! Forget the couple seconds. I bet next time you’ll lop off a couple more minutes off that baby ;-)

    February 2, 2009 at 2:22 pm
  • Reply Kevin

    Wow, after having read your post I was totally not expecting that you put up such a good time. Way to hang in there.

    February 2, 2009 at 2:26 pm
  • Reply Heather

    I think there will always be races like that – but way to finish and a snag a great time! It’s good to let yourself cry it out and then focus on the next thing!

    February 2, 2009 at 2:31 pm
  • Reply Julie

    You finished, and that is what counts! Some days races (or just training runs) suck for no reason in particular. And you’ll find it happens moreso as you get into higher mileage marathon training. Some days you can do an 18 or 20 miler and feel awesome afterwards, then the next weekend go out for a 6 miler and want to shoot yourself. Take the good with the bad, it’s all part of the experience.

    February 2, 2009 at 2:42 pm
  • Reply Vandy-Montana

    You should be happy you finished and you were strong enough to will yourself! So many people would have given up. I have no doubt you’ll be able to smash a marathon!

    February 2, 2009 at 2:59 pm
  • Reply Eric

    thanks for stopping by and congratulations on your race


    February 2, 2009 at 3:04 pm
  • Reply kilax

    Sometimes… you just have an off day! At least you stuck with it and finished. You should be proud of yourself! I’m proud of you. I think your time is awesome.

    Is there anything you learned from this one that will make the next one better?

    Now it’s time to look forward to some fun races!

    February 2, 2009 at 3:30 pm
  • Reply Borsch

    Congrats on the finish. I hope the next race is more fun!

    February 2, 2009 at 3:33 pm
  • Reply Marathon Maritza

    Oh D, I don’t even know what to say to you, because you know what? You’re upset about this race, and in my book, you kicked major bootay! You PRed, my dear!!!!!!!

    But if you aren’t happy with it, then move on, chalk it up to an off day, and use it as fuel to kick ass next time. You are seriously a speedy running and you can do anything you set your mind to. Hope the next race is a happier one! :)

    February 2, 2009 at 3:41 pm
  • Reply skinnyrunner

    awesome job chica! i cant believe you ran that fast of a time in pain! thats amazing.

    February 2, 2009 at 3:47 pm
  • Reply Matt

    That’s a freaking awesome time for a half! Woot woot!

    February 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm
  • Reply ~Mrs. Guru~

    I only felt this way once in my life. It was in high school and I was a freshman on Varsity Cross Country. We were running the Texas A&M meet with thousands of people. It was raining so hard and I was so not in the race. I was literally torn up after it. Hang in there. We all have our bad days!

    February 2, 2009 at 5:16 pm
  • Reply RunToFinish

    While I would loooove to have your time… I know exactly how you feel. I ran the Nike Women’s Half and while it was an amazing race, amazing people I had a helluva time and actually started crying the minute I crossed the finish line because I knew I didn’t make my time and because it was just so damn hard, which really ticked me off after all my training.

    Running is emotional, I don’t believe anyone who says it isn’t. Hopefully the next one will be better for us both!

    February 2, 2009 at 5:53 pm
  • Reply chia

    You weren’t feeling it, but you still pulled through! That’s phenominal chica!

    February 2, 2009 at 6:05 pm
  • Reply Marlene

    Danica, that is an incredible time! Sorry that you had a tough time but you got through it and ran a strong race. Chin up, girl!

    February 2, 2009 at 6:27 pm
  • Reply SanDiegoPJ

    Hey, came across your blog. Pretty inspiring that you stuck with it and didn’t quit. Not every race goes the way we want but every race teaches us something about ourselves or our training.

    I know I have had races that have been slower than I wanted but have found that I was able to push myself to new thresholds of physical tolerance. I’ve used that in other races when i was better trained to hit a few PRs.

    Did you stomach cramp up from nutrition? That is just one of those things that takes time but we all have a bad experience with at one point or another. Practice A LOT and find out what works best.

    Good luck with your next event!

    February 2, 2009 at 6:39 pm
  • Reply NiC

    Wow i give you tons of credit for not stopping. Once you get in a rut like that, its so hard not to quit. Ive only ran 2 1/2 marathons but i’ve felt like that during tons of 5ks. Your time was seriously awesome though. You still did really great! Give yourself some credit girl! Even though you dont think so, nice race :)

    February 2, 2009 at 7:02 pm
  • Reply Vicki T

    Bummer. I’m not the Speedy McSpeedy that you are, but I trained better than I EVER EVER trained before for the last half I did. I was hoping to beat my previous and first ever 1/2 time but a couple minutes. The day of the run was so unbelievable hot and muggy…it was a total disaster. By mile 6 I had seen 3 people taken off the course for heat problems and I knew I wasn’t making. Every mile felt never-ending. It’s a bummer and tough to move past it.

    February 2, 2009 at 7:41 pm
  • Reply Laurel

    You PRed?!?!? As I was reading this post I totally expected a different outcome. LOL. You had me fooled.

    You did great! You should be proud of yourself for toughing it out and not giving up. Awesome job!

    I’m sorry you had such a sucky time, but unfortunately, getting a half marathon PR is supposed to hurt, haha. I know, you probably want to slap me right now.

    Are you planning on running another one for a PR while you train for the marathon?

    February 2, 2009 at 9:10 pm
  • Reply joyRuN

    Aw, girl! I’m sorry the race didn’t meet your expectations, but I’m still impressed. That’s awesome time in my book.

    February 2, 2009 at 11:08 pm
  • Reply The Laminator

    Forget the time (which is in itself pretty awesome) but you finished after feeling so crappy at mile 8? Wow, for that, I’m impressed. Not many people would have persisted after that. Great job!

    If this wasn’t the race for you, try not to feel too bad about it. For every race that doesn’t go your way, count it not as a failure, but as experience. You’ll be that much smarter and stronger having gone through that. Have faith and enjoy the process. Victory is just around the corner and will be that much sweeter once you get there!

    February 3, 2009 at 4:55 am
  • Reply Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point

    what a great time overall! seriously. i know you felt bad, but you did really well! sometimes the head just gets in the way.

    February 3, 2009 at 6:44 am
  • Reply Melanie

    Hey, you made it across that line… and that’s something that really a small percentage of our population can say they’ve done. We all have our races that we feel less than pleased with… I think it helps us appreciate the really good ones even more! Way to finish!

    February 3, 2009 at 8:16 am
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