After all our national park fun, we headed to Modesto to run the Surgical Artistry Modesto 1/2 Marathon. The city of Modesto wasn't overly exciting--lots of fast food places, gas stations, big box stores, and overall a very standard medium-sized city. We enjoyed our hotel stay at the Best Western on Friday night, then Saturday went to the expo.
The expo was held at a large church, and was pretty busy when we got there around 11 AM. Probably the strangest part of the expo was the Surgical Artistry booth at the beginning of the expo with lots of information on cosmetic surgery and several sample breast implants sitting out on the table. Otherwise, the expo was pretty standard for a race of its size. I did enjoy the Pizza Hut booth's generous provision of free samples.
On Sunday morning the race started at the same location as the expo. It was a good-sized crowd running both the half and full marathon, but after saying goodbye to Laura, I didn't have much trouble getting towards the front of the start.
|Before the race|
The course was pretty decent. It wasn't amazingly scenic as it started by going through an industrial district. Soon, however, the race headed to the outskirts of Modesto and through some almond groves. The course was extremely flat and the only hill I can remember was an on ramp for when we ran briefly on a highway.
I tried not to push it too much as I'm still trying to recover from a sore calf and knee. I picked it up a little at the end of the race, and once again let my competitive side get the best of me at the end. With about a half mile to go, I thought I was running alone, but then I heard someone cheer, "way to go, guys!" 'Guys,' I thought. I looked over my shoulder and sure enough, one of the dudes I passed a while ago was gaining ground on me.
I could have stuck to my pace and not worried about beating anyone, but once again my competitive nature got the best of me. I picked up the pace, not wanting to be passed in the last quarter mile of the race.
I ended up finishing it 1:26:53--not horrible for having run very few miles in the past couple months while trying to heal up my little nagging injuries. I finished 14th overall, 12th male, and 3rd in my age group. Unfortunately I had no idea I finished 3rd in my age group, so I failed to pick up my award from the booth.
Laura had fun running the race as well, and afterward we wrapped up our stay in Modesto by meeting Laura's cousin and her husband for lunch at the Dust Bowl Brewery in Turlock.
It was a great trip to California, and as I'm watching snow flurries swirling around outside my window, I'm already missing the warm weather. We did get a couple nice days yesterday and the day before, so I can't complain too much.
I'm increasing my mileage again and trying to get into some kind of shape to start a training plan in a couple months. I've registered for the Chicago Marathon, so I'm hoping that I can get healthy and put in a solid several months of training to run a good marathon time.