OC Half Marathon

Two days ago I was pretty certain I wasn’t going to run this race anymore. Jade got really sick, she wasn’t eating and she was very lethargic. I took her to the vet and it looked like she had big pockets of gas trapped in her stomach and intestines. There wasn’t a solid obstruction, but she had been ripping her bed to pieces so there could have been cotton fibers in there causing her problems. The vet said they could do a procedure that would cost me $1200 to verify for certain if there was a blockage, or I could take her home with antibiotics and give her pepto. If there was a blockage, most likely we’d know in a couple days as she would start to vomit. Due to all this I had given up on taking a vacation and running this race. But she started to perk up and her boarding reservation was with the vet. My husband really wanted to take this trip as it is post busy-season for my hard working CPA spouse. The vet told me that he would take good care of Jade and that sometimes a vacation is exactly what we need. He promised to call me if there is any turn for the worse and promised I could call to check on her each day. (Yes, she is my baby, I am a totally over-protective mama!) So… we hit the road on Saturday after I coached my Team Challenge group.

Basically, I haven’t been training very well the past couple weeks. I ended up getting to California without my Garmin (and several other race items.) So I went into this thinking, “Alright, the only goal for today is to have fun.”

Start Line

And I was pretty successful for a while.

I started the race enjoying the views and taking in things around me.
Ocean views! Pretty homes! Nice weather!
But between the mile 8 & 9 markers two guys trotted alongside me. One said to the other, “What are you shooting for?” The other guy said, “1:55, but I’m ahead of pace for that now.”

When I heard that my mindset totally shifted… “What?! I’m ahead of pace for a 1:55? That would be so cool!” The thought of finally going sub-2 was all-consuming. By mile 10 my stomach was churning and I nearly threw up two separate times.

Then I encountered some more hills (there were more hills on this course than I anticipated!) and ended up walking a stretch. While walking I kept seeing spectators with dogs, which made me feel sad that I had left my baby Jade behind.

As the PR kept slipping away and I feared I was moving into my slowest half time ever, my thoughts turned to other people’s perceptions and how this would reflect. “Oh no, now I’ll have to tell my blog readers about my poor performance. And all the people I currently coach. And all the people I have previously coached… They’ll all think I’m a failure!”

This line of thinking slowed me down further, to where I was almost ready to throw in the towel completely. That’s when a woman trotted up next to me and said, “Don’t give up! Only a little more than a mile left!”

So I ran into the finish, feeling super relieved that it was over. I finished in 2:13. Not my worst time, but certainly off from my PR (2:02), my goals & even my normal comfortable time (2:08).

Oh well… Every race teaches me something. I need to take a few days to sort out the lessons, but I’m sure I’ll post about them here. But for the next couple days I’m going to spend a little time vacationing with my husband and calling the vet everyday.


  1. Aww, I’m sorry it ended up being no fun for you, when it started out so well! But hey, you finished. 🙂 I hope Jade’s feeling better! (And honestly, as a runner and as one of your blog readers I don’t really worry much at all about your PRs or your run times. If you ran the half-marathon in 3:13 but still had fun, I’d think it was great.)

  2. I kind of wish you hadn’t heard those guys. I think it added pressure.

    Why would you ever think that any of your friends, blog readers, or people you coach would think less of you based on a race time?

    Good job on finishing!!!

  3. For me, I feel as though I need to have everything exactly the way I want it in order to have a great race (watch/clothing/shoes, etc). Life never works out like that! 2:13 is a great time!

    Have a great vacation!

  4. It’s crazy the thoughts that go through your head during a race. So much of running is mental! Nice job for toughing it out!

  5. hey! no negative pressure like that. like we’re going to throw tomatoes at you because you ran a race slower than your pr. (i know what you mean though, the assumed pressure/judgment is tough)

    congrats on the half! hope you are enjoying a well-deserved vacation.

  6. You can’t lose any race where you leave the starting line. Even if you DNF.

    Congratulations on finishing at the time you did. It’s quite an acomplishment.

    Hope Jade feels better soon.

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