B is for Beach Party Half Marathon

So the bae is recovering from a super serial injury. Last season (spring 2014) he ruptured his Achilles during a match and has been working his a$$ off ever since to get back to his passion of playing soccer. I’m over ambitious and figured he’d be back on the pitch by now so I booked a flight to L.A. for the Galaxy game and figured I’d check off my first destination race in sunny CA while I was there. Long story short, he’s not 100% (but don’t worry, he’s oh-so-close). He wasn’t able to travel but that didn’t stop me from running 13.1.

Chance is from California so this was a great opportunity for me to have 1:1 time with his sister and family. I hadn’t seen them since Thanksgiving – long overdue. Coincidentally, my cousin was in town house sitting for my Aunt Teresa while she was in Cabo. My aunts house is a short 30 min. drive (without traffic) to Huntington Beach so Cousin Emily decide to run the half with us!

email and kirsten

After a short delay, my flight arrived and Chance’s sister picked me up from the airport on Friday evening. We drove down to Huntington Beach and snagged a hotel room right off the beach close to the race start. We cruised down to Seal Beach and had dinner at Thai on Main. (Super similar to Blue Koi in Mission Farms.) After dinner we headed to the pier and got some sorbet. We did some window shopping and shortly after headed back to the hotel to get some shut-eye.

We got up around 6 and walked across the street to get our packets and meet Emily. The sun was still rising so it was a little chilly. The Beach Party half is a “fun run” meaning the race is informal and capped at 150 runners. I got to talk to a lot of locals and make new friends. The course was on the beach path and consisted of two out and back loops. The scenery was beautiful!

beach party half

We all crowded around the start and listened to the director explain the course and then we all joined in for the countdown. Miles 1-3 I could tell it was going to be one of those days. Some races I start out feeling amazing and have to tell myself to slow down but for whatever reason my legs just couldn’t move fast enough. My goal was to keep an 8 min. pace and I did that through mile 6. Then the wind hit.

action shot beach party half

Mile 7 was the beginning of loop two. The wind really started to pick up and I was running into the wind for about 3.5 miles. My pace dropped and I just couldn’t hang on. My legs were tired and I think my lingering respiratory infection kept me short of breath. The last three miles I tried to use the wind to my advantage and make up some time but I just couldn’t get there. I really wanted that 1:45 but I netted out at 1:49, which isn’t my best. Dang legs!

I was bummed I didn’t PR after months of training and such an awesome 12k race in March but Chance’s mom and grandma were at the finish line so I finished with the biggest smile on my face. I got to run a gorgeous race with some really great family members by my side so I can’t complain. I’m so happy I got to spend the day with such great company.

group picture beach half

Post race we got finisher medals and I actually got another medal for placing 1st female. Afterwards, we cleaned up and headed to Main street to chow down at Beachwoods BBQ. Ash and I shared ribs and split the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich. I also got a side of potato salad and beans – oops! Everything was delicious but we all know how good KC BBQ is so I won’t go there!

beachwoods bbq

I ended the day shopping and lounging on Seal Beach. One for the books. (I immediately signed up for Running with the Cows in May… super determined to get that 1:45!)

ash and kirsten

Any destination races I should put on my list? I’m running Portland in October and wishing SeaWheeze wasn’t sold out!

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