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2012 Surf City Half Marathon Race Report

So this race went much better than I had initially planned. I had a pretty rough race the other weekend at the 13.1. I just wasn’t clicking and I felt like a Clydesdale out there. I went to bed early on Saturday after having a light dinner to try to make sure my stomach would be invincible on race morning. I parking in my secret Surf City parking spot, and for the fourth year in a row, it worked out magically. Warm parking garage, no one around, about .25 miles from the start… Doesn’t get much better. I was on the fence about wearing my Team Sparkle skirt, but in the end opted for wearing it again. It is not that I didn’t like the skirt, it’s just that I had a bad experience in the last race when I wore the skirt.

The weather was nice, it did get a little warm, but it was nice. I met up with Billy and we walked to the start line together. I was a little nervous that I needed to use the portapottie, but I did not allow enough time and thought I would be fine. I was still pretty sore from the Friday morning workout with Shea, but knew I would be using different muscles than those so I kept reminding myself that I would be fine. Billy and I said our goodbyes when I left him in the front corrals and I traveled into the back of the corrals. Not too far back, I should have gone back farther but oh well.

I never noticed the guy in the background of this picture is actually making like a funny face. Anyways, the race started and it was pretty uneventful. The first few miles ticked by and I kept telling myself to Relax. Relax. Relax Danica. Relax. Yes, I talk to myself while I run. Relax. Mile three came around and things were clicking. I had passed one section of bathrooms, and thought about going. I passed another one and took a quick break and went really fast. I’m glad I did because I drank a lot of water before the race. I had good music, my legs felt good and I checked down at my garmin and I was going somewhat fast. I figured I would try to keep running hard for as long as I could. I ran hard up the first uphill and took some sharkies at mile 5. I haven’t eaten on a run in a long time, and I tried to hydrate as well and drank a little cup of water at every other water station.

Mile 6, mile 7, I kept telling myself to relax. I started to do math in my head, which is a TERRIBLE idea since I’m absolutely horrible at math and realized if I worked hard I would be able to come in sub 2 hours. I knew most of my miles were under 9 minute miles and I was trying hard to keep that pace. Mile 8 and Mile 9 were good and right at mile 10 there were two small slight uphills. I don’t know why, perhaps it’s the fact that I never run any hills, but they really were tough for me and I could totally feel it in my quads. Finally I reached the peak of the hill and knew it was only a few miles left and I really had to push to get to the finish. I kept reminding myself the race was almost over and that I just needed to relax. Pull it together and just relax. At mile 10 I knew it was in reach and I just had to work the last 3 miles. Mile 11 came and I was getting tired. The bottom of my feet hurt and my hip was hurting a lot. FINALLY mile 12. This mile you are pretty much surrounded by spectators leading to the finish. The finish chute was much smaller than I remembered in the past. It seemed like the spectators gathered closer to the runners this year.

Mile 12 was where I really pushed hard. I was hurting but I knew it would be about another 8 minutes and I would be done. I just focused on the finish and being done! I finished right where I expected to be, and boy was I happy to have the 1 back in front of my finishing time. Be gone 2 something something!

I checked my official time later and I actually came in at 1:58:58. I totally could tell that in the middle I picked up the pace a lot and that’s where I was feeling good and things were clicking.

I was so glad that this race went much better than the race that kicked off 2012. I still was quite a ways off the PR, but I will take a sub two any day of the week. After the race I did feel pretty terrible. My stomach was pretty upset with me and I have been having terrible hip pain but I have been stretching and trying to ice it. It seems to be that it just needs to be popped. So strange.

Alas, a good race, and now I have happy feelings towards my Team Sparkle Skirt. :)

It was a lovely day and a good race experience as well! Hooray for not totally dying out there and running hard.


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  • Reply Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    Congrats on the sub-2! It did get a bit warm out there… you picked a good outfit for that, though!

    February 6, 2012 at 11:54 am
  • Reply Casey

    Well done, Danica! Congrats on your sub 2 finish. You look super cute in your Team Sparkle skirt, too.

    February 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm
  • Reply Danielle @daniruns

    Woo hoo! Good job! I wanted to run this race but got such mixed reviews about it from others. I did the HB 10-miler derby run this year but opted out of Surf City half. Maybe next time. Glad this race went well, you rocked that skirt and congrats on sub 2!!

    February 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm
  • Reply Erin

    Nice job! Funny how things can change from race to race.

    I’ve been battling on and off hip pain for about a year. Turns out I have a tear in the cartilage of my hip. Many times it also feels like it needs to pop but nothing happens except it feels like it’s being pinched. I hope you figure out what’s up with your hip soon!

    February 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm
  • Reply AmyC

    Awesome race! My next half is in two weeks and I would love to be under 2. Maybe I need to get a skirt? =)
    Way to go!

    February 6, 2012 at 1:04 pm
  • Reply Kristy

    So sad I missed you, stupid cell service!! Whats funny is Penny and I both had stomach issues after the race too. I have never felt so nauseous after race like I did this weekend. I’m just now starting to eat =(

    Congrats on you sub 2 Speedy!

    February 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm
  • Reply Belinda M.

    Congrats on the successful race! I ran a 5 mile race this weekend. I didn’t have any expectations but to finish. Sadly my garmin died so I don’t know my splits. But I finished in 55:58. It was my first 5 mile race. And in my book finishing is always a success! :) I even ran about 3 extra miles pre-race to stick to my current half marathon training plan.

    February 6, 2012 at 1:30 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    Yay! Great job — way to push yourself :)

    February 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm
  • Reply Leandra

    Cute skirt! I’m running my first half this April and I’m super impressed with your time. Also always tell myself to relax when I run too, it helps me breath.

    February 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm
  • Reply Stuart

    Look at you go, not 6 weeks into the year and race #2 done!

    Nice job on pulling it together after 13.1!

    February 6, 2012 at 2:16 pm
  • Reply Shannon

    Great job, chica!

    February 6, 2012 at 2:50 pm
  • Reply SkinnyRunner

    congrats on a good race, a strong start to 2012 and most importantly, looking cute doing it!

    February 6, 2012 at 2:51 pm
  • Reply Allison

    I did the race too, and I’d never noticed those hills on PCH before! I couldn’t wait for them to be done. I forgot my Garmin at home so I was freaking out for part, ok most, of the race, but beat my old PR by 5 minutes, so I was happy. I still like the Long Beach half better, maybe it’s because I do all of my running on the Alamitos beach path. Also, saw your My Fair Wedding episode the other day and it was a beautiful wedding. David didn’t make fun of any of the stuff you had gathered, that’s a first! (I promise I’m not a stalker!!)

    February 6, 2012 at 5:52 pm
  • Reply Kelly

    Yay! Glad you had a good race after 13.1 a few weeks ago.

    February 7, 2012 at 9:51 am
  • Reply Billy

    Great job and great seeing ya again Danica!

    February 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm
  • Reply Sokphal

    I did this race last year and LOVED it! Wish I could fly out to CA every year for it, there’s nothing like running along the coast. :) Plus, it’s one of the coolest medals I have. Great job on the run!

    February 8, 2012 at 9:07 am
  • Reply nicole

    nice work rockstar! i’m going to copy you and get the team sparkle skirt!!!! :) just gotta pick my color!

    February 8, 2012 at 5:51 pm
  • Reply Sarah B

    Way to go…under 2. The weather was great and I have done this one for years but being that I am out of shape, those “slight hills” killed me…lol. You are a much bigger person then me, after I got to the top I said screw it and walked. Congrats.

    February 9, 2012 at 9:15 am
  • Reply Nicholas

    Great job! I ran it too! Just didn’t finish as fast :D

    February 16, 2012 at 6:06 pm
  • Reply RaceGrader

    We’d love to have your race reports on! Thanks!!

    June 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm
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