This is the closest together I've ever done two races, and both of them out-of-town. I ran the Surf City Half Marathon in Huntington Beach on Superbowl Sunday, and I ran the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll Pasadena Half Marathon this past Sunday. It made for two great weekends in Orange County and some great therapy to get my mind off the mess at work right now. The downside is that both races were on Sunday morning, so that ruled out going to church down there.
I did the HB race with Amy M. and Kristin L. We went to the expo together on Saturday to get our race bibs and swag. I signed up for the Pasadena race on a whim at the HB race expo.
Race 1 was rough. I didn't sleep well the two nights prior to the race, and I mentally couldn't perform well during the race. I also neglected to notice my iPod shuffle needed a battery charge, so I had no music to keep me pumped through the race. The spectators were pretty pathetic, too--very few cheering, holding signs or ringing cowbells--must be an OC-image thing. I was on a great pace for 10 miles, but then had to run/walk the end of it. I came in at 2h03m. Then the medics grabbed me when I sat down on the curb after the finish and were concerned because I was shaky and not sweating. I was ultimately fine.
Race 2 was great! I expected it to be rough because I still wasn't fully recovered from Race 1, and looking at the elevation chart the night prior to the race, I saw some foreboding hills and inclines. I started not thinking I'd be able to run the whole way, but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. The spectators were awesome: cheering, yelling, encouraging, holding funny signs. In a wry nod to the elevation, Lonestar's Mountains came into my music queue as I was in my last mile of the race. I came in at 1h59m, just a minute shy of my personal best time. I was ecstatic. Then I went out to Riverside and sang in a wedding that afternoon, but that's another blog for another day.
Not being with anyone for race 2, I talked to a lot more people at the expo and at the race. I love being a part of this community of runners. It helps me feel more at home wherever I am. I remember having that same feeling in Denver back in 2010.
One person I met at the expo was Aurora. She shared with me her goal of running 52 half marathons in 52 weeks. She actually ran the same HB one I did two weeks prior...on crutches. She had sprained her ankle and isn't letting that deter her. I was amazed. She shared her blog with me and I look forward to following her future races this year.
I don't know how many more races I'll do this year. I'm signed up for the Portland, Oregon Rock n Roll Half in May with Amy M. and my sister Joy, but that's it so far. I really want to do one or two full marathons this year, probably Fresno in November and I'm not sure what other one.