City to Sea Half Marathon – 1996

October 28, 1996

About a week after my first 12K, Riva suggested that I run a half marathon, which would be approximately twice as far (well, 5.6 miles more) than my previous race on October 14th.  Riva suggested the Humboldt Redwoods Half Marathon in NORTHERN California (the REAL Northern California), about an hour from the Oregon border.  I made plans to drive up after work on the 27th… but then she made a different proposal – the inaugural City to Sea Half Marathon in San Luis Obispo, because members of her college cross country team were going to be in that area for a meet (and we could probably stay with them to save money). So, instead, I drove the 3-1/2 hours from Davis to San Luis Obispo, and I slept on the floor of her assistant coach.

In the morning, we registered for the race, and my sister tried to negotiate with a local radio station to give her a shirt.  She said that she would probably be in the top few finishers, but I don’t think they believed her because she had on baggy shorts and a random cotton shirt.

The race was flat, for the most part, but then as we neared the “sea,” the road had a bit of an incline.  Also, because it was a first-time race, there were several people who didn’t know that the roads were closed, and a couple of times, cars drove through the cones onto the course as I was coming through.

They only had 4 aid stations, one every 3 miles.  By the time I got to the fourth aid station (at the base of what seemed to be a tough hill), they had no water and no cups.  The person staffing the station told me that I should have run faster… if I wanted water!  So, I pressed on through the last mile plus to the end.

Riva finished in 1:35 or something, and that was probably second or third female overall.  I came in just under 10 minutes/mile or 2:08:22, somewhat towards the back of the pack.

The aftermath of the race was that I was in some pain.  I had some pretty painful blisters on my feet.  It was suggested that in my next race I should wear TWO pair of cotton socks, instead of one.  I didn’t have nipple pain, as Riva gave me some surgical tape to protect them.  It came off pretty hard, so I thought I might use a band-aid the next time.  My knees and shins and everything hurt quite a bit.

I waited in line for the free massage, while Riva waited for her award.  A nice herpetologist gave me a massage and it helped to the extent that I only had a few cramps on the 3-1/2 drive home.  We weren’t able to stay and hang out very long, because we had to get back for a funeral and wake.

At the wake, I felt like I was ravenous, and a total pig.  I have never been so hungry in my life!  I wondered how bad it would be after a marathon.  Riva suggested that for my first marathon, I might want to do California International Marathon (CIM), because it was local to my house, and that my “training” might be peaking at the right time for a December Marathon.  I thought I’d consider it, but after the half marathon, I stopped running completely for almost a month.


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