Saturday, January 31, 2009

Another 13.1 in Surf City

This was not a race I "trained for" exactly, but I have still been running reasonably long distances once a week... and I really want my CA Dreamin' Medal. Therefore, there was no way I was dropping out!

However, this was not a fun race. I was VERY disappointed by the coordination. Because we were stuck in so much traffic at Long Beach, and I knew the other races had an earlier start than the half, I decided to park in a designated parking lot fairly far from the start. I thought it would easy in and easy out, and there were shuttle buses, so no problem, right? Wrong. When we parked, we realized the line for the shuttle was about 200 people long. And a shuttle had not come for a while. We stood in line about 10 minutes, and realized there were no shuttles coming, so I had to hoof it almost two miles further to get to the start of my race. And also because of the lack of freebies at the expo the day before (economy? or two many tourists in HB?) I as not in the best of moods.

Anyway, as usual, I live my life to a soundtrack, and my playlist was again carefully selected.

While the race was about to start, I stretched and I listened to:

Stickshifts And Safetybelts by Cake
The Longest Time by Billy Joel
Papas by Mr Loco
Jesus Wrote A Blank Check by Cake
You've Got What It Takes by Steve Lucky & Rhumba Bums

So the race began, and I was not feeling as strong as I could have. Or as I did during long Beach. It was a little nerve wracking, but I remember from my most recent training runs, that I actually end up feeling better after a few miles, so I was looking forward to that.

The Likes Of You Again by Flogging Molly
Less Teeth, More Tits by Lunachicks
I'm a Dick by The Muffs
Sorrow by Bad Religion
What's Left Of The Flag by Flogging Molly
Finnegan's Wake by Dropkick Murphys
Hopeless Romantic by Bouncing Souls

By mile three, I realized that the electrolyte drink might not be as strong as powerade, which made me hope that it would still give me some carbs because I didn't have anything else on me (no freebies at the expo, remember?).

Selfish Man by Flogging Molly
Please Play This Song On The Radio by NOFX
Want You Bad by The Offspring
The Kilburn High Road by Flogging Molly
We Close Our Eyes by Oingo Boingo
Wish Me Well (You Can Go To Hell) by Bouncing Souls
Perfect Situation by Weezer
Black Friday Rule by Flogging Molly
Not My Slave by Oingo Boingo
Golfshirt by Nerf Herder
Monday Morning Ant Brigade by Bouncing Souls
Buddy Holly by Weezer
Boys On The Docks by Dropkick Murphys

Mile 5 Brought:

American Girl by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
Beverly Hills by Weezer
Swagger by Flogging Molly
Red Sweater by Aquabats

By this time, I had a little mini-mental breakdown. For some reason, I thought I was a little over halfway through. Don;t really know why, but it may have been because the really inspiring songs were now making their way to my ears. But the next mile marker I saw... was 6. Whaaaa?

What Difference Does It Make (Smiths) by Face To Face
Vegan Song by Reel Big Fish
Drunken Lullabies by Flogging Molly
El Mas Chingon by Voodoo Glow Skulls
Playdough by Aquabats
The Middle by Jimmy Eat World
May The Living Be Dead (In Our Wake) by Flogging Molly
The Band Geek Mafia by Voodoo Glow Skulls
Salty Dog by Flogging Molly
The Rocky Road To Dublin by Dropkick Murphys
Idiot Box by Aquabats
Sentimental Johnny by Flogging Molly
Bleed American by Jimmy Eat World
Courtney by Nerf Herder

Right about now is where we turned around by Bolsa Chica State Beach. All I could think was at least I was over halfway there.

Devil's Dance Floor by Flogging Molly
Lamer Than Lame by Nerf Herder
Jen by Jimmy Eat World
Romper Stomper by Transplants
Pervert by Nerf Herder
Hungry Like The Wolf by Reel Big Fish
No One Lives Forever (1988 Boingo Alive Version) by Oingo Boingo
Barfly by Buck-O-Nine

At this point I was at about 10 miles. Which meant three more. It's only a 5K, right? UGH Thank god for Hot Hot Heat.

Bandages by Hot Hot Heat
Spaceman by The Killers
Take On Me by Reel Big Fish
Martian Girl by Aquabats
Irish Drinking Song by Buck-O-Nine

Two more miles. I needed to walk some more. I needed to conserve my energy lest I get yelled at by H for walking. Considering he does not have a bike, I figured I was at least a 1-1.5 miles away from seeing him. I rewound to Hot Hot Heat and kept repeating until about halfway through the 12th mile, where I saw my husband. He gave me a high five and I thought I could see the finish. I figured I had enough pep in me to make it through without Hot Hot Heat for like the 5th time, and I finished the race listening to the Killers.

And I got shafted... again. I'm tired, I'm hungry. There were no Gu people or cliff shot people or even Powerade people along the course. I'm just drained, and I need something. Anything. I got a glass of the watered down crap they were handing out the whole race, and now I'm looking for a bagel or banana. Or candy bar - at this point, I just don't care. Nothing. I see bags of stuff being handed out on the marathon finishers side - I can see joint juice, bananas, and shot bloks through the plastic. But the marathon side is behind a big orange fence, and I can't get to it. I saw nothing on the half marathon side. I guess if there were only enough for 1/2 the runners, the full marathoners should get them, but seriously - I am HUNGRY and my legs are cramping cramping. I need something. But there was nothing to be found. So I wandered around for another 10 minutes just to keep my legs from stiffening into a exertion induced rigor mortis, if for no other reason.

Hope by Descendents
City Of Angels by The Distillers
The Rare Ould Times by Flogging Molly

When I got to H, thank GOD he grabbed a couple tangerines for me, or I would have had nothing. At this point, I am pissed off and cranky, in pain and thoroughly done with the whole thing. I didn't even stick around for the post race beer. Fuck this place, I have had enough. So we start walking towards where we thought the shuttles were picking up, about another 1/2 mile down the road, and get there, and nothing. Turns out we have to walk inland a block, and then another 1/3 of a mile back. Thanks for posting a sign. And so much for only having to do 13.1 today.

Considering all the issues, I think I should count myself lucky to have even gotten my medal. I keep telling myself that I'm glad this was not my first half experience, but then I would have had nothing to compare it to, so maybe it wouldn't have mattered. In the end, my time was 2:47:37 - almost a full 20 minutes over my PR. Here's to hoping I can keep my training more consistent, and that SF is a little better organized.


  1. I am sorry you had less than a positive experience : /
    I was looking for you, but didnt see you in the sea of 1/2ers.

    I am very happy to hear you are doing SF. I think I convinced H to do the 1/2 with me there!

  2. Poorly organized events bug the hell out of me. But YAY to you for finishing!

  3. Ditto most of what you said. This wasn't a happy race for me either, but we finished! =)

  4. Ok - that race just sounds AWFUL. Ugh! I'm so sorry that it was such a crap experience. I can't believe they didn't have ample food and drink along the course - what a rip off. I feel worse now for not running it with you. I'll be with you on the next though.


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