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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Surf City Marathon Recap

This is 3rd marathon this year and 76th marathon overall

Surf City Marathon was held only 15 mins away from where I live, but this was only my second time doing this marathon, the last time I ran this marathon was back in 2007 when they were named Pacific Shoreline Marathon, but they had a different course back then, so basicly this was my first time running the Surf City Marathon. The surfboard medal looks way too cool to pass up. =-)

The Expo

I went to the Expo on Saturday afterwork because I couldnt make it on Friday since they open at 3pm, had they opened earlier I would have gone there instead because I worked afternoon hours. I was having hard time finding parking spot since there were just too many people going to the expo at the same time. When I finally found a place to park and walked to the expo, it was already 4:30pm and the expo closes at 5pm. The good thing about going to the expo late was there wasnt very long line going into the expo since I have seen a huge line just too long ago.

I quickly went to pick up my bib, my long sleeve shirt and my free Surf City tote bag, which looks really cool. The expo was pretty small, it was in a parking lot right next to the beach, so I was done within half an hour.

Pre-Race Dinner

My friend Stephanie had organized a dinner party at 5:30pm at the Bucca di Beppo in Huntington Beach, which was only a few miles from the expo. We had like around 24 of us so we had 2 separate tables. Bucca di Beppo always have fantastic food, I always love eating there.

Race Day

I woke up at 4am and left my house by 4:30am, drove to the parking lot by 5am, race starts at 6:30am so I got plenty of time to get some last min rest in my car. Our Maniacs get together for a photo shoot was scheduled at 5:30am, it was great seeing all the Maniacs together, I always enjoy meeting  new Maniacs at races.

One of my favorite Maniac is Joe "Marathon Show" Taricani, he is the host of his internet radio show "The Marathon Show he interview runners before, during and after the race, lots of energy!!

Then an another Maniac who also has LOTS of energy is the one and only, Endophine Dude. He always wearing his cape whenever he does his races.

The race started at 6:30am, I was starting pretty close to the front cuz I wanted to start early and on my way, the weather was pretty nice and cool with foggy sky, perfect running weather. I was on my comfortable pace right from the start, BUT I did not have my Garmin with me cuz I couldnt find my charger!!! So I was hoping to follow a pace group and just go from there. Fortunately I found a 4:00 pace group within 2 miles, my goal was to just hang on with them for as long as I could!!

The first 2 miles was running on the northbound on Pacific Coast Highway(PCH), then we made a right turn and heading toward the Huntington Beach Central Park, which was a very nice quiet park with a huge lake, I cant believe I have never ran thru there even though I live so close by. I was still running comfortable with the pace group and was able to chat a little when I caught up with my friend Christy. We came back out on PCH after Mile 9 for 3 miles before we made a turnaround and started running on the southbound on the PCH for another 3 miles, the weather was still breezy and foggy, couldnt have asked for a better weather condition to run. Then after Mile 15 just before we had to make a left turn to run on the bike path along the beach, I felt my left hamstring started to tighten, so I had to pulled aside and stretched a little. After that I wasnt able to keep up with the 4:00 pace group as I began to slow down. 

The next 5 miles on the bike path wasnt a lot of fun cuz I had to stop and stretch every once in a while. I tried to followed the 4:15 group but I couldnt hang out for long. Then at Mile 20 we had to make another turnaround for 5 miles, I saw a lot of my running friends on my way back and I always say hi to them as they pass by. Then at Mile 22, my friend Casey caught to me, so I decided to start running again and see how long I could hang on, after Mile 23 the 4:20 pace group caught up to us so we began to follow him, I was surprised that I was able to hang on without pulling over to stretch my left hamstring.

Then about Mile 24, the 4:20 pacer needed to slow down cuz he said he was ahead of the pace, so I just decided to run on my own and tried to finish the race ASAP, when I got back on the PCH after Mile 25, there were lots of walkers on the street so I had to dodge a few of them. I was keeping my head down as I kept running toward the finish line, then as the finish line getting closer, I sprinted toward the finish and finished in 4:19.18!!! Barely finished sub 4:20.

After the race, there was a long line to the Beer Garden but I had to skip because it's just not worth it to wait that long just for 1 beer!! I headed back to my car and to change and headed back to the finish line to watch my friend finish.

Overall, the race was nicely organized, great volunteers, the weather was perfect, but the course was a bit dreadful the last 11 miles with the out and back on the bike path. I will stick to the half next time. =-)

One mile to go!!!

          Sprinting toward the finish line.


Next Race.....................10th Annual Mercedes Marathon, Birmingham, AL, 2-13-2011

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon Recap

This was my  2nd marathon of the year and  75th overall

I have ran this race since 2005 and this year I have ran my fastest!!! 

2005 - 5:05.08
2006 - 4:43.57
2007 - 4:39.58
2008 - 4:17.55
2009 - 4:13.10
2010 - 4:27.12 (suffering with a strained left achilles tendon problem from a race the week before)
2011 - 4:05.41!!!

Saturday - 1-15-11

I picked up my rental car from John Wayne Airport the day before so I could leave for Arizona after work. I started my trip at 2:30am and drove NON STOP for 5 1/2 hours to Phoenix, AZ. My rental was a Chrysler Sebring, which I really like, I didnt have to stop for gas until I got to Phoenix, it has about 400 miles tank, great sounds system, plus it has a phonejack input so I could plug in my iPhone and watch my Netflix while I was driving!! Something to kept me entertain for my lonely long drive.

When I got to Tempe I stopped by this place called Chompies for some breakfast, this place was featured on the show Man vs Food because they have this crazy food challenge that if you finish 12 of their famous sliders, you will get your picture on their wall, but I didnt take on their challenge, maybe one day.

So after I was all fueled and rested, just a little, I drove to the airport to pick up 2 of my Maniacs Ed and Donna,  then we headed to the expo. I happend to sign up for next year RNR Arizona for only $75 at the expo!! Cant beat that price, plus I have been running RNRAZ since their 1st year in 2004, but only 2004 I did the Half.

Pre Race Dinner

We met up with other Maniacs and Fanatics and friends at this restaurant call Michelina, it's a family owned restaurant so it's very authentic, their food were amazingly good. This was my carbo load meal.

Group pic at the dinner

Race Day - 1-16-11

My fellow Maniac Sef was staying with me for the night after the dinner, we stayed only about a mile from the finish line so getting to the parking lot across the street from ASU in the morning and taking the shuttle to the start was completely smooth.

We met up bunch of Maniacs and Fanatic for a huge group photo before the race, it was great to be able to meet all the other runners, the whole group gathering would not have happened without the help from fellow Maniac Dave Mari, he is the best organizing group photo!!! It's always fun to see him in a race!! So after the photo shoot, we all headed to our corrals and get ready for the start.

What a great group of runners!!

I started in Corral 2 cuz I lied about my predicted time just so I could get start early, my goal was finish under 4 hours or just a PR on this course. I noticed the 3:45 pace group in my corral and decided to follow them to see how long I could stay with them. I started from staying behind them, to a few mins behind, to see them in a distance, to fading in distance, I was trying to follow the 4:00 pace group at about Mile 21 but couldnt hang on for long. But I was able to find some leftover fuel in my tank to push myself finished in 4:05.41, MY RNRAZ PR!!! 

Mile 1 - 8:34          Mile 14 - 9:15
Mile 2 - 8:22          Mile 15 - 8:40
Mile 3 - 8:22          Mile 16 - 9:45
Mile 4 - 8:23          Mile 17 - 10:19
Mile 5 - 8:33          Mile 18 - 9:53
Mile 6 - 8:32          Mile 19 - 9:44
Mile 7 - 8:36          Mile 20 - 10:57
Mile 8 - 8:33          Mile 21 - 11:05
Mile 9 - 8:25          Mile 22 - 11:01
Mile 10- 8 :44        Mile 23 - 10:20
Mile 11 - 8:49        Mile 24 - 10:59
Mile 12 - 8:26        Mile 25 - 11:23
Mile 13 - 8:22        Mile 26 - 9:54
                               Mile .2 - 1:53

1.2 miles to go!!

After the race, a few of us went to the Buffalo Wild Wings across the street from the ASU to enjoy our post race meal.

Heidi, Bryce, Ed, Sef and I at the Buffalo Wild Wings

Next Race............................Surf City Marathon 2-6-2011