I’m feeling really good after yesterday’s marathon. My legs are a little sore and I’m tired like I could go to bed right now and sleep for a couple hours, but hopefully a couple good nights of shut eye will take care of that.
There will be a lot of coffee happening today though. Cheers!
The Long Beach International City Bank Marathon is awesome. Quite a few people have told me it’s a great race and they are so right.
Yesterday was not about the race and the time, it was about so much more.
Let’s see, I changed up my usual pre race dinner of homemade pizzas to a salad, and Trader Joe’s Pane bread I made into garlic bread and dipped in marinara.
The whole mini loaf went down as I topped the rest with some buckwheat honey and jam and goat cheese.
The night before I was being even more indecisive than usual and couldn’t decide what color Handful Bra, what Halo Hairband or what Pro Compression socks to wear so I just laid everything out. I did know what MIzuno outfit I was wearing and that I was wearing my Wave Sayonara shoes though.
The 2:30 am wake up call was a little rough.
I’m so nice to myself sometimes. Ha.
I was in the car a little later than planned and was nervous because I hadn’t picked up my bib or anything yet and there were some freeway closures we were going to have to work around.
By we, I mean Monica and I.
The drive was a breeze, but we did make one little gas station pit stop at 5:00 am.
Parking was really easy also as they had the Long Beach Convention Center right there.
We walked by the bike tour start on the way to pick up my bib.
This event actually has a lot of other events also in addition to the marathon. They offer the Marathon, Half Marathon, 5K Run/Walk, Bike Tour, Bike & Run Combo and an Aquarium of the Pacific Kids Fun Run. You better believe I’m already planning on making it a family trip next year so the boys can run the kids fun run.
IT was pretty calm at the start. Lots of port a potties with really short lines. That’s always a plus.
WE had just enough time to get my bib, use the bathroom, check a bag and head over to the starting line.
I always run with them there for easy access, but I should probably find a better place to put them. Sometimes it’s just not comfortable.
I think it was about here when Monica and I looked at each other and said “Why do we do this to ourselves?”
Before I really had time to think things over we were off. That was good though. I went into it planning on taking it slow and hoping to not have too much trouble with the whole head cold/coughing thing. I didn’t want to over think anything so we just started running.
Gosh I’m great at action shots aren’t I?
It felt pretty warm right at the beginning actually so we were not looking forward to the sun coming up. I think my exact comment at mile 1 was “I already have a sweat moustache and am not happy with my wardrobe choice.”
Luckily it didn’t seem to get much warmer and actually felt like it cooled down a bit when we ran along the beach.
As usual, I did not preview the course information beforehand (you can see it here), so it was a fun little adventure just seeing where we got to go next on our tour of Long Beach.
The first part of the course was on the interstate highway and then we ran along the water and saw the Queen Mary. I really liked this part of the course so had to take some pictures for you.
It was beautiful and flat. Then we went along the boardwalk for quite awhile along the beach.
It’s always a good sign when you get to mile 8 and are feeling good. It’s NOT a good sign if you get to mile 8 and are not.
The course had a couple of out and back loops where you could see some of the runners on front and also cross paths of some of the bikers that were out on the course.
I do remember at one point getting tired and looking at the bikers who were almost finishing and they were just all smiles strolling along. There was a part of me that wanted to trade places with them. Ha.
We went around Cal State Long Beach and through down town Long Beach.
There were a lot of aide stations along the way. I made sure to literally stop at every single one to drink water. My first attempt to drink on the run failed since I was already struggling a bit with breathing and trying not to cough, etc.
I had a few coughing issues along the way. YOU know, you let that first cough out and then you can’t stop for like a minute or so. Those weren’t really my favorite along the course, but things could have been a lot worse.
I had a gel at mile 9 and then another one around mile 16 or so.
I really felt good until around mile 21 when I I started getting tired. I told myself, “Well, duh, you’re running a marathon, obviously you should be tired and at some point it’s going to be hard to keep going.”
I caught up with speedy Pam somewhere around mile 22. We chatted for a bit about how some races are awesome, some are a struggle and some you just really need to get yourself to the finish line.
I tried to just zone out for a few miles after that. Then when I hit mile 23 I knew I was going to see my best friends at the finish line. I kept doing the countdown math in my head. “I get to see Deena and Sasha in 24 minutes.”
“Now I get to see them in less than twenty minutes.”
I grabbed a half of an Otter Pop they were handing out. I usually don’t go for those on the course, but it looked so good.
The last couple of miles were through downtown getting back towards the beach and we were back with everyone who was running the half marathon so there were more people cheering and running.
Some nice man was by me and kept clapping his hands and saying something to try to encourage me to get going to the finish. I just smiled at him every time he turned to me, but now I really wish I knew what he was saying. Ha.
When you pass that 26 mile sign it is such a great feeling. Sometimes that .22 of a mile can seem very long though.
But that finish line……..
crossing that finish line is THE BEST FEELING EVER. It will NEVER get old.
First thing on my agenda after a race is to get my medal and take a picture. It’s all part of the job. Ha ha.
I always tell whomever is taking the picture to just take a bunch because I’m sure I’ll have to delete a few.
A few like this.
Yeah, you’re welcome.
This was not the guy who was running with me at the end trying to talk to me, but doesn’t it look like we’re friends. He’s a pretty good photo bomber.
They were handing out water and goodies bags at the finish line.
They also had coconut water and Chobani.
I was darn impressed with the medals too. Fancy shmancy.
Finish lines that are at the beach are the best. It’s also nice to just have lots of open space to try to meet up with your family and friends. It wasn’t hard at all to find my besties.
Dang I love them.
Dang I loved this race.
You already saw some of these, but post race shenanigans included finding my race announcing friend Rudy to say hi.
Then we met up with Pam again.
Oh and by the way, this was her 35th marathon. Can you even believe that? She is amazing.
Oh and this backdrop, I mean how can you not take a picture here.
We helped ourselves to some grapes before we figured out that the table set up was probably not for us. Oops.
We had to take an obligatory beach background picture. Same people, different background.
Another “on the job” photo.
They had a massage tent, but the line was long so I passed it up.
Pretty cool though to get a massage on the beach after a marathon, right?
The cool kids, Smush Tush and Silent Assassin, were hanging out at the beer tent. We stopped for a quick hello.
I checked my bag, which I rarely do, but I had picked up my race shirt that morning and didn’t have time to take it back to the car.
Might I say though that bag drop off and pick up was very efficient.
We had a short walk back to the car and realized on the way that the Long Beach Grande Prix takes place at the same location.
We met Monica at the car so she could grab her stuff.
Then I took a quick Action Wipes shower and changed my clothes and we were off for a fun breakfast.
Heck yes I chugged that Vega recovery accelerator and sported that medal around all morning.
So that’s about a wrap friends.
It was such an awesome experience and I’m so glad I went in not thinking of it as a “race”. I got to enjoy every little thing.
I’m not totally sure either, but I may have just gotten my first ever negative split time.
I feel like I got a little bit of my running mojo back. I’m not sure if body is ready yet, but my mind is ready for some big events next year.
Thank you Run Racing for a wonderful event, one heck of a great race and some serious new bling.