Surf City Half Marathon Recap
Happy Wednesday friends! We’re to the middle of the week already – that happened fast!
Today I have my first workout since the Surf City Half Marathon this weekend so I thought it was about time for a race recap. As I mentioned last week I had some pretty exciting goals going into this half. I thought I was capable of a PR and even thought that a sub-1:18 was possible on a good day. Last year either of those times would have got me to my third goal for the day – to win, because the winning time last year was 1:22:23. However, there was a much stronger elite field this year and there were 5 women under last year’s winning time! I came in 3rd place with a 1:19:06 and my second fastest half marathon time. I was disappointed at first because I really did think I had a PR in me but I learned a few things:
1) A few good weeks of runs and workouts don’t necessarily mean you’re ready to run a PR.
2) When you’re running your first half of the season go out conservatively, not aggressive.
So let’s jump back to the beginning of race day and get this race recap going. As always it’s a long one so make sure you have a coffee, tea or snack to get you through 😉
Henri and I were up early, I got dressed, finished getting my and Liv’s stuff ready and made my breakfast & coffee while Henri got the stroller and bags loaded into the car and woke up and dressed Liv. We were on the road to Huntington by 5:45 and after a little rerouting because of parking lot closures were parked at 6:45am. We hung out in the car until 7 when I started my warm-up and Henri and Liv jogged to the starting line too (we parked 1.5 miles away).
It was one of those days when my legs felt super heavy on the warm-up and I was just praying that once the race got going they would feel fresher. I found Henri and Liv after my jog, did some drills, changed my shoes, gave them kisses and headed to the starting line for strides.
Before I knew it we were off, I decided to go hard from the gun to try and shock my legs into feeling good and it seemed to work for the first little bit. For the first 5K I was moving and grooving and felt really strong!
5:43 // 5:50 // 5:44
Then after mile 3 we turned right off of PCH and started a 3ish mile loop up into a hilly neighborhood, I was still feeling good and we had caught up to the marathoners (who went off an hour, 15 mins before us) so there were a lot of people cheering us on. The hills slowed us down a little but I maintained my effort and stayed relatively close to goal pace, which was 5:55-6:00.
6:01 // 5:54 // 6:03
Right after mile 6 we had completed the hilly loop and turned back onto PCH, heading away from the start/finish line. A gal I’ve run against often passed me right around this point and she was flying! I’m really proud of how I reacted to being passed, Lauren from a few years ago would have given up and slowed down, but I choose to try and maintain contact and continue running my race. I was still hitting my goal pace so I was happy with that and was able to maintain close contact through the turn around point and to mile 9.
5:47 // 6:02 // 6:02
At this point I was trying to push the pace and catch up to the leader but every time I did I got these stabbing cramps in my abdomen, really similar to how I felt the last little bit of the LA Rock N Roll Half in October. From how they felt during the race and after I’m pretty sure it was related to my ovarian cysts – my doctor told me that it’s likely to affect me around the same time of month each cycle and unfortunately that fell on race weekend. I felt a little nauseated and the cramps came and went and frequently took my breath away. I wasn’t feeling my best and actually considered stopping during one particularly painful cramp but then I remembered something from a recent episode of the I’ll Have Another Podcast – the host Lindsey said something along the lines of “why am I willing to push myself in practice but not in a race”. I didn’t want that to be me, I knew my health wasn’t in danger so I kept running and did the best that I could do on the given day.
6:17 // 6:32
Right around the mile 11 marker another women passed me for second place. I latched onto her and let her pull me along for the last 2 miles, her passing me gave me a bit of a second wind and was the shot of motivation that I needed – there was no way I wasn’t going to “podium”.
6:05 // 6:04 pace (for the last 1.1)
Total time of 1:19:06 and my second fastest half ever.
Now, I finished not feeling too happy about my race. I spent some time talking to Henri and my coach about it and they both reassured me that on the training I’ve done so far (only 4 weeks of focused workouts) this is a really encouraging result. I’m nowhere near my tip-top shape and things are only going to go up from here! Plus, I gained some valuable racing experience and pushed through on various occasions to keep going when the going got tough and that is a reminder that I constantly need.
I was joking with Henri on our drive to brunch afterwards that my last 3 half marathons have been horrible races that resulted in good times. He asked me what I meant and I just stressed how much of a positive split I’ve run in each of the races and how I felt absolutely horrible at the end of each race because I hadn’t executed a good race plan – ie. I’ve been going out way too fast. I love the half marathon but man is it painful! I’m looking forward to some more focused training and hope to finally conquer the distance later this season!
We can’t always run PRs (as I learned at the Santa Monica Classic 10K last September) but that doesn’t mean we aren’t moving in the right direction! We can recover from a “failed race” and still go on to hit all of our goals! So, if you’ve had an off race recently don’t be discouraged – you can still reach whatever goal it is that you have!
And you should definitely still celebrate your accomplishment with BRUNCH! That was Liv’s favorite part of the day at least 😉
Oh! And one more thing… it’s always so nice to see my coach when he comes out to cheer and I loved getting to meet Marie and Karina (not pictured) for the first time after meeting via Insta. Great race today ladies – can’t wait to continue following your running journeys.
Thanks for reading and for all of the congratulations on Instagram this weekend, it means the world to me that you are cheering me on.