"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Race Report: Big Sur 1/2 Marathon November 9, 2008

PR baby!!


Thank God. I feel like my last few races haven't gone so well. It is certainly not that I am all about speed, but it is nice to have a run that just comes together.

The run is called the Big Sur Half Marathon at Monterey Bay because it is NOT at Big Sur, it is in Monterey. It is put on by the same people as the Big Sur International Marathon, so they keep the name. This is very irritating to most people. Me, meh, I don't care. But I felt like I should explain.

My Run Buddy decided to not do the race, but still offered to come with me for moral support so that was cool.
I don't know why I always look like I am wired on crack in these pictures.

We got there at 5:45 for packet pick up and the race started at 7:05. It was cool (not fucking, FREEZING like Bizz Johnson) and lightly raining (not POURING like Stinson Beach) I actually got perfect running weather. Maybe the curse has been lifted.

It was a much bigger race than I expected. The news reported 6,000 runners. It was really crowed for the whole race I was dodging people at Mile 13. That NEVER happens to me. At my speed, I practically get a private finish. I spent so much time dodging people that my Garmin read 13.37 miles at the finish. My pictures are pretty awful because I didn't slow down to take them.

Of course, the lack of blur in my pictures taken at full running speed DOES harm my self esteem a bit.

A very boring shot of running through downtown Monterey

For the first 3 miles I felt like crap. My legs felt heavy and I was thinking it was going to be a long morning. Then around Mile 4 I got a burst of energy. and I started to feel pretty great. At Mile 6 I started to feel super human (Look there are nines!!)

Elevation (ft)
Pace (min/mile)
MilePace (min/mile)Speed (mph)Elevation
actual+/- avgactual+/- avg
111' 34+1' 155.2-0.6+10 ft
211' 01+0' 425.4-0.40 ft
310' 13-0' 065.9+0.1+10 ft
411' 16+0' 575.3-0.5+3 ft
510' 44+0' 255.6-0.2+42 ft
69' 52-0' 276.1+0.3-56 ft
79' 52-0' 276.1+0.3-13 ft
89' 53-0' 266.1+0.3+26 ft
99' 50-0' 296.1+0.3-7 ft
1010' 01-0' 186.0+0.2-17 ft
1110' 14-0' 055.9+0.00 ft
1210' 25+0' 065.8-0.1+13 ft
1310' 11-0' 085.9+0.10 ft
end01' 22' 11+01' 11' 520.7-5.1-7 ft
Versus average of 10' 19 min/mile

We got to run through the tunnel which was fun, except it was still when I felt like shit at that point, so I was cranky about all the yelling. Boo.

Heading into the tunnel

Running down Cannery Row (a bunch of old fish canneries turned into tacky
tourist shops. I just don't see the draw)

Sammy the Sea Otter, the mascot from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, came out to cheer on runners. Now THIS is something you MUST see if you come to California. The aquarium is amazing. Simply amazing.

At Mile 6 we turned down to the water's edge and the views were stormy, but beautiful.

My pictures do not do it justice.

I felt like I was working pretty hard, but when the Mile 8 guy called out the splits I did some quick calculations and decided a PR was not in the cards today.

An all female Taiko Japanese Drumming group at Mile 9

Last beautiful view at Mile 10.

At about Mile 11.5 I regained the ability to do math and realized that I could get a PR on this race. I kicked it up a notch (well, as much of a notch as I could muster) and brought it home. I was passing people left and right (that NEVER happens to me) it may be because I was breathing so hard they thought a freight train was bearing down on them so they were diving out of the way.

I was thrilled to see that I finished in 2:17:37 almost a 2 minute PR over the Santa Cruz half marathon in April.

At Denny's for a celebratory breakfast. Again with the crack eyes?

By the way, that last picture was taken with my new PINK blackberry! I have had a crappy couple of weeks, so I did me some retail therapy!


Julianne said...

Love the beautiful scenery!! I had some last minute thought about running the Big Sur HM this weekend but didn't go through with it. Did you drive down from San Jose this morning? Congrats on the PR, btw! You did fantastic!!!! Ok, now onto CIM. :-)

Ok, next year, I will definitely consider this race. I looove that shirt and medal!

Anonymous said...

AWESOME you fast woman!!! Congrats on the PR!! That's a very cool medal, too :-)

I'm so happy this race went well for you after the past few haven't.

You do not look wired on crack in your pics...you look happy. But, thanks for making me laugh once again!

Reese said...

A great job on P R'ing, and some nice pictures.

JenZen said...

OMG - look at you!! GREAT FREAKIN' job!! Look at those 9's too!!

The Original MAJ said...

What a gorgeous race. Your time was phenomenal! I hear you on the being fast and the race coming together. Every now and then it's nice to have one that just works.

I got a text from my girlfriend during my 10k on Sunday . . . "run bitch run." It made me think of your blog! :)

Runner Susan said...

What fabulous photos and congrats on your PR!!

Angela said...

Way to go on the PR! Caongratulations! I love the pictures.

ShirleyPerly said...

Congrats!!! Finally a race with decent weather. You soooo deserved it after the last coupe doosies.

And I loved the photos. We used to live in Monterey before we moved to FL. Have driven through that tunnel, gone down Cannery Row, run along the trail past Lover's Point, watched otters and heard sea lions barking countless times. Thanks for the memories and great race report!!

Southbaygirl said...

What an awesome race and super weather and AMAZING scenery! I'm so jealous...but I did think it was run in Big Sur...bummer! Oh well still very pretty!! And damn great time girl!! I haven't had a race come together like that for me in awhile...you've inspired me!!

I nearly bought a pink blackberry as well....

Anonymous said...

Congrats on holding it together for a great finishing time!

Jaime said...


It sounds like you did an awesome job and that PR is fantastic... I'm also impressed by your math skills so late in the game.

Willie said...

Great job on the PR! Look at those splits! You rock.

It's kind of a good feeling when you have trouble taking pictures isn't it? Means you're running fast.

For what it's worth, you're my hero today!

Klassenator said...

YAY! Damn you had a great time:)

Sounds like you were also blessed with some great weather.

Exciting new phone... and of course it is PINK.

Go Mom Go said...


What a beautiful route!
Congratulations on the PR and the pictures are great. Everytime I see the ones of you, you remind me of a friend that used to live here in Indy (she has now moved) but the two of you look like sisters.

Ok, that was random. :)
Great job!

JenZen said...

Hey girl! Quick question. How do you carry your camera during your runs? Do you have a belt or put it in a pocket or what? I love all the pics and want to take mine on a couple of runs. Thanks!

Stef0115 said...

YES! Way to PR baby! NICE JOB.

Love the photos. The one where you said you are wired on crack made me laugh. I laughed at what you said not at the picture itself. You always look good in your pictures.

Seeing those 9s in there is going to motivate me to get some 9s into my long runs as well -- but not until after I'm done sitting on my ass for two weeks.

:-) So happy for you!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god, your blog is SO much more fun than mine! Oh well, once again I had a great time running with you! I am so proud of you for pulling out this pace.9's are so exciting!!!!!
Oh, and those are not crack yes, they are ENDORPHIN eyes.
Rock on!

Southbaygirl said...

Stacey, Thank you so very much!!! Thanks for being such an animal person and for being so understanding and supportive! Your words and thoughts mean so much to me!!! I know I did everything for my boy, but it's just so hard to let them go! I'll always love him and know that i did everything in my power to make him comfortable!!! I guess this is the downside to being a pet owner!!!

I'm going to try to make it on saturday! What time do you plan on starting???


Calyx Meredith said...

You rock! Congratulations on the PR! Your pictures are beautiful. Wish we could have been there.

Unknown said...

I love the race shirt color.

I love the scenery.

I love your race pics.

I love the finish time.

Man, I wish *I* had done the race. :-)

E said...

Congrats on the PR! Looks like it was a great race!

Steve Stenzel said...

Great photos! AND NICE JOB!!!

Man, that's one consistent pace! Way to hold on to that all the way through! Congrats!

Tina Mickelson said...

Ohhh this looks like a beautiful race! Great time too! I wish I had been there. My 20 mile race didn't go quite as good as your race did but ohhh well. They don't all get to be perfect do they?

Anyhow you did a GREAT JOB and I'm so proud of you. Nice bling at the end too!

Aka Alice said...

Awesome pix...how do you do that when you're running AND get a PR???

Beautiful run. Maybe next year I'll get the herd up there. We're always lookin' for a road trip.

(BTW...you're right, for a teacher, this IS the worst time of year...it's just kicking my ASS right now...)

Southbaygirl said...

Hey woman, I just tagged you for an award...come by and pick it up!

Lou said...

Holy crap! You are getting fast. I don't think you're going to be aloud to refer to yourself as "slow" ever again.