Monday, December 13, 2010

Santa to the Sea Half Marathon

So when I signed up for the Santa to the Sea Half Marathon I was assuming that the day would be filled with cold crisp air and lots of holly jolly California Christmas weather in the mid 60's. I had prepared warmer clothes and had everything planned out to perfection for a "colder" run. As the week went on, I periodically check the weather and I couldn't believe what I was seeing. The weather was predicted to hit low to mid 80's that day. As Penny would say "AAAAAACKKKKKKK" Last weekend I was running a 10k in running tights and ear warmers, this weekend I had to plan to run in shorts and short sleeve shirt, not really my idea of a "holiday run" but I was ready for it.

My race day started at 3:15am which only gave me a whole 3 hours of sleep. It wasn't allot but the night before I had tickets to go see Michael Buble in concert. I've been waiting to see him for years, so I was willing to sacrifice the lack of sleep for him...he's so dreamy its hard not to, any girl would agree! Anywho, I got up did my normal half marathon routine, shower, coffee, and stretching. I headed out at 4am to met up with Penny and Jordan so we could carpool to Oxnard from the Southbay area. Since we had to be shuttled over to the start line we were aiming to be in the parking lot by 6:30am. I had never been to Oxnard much less knew exactly where it was on a map, so I wasn't sure what to really expect. I sat in the back-seat of Penny's car enjoying the view of ...well, nothing really. It was like I was looking into my friend Krissy's laptop as she plays Farmville. Hills to the north and the ocean to the south with lots of little crops in the middle. What I did notice was how flat it was which was perfect, because training lately hasn't been the greatest. I was looking at this run as a training fun run, no PR's or anything just a fun solid run so flat coarse was a-ok with me.

We finally arrived as planned, then waited to meet up with Bob and Stuart to jump onto the shuttles. We got to the start line with about 45 mins to spare. We dropped off toys we bought in front of the giant Santa Claus (if you have time, you must see the backround story on this big guy) then just waited for 8 o'clock to roll around so we could get going. As we waited the sun was getting stronger and people who showed up in sweatshirts were not stripping down to tank tops. It was HOT and getting HOTTER!

Stuart, Jordan, Penny, Me & Bob

The race just sort of started, no big 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 or anything, everyone just sort of starting running. We all stayed together for the first 5 miles or so. All I can remember is hearing the "jingle jingle jingle" of Penny's running shoes. I ran further up from them a few times, but I knew as soon as they were coming up to me cause of those bells. We were having a good time chatting, trying to keep each other sane from the heat. By this time the temperature had hit 86....yup 86 in good old So. Cal!! While most of our running friends were trying to stay warm in snow storms, we were trying to stay cool from what felt like a heat wave.

Penny & I trying to beat the heat

Around mile 6 I realized I was by myself. I guess listening to my ipod and my brain wondering off I had gotten a little to far up from the pack. I knew they weren't to far behind me and if anything they would catch up to me again. As I was hitting the mile 6 water station for pretzels and some hydration Bob found me. He was so awesome to stay have with us girls even though we are no where near his usual pace. Then he was nice enough to find me and still stay at my pace the rest of the race. It was great chatting and learning more about the running world, his family and the fact that he is not a sports guy! We need to change that!!! GO PATS!!

Coming up the only "hill"

After what felt like forever we FINALLY reached the beach strand around mile 11. I had been dumping cups of water over my head for a while just to see if anything would help. Someone must have heard Bob say "It would be nice if the residents from these houses were outside with a hose to hose us down" because as we approached mile 12, there was what stood in my eyes to be a angel.....The guy with the hose!!! I have no idea who this guy was but if I can find out, I want to thank him from the bottom of my heart for to spraying us down. I wanted to stand there the whole time but time was a ticking.

Bob and I almost at mile 12

Like I said before we weren't trying to PR or anything but the competitor in me was hoping for maybe a time faster then Long Beach. I wasn't going to be disappointed if it didn't happen, but I didn't want to hit something I wasn't going to be happy with. From a distance there was another runner in a red tutu that Bob and I both noticed, this is when he told me "Your not gonna let that lady with a red tutu beat you are you?"....NO SIR I was not!! How dare he even challenge me to such a thing!!?? So that's what I needed that little bit of competitive "I dare you" moment and I started to run as best I could to beat that impostor in a tutu!! I past her up looked at Bob and said "I beat the red tutu" Take that Red Tutu Runner!!!

Me, Jordan, Penny and Bob

Finally we came up to the home stretch and hit the finish at 2:45. I couldn't have been happier to have ended this HOT run. I know how much Penny hates running in the heat, so I texted her to make sure that she and Jordan were ok. Everyone was fine and had crossed the finish not to far behind us. However because the race over sold Penny and Jordan didn't get their medals. They were promised one to be delivered to them ASAP. After we all found each other we headed back to the cars, Penny and Bob enjoyed a few celebratory "beverages" and we decided to met at "Eggs N Things" for a much needed breakfast.

New bling!!
Overall this was a very fun race, if the weather had been cooler this race would have PERFECT!! Next year I hope Mother Nature is a little nicer to us!! I can't express to you how awesome it was running with these 4 crazy kids. We had a great time (even in the heat) and I can't wait to experience many more races with them!

Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Just Say No To Drugs Holiday Classic 10k at the Universal Studios Backlot

I absolutely love movies especially old classic horror movies. So when I heard about the Just Say No to Drugs, Holiday Classic Backlot 10k at Universal last year, I had to do it. So many great films have been shot there Frankenstein, Psycho, and lets not forget Back to the Future!! I love them all, so this was right up my alley for a fun run.

Last weekend I got pretty sick, so I was hoping I was going to be feeling better by this weekend to make plans to run it. After a quick trip to the doctor this week to make sure everything was ok, I got the clear from her to run. Robert decided to go with me to the race which was awesome. It's always nice to know he's at the finish waiting, (especially when he brings Starbucks). We got to the race a little early so I could pick up my packet which ended up being really organize and quick. I still had about 45 minutes till race time so we decided to walk around the booths, get some coffee, and took a quick visit to the Alpha Running tent. I also found Bob fellow runner and blogger who was there running with his family

Around 7:20 I headed to the start line alone which was weird, I usually have someone I know with me. This time it was just me and a bunch of strangers, so I put my ipod on, and tried to get warm since it was 50 degrees this morning. The race started about 10 minutes late which got me a little ansy. Finally everyone in front of me started moving and I was off. I started Mr G. and together we conquered the downhill ride of the first 3/4 mile. Holy down hill Batman! From there was a few more ups and downs then the coarse got flat towards the back of the lot. I totally forgot how hilly this little coarse was, but I was feeling ok.

About mile two or so is when my nose decided it wasn't going to cooperate anymore, and it was going to run faster then me. So I sniffled and ran my way through Wisteria Lane, Old West, and Spartacus Square. Then past Jaws, Whoville, The Bates Motel, Psycho House and War of the Worlds. The 10k looped the coarse twice so I figured I would hit the first 3 miles hard, then enjoy the last 3 taking a few quick snap shots. I knew from being sick I was going to want to hydrate more then usual so I took my handheld with me. Thank goodness I did cause around mile 4 I noticed most of the water station were out of water and abandon.

I enjoyed the last few miles taking quick pictures of Wisteria Lane, and even caught Norman Bates standing outside the Bates motel for a quick photo. Then I finally got my picture out front the Psycho house. The horror movie nerd in me was so giddy I could have ended the race right there and been happy. I snapped a few more of the War of the Worlds area then headed to the finish. I had one more tiny up hill to go then I was done, I hit the finish at 1:18.

Overall this race is allot of fun. If you want to get a hilly 10k in for training purposes, this is the race for you. Second year in a row I had a blast and will be there next year!

That's a wrap!