Coveting a medal… oh and about that race.

February 5, 2012

SURF CITY  MARATHON (HALF)

Have you ever wanted something SO bad, you just won’t stop until you have it? You dream about it until it’s your reality?

This little medal did that to me 🙂

“Another day, another run” is what I kept telling myself during the drive to Huntington Beach, as my dad and I embarked on our 3rd half marathon together. I still get giddy and anxious for these things even if it is a 4th half marathon under my belt. The real excitement is because this is actually part of a bigger goal for me …

MY FIRST MARATHON!!
As in 26.2 long miles.

Am I Crazy….check
Am I Dedicated….check
Am I so Motivated no one can stop me….absolutely!

Yes, you can say I have marathon fever at this point, and it’s not because of the heated runs I have experienced. It’s because I am on fire for this goal. 🙂  I will post another day about that goal, and just who was it that gave me the running bug.

On Sunday my dad and I did this Surf City half together, as part of the training program we are following for the LA marathon. A half marathon is just that, 13.1 short of a full (incase you can’t do the math). It’s a long journey of a run no matter which way you look at it. But from a stand point now after having completed an 18 mile run during my training program already, I find that I am able to look at 13 miles differently than before.

It’s not as daunting as it seemed in the past. Particularly the last half marathon that I ran which was when I vowed to never set foot in a race again because of the pure agony I was in afterward. In this photo I am barely able to stand straight and pull some semblance of a smile out… It was torture for the rest of the day, and I was positive I was on my death-bed, therefore I would not go down dying for another run EVER!!!

But alas, here I am today writing about an awesome run I had this past Sunday, smiles all around! Funny how you can forget the pain over time…kind of like childbirth lol. I really had my heart set on this race in particular, ever since last year. A neighbor of mine told me about it, but it sold out that year before I could snag my spot. Ever since I laid eyes on the awesome surf board medal though, I knew that I needed to earn one for myself!

Then I just had to get Dad in on it and that didn’t take much…

A long time runner himself, my dad is usually up for a challenge by one of his daughters and I love that about him. Here we are in the crowd (20,000 runners) soaking up the energy as we were waiting to start.

Lucky numbers…

I felt more excited than ever to run this race. I couldn’t wait for the scene, excited for the salty air, for all the training I’ve done over the past months to get put to some use, for the company, for the pure enjoyment of a run which I consider the jumping point to my crazy 26.2  goal, for the ocean and its beckoning waves at the finish, and did I mention that MEDAL?!!

So here is a shot of my dad coming in at the finish!! Super exciting, he finished with a great time at 2 hours and 23 seconds!! I was so happy for him 🙂

Dad and I in the tent checking our times after the race..

and this is my “I’m so happy I could scream” face after finding out that my time was a new ‘personal best’ for me. The fact that I was feeling so great afterward made the time results that much more rewarding… training hard+consistency= pay off!!

I don’t consider myself a fast runner but I’m definitely glad about a 9:14 minute mile! I was really feeling great afterward. My dad on the other hand….not so much. He completely needed this relief under the shower before I insisted that we make a stop at first-aid to make sure he was not dehydrated. There is a fine line you don’t want to cross when it comes to rehydrating, and anyone who has endured the agony of a not so good post race experience knows to be careful! My Dad was definitely careful but has experienced nausea with longer runs recently, so it wasn’t utter bliss for him after this run unfortunately.

 My dad is strong though and I knew he would be okay! His motto for us kids growing up was this:

“When the going gets tough, the Garcia’s get going.” 

Needless to say, there were NO EXCUSES as a kid lol.

So after a short visit to first-aid we made our way down to the water to enjoy a little celebratory splash. It was freezing water, but it’s just what the doctor ordered to take care of some sore feet and legs…an instant ice bath!

So all the pieces to this equation came together after all. I had the scene and salty air from the ocean I wanted…

…the company and enjoyment…

..and finally that darn medal!!

It just goes to show… A dream can become a reality, if you really want it, and are willing to work hard enough for it!

For the love of the game…among other things

The wait...

Gavin, my oldest son (5) recently ended his second T-ball season playing for the “Pirates” this past month. We have been so fortunate to have the opportunity to put him in a pee wee sports program through the city. This has given him the chance to try his hand at a variety of sports, within a few years time. Having an option through the city is a great way to get kids out to burn that energy and start to understand what it is to be a part of a team, before committing to any long-term leagues. They can begin to learn the concept of a game and getting along with fellow teammates as well as other teams that they play.

Good Game!!

Gavin has been a sports fanatic since the day he was born practically…always going for any ball in sight.

Baby Gavin with a football

Ball Boy!!

He would turn anything into a sport! His skill and coordination have been clear for sometime now and we pretty much couldn’t wait for the day that he could try his first sport. The exciting day came just about when he turned three (sounds young I know…) and pee wee flag football was offered for his age. Boy was that the cutest thing ever!! The kids hardly knew what they were up to other than “hike” and “run!!” It was just a joy though to see these little kids trying to do their best and make the mommies and daddies proud. It’s a safe and fun environment, the parents aren’t too crazy yet (I know that day comes) and the kids are still innocently uncompetitive (which will also change someday I’m sure!) No team really wins yet, it’s just about learning the sport and playing the game for pure fun.

Flag Football

Gavin in action at soccer!

First T-Ball team the "Rockies!"

Gavin has been a natural like I said from the beginning. He always wowed the older kids in our neighborhood with his basketball skills. He was out on the driving range with dad before age 3, and hitting the ball straight none the less.

Golfing at age 2

I have always been a proud momma of course and although I’m not an expert in the sport department, it is obvious that he has a special talent. He has fun while he is out there on the field which is the most important thing of all!

2nd Flag football season awards with the Bangels!

I look forward to watching him grow as an athlete if that is what he wants to do in the future. I definitely hope that these early experiences in the world of sports will instill a lasting appreciation and love of what the games are truly about. For him to be able to learn the good qualities of being a team player and have fun while doing it is all we could really ask for at this point.

Loving it!

All for one!

 Whichever sport he eventually finds his niche in, I hope that he will always carry with him the same joy that he does today at this young age!