Running the OC – an OC Half Marathon Recap

After a disappointing performance at the Surf City Half Marathon back in February, I decided to change my mindset for the OC Half Marathon. My plan was to not worry about a PR but just run it and have fun.  I just had no idea how much fun I was going to have during the OC Marathon Weekend.

The weekend started out with me meeting IG/FB/Blogger friend Katie, of Mom’s Little Running Buddy at the Expo on Friday. This was a racecation for Katie, who was visiting from the midwest. It was cool to go around the Expo with Katie because she seemed to be friends with a lot of people and brands. She even hooked me up with a free bottle and tube of tablets from the Nuun booth!

While at the Expo, I also met up with folks from the No Meat Athtlete OC Running Group. We took advantage of the photo op and made plans to have dinner at Seabirds Kitchen nearby. Unfortunately, parking was impossible at Seabirds so Katie and I made our way to the Veggie Grill in Tustin instead.IMG_9083

It was great to hang out, talk, and get to know Katie. It’s really great when you finally meet someone IRL and they turn out to be as cool as you expect them to be from their social media persona!


 

The next morning, my wife and I picked Katie up at her hotel to take her out to Huntington Beach for a shake out run. We were planning an easy 3-4 miles but I underestimated the distance from the pier to the jetty and we ended up running 6 miles. Oops! At least we were going an easy pace–nothing too crazy!  After the run, we grabbed a juice and some gelato/sorbetto.

It was a glorious morning! Maria led the way on her bike while Katie & I ran.
It was a glorious morning at the beach! Maria led the way on her bike while Katie & I ran.

 

Sunday morning. Race day!

I had all of my gear laid out the night before.IMG_0062

And as usual, I couldn’t really sleep the night before. I ended up waking up at 2:30 am and I couldn’t get back to sleep so I decided to get ready. I figured I could nap in the car while I waited for my friends to arrive.

Danielle @sweetsumatra was the first to arrive. This was her second race (running Ragnar SoCal with me was her first) and her first half marathon. I promised her that I would run along side her and pace her during this race. A couple of weeks prior to this, Danielle and I ran 13.4 miles together from Venice Beach to Pacific Palisades and back, so I knew she was ready for this.

Hydrating in Danielle's car while waiting for our friends Gina and Danielle to arrive.
Hydrating in Danielle’s car while waiting for our friends Gina and Danielle to arrive.
The gang's all here!
The gang’s all here!
At 4:15 am, we hopped on a shuttle to the starting area. We had over an hour before the start of the half and it was still pretty cold out so we decided to hang out in the lobby of the nearby Marriot. This was the best decision ever! Not only did we keep warm but I ran into Katie and other IG/Blogger runners.

It was awesome to see Katie @momslrb & Monica @runeatrepeat again! It was also great to finally meet @stuftmama & @skinnyrunnersr in person!
It was awesome to see Katie @momslrb & Monica @runeatrepeat again! It was also great to finally meet @stuftmama & @skinnyrunnersr in person!
So we made our way to the starting line a little bit before 6am. We started out in Wave 2.

All smiles before the race. Source: MarathonFoto
All smiles before the race. Danielle T, Danielle CT, Gina, and Me. Source: MarathonFoto
And we were off! Gina and Danielle CT ran their own paces so we made plans to meet at the finish. Danielle T and I ran with each other the entire way, pushing each other along the way. My friend Marcy, from the No Meat Athlete OC Running Group caught up to us and ran a few miles with us, too.

The scenery along the course was spectacular and the company during the run was great.
The views and scenery along the course were spectacular and the company during the run was great.
I met my goal for the race. I ran with my friend, Danielle, and had fun. But to make the experience even more epic, we finished in 2:10.39– a new race PR for me! Plus, I was super proud of Danielle–she rocked her first half-marathon!

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Crossing the finish together! Source: MarathonFoto
Although this was an awesome race, I did hurt myself. I misstepped around mile 3 and hurt what I thought was my ankle. Thankfully, the endorphins and adrenaline kept the pain at bay during the remaining 10 miles. It really only started hurt around mile 7 or 8 when we were going uphill. Also, my Body Glide wore off and I ended up with a bloody nipple. Still, pain is temporary, right?

IMG_8931

 

At the end of the race, we had a mini Pacing Guides (our Ragnar SoCal team) reunion at the VIP tent. Bob is on the race board and took good care of us. Sadly, I couldn’t stay long because my injury was screaming at this point. I could barely put any weight on it!

Gina, Danielle T, Me, Danielle CT, and Bob
Gina, Danielle T, Me, Danielle CT, and Bob. Photo Credit: Danielle @sweetsumatra
After lunch and a shower, I visited urgent care to have my ankle checked out. X-rays were taken and the good news is there were no fractures and my ankle was fine. The bad news is that my foot was severely bruised.

R.I.C.E. was on the menu for the next several days and I had to go to work using a cane.
R.I.C.E. was on the menu for the next several days and I had to go to work using a cane.
A week and a half later, my foot is still a little sore but I’m no longer walking with a cane. I still haven’t tried running yet but I’m in no hurry– I don’t want to reinjure myself. Despite my injuries at this race, I look back at OC with a smile. It was a great weekend!

Part of me wants to edit out the tell-tale blood on my shirt... Lol! Source: MarathonFoto
Part of me wants to edit out the tell-tale blood on my shirt… Lol!
Source: MarathonFoto

 

What is your most recent race?  How did it go?

Have you ever injured yourself during a race?

 

 

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