Surf City Half Recap – The Fun One

I did everything I set out to Sunday at the Surf City Half.

  • Put in 13.1 quality, long run miles  –  CHECK
  • Get a little more comfortable being uncomfortable  –  CHECK
  • Have fun with my friends  –  CHECK

I also did a few things I didn’t expect. Like go Garminless (forgot it), attempt to ‘pose’ for course photographers (fail evidence to come), and run perfect negative splits without knowing it.


(Margot’s times since I didn’t wear a chip (it was registered to Brian))

Bonus? Didn’t PW! Actually came in just a few seconds off my old Fontana PR.

The pace was challenging from the start, my legs were dead by mile 5 and the surprisingly roll’y first half really took a toll while I tried to keep up with Sheila and Margot. There were times I really REALLY wanted to slow down or walk – but they’d see me start lagging back and refuse to “just go on without me!” Each time it gave me an extra little push – even though they said time didn’t matter I still didn’t want to be the cause for a lackluster workout.

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With name&outfit-twin Sarah early in the race – credit Sheila with mad running-backwards photog skills

Around mile 10-11 (right around when K jumped in), I got a second wind and finally started feeling good. Unfortunately this was the same time Sheila’s newly acquired bitch stomach decided to get pissed. She urged us to finish strong without her, but after sticking by my pokey side for 90 minutes there was no way we weren’t finishing together.

(REALLY wish marathonfoto would’ve caught the cross-legged “party in my pants -not the good kind!” pose she pulled off at mile 12. Hilarious.)

In the last mile Sheila asked Margot if we’d come in under 1:55 (she was the only one wearing a watchand Margot kind of refused to answer. There were no clocks on the course and no one was keeping splits or paces, so when we crossed in 1:46xx I crapped myself a little.


photo cred Sparky aka @shesoffrunning <– thank you!

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(not a funny joke given Sheila’s predicament, I suppose)

Going in I had no idea what I’d be capable of. My long runs (6, 8, 10, 12mi) have been full of walk/rest breaks and anywhere from 840-9/min paces, so I figured I’d be lucky to squeek in under 1:50 without killing myself.

So yes, I’m very pleased with how it went. How running to effort – and not giving in when that effort seemed too much – worked out. As the official kickoff workout to Eugene Half training I’m pretty pumped to see how much time I can shave off with 12 weeks of hard workouts.

I’m ready, bring it on.


sheila, K, SR, me, Margot, Monica (orig cred SR)

Surf City Half, 2.3.13  –  1:46.39

Sarah OUaL

* And thank you reader Lauren for letting us park at your place! Internet friends FTW :)

Just Your Friendly Neighborhood Expo…

How to Expo When You Live ‘Just Down the Street’

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  • Quickly look at the expo map, guesstimate the distance, end up spending 5+mi on your clanky beach cruiser (twice as much as anticipated) and question your fitness after breaking a sweat and feeling the quad burn on your ‘easy’ ride


  • Meet up with awesome friends (new & old) and spend hours aimlessly walking the crowded aisles nerding out over all things running


3 Sarahs, a Monica, and a Pizza Place Race Expo (SR’s pic)


Kim at Nuun hydrating expo’ers, HTC’er Tiffany rocking the Crossfit booth (I may or may not have agreed to a WOD), and Oiselle teammate Sarah who flew down from Seattle hoping for some sun running

  • Be persuaded into going to lunch (Big Belly Deli FTW), leave your bike at the expo, and use your “shakeout run” to go back and get it once you remember where you left it three hours later.

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This laid-back, no pressure approach to race weekend is pretty rad, but I have to be honest – I wish I was racing tomorrow.

I wish I was in shape to really put myself out there and do something awesome. My legs feel great and have that twitchy energy conducive to fast running. My body AND my heart are ready to start testing and pushing their limits again. I’m ready to drill down and RACE.

But, in the name of safe/smart recovery, I have to know my limits. I’ve only been back to running for a month (after Zero Month) and ‘hard’ running two weeks. Going out like an overeager lunatic would only break me down mentally and physically, and that’s not really what I need on the first official day of Eugene Half training.

So tomorrow will be an expensive, paper-cup-water, snacks-at-the-finish long run through Huntington with 20,000 friends. (I know how everyone loves to hear that) Semi-injured Sheila and under-the-weather Margot and I are going to lead a bruised and broken briggade through 13.1 miles.

At least until one of them decides my out-of-shape ass needs dropping.

I won’t be wearing a timing chip so don’t try to look me up. 1) because it’s Brian’s bib and I don’t want to “skew” the M25-29 results and 2) because it’s Brian’s bib and he doesn’t deserve an ugly time on his Athlinks account (not that he knows or cares what that is)

So here’s to a STRONG run – measured by effort and not the time on the clock – and setting the baseline to see just how far 12 weeks of training will get me. April 28th and that magical city in Oregon will be calling my name…

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  • Good luck to everyone else racing this weekend!

Sarah OUaL