the oc half. [race recap].

9 May

This is one of my favorite races I’ve done. A bunch of different factors converged to make Sunday a great race.

My best friend Whitney had signed up too – and this was her very first 13.1, so it made this weekend that much more exciting. We drove down on Saturday morning and quickly went to the Expo. While I loved this race, I did not love the expo. It was pretty crowded, we didn’t get goody bags of any kind, and the shirts were okay. The standard number of vendors were there, but it just wasn’t awesome. Surf City had a much more fun expo.

We checked in at the Newport Beach Marriott which I loved. We were directly in front of the start line and it just made everything about the weekend easy. The fact that they accidentally booked us in a room on the 15th floor with a panoramic view of the ocean didn’t hurt either. Pro Tip: save the hassle (and money) of parking at the hotel by parking for free across the street at Fashion Island.

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We set our alarms for 4:50 for a 6:15 gun time. I had my usual pre-race instant coffee (Starbucks’ VIA packets really aren’t terrible) and 2/3 of a Clif Bar.

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We met up with some of Whitney’s colleagues in the lobby and our friend Hannes from HS got dropped off by a cab. Around 6 am we walked across the street for the start. Hannes and I were in Corral 1. On our way there, we saw our former cross country coach, Christina Lightfoot, who crushed the half in a time of 1:29.

The race start was pretty seamless. The race director made some mildly offensive disparaging comment about LA, but redeemed himself by offering a moment of silence for the victims of the Boston Marathon. The horn sounded and we were off.

I immediately had a lot of problems with my SPI-belt. It wouldn’t sit right and my iPhone was in it, and it kept flapping and bugging me. The first 3 miles were pretty much filled with me thinking about how annoyed I was and trying to fix it. The first mile had a  little bit of a hill, and then major downhill to get to PCH. The weather and views of the homes and the water were really gorgeous. Finally around mile 3 I took my iPhone out of the belt and held it.

Also in mile 3 or 4, a friend from Loyola, Danielle, caught up to me. We ended up running probably 4-5  miles together, and chatted. It was a great way to pass the time, and since she is from Newport she knew when the hills were coming up. I ended up pulling away from her a little, but she finished just a few seconds behind me.

Danielle and me.

Danielle and me.

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My race photos are somewhat of a monstrosity. My pronation has never looked worse.

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Yeah, no.

I took 3 shot blocks around 40 min and a gel when I passed the gel station (mile 9?). I normally only fuel once but I think having something twice helped me. Whitney’s cheering section were at miles 7 and 11, but unfortunately I didn’t get to see them.

The beautiful views though and relatively mild terrain made the miles go by pretty fast. I wasn’t really focused on my time – I wanted to try and keep all of my miles under 8 minutes, and to maintain a relatively even pace. I knew trying to beat my PR of 1:38:55 would be a long shot, so I just tried to maintain a relatively steady pace.

One of my law school best friends, Blake, was volunteering with the race, and had told me he was stationed between miles 11 and 16 of the full marathon. The half/full split was at mile 12. He said he’d be at Mile 12 unless he had to go pick someone up or attend to something in a different part of the course. As I turned the corner to see the split, Blake was standing in the street directing traffic. It was AWESOME seeing a familiar face that late in the race. I darted to the side to grab a high-five, and headed to the last mile much more energized.

During that last mile, I realized I was pretty close to my PR…but not close enough. I finished in a time of 1:39:56 (7:38 pace).

After the race, I met up with Hannes (1:33 – which was a “bad day” for him…joke), and we cheered on our friends as they came through the finish. Also running on Sunday was our high school friends Sam and Kelsey, as well as Kelsey’s fiancé, Drew. I was so happy for Whitney when she crossed the line – mostly because she wasn’t in pain, had fun, and wants to do another one!

OPHS alumni: Jeff, Sam, Hannes, me, Kels and her fiancé, Drew

OPHS alumni: Jeff, Sam, Hannes, me, Kels and her fiancé, Drew

Whitney, Kelsey, Hannes, and me.

Whitney, Kelsey, Hannes, and me.

Overall, this is one of my favorite races I’ve done to date. Great course and so awesome to share it with so many long-time friends.

I am now contemplating doing a full marathon ASAP. My goal is to do a long run this weekend and gauge whether or not a June marathon is a possibility. Stay tuned.

Anyone else race this weekend?

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3 Responses to “the oc half. [race recap].”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. what a week. | That's G - May 15, 2013

    […] been pretty busy this last week since the OC Half…but fun busy…even if I had to study and take a […]

  2. 2013 – the year in running. | That's G - December 20, 2013

    […] 5 (Surf City – 1:45, OC Half -1:39:56, Long Beach-1:40:40, Rock n Roll LA-1:42:42, and Santa to the Sea […]

  3. mmxiii music. | That's G - January 5, 2014

    […] was a great month — I started it off with Soul Cycle with my friend Michelle, ran a speedy 13.1 in Orange County (1:39:56 at the OC Half) with Whitney, took my Evidence final, decided to do the Rock n Roll San […]

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