surf city half.

8 Feb

It all started with a tweet. My buddy Joe (@joecannonballs) recently ran a half marathon with my roommate, Jenn. He told me he was getting antsy and needed to plan a different race, so we both signed up for the Surf City Half. With just a little over 3 weeks to train, my goals for this race were not to PR – but to run a fun, easy race and not injure myself, go out too fast, or do anything crazy. This was Half Marathon #9 for me – so crazy. I knew a PR was not in the cards (there was no way my body would give me a sub 1:40 on such little training), but the course was relatively flat and pretty fast.

I headed down to HB the afternoon after my birthday ragefest. I made it to the Expo the last hour it was open (no packet pick-up morning of), did a little work at a local Starbucks, and met up with my friend Riley who happens to live in a house just a few blocks from the starting line/PCH.


Whitney joined us and we relaxed the night before. I was able to stay in Riley’s spare bedroom (!) which was phenomenal. I woke up at 6:30, made myself a bowl of instant oatmeal and instant coffee I’d picked up at the store the night before, grabbed a banana, got ready, and was out the door by a little after 7. The race didn’t start until 7:45 so I had a little bit of time to hang out at the start.

The race went out in waves based on projected finish time, every 2 minutes. I seeded myself in the 1:50-2 hour group because I wasn’t totally sure what sort of half-mary shape I’d be in. The waves were a little bit weird – I wasn’t able to find Joe at the start – but I didn’t get boxed in or trapped at the start like I normally do.

The course was GORGEOUS. Easily one of my favorite courses. 9+ of the miles have an ocean view. The sky was gorgeous as well. Whitney agreed to spectate which I SO appreciated. She was wearing a neon pink Asics running jacket and was riding a beach cruiser, so she was insanely easy to spot. I spotted her just before mile 2 which gave me a little boost early.


“Don’t You Worry Child” by Swedish House Mafia on repeat, Bingo Players’ “Rattle” and Flo Rida’s “I Cry” got me through the first half. I gu’d at Mile 7 which was pretty key. At the turn-around, I spotted my high school friend, Dani, who works for Lululemon in Newport Beach. She was there cheering. It was so nice to see a familiar face out there!

photo credit: Dani Beck

photo credit: Dani Beck

My favorite one was: Make this mile your bitch.

I spotted Joe right after the turn around (just before mile 8) and yelled his name. That gave me a little boost as well. Joe’s marathon photos are much more epic than mine:



The last 3 miles were sort of…long. I slowed down a little bit after being consistently just under 8 min/mile. I felt fine – my knees started feeling the slightest bit sore – but I was fairly strong through the finish. I saw Whitney again around 11.5 which was SO great. I knew she would be between 11 and 12 and that carried me through.


I crossed the line in 1:45:40. Not close to my PR, but my 3rd fastest 13.1. I’ll take it.

I immediately was pretty sore and limped for a lot of the day – but it was a great race and one I would recommend.

**Edited to add: I am obsessed with the surfboard medals and the fitted, long-sleeve tech Ts we got with our race entry.

What’s your favorite race you’ve ever done?

6 Responses to “surf city half.”

  1. Dash February 9, 2013 at 4:24 am #


    I love that surfboard medal! Looks fantastic 🙂

    • gillian February 12, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

      Thank you! It’s one of my favs.

  2. Brittany February 11, 2013 at 6:06 pm #

    AWESOME job on this run!! Ohh my gosh. I am soooo obsessed with, “don’t you worry child.” SO obsessed. That would have been on repeat for me too. You look so serious and in runner mode in your pictures, and Joe looks like he isn’t even running!

    • gillian February 12, 2013 at 3:58 pm #

      Thank you!! And yes I LOVE that song. Definitely belt it out in the car often, too. I have crazy intense “why so serious?” running face, and you’re right, Joe looks super chill!


  1. 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 […]

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

    […] started off with the first of five half-marathons (I went 1:45 at Surf City), and was obsessed with Bingo Players’ “Rattle” during that race. February was a […]

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