Saturday, January 31, 2009

Surf City, Here we Come

Tomorrow I run the Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach, California, and I have to confess, I’m pretty excited about it. You’d think after running ultras, that a little marathon wouldn’t be much to get excited about, but I guess it just doesn’t work that way.

It’s not that I’m in great shape, or think I’m going to run a fast time. In fact, neither of those things is true. I think the excitement in the air is mostly due to the fact that this is my first race in….six months. Yeah, it’s been a long time.

I won’t go down the road of philosophical musings about exactly how this big gap in racing happened; it just did. It does, however, bring to mind something of which I am already aware: I love to race. Even when I’m not moving that fast, or near the front runners, there is just something so exciting about that racing atmosphere. I always find it hard to go into a race when I’m just trying to take it easy. It’s impossible not to get excited, and end up pushing things al least a little bit.

So, for a race time tomorrow, I really don’t know what to expect. I feel confident about going under four hours, but beyond that, I’m just not sure. I’d like to run 3:40: far from a PR, but still very respectable. Given my very-low-mileage training plan though, I’m not sure if it’s at all realistic, but I guess there’s only one way to find out.

And I have no doubt it will be a great day, running aside. I arrived in Orange County on Thursday, and the only sign that it’s January around here are the plethora of flowering trees in everyone’s yards. It’s beautiful!

I spent Friday with my parents and sister, chasing my two nephews around Disneyland. Today we went down to Surf City proper (that’s Huntington Beach to you folks) to pick up our race numbers at the expo. Playing out on the beach afterwards, I thought I should have brought my bathing suit. The sky was so clear, and the weather so warm. It was like summer, but without all the hordes of people. So peaceful.

For those who have asked about the book…well, I’m still plugging away. And I will be for quite some time at the rate I’m going. I have definitely not written a page a day. I managed to modify that goal to be: “write something each day.” Much more manageable. Still, I occasionally have productive days, and I’m having fun with it. Hmm…sounds a lot like my winter running regimen.


  1. Ooooohhh, I wish I was there running with you! It was a mere 23 degrees for my run this morning. How'd you do? With all that oxygen and warmth, I bet you felt awesome, even if you didn't set any PRs. :) Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures!

  2. Hope you had a blast at the marathon, and glad the goal modifier is so cool that it lets you wiggle and write!

  3. Shit! You qualified. NOW what am I going to do?!

    I hope it was greater than you thought it was going to be! God, just seeing all that sun and skin makes me want to run away screaming. I can't wait to read all about the race.

  4. Oops, that last one was me.

  5. Great finish Gretchen. Or should I call you "speedy"? Nothing like getting out of the snow to run at the beach.