Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Race Report: Surf City Marathon [The Expo]

On Thursday night, inbetween the constant paranoia of missing my 4:50 alarm, I had a dream. And yes, this is vital to you being able to enjoy this post. Read on. My dream goes as such: It is race morning. I am in my corral, ready to go, though somehow, not in the last corral. When, suddenly, a series of half a dozen tornadoes come ripping through Southern California (Megan note: this was obviously in the wake of the giant tornado that ripped through north Georgia earlier in the week), and so last minute (literally, last minute), they decided to move the race. Where to? Flagstaff, Arizona. Naturally. So we all take off - yes, as in start running to Flagstaff, a mere 500 miles away. Unbeknownst to me, my dearest friend Tina has been conspiring with my boyfriend for some time to surprise me at the finish line of my first full marathon. So here I am, running to Flagstaff, when I get a call from Tina who asks "Where are you? I'm in Chino (my hometown) and I heard the race got cancelled!" and I reply and say "I'm in Flagstaff, in the race!" Not much longer, (at some point), I'm sitting on a bench in Buffalo Park in Flagstaff, and eventually find my way to downtown Flag, where the finish line is... not moments after my parents, boyfriend, Tina and her husband apparently drove from Southern California. We all made it at the same time. Obviously.

Ah, dreams. If only I had known... but that's for later down the road. I'll hold you in anticipation. Katy Beth, Heather, Kasey and I have been planning this for months, to all come together and run Surf City - Kasey and I for the full, KB and HP for the half.  I got in early Friday morning to Ontario, Heather was flying in that afternoon, Kasey arrived Thursday night, and Katy Beth would be driving in from Vegas that evening. Such a great collection of places, love it! Friday night we took my parents out for a thanks-for-letting-us-crash-the-house and happy-birthday-mom dinner to PF Changs. Delicious! Sadly... I forgot the photos.

Views from the top!
Saturday morning my mom convinced us to all go for a walk with my aunt near our home on a beautiful rolling course with some pretty extraordinary views. Since I was prepping for a two-mile shake out run anyway, I figured a few miles' walk would be alright, just to take it easy.
Birthday lady and me.
Me, HP and Kasey on a gorgeous morning walk!

So glad I did that - Katy Beth stayed behind in bed, but oh man, girl. You missed out! Happy birthday to my mom and a great way to kick off the weekend. After Starbucks, showers, and discussion of the day's plans, we were off! ... to breakfast. Many thanks to the powers of Yelp (and not knowing all the places that have popped up in my own city), we found the most adorable breakfast place, The Avocado House, and happily gorged on last carbo-loading efforts of pancakes, omelettes, fruit and country potatoes. Fantastic.
Can you say delicious?

After a stop at Dick's for some last minute race gear, we were finally off to the expo - Katy Beth was particularly antsy. She had ordered a Team Sparkle skirt that hadn't arrived to Vegas by the time she left - lucky for us (her, that is), they are based locally in California and were literally on our way to the expo. Such luck - they left her skirt on the porch! Now that's customer service.

Finally, it was expo time. This is where my nerves really started kicking in - it was real. It's here. I'm picking up my packet to run a marathon. Holy ----. Eeep! Thankfully, I'm easily distracted by photos and all the fun and buzz around an expo that it's easy to forget the nerves for a little while. So we stopped as soon as we hit the entrance for a few photos:
Last attempt at calming my nerves.
Do you see that girl waving in the window of that last picture? Do you remember my dream? That my friends, in the black shirt, is my dearest, bestest Tina. Is your jaw on the floor yet? Mine was. And then the tears just started to pour. Ugly crying. In the middle of the expo entryway. Flattering, surely.

Unbelievable surprise. THEY ALL KNEW. Except me. Tina had been working with Heather for months, who in turn told Kasey, and they eventually filled in Katy Beth and my parents on Friday night. Tina and her husband, Jon, drove in from Phoenix on Saturday morning and had beenwaiting at the expo for nearly an hour for us to get there! Un-freaking-believable. As she says, "I was only 5 hours away! Did you not think I wouldn't be here for your first marathon?!" Well, no. Apparently I just have really scary creepy intuition (which explains why, when I told the other girls my dream, they weren't all that phased by it... and that confused me). .

After lots more tears, it was time for pick up. This ish got real. And we got nervous.
And that was that - bib in hand, lucky number 3609, shirt in hand... it's expo and shopping time! I got a little carried away, admittedly. I got myself two more race things, on top of the race shirt: another race shirt and the finisher's jacket. Hey! You only get one first marathon, right? Make it count. Love my new swag! The expo itself was really well organized, though busy, but not surprising since were there at 3 in the afternoon the day before the race. Tons of vendors, free samples, and all kinds of good stuff. And the best part were the photo opportunities! They know just how to cater to me!
ALL of us!

And then it was beach time... I said all day I wanted a jumping beach photo, since we wouldn't have legs after the race on Sunday to do it, and that I'd have to find a poor schmuck to take the four of us' photo 19 times over until it worked. Well, lucky for us, Jon became our schmuck (thank you Jon!) and got a great shot not long into our photo shoot. Such a fantastic afternoon! 

We headed home, invited Jon and Tina up for dinner (they were staying near the race), and had our pre-race carb runner's fest. Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, and an intended movie night with Spirit of the Marathon, that we all kind of forgot about and then ran out of time for. Great friends, boyfriend, laughs, drinks, and food... aaaaah the food.

And just like that... Saturday night. Early alarm clocks (3:50 am). Dear God, just let me sleep...

Race day is coming! Stay tuned!


  1. The night before my first marathon was probably one of the worst nights of sleep I've had in a long time :P I hope yours was a little better!

  2. Oh my gosh, Megan, I ADORE that your bestest friend on Earth surprised you like that. What an amazing way to kick off your marathon fun! Super excited for your epic recap. <3

    1. Doesn't it make for the best story ever? I still can't believe it. Epic recap in progress. Oi, quite the work in progress! :) <3