But try as we did, we did not see him. Still, the Malibu International (Half) Marathon was well worth the hours upon hours of driving across California!
We awoke bright and early Saturday morning (and by bright and early I mean around 11:00 am or so) and headed to the expo. The expo was pretty small, but still held in attendance a few booths of interest.
Truth be told, we didn’t even stop at this one. Because they didn’t have free samples. (But I thought it was worth a picture anyway). We did spend quite a bit of time at the Newton booth, trying out these bad boys.
Both Kelsea and I took them for a spin around the parking lot.
I’m pretty due for a new pair of running shoes and have, like a diligent student, been researching products online for the last month or so. Which means that I knew, even as we approached the booth, that these beauties cost a pretty penny. But let me tell you. They felt good. Fast and light, with plenty of mesh for a nice airy feel. And let’s not kid ourselves. A pair of bright pink and orange shoes are definitely worth more than a couple white, gray or even blue ones.
But, alas, no purchases were made. We were, however, barraged by a pot-bellied running coach who was completely unaffliated with Newton. Of course, we didn’t manage to figure this out until later in the day. All the pieces came together like in a movie when a series of flashbacks clues the viewer into “who done it.” When we finally realized that he was just some random guy promoting himself in the parking lot at a race expo I felt completely violated! So not cool.
And with that, I’m moving on. After the expo we spent a few minutes on the beach and hit up the local shops.
Yes, I recognize that I look freakishly excited about that cupcake. And it was just as GOOOOD as it looks. We rounded off afternoon dessert with an awesome dinner at Padri Restaurant. I had the most amazing pumpkin filled tortellini, and, of course, more dessert!
Sunday/race morning came before we knew it. This time we actually did get up bright and early. Or rather dark and early. We made it to the race in time to catch a 6:30 am shuttle to the start per the schedule. (Is it just me, or do those pants make me look short? And by pants I mostly mean Kelsea.)
What we did not fully realize in assembling the schedule was that the race itself didn’t start until 8:30 am. This meant that I finished my entire water bottle and, therefore, had to pee like 80 million times before the race started. In fact, we were in line for the potties AGAIN when the gun went off. We may have actually been the very last people to start. We even received some “encouraging words” from the race officials on the importance of beginning the race so they could take down the start.
I’ve never started a race after the start and never wanted to. But it actually worked out quite well. A combination of the late start and solid pacing meant that we were passing people the entire race. No better way to keep both a bladder and an ego happy!
The 8:30 am start also meant that it was quite a bit hotter than I planned for. Weather.com tells me the Sunday high was 80 degrees, and I believe it. I ended up taking off my long sleeved shirt (uh, long sleeve black shirt in 80 degree weather, no thank you) and getting a sunburn. Oh well, better than the rain that came along with US Half Marathon, right?
The race itself went really well. As noted, the weather was beautiful, and the whole course was along the coast on Hwy 1. There were a few minor hills, but nothing too crazy or unmanageable. The aid stations were bittersweet. The half marathon lined up with the second half of the full marathon, which meant that there were a ton of them (specifically, every 2 miles). Even better than that – entire bottles of Zico coconut water were handed out at several stations. Unfortunately, the first 3 or 4 aid stations were so jam packed that it took both time and effort to battle the crowd and surface with a cup of water.
Generally speaking, I ran at what felt like a reasonably comfortable pace. I did push myself, especially the last 3 miles. But I also feel like I could have gone just a little bit faster. Which is okay. That was my goal. I wanted to gauge where I’m at with this race. I figure with a little more effort, a flatter course and cooler temperatures I can only do better in Vegas. Needless to say, I was super pleased to finish in 2:07:16, a full 10 minutes faster than the half marathon I ran in 2008!
And let’s not forget about Kelsea who ran alongside me the whole time without training! (Disgusting, isn’t it?)