Surf City Half Marathon Race Review 2017

Yesterday Ellen, Peter, and I drove down to Huntington Beach to run the Surf City Half Marathon. Ellen and I ran Surf City three years ago while training for the LA Marathon. It was fun to be back! My goal was to chip away at my half marathon PR, and creep into the 1:23 range. I knew I’d have to maintain a 6:20 average, and I had been doing a bunch of speed work at that pace so I knew it was possible. I didn’t feel nervous leading up to the race, but when the announcer gave us the five minute warning I got those pre-race butterflies in my stomach in anticipation of discomfort. Ellen is coming off an injury scare (SO GLAD SHE’S OK!) so she was going to run the race easy. Easy ended up being 1:40, which is still really fast! Peter was just out for a good time, finishing in the 1:45 range.

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Lately I’ve been working on my mental game. I always wonder if I can dig a little deeper. People ALWAYS tell me I don’t look like I’m working hard. Yesterday I wanted to work on noticing discomfort, accepting it, and digging deeper. I ran the first few miles at about a 6:15 pace. I wanted to go out hard and see if I could hang. Right away I made a friend on the course. We chatted a bit and ran side-by-side for the first 4ish miles. She ended up pulling ahead around the 5 mile mark and finishing 3rd overall female in 1:22. She ran a strong race, and I’m grateful she was there to motivate me.

I stayed in the 6:15-6:20 range until about mile 9 when the miles caught up with my legs. This may sound really weird,but I got a little excited and thought “This is my opportunity to prove to myself that I am gritty!” I tend to run conservative and don’t usually have to dig myself out of a hole. I reminded myself that runners frequently talk themselves out of a funk and told myself that this was my opportunity to fly. I thought about how great it would feel to finish knowing I’d given it my all. I didn’t allow myself to panic when my pace slowed to 6:24, 6:27 and 6:34. I share this because I don’t think runners often share their mental strategies, and we know running is a very mental sport.


With two miles left I did some calculating and knew if I maintained roughly a 6:30 pace for the remainder of the race I’d PR. I convinced myself I’d be so annoyed if I crossed the line in 1:24, and although my legs were starting to feel like jello I managed to bust out a 6:18 and 6:16 with the final .19 in 5:37. My final time was 1:23:24. 4th overall female out of 5999 women. There’s nothing like the feeling of a PR!

After the race I met up with Peter, Ellen, and ran into Kristy at the post-race tent. Woah the post race tent was AMAZING! Clif Bars for days (love those new nut filled ones), Clif set up a coffee food truck with free lattes. I had the Chocolate Peanut Butter Latte and the Chocolate Hazelnut Latte. Perfect post race recovery 🙂 Ellen and I also didn’t have to wait long for an very thorough post-race massages from Massage Green. Ellen needs to keep those calves stretched out. No more injury scares allowed. I don’t think I can handle training for Boston without her!

We had such a fun time! I think I might need to make this an annual Super Bowl Sunday race. You should too!


  • Flat course
  • Start and finish near the Huntington Beach Pier
  • Post race expo was awesome! So many samples, free massages, great energy, delicious lattes!
  • Magnet on the back of the medal
  • Option to get your bib mailed to you for an extra fee
  • Lots of post race food (bananas, protein bars, oranges, lots of water)
  • Love the purple long sleeve shirt


  • The course is kinda boring. Pretty much an out and back on PCH. Made it mentally challenging.
  • Long drive from LA (although it wasn’t too bad on a Sunday morning)

From racing back to reality the next day. Here is one of my favorite photos from my scholars from the past week. Nathan passed his Lexia level and his classmates were there to celebrate with him. Love the teamwork.

Have a great week!

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