Race Report: Surf City 1/2 Marathon

by This is Carrie on February 21, 2011

I had originally planned on running the Surf City 5K as my inaugural race at 10weeks post-partum. It seemed like the perfect race length to introduce myself back into running. When I found out they weren’t going to run a 5K this year as part of their Surf City Marathon weekend, I was sorely disappointed.

Blinded by the craziness that comes with sleep exhaustion and motivated by the idea of the original Team Sparkle together again exactly one year after we conquered our first marathon at Surf City, Kelly and Elise convinced me to join them in running the 1/2 marathon instead.  There’s nothing like the fear of failing to get you motivated to kick your training up a notch.

THE RACE

Unlike a year ago, Kelly, Elise and I started in different waves based on our projected finish times.  So there I was, alone in the crowd, knowing the longest I had run since having The Baby was 6 miles, less than half the distance I needed to run that morning. I couldn’t have many expectations, but I could set a goal: finish without walking.

The first 2-3 miles of any run are always the hardest for me (save for maybe the last 1/2 mile when I push myself so hard, I puke).  This race was no exception. By the one mile marker, I was seriously questioning my sanity.  The old man sitting on his porch gruffly yelling “You’ve got a long ways to go!” at mile .75 didn’t help either.

At mile 3, I started settling into a nice rhythm after passing my awesome cheering section and scoring a high-five from a panda bear.  Then, the 2:04 pace group came up from behind.  For the next 2 miles I anonymously ran with them, testing my ability to keep up.

At mile 5, I made up my mind to finish under 2:04.  But, I knew I wouldn’t be able to it as an anonymous racer tagging onto the heels of a pace group. I caught up to the pacer and stated in my most determined voice: “My name is Carrie. I want to finish under 2:04. I think I can do it, but I’m going to need your help.”

Denise (the pacer) did not let me down. She had her eye on me for the rest of the race, never letting me fall behind, reminding me to breathe and encouraging me when I needed it most.  She nicknamed me “Sparkle” (go figure).

At mile 12.5, right when I knew I would reach my original goal of finishing without walking, I looked up and saw Todd cheering me on with The Baby strapped to his chest.  I couldn’t look at them too long for fear of my milk letting down (I felt like I grew an entire cup size that last mile). But that site gave me the burst of energy I needed to finish strong.  As I pulled ahead, I could hear Denise still cheering me on from behind.  I came in at 2:02:47 (9:22 pace), fighting the urge to puke and hoping the sloshing pain of my “down there womenly parts” would dissipate quickly once I crossed the finish line.

Coming in just a few minutes behind, Denise was the first person to find me and give me a huge congratulatory hug. “You did it!” she confirmed.  “We did it” I responded, “Thank you.”

I couldn’t have met and exceeded my post-partum race expectations without her. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to pay it forward.

Do you need your own sparkle running skirt? I think you do.

Share

{ 1 trackback }

Race Report:Disneyland Half Marathon 2011 | This Mama Makes Stuff
October 10, 2011 at 4:44 pm

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Shelley Abreu February 21, 2011 at 10:37 am

Hi Carrie…I just found your blog through the Run Like A Mother profile. I love it! So inspirational! And I love the Team Sparkle skirts. I’m running my first half on April 3 in honor of my 6 year old daughter who has Leukemia. When she was in the hospital for the first part of her treatment she decided her motto would be “Fight it with Sparkle!” (because she loves sparkly stuff). So needless to say, I have to buy one of the skirts to run in come race day. Just wondering, what shorts or capris do you wear underneath? Thanks (and I’ve bookmarked your blog for regular reading)!

[Reply]

This is Carrie
Twitter:
Reply:

A Team Sparkle skirt would be perfect for your race!! I also happen to know they are coming out with a “youth” size that would most likely fit your daughter so she can cheer you on with her own sparkle. In warmer weather I wear Athleta “booty shorts” under them. IF it’s colder, I wear a pair of leggings.

[Reply]

Alysa (Inspired RD) February 21, 2011 at 11:54 am

Wow, what an inspiration you are! Congratulations :) Love the skirts! Where do you gals get them?

[Reply]

This is Carrie
Twitter:
Reply:

You can get the skirts at http://www.team-sparkle.com. I cannot race without it!

[Reply]

Erin February 21, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Carrie, you’re amazing!

[Reply]

Sara February 21, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Carrie, that’s such an awesome story. And yes, you are insane for having your first race back be a 1/2 marathon after The Baby :) But then, that’s just how you roll :)

[Reply]

Misha February 22, 2011 at 5:59 am

Awesome! I love reading about your running. Your blog still inspires me to keep pushing forward and “run like a mother”

[Reply]

Ashley February 22, 2011 at 11:21 am

Hi there! I actually ran the Surf City Half Marathon too! It was my first. I’ve been following your blog for just a little bit now and have been super motivated by you. Thanks!

Ashley

[Reply]

This is Carrie
Twitter:
Reply:

Yay! I wish we could have met. Maybe we’ll do another race together here in Southern CA? Are you local?

[Reply]

ashley Reply:

Yup…I live in Rancho Santa Margarita. How about you? Where do you typically train?

[Reply]

McKay February 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm

am I the only one who got teary reading this? Go Sparkle Go!

[Reply]

KP Reply:

no.

Really you can’t just write no? (too short)

[Reply]

This is Carrie
Twitter:
Reply:

My spam filter doesn’t like you.

[Reply]

Shannon February 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm

You are so amazing! How do you do it? How did you first star running? What diet to you go by to be able to be fit? What type of shoes do you wear. What type of training do you do?

[Reply]

This is Carrie
Twitter:
Reply:

Whoa! That’s a lot of questions. I started running about 2 1/2 years ago. I needed something easy to do during the week to build my strength and endurance for mountain biking. Then. my neighbor invited me to run a 10K with him. After that race, I was addicted. I am only motivated to run if I have a race on the horizon, which is why I sometimes say I don’t like to run. I eat relatively healthy- lots of fruits and veggies. but I also love to indulge in in & out and cupcakes. I believe most things in moderation are fine. My shoes are Mizuno Wave Inspire 6 but I need to replace them badly. I’ve trained and run 2 marathons, one 1/2 marathon and numerous other smaller races in them.

[Reply]

Lisa February 22, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Aw, geez! You made me cry and even had my husband asking me who were and what I was reading! I just ran my first half in Miami the end of January and while my goal was also, “Finish without walking” I had a much slower pace and finished at 2:54, ha! Amazing you did this so soon after the baby. At six weeks I was still b*tching about my unwanted c-sections and FOR SURE would have had my women parts fall out fo sure! Haha YOU ROCK!

[Reply]

Lisa February 22, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Aw, geez! You made me cry and even had my husband asking me who were and what I was reading! I just ran my first half in Miami the end of January and while my goal was also, “Finish without walking” I had a much slower pace and finished at 2:54, ha! Amazing you did this so soon after the baby. At six weeks I was still b*tching about my unwanted c-sections and FOR SURE would have had my women parts fall out! Haha YOU ROCK!

[Reply]

This is Carrie
Twitter:
Reply:

Great job Lisa! I was lucky to not have a c-section. That would’ve taken me out far longer. I’d be b*tching too.

[Reply]

Tracy M February 22, 2011 at 6:29 pm

You may have the chance to pay it forward with me in September! I’m feeling so overwhelmed at the prospect of 13.1. I’m still stuck at 2 miles, and my pace is not nearly good enough. I know I have time, but man, does it feel uphill!! What was I thinking??! :)

[Reply]

This is Carrie
Twitter:
Reply:

You’re going to do great. Just start small now. Get up to 3 miles by the end of April. Then you can get more serious and start working on slowly adding in longer runs for the 4 months before the race. I can’t wait!

[Reply]

Kristen Howerton
Twitter:
February 22, 2011 at 8:05 pm

You rock! I bow at your feet. :) I did a 1/2 while nursing (though my baby was much older) and I was practically squirting milk that last mile. Good times.

[Reply]

This is Carrie
Twitter:
Reply:

Well, now we can mutually adore one another.

[Reply]

Jen
Twitter:
February 23, 2011 at 9:56 am

what a comeback race!!!
i had to come check your blog out since your url is so similar to mine.
it’s fun to “meet” other crafty-minded runners!
i am a newbie runner (9 months into it) and my ultimate goal is a half-marathon!
so cool to connect and be inspired!
keep it up.

[Reply]

This is Carrie
Twitter:
Reply:

Love to meet my fellow crafty runners!

[Reply]

Elizabeth February 26, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Great job…and I have to ask where did you get that adorable outfit on your baby??? so cute!!

[Reply]

mommymae
Twitter:
February 27, 2011 at 4:49 pm

you rule. so great that you went up to denise and put yourself out there for the encouragement.

[Reply]

Jeremy
Twitter:
March 1, 2011 at 8:11 am

Just found your blog. Love reading about great and inspirational runners around the country. Awesome work so soon post-partum! I have watched my wife come back from three kids and race and am still amazed at you that can get out and push a great race so soon after labor! Way to go!

[Reply]

Cori May 11, 2011 at 10:35 pm

very inspired by this story. Was planning to do my first 1/2 May 1st (at 16 weeks prego) but got a terrible tooth infection that took me off running completely,but it got me sewing again.

So, will be running again, but waiting until after the baby for a half…then, hopefully, the big one.

Keep on keepin’ on.

[Reply]

Leave a Comment

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree

Previous post:

Next post: