Surf City Marathon Recap

by This is Carrie on February 15, 2010

Team Sparkle

Last year I ran the Surf City 5K.  It was my second running race ever.  If you would have told me that in one year’s time I would be back in Surf City running the marathon, I would have told you you were crazy. Turns out I am the crazy one.

There were five of us (my two training partners, Elise & Kelly, and my two nieces) that all started together. I can’t say enough about running with friends. It made training bearable and the entire first half of the marathon darn near enjoyable.

THE RECAP:

Mile 1 – The weather is so gorgeous, we shed our outer layer. Looking at each other, we said “Remember how we feel right now, because we are never going to feel this good again.”

Mile 3 – We hear our first surf band singing “Walk, Don’t Run”. Another runner points out it’s not a very good song for a marathon so I helped pump everyone up by belting out a few bars of “Eye of the Tiger.’ Split time: 26:57 Pace: 8:59

Mile 4 - While trying to drink a cup of water and put down an energy chew, my phone and three bags of chomps fly out of my fuel belt & slide down the hill.  Not wanting to know the damage, I scoop it all back up and smash it back into the belt, barely missing a step. (Thanks for your help Brenna!)

Mile 5 – First sighting of our cheering section. Todd had the difficult job of wrangling three children while taking photos and doing live tweets.


Mile 5.25 – I see my sister on the sidelines (who I knew was coming) and my parents (who I didn’t know were coming).  Tears well, but I didn’t have the time or energy to let them come.

Mile 6 – After hearing numerous compliments on our sparkle running skirt, we decide to amuse ourselves by counting the comments.  Split time: 53:46 Pace: 8:58

Mile 7 – We pass our cheering section again.  This time, I catch Baby Brother’s attention & he gives me the best smile.

Mile 8 – Hitting what was really the only hill on the course I use my mantras, “I love running hills!” & “I only train hills!”.  All lies, but I still believe in positive self talk.

Mile 9 - Up to 25 compliments on our sparkle running skirts since mile 6.

Mile 10 – We watch a one legged runner who I later found out was J.P. Theberge, zoom past us on the backside of the course. Truly inspiring.

Mile 12.2 - Split time: 1:50:02 Pace: 9:02

Mile 13 - Still running with Elise, we decide at this moment to start “fresh”; we just needed to run our best half marathon.

Mile 14 – Another voice yells out “Love your skirts girls!” and we turn to recognize the owner of Running Skirts snapping our photo as we pass by. It’s only a matter of time before they come out with their own version of the sparkle running skirt, but we know it won’t be nearly as great as our “Team Sparkle” running skirts (stay tuned).

Mile 16 – With fatigue setting in, our pace slowing, and all that “starting fresh” talk not working,  it’s nice to see our cheering section again.  BTW -counting skirt comments ends.

Mile 17 – Since the course loops back on itself once again, we see our cheering section once again.  I try to soak in all their good energy because I know I won’t see them again until the finish.

Mile 19 – Elise & I are still running together, but our growing fatigue shows in the complete silence between us.

Mile 20.9Split Time: 3:09:49 Pace: 9:05

Mile 21 – The four hour pace group catches up to us. Silently i think “If I can just keep up, I can still come under a four hour finish”

Mile 21.5 -The four hour pace group slowly passes us. My pace slows a little more. Then Elise pulls ahead.  The bad voices enter my head as I come to grips with the fact that I won’t be able to meet my goal of finishing under four hours.  Filled with disappointment, the voices in my head say “just quit”. I now understand why everyone says you should never have a time goal for your first marathon.  I don’t like to fail and it’s hard not to feel like a failure.

Mile 22 – Running alone now, it’s even more important to keep only good thoughts in my head. “I am a marathoner. I do not quit.”  I depend heavily on strangers in the crowd who cheer for me because they love my sparkle running skirt.  They buoy me up.

Mile 23 -  My body seems to turn on me.  As much as my brain is back to thinking good thoughts and wanting to finish the race, my body does not agree.  I officially hit “The Wall.” Feeling light-headed and tingly, I promise my body I will walk through the next few water stations if it promises to run in between them.

Mile 24 – Walking through the water station feels terrible for the first few steps, but then it feels so good. So, so good. Like a big piece of the most satisfying pie you could ever eat while soaking in a huge bubble bath good.

Mile 25 – There’s a huge part of me that wants to walk the rest of the way to the finish. I mean, my goal time is already out of reach, so what does it matter at this point?  Then I picture the marathon finish in my head. My family & friends are waiting for me there and I am not walking. I am running. Somehow I get my legs moving again after the water station (although at this point, my running could be better described as a shuffle).

Mile 26 - I see my family, cheering harder than ever, just like I pictured.  I try to smile, but the energy I have left is all devoted to putting one foot in front of the other.

Mile 26.2 – I cross the finish line of what has to be one the most physically and emotionally taxing things I will ever do in my lifetime. Relief is the prominent emotion. The relief is soon replaced by joy.  The first words I speak are “That was so much harder than I thought it would be,” immediately followed by “I never want to do that again.”  Finish 4:06:29 Pace: 9:25

My biggest fan.

Standing with my girls is when I feel the most proud of our accomplishment. We all finished. For four of us, it was our first marathon.

24 hours after crossing the finish line – My fellow marathoner, Kelly, has already talked me into signing up for Marathon #2 in June. I’m surprised at how quickly I change my mind. Todd is not.  He knew I was too close to my goal to not try and take another stab at it.

I told you he was my biggest fan.

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{ 3 trackbacks }

Day 15 – Fat Actress Marathon Challenge | Workouts Fitness Wisdom
February 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm
A Pregnant Marathoner’s Report | This Mama Makes Stuff
June 28, 2010 at 7:14 pm
Race Report: Surf City 1/2 Marathon | This Mama Makes Stuff
February 21, 2011 at 5:22 pm

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

mandi February 15, 2010 at 8:15 am

de-lurking to say – congratulations!!! Isn’t it an amazing feeling?! I read somewher that less than 1% of the population has done a marathon…thats easy to forget once you get caought up in the *running world*!

I will be at San Diego also, but I’ll be doing the half (Im so glad they added it!) I would LOVE to do another marathon, but I messed up my stomach during mine in Dec and the Drs said 1yr no marathons :o (

Good luck in June – Ill be looking for the sparkle skirt…maybe if I can get over feeling stalker-ish Ill come say hi ;o)

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This is Carrie
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So glad you delurked! Do I want to know how you can mess up your stomach running? Please, please, please look for us in San Diego!

(Soon, you might be able to get a sparkle skirt of your own :) .

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mandi Reply:

No you probably dont! Lets just say it involves a porta potty at mile 21 and it wasn’t pretty. I should have stopped running at that point, but who can stop when your already at mile 21?!

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lauren February 15, 2010 at 8:37 am

i don’t know you, but i really enjoy reading your blog. this post made me a little teary eyed. congrats on finishing this race! you did a great job! my husband is an avid runner, but has never done a marathon. maybe someday he will decide to? <3

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This is Carrie
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Thanks Lauren. I was definitely teary during the race, so I am glad a little of that emotion came through.

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mommymita February 15, 2010 at 10:29 am

Great job! The skirts actually make the running look fun

As for your comment after the race – I actually said something very similar after delivering this last baby but have since forgotten the torture. You may do the same with marathon running – that was a great time by the way.

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This is Carrie
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My niece once told me marathons are a lot like giving birth to a baby- the prep, the pain, the relief, the forgetting, the joy.

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mandi Reply:

I did a post about this after my 1st marathon…I totally agree!

http://teamausman.blogspot.com/2009/12/how-marathon-and-childbirth-are-similar.html

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Jessi February 15, 2010 at 10:58 am

I am so impressed!! I hope you’ve gotten over your feelings of failure at not meeting your time goal to really savor your accomplishment. You ran 26.2 MILES in what I consider a kick butt time. Well done.

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This is Carrie
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thanks Jessi. There is still hint of failure lurking around. But I mostly feel good about the whole thing.

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McKay February 15, 2010 at 11:01 am

okay, so you made me cry. Congratulations on a huge achievement!

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This is Carrie
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Thanks friend.

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Tara February 15, 2010 at 11:50 am

Way to go! My little sister ran this too. Someday I will run a race with her.

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This is Carrie
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Very cool! Tell her congratulations for me. When you run your first race with her, make sure you let me know.

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rachelanna February 15, 2010 at 1:21 pm

congratulations! keep inspiring. running my second 1/2 in april, not sure i could do the full deal… scary! cause i know how i felt after a 1/2. of course i said i would never do that again and here i am. it’s hard to contain that competitive spirt sometimes…

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This is Carrie
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Seriously, you know where i’m coming from. Once you’ve done two halves, you’ll definitely do a full. You know you want to. :)

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kelly jo February 15, 2010 at 3:49 pm

That’s very awesome! 6 minutes off your time is a fantastic way to start!! Now you’ve got me wanting to run!

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KP February 15, 2010 at 9:24 pm

As always you absolutely amaze me!! I teared up too reading this. I am just so proud! I will never run a marathon nor do I aspire to even try! But I sure do hold deep respect for those that do! Way to go!!!!!

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Sarah February 15, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Congrats on being a marathoner! I haven’t ran one in 5 years but I have to say seeing how you found time to train for this has inspired me to try at it again.

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Sharlene February 15, 2010 at 9:37 pm

I just wanted to tell you that I think you ladies are awesome! What an amazing accomplishment. You should be incredibly proud. Oh- and I love the skirts! :)

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Mistie February 16, 2010 at 9:32 am

Carrie,
I was a little teary eyed reading this. Again I am inspired by you. Congrats!!!

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Allison February 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

Your time was incredible for a first marathon – I hope your lurking failure feeling turns into elation. Congratulations on your inspirational run, and kudos to your support team and fans! You almost make me want to start training…

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Niki February 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Congrats! Isn’t it amazing how much you learn about yourself? Totally inspiring! And yes, very difficult. I loved your play by play, felt like I was there with you…and I have empathy for you. Great job girl! See you at the San Diego Marathon?

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This is Carrie
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Are you doing San Diego too?

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Jessie Jo February 16, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Congrats! I can’t believe that you are doing another marathon, you are amazing! Maybe we’ll come out and cheer you on (and help Todd with the kiddies).

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This is Carrie
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We’d love to have you for a visit!

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Kami February 17, 2010 at 12:06 am

You girls are awesome! Such an inspiration. And I do LOVE the skirts and I’m not just saying that. ;)

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Melissa February 17, 2010 at 10:49 am

Wow. Love your marathon gear – I would expect nothing less from you!
I have considered running a marathon twice in my life, once after watching the finish line of the NYC marathon and once again after reading your post.
Good job and thanks a lot…

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This is Carrie
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That is the first time I considered doing a marathon – watching at the NYC marathon finish line. Amazing.

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Ali February 17, 2010 at 11:34 am

Will you make fun of me if I tell you I was crying by the end of this post?? SERIOUSLY! Maybe because I could feel your struggle and desire to give up and then thought of those who cheered you on to keep going…and to finish! Thanks again…you’re amazing!
loves…

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Kathi February 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I’m so proud of you, li’l sis. I only wish I could have been there. Running is great for the body and the spirit.

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Laura February 19, 2010 at 8:36 am

Hi, this is the first time I comment one your blog… but I check it daily :) You did amazing! I ran my first marathon last year and as I read your mile by mile report my eyes filled with tears of joy for you. WAY TO GOOOOO!!! I hope to continue to run marathons (once baby #4 is out :) ) Thanks for sharing your story…I find it SO inspiring.

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Sara February 22, 2010 at 1:36 pm

Oh honey, that was epic. I”m so proud of you. And I shed a little tear, had a lump in my throat from mile 13 on, wondering how it was all going to go down (remember? I was in Africa when you did this!)

And girl – 4:06 is nothin’ to sneeze at for a first marathon. And no, I am so not surprised that you are going back for another beating so soon in June. Because I know you :) Again, SO proud :)

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Kelly February 23, 2010 at 6:58 am

Congrats on the marathon! I have been lurking on your site for a while. I love the sparkle skirts! You hinted about posting some info about them. I am running a 7k with 2 of my co-workers next month and I wold love to talk them into wearing sparkle skirts?! I’ll stay tuned!

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This is Carrie
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We are working on a fab website, but in the meantime, we have an etsy shop! http://www.etsy.com/shop/sparkleskirts

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Michelle February 23, 2010 at 12:51 pm

My sister just told me to check out your marathon blog post. I am running my first full marathon this weekend, the Cowtown in Fort Worth, Texas. I ran 2 Halfs two years ago, the Orange County and the Cowtown, and remember thinking afterward, “Wow! I would never want to run a full marathon!” Then I had baby #4 last year and suddenly here I am, thinking a Half Marathon is such an easy distance. I enjoyed reading your blow-by-blow and definitely teared up a bit. Congratulations on an amazing accomplishment! I agree a support group really helps. I am running with my husband. Hopefully he won’t ditch me at the end. :) Cute skirts, as well. I tried my first running skirt a year ago and will never go back!

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This is Carrie
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Good luck Michelle! Have a great time running the marathon with your husband. You guys are going to do great!

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Kari February 25, 2010 at 12:56 am

I love your skirts! This post inspired me to get running. We’ll see how long the inspiration lasts. :) Would you mind if I use one of your pictures on my blog? I want to show your awesome skirts! I think I’m gonna have to get one!

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This is Carrie
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Of course you can use the picture, You can also go to our “under-construction” website and use the picture from there. http://www.team-sparkle.com.

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Meg Ling February 27, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I *adore* your blog! I also loved your race report and your cute skirts, it looks like team sparkle had fun. Thanks for signing on on my blog, how can I subscribe to yours? I’ve been trying and it isn’t working!
You are so fun!

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Mark Gonzalez, CSCS March 12, 2010 at 5:04 pm

VERY INTERESTING READ!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! LOVE THE SITE TOO! LOOKS GOOD! THANKS
HAVE A GOOD WEEKEND!

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michele March 22, 2010 at 11:33 pm

i so enjoy reading your blog….i’ve subscribed for awhile now but somehow missed this post til today. i knew you were a runner….but i found it completely inspiring that in the span of a year you went from 5K-er to marathoner. i am somewhat of a beginning runner myself (well, been at it for about a year, about twice a week, btwn 3-5 miles, nothing hard-core) and i am signed up for my first half-marathon in june. i’m scared LOL i really enjoyed reading your play-by-play. it definitely left me with tears welling up. congrats to you!

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Melissa April 14, 2010 at 3:50 pm

I am so impressed! I actually got a tiny teary eyed reading this and I don’t even know you! hahaha. My husband is training for his first right now. I have a sore knee, I want to run with him, but gotta take care of myself. Maybe next summer.

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