Saturday, July 28, 2012

Seashore Marathon (aka Race #3 out of 12) Part I

Hi everyone!!!

I'm going to try to make this quick, because quite frankly... I AM EXHAUSTED, but I wanted to let everyone know the details of how my half marathon went today.

Friday Night

I told you I would try to take more pictures of people :)
Friday night after I left work, I drove down to my good friend Rachel's house. Rachel lives a little over a mile from the race start (in fact, I ran past her apartment 3 times during the actual race), so I figured this was the perfect place to stay. I got to her kind of late... Stupid 405 traffic... but when I arrived, we got straight to dinner (Yuuuuuum!!!)

For my "Last Supper" before the race, we decided to go to a restaurant that we had been to before called Steamed. This is an AMAZING organic, vegetarian restaurant that was built in an old house in downtown long beach. Rachel and I ate here once before a couple months ago, and I knew it was delicious.
For dinner, I decided to try their "Vegan Burrito". It had rice, beans, red onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, pesto  and guacamole. Thank GOD I did not eat the whole thing... but man was it delicious :) Of course, who could complain with such a lovely dinner companion :). I don't think she knows it yet, but we are going to have to eat here... EVERY time I come to visit her.
After dinner Rachel and I rented , "The Artist" from Redbox, and went home and watched the movie and drank some tea. Well, that lasted all of about 40 minutes. By 9:30pm I was ready to knock out, and in fact did! Rachel was kind enough to turn the movie off and let me try to sleep (she's such a good friend!!!)
I slept through until about 12:30, when I woke up for my first bathroom break. Needless to say, I was up just about every hour, on the hour, after that either having to go to the bathroom, or just from anxiety in general. I always get really nervous before a race, and I don't usually get much sleep. My alarm went off at 5:20, and I sprung into action.

Saturday Morning 

Since Rachel lives so close to the race start, I decided to walk over there and utilize the this opportunity as a warm up. Apparently, I also decided to use this time as a photo shoot opportunity. 
Look into my sleepy eyes
The best part of an early race, is the sun rise :)
The excitement and joy... before the torture 

Ok... I had WAY too much fun!!!
 "I'm so vain, I bet I think this blog is about me..." It's amazing what one girl will do at 5:45am in the freezing cold on her way to a beach run. If you look real hard, you can see the bike path that I ran on in the distance!

The race I ran today was put on by a company called Rocket Racing Productions. They create much smaller venues, so that runners, like my self, can pay LESS to do the thing we love to do :) There were no time chips, no official "starting line" and the path was not exactly clearly marked. However, they still put on a GREAT race!

The track started with a three mile loop (1.5miles out and back) and then ran into a 7 mile loop (3.5 miles out and back). Then It turned back in to complete another 3 mile loop until you hit the finish line.

I started the first three mile loop feeling pretty strong. I wasn't cold, I had some pretty good energy and I was ready to rock this race. There were only about 40 participants in the race in total, so it was difficult to find someone to try and pace with (aka my target). I started out pretty strong. In fact, I was worried that I may have started too quickly and was going to burn out towards the end. I finished the 3 mile loop in what felt like NOTHING. 

I had two targets at this point. One was an older woman who was running directly in front of me for quite some time, and a woman my age who was pacing right behind me for most of the race. We we passed the aid station at the 3 mile mark the older woman stopped for water and I ended up passing her. But the younger woman managed to pass me up and made her headway. I COULD NOT CATCH UP WITH HER. 

I paced her for quite some time, but always managed to be a couple yards behind her. The first 3.5 miles of that 7 mile stretch were BRUTAL. There wasn't a lot of racers near me, The sun began beating on my back, and overall I just started to feel over it. To be honest, I thought it was going to be the end of me. The only thing that kept me going was finding all the other racers and giving them words of encouragement, and high fives, as we passed each other. By the time I made it to the turnaround point I had somehow passed the girl I had been tailing. 

This was exactly the confidence boost I needed! Shortly after that I popped my first Shot blok and drank some water to refuel. The only problem with this 3.5 mile stretch of the race.. was that we were running directly into the sun. After a couple minutes... I also realized I never put any sunscreen on this morning (Bad Christina, Baaaad!!!). Even with the sun blinding me, I made it through the next 3.5 miles pretty smoothly and began my last 3 mile loop. I was giving as many thumbs ups, "You got this" and "You're almost there"s that I had pushed myself. 

Before I knew it... I was at the finish line, and much sooner than I ever could have imagined. I finished the race at 1:51:59 seconds. To be honest... I am convinced that it was not the appropriate mileage for the race. But, Either way, I finished it, and I took the 3rd place spot for the female participants (saaaaay whaaaat!?!?!). I felt absolutely comfortable at the end of it. I felt like I could run a few more miles!!! This is a much different feeling than when I finished the Disneyland Tinker Bell Half Marathon in January. i believe my exact thought was... "There is NO way I could go any further". At the end of this race I thought... "Man, I am ready to start training for my first Marathon"!

I'll share the rest of my day with you guys tomorrow... Right now, It's time to pass out!!!! (zzzZZZZzzz)

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