Saturday, October 11, 2008

Holy crap, I did it.

Being a crazy person who has only been running since March and has NEVER run a race, I set a time goal for my half marathon: Under 2.5 Hours.

If you're interested, my playlist picked to motivate, set on random:
Red Sweater, Aquabats
Martian Girl, Aquabats
Idiot Box, Aquabats
Playdough, Aquabats
Kyoto Now, Bad Religion
Sorrow, Bad Religion
The Longest Time, Billy Joel
Hopeless Romantic, Bouncing Souls
Monday Morning Ant Brigade, Bouncing Souls
Wish Me Well (You Can Go To Hell), Bouncing Souls
Pass The Dutchie, Buck-O-Nine
Barfly, Buck-O-Nine
Irish Drinking Song, Buck-O-Nine
Stickshifts And Safetybelts, Cake
Jesus Wrote A Blank Check, Cake
Let Me Go, Cake
I Did It for the Toys, Dance Hall Crashers
Hope, Descendents
City Of Angels, The Distillers
Boys On The Docks, Dropkick Murphys
Finnegan's Wake, Dropkick Murphys
Spicy McHaggis Jig, Dropkick Murphys
The Rocky Road To Dublin, Dropkick Murphys
What Difference Does It Make (Smiths), Face To Face
Sunny Side Of The Street (Pogues), Face To Face
Drunken Lullabies, Flogging Molly
What's Left Of The Flag, Flogging Molly
May The Living Be Dead (In Our Wake), Flogging Molly
The Kilburn High Road, Flogging Molly
Rebels Of The Sacred Heart, Flogging Molly
Swagger, Flogging Molly
Another Bag Of Bricks, Flogging Molly
The Rare Ould Times, Flogging Molly
Salty Dog, Flogging Molly
Selfish Man, Flogging Molly
Life In A Tenement Square, Flogging Molly
The Likes Of You Again, Flogging Molly
Black Friday Rule, Flogging Molly
Devil's Dance Floor, Flogging Molly
Sentimental Johnny, Flogging Molly
Bandages, Hot Hot Heat
Bleed American, Jimmy Eat World
The Middle, Jimmy Eat World
Sweetness, Jimmy Eat World
Jen, Jimmy Eat World
Less Teeth, More Tits, Lunachicks
Papas, Mr Loco
I'm a Dick, The Muffs
Courtney, Nerf Herder
Lamer Than Lame, Nerf Herder
Pervert, Nerf Herder
Golfshirt, Nerf Herder
Please Play This Song On The Radio, NOFX
Want You Bad, The Offspring
We Close Our Eyes, Oingo Boingo
Not My Slave, Oingo Boingo
No One Lives Forever (1988 Boingo Alive Version), Oingo Boingo
Grey Matter, Oingo Boingo
Super Orgy Porno Party, The Planet Smashers
Hungry Like The Wolf, Reel Big Fish
Take On Me, Reel Big Fish
Vegan Song, Reel Big Fish
You've Got What It Takes, Steve Lucky & Rhumba Bums
Code Blue, T.S.O.L.
American Girl, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Romper Stomper, Transplants
California Babylon, Transplants
The Band Geek Mafia, Voodoo Glow Skulls
El Mas Chingon, Voodoo Glow Skulls
Beverly Hills, Weezer
Perfect Situation, Weezer
Buddy Holly, Weezer

Crazy Playlist. Almost 4 hours. Just in case I died halfway through? I have no idea. Enough about that... on to the race recap:

I read in the race info that traffic from the freeway would be a killer, so we decided to leave at 5:00 am, and I am SO glad we did. 18,000 people were racing, and one whole entrance was blocked off for the race. We sat in traffic for a long time before we finally decided to just park and walk in. No worries, I counted it as my warm up. We got there and met up with our other OC Nestie who was running the half.

Sooner rather than later, we realize that the whole start is just filled with people, so I kissed my H for luck, and we pushed our way up as far as we could into our corral, which was not very far. My poor H tried to get a photo of our start, but it was just a SEA of people! I was not expecting so many!

So, we lost D in the first mile or so because she's so fast. I was running faster than normal but feeling okay. I think I lost J before mile 2, but we all knew we would be running at different speeds so it was okay. At this point I was feeling super strong! This was so much easier than a training run, maybe because I wasn't bored out of my skull? In fact, I normally do an interval during my training: run 5 minutes, and walk 1 minute, and I was skipping my walk intervals left and right and not totally dying. Before I knew it, we were at mile 6 where my H and MIL were waiting to cheer me on, and I felt great!

I kept on running, still doing pretty well and feeling like the time was flying by. I walked when I got water or powerade at the aid stations, but other than that I pretty much ran the whole time! I was checking my splits with my handy little split wristband and was ahead of my goal (yay!) and was feeling pretty good. And then I hit mile 10 or so.

Mile 10 seemed to take forever and I don't know why, other than my hip started to ache slightly and the fatigue was setting in. I grabbed a clif shot (mocha - blech) but ate it anyway to take my mind off of running and maybe give myself a little boost. I fast forwarded to a peppy song on my ipod which only gave me a boost for about 10 seconds.

At mile marker 11 I checked my split, and I was still ahead but losing ground. I told myself I could walk for one minute on the next rest interval, but that was it if I was going to make my goal of under 2:30. Mile 11 was even harder than 10, and I literally counted my steps from 1 to 10 and then over again to keep my mind off of what I was feeling.

At mile 12 there were volunteers cheering and that gave me a little boost, but it was still one foot in front of the other. When I saw the Mile 13 marker I looked at my watch and I was still under 2:30! And then we turned the corner onto Shoreline Drive and I could see the finish!

I still don't believe the rush of energy I got when I saw the finish ahead of me! I totally sped up, was passing people, and smiling! I could feel my lungs burning, but it didn't hurt at all. I know I pushed myself way past what I thought I could do, and the pain no longer mattered. As I ran under the finish, I looked down at my Garmin and saw 2:28 and I teared up.

I really never thought finishing this half would affect me so much emotionally - I wasn't even that nervous before the race. I guess after doing it, after knowing how hard it is mentally and physically to complete a race like this, and realizing that my goal was ambitious but still reaching it, your emotions can't help but be released. The medal is great, but the accomplishment (and knowing that you don't have to run anymore) brings tears to your eyes.

We also met up with some girls from Sparkpeople:

All in all, out of 7275 half marathon runners, I finished 4134th based on my chip time. Middle of the pack baby! Not bad for my first race ever! I am still in awe, even though I am sore as a mofo today. I feel pretty freaking cool. And accomplished. And I can't wait for my next one - Surf City, here I come!!


  1. That is pretty awesome!! What a great accomplishment!

  2. Congrats! I heard from D and J that you were awesome!

  3. I found your blog via the nest and wanted to say congrats! I will be running my 1st 10k in November, so your recap was great motivation and inspiration for me.



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