On the spur of the moment, 2 weeks ago I registered for the Tustin Hangar Half Marathon. I figured it was only about a 20 minute drive from my house, so why not? And my friend Sol was running it! My biggest dilemma was that I hadn’t really been training for a half, and it was only a week away. I needed to get in at least an 8 mile run and soon. Usually you taper the week before a big race to give your muscles time to rest and repair. Not this time. I ran 8 miles on Monday and felt good, so that was a boost in my confidence. And we runners know, it’s all in your head. I did yoga on Tuesday, 6 mile easy run on Wednesday, worked Thursday and Friday, walked the San Diego Zoo all day Saturday, and prayed I’d be okay on Sunday.
As it turned out, the event was well organized and I felt good.
The race started and finished at The District, which is a huge shopping center with a ton of free parking. I love free, easy parking! Remember to always take a good look around at where you park in the wee hours of the morning. Things tend to look a whole lot different later when there are people and cars everywhere. The last thing you want to do after running 13.1 miles is walk around forever trying to find your car. Just saying. 😉
They were singing the National Anthem as I was walking to the start. I got to the starting line in just enough time to hook up my music and turn on my GPS watch. No time to get nervous or be cold. It was a little cool out but I had a mylar blanket from a previous race. (If they are giving them out at the finish, always grab one even if you think you don’t need it. As you cool down after a race and your body chills, you’ll be glad you have it. Then save it for a chilly morning at another race. )
The miles went by quickly and the only stop I made was a pee break at mile 7.5. I’ve only had to stop at the port-a-potty twice before during a race, but I didn’t have time before the race and I didn’t want to risk really needing one down the road with none in sight. Yikes!
We ran through the one of the Tustin Hangars. Seventeen stories high, over 1,000 feet long and 300 feet wide, the hangars were, and still are, two of the largest wooden structures ever built. Then on to quaint Old Town Tustin. There were a decent amount of spectators to keep you motivated and a bunch of volunteers handing out water. Don’t forget to thank the volunteers. It’s a longer day for them than you. They’re there setting up before you start and cleaning up long after you leave. I did notice, this was the first race people actually used the trash cans that are put out for empty water cups. Yay!!
The weather remained overcast the whole race… perfect for running. It was chilly afterwards and they didn’t hand out any mylar blankets, bummer ;-( . (I wish I had checked a bag.) I don’t usually check a bag but it would have been nice to have a jacket and something to put my stuff (free samples) in. Most of the time my hubby is waiting for me and brings a bag and jacket. Something to think about for the next race. We both felt good and finished strong. Sol cut off 10 mins from her last race time! Great job Soledad! You got this!
I wasn’t cold for very long because we didn’t hang around, (even though they had a pretty big post-race expo). There were a ton of vendors from the local merchants and a band. I was feeling pretty stinky and hungry (forgot cash in the car…I really did not prepare well) so I headed home.
All in all, I thought the Tustin Hangar Half was well organized, fairly scenic and flat, great expo and decent finishers shirt and medal. I’m not sure if I’ll run it again, only because there are so many races I haven’t done, but I do recommend it.