Sunday, October 17, 2010

Long Beach 1/2 Marathon Recap

First of all, I want to say thank you to Run Racing for putting together an incredible, organized, and exciting race!  Everything was so well done.  And thank you to all the volunteers for donating their time today.

I was ready for today.  I logged my training runs with the exception of a few, I was healthy, the weather was perfect (cool with a thick marine layer), I was completing my California Dreamin' Racing Series, and it was hometown.  I felt ready.  Friday I went to the expo to pick up my bib and CA Dreamin' jacket, and yesterday I met up with some awesome Bloggers and Twitter friends @ Paroloccia for some delicious pasta and pizza.  (The Running Green Girll took some pics if you're interested :) )  We had a wonderful time.  We laughed, talked shop, swapped stories, encouraged each other.  I was in good company which only solidified my thoughts of success and hopes of hitting my goal.

I woke up at 3am this morning and took my time eating breakfast.  I took a shower and dressed in my race outfit that I had laid out the day before.
Left side: Race gear
Right side:  Post run gear, including CA Dreamin jacket and LB tee
I was so excited.
It didn't take me long to get there, and when I finally did, I made camp at the Sole Runner tent.
I chatted with Michelle for a while before it was time to line up in the corrals where I met with Kristy.
We finally got to the start about 30 or so minutes after the gun went off, and we ran together for about 3 miles.  It was awesome running with her and she made the first few miles feel like a breeze.  I was 100% on pace (with a few seconds to spare!).  I was feeling great.  Then I hit mile 7 and saw a million spectators, and a massive monsoon of emotions flooded me and it took everything to fight back the tears.  Why?  I HAVE NO CLUE!  At this time I checked my phone and I had the most inspirational text from one of my best friends who also is a runner, and that made me smile.  She unfortunately has the flu otherwise she would have been there (possibly even running me in!).  I also tweeted how I hit some emotional wall, and the responses I got were overwhelming.  Valine, who is also known as the RunningFairy, was more like my running angel--she tweeted me probably a dozen times to keep my spirits up and to encourage me to keep going.
Then at mile 9, I had to pee and alas!  I got a visit from a certain monthly friend.  Terrific.  I wasn't expecting that for a couple more days.  Then at mile 10 I was done.  I mentally couldn't go on.  I wanted to cry.  I thought for a brief moment about stopping, but quickly told myself "No way in hell you're backing out.  You can do this.  Finish and complete CA Dreamin.  Walk if you have to, but DON'T QUIT.  NEVER QUIT."  And I didn't.  I walked...a lot.  I finally called my bf, who had also been texting me, and I couldn't catch my breath.  He heard my struggle and he talked me through the next mile.  I needed that more than anything.  He couldn't be there today on the course, but having him on the phone with me was exactly what I needed.  I finally told him I was going to finish so we hung up and it took every ounce of strength for me to pick up my thighs and run.  Around mile 12 I saw a marathoner, a guy maybe 18 or 19 years old, hit the wall.  He fell to the ground and the medic came, but he was done.  Here I was, struggling to put one foot in front of the other fighting a mental battle, but this guy could not physically finish.  I felt sad, but he kind of inspired me to push a little more.

Finally I saw mile 13 up ahead and I started running.  I felt like I was sprinting, but I was probably running a 12 minute mile, maybe slower.  I crossed the finish line and got my medal.  The medal was beautiful, and so was the ribbon it was on!  I saw the pictures of the medals before, but they looked so much better in person.  It was worth it :)  I stopped at the exquisite sand sculpture to get my photo taken.  Here is the final was incredible!
The front
The back
Then remembered to get my CA Dreamin medal!  How could I forget?  I only wish I picked up that medal before taking the sand sculpture picture.  Oh well.  Then I went back to the Sole Runners tent, grabbed my stuff, took off my shoes and put on my sandals, and I wanted to go home.  I didn't stop at one of the delicious smelling food trucks, I didn't even get my free beer at the beer garden!!!  I just wanted to be home.  Once I was in my car, I cried.  I let myself cry for 2 minutes, no more.  That was the only time I was going to sulk.  Two minutes to cry over a terrible run, then I was moving on!  Two minutes later, that was that and I felt better.  Hey, every runner has a bad run right?  I'm proud I finished despite it all.  And I managed a smile for a picture with both my medals:
Seriously, thank you thank you thank you to everyone who was sending me encouraging texts and tweets, and talking me through too {Sean!}
The drive home that normally would take 15 minutes, took me an hour and a half.  When I finally made it home, I showered, iced, and my dad cooked me a delicious gourmet breakfast of eggs and blueberry waffles.  Delish!
My kitty liked the medals too!
Today was not my day.  To put it in perspective, I ran worse today on the flat course of Long Beach than I did when I ran the hills of San Francisco with an injury!  Today was not the perfect race I had imagined, but I finished.  For that I am proud of myself.



  1. We have all had craptastic runs and races!! They cant always be perfect! Sometimes the tough ones are the races that make us stronger and love running even more!

    You finished! It's hard to finish when you are toast! But you did it!!!! CONGRATS!!!

    Enjoy this! You will have many other races!!! Especially since we live in So Cal!

    And lady-we are practically neighbors! I live in San Pedro!

    Great meeting you last nite!

  2. First...It is so very cool that we got to meet last night. I realized after dinner, that I'd actually been reading/following your blog for awhile.

    It was a tough course...much harder than I thought it was going to be, and also than SF was. I'm not sure, but I think some hills actually help me because not only are there the ups, but there are also the downs. I found the flat really exhausting.

    I agree w/Penny. It was great meeting you last night. I am impressed. I won't have a race report up for a day or so! Good job!

  3. Congrats girl! You pushed through a tough spot and won! Finishing is winning and you Finished! Congrats!

  4. Congratulations on pushing through, girl, you are one trooper.

    It was really good to meet you and I'm thrilled you are a Sole Runner now. ::hugs::

    Oh, and congratulations on completing the California Dreamin' Racing Series!

  5. Congrats! Ugh, if my monthly visitor appeared early during a race, I would have flipped, way to push through.

    I agree, the medal and the sculpture are both gorgeous!

  6. hey dont be sad. u finished and that is what matters.

    and thnx for stopping by my blog! :)

  7. hey, congrats on finishing! and the CA Dreamin' Racing Series! I know it must have been discouraging, since you were so dedicated to your training plan. Me, on the other had, my training was all over the map.. and I somehow did ok.. at least for me. It's just what happens on race day. Congrats on fighting back and finishing!

  8. I am so proud of you!! I know when I got your text messages you weren't well, but you did it & you got that jacket and medal! Like I told you we ALL have bad races....I look forward to running many more with you!!

  9. Dude, I DEFINITELY know how you feel...having just did that Chicago Half with the same outcome, just NOT running well...I empathize. But you finished and you can simply look back on the experience as a battle won. Maybe there were some casualties, like your spirit for example, but you won :)

  10. Thank you all SOOO much!!! I tremendously appreciate your support and encouragement! It definitely wasn't my finest run, but at least I finished. Thanks guys :)