Thursday, October 21, 2010

Long Beach 1/2 Marathon

I have been dreading this post since I knew it was going so take me so long to recap everything that happened. In one sentence, it changed my running goals.

So the night before, I slept like a baby - way better then my other 2 races since I drank some Thera-Flu (I was still sick and decided I was still gonna run - the only thing that would have stopped me was maybe the stomach flu). When I woke up, I jumped in the shower and made my smoothie that I was practicing with. My neighbor Eddie decided to run with us so he showed up around 4:30am along with my mother in law who was watching Jesse. I didn't lay everything out the night before, only my outfit and a few other things so I was running around gathering everything first thing - never again.

Traffic was less then I expected so it wasn't that bad. We did the pre-paid parking so we just went to out spot. While walking up to the area I had to pee, so we decided to stop at the Hyatt (right in front of the race). This was the BEST idea. We ate a bagel, drank water and went to the bathroom twice - no porta potties and small lines. Oh, by the way I saw Monica from Run, Eat, Repeat - one of my favorite blogs - very cool!

Here we are pre-race:

We got to the race area and I checked my bag (bad idea - more on that later). I also got talked into leaving my new hand held water bottle behind since there would be so many water stations. We then decided to go to the bathroom for the last time - I know it seems like we spent the whole morning in the bathroom, but remember I had a smoothie, coffee and water and I had nerves. The port-a-pottie lines were crazy and we should have gotten there earlier since we missed our start time. We went in the 5th line which was fine though since I am slow anyways. The only problem was we were in the back and we had to go around tons of walkers. I feel like my pace was faster since I was trying to pass a bunch of really slow people in the beginning.

Everything was fine aside from going around all the walkers for the first 7-8 miles and then I think all of the hills started to kill me. There was no major hills, but I have been training with my long runs at the back which is very flat - no hills at all. I started to walk through water stations, then at around mile 10, I had to start walking here and there and stretching everything out. I was super stiff. The Cool Fit people were there and I had them spray me - aaahhhhh....that was the best. The last mile was brutal - I was counting my steps in my head to focus on running...I am not even sure if it was running, it was more like shuffling. There was no sprint to the finish, my shuffle was the best I could do. It took ALL I had in me to finish. Official time 2:53:46.

Getting our bag back was horrid - Bill was one of those people who went in the tent to get our bag. After waiting in line for over an hour and then holding his race number in the air for another 1/2 hour - he was over it. He said he didn't yell at anyone though - thank God - poor volunteers. Next time I will leave everything in the car.

It might sound like this was horrible, but it was amazing to me. I pushed myself to the limit - it was awesome! I have a new respect for the 1/2 Marathon and I have re-evaluated my running goals. I still have a Marathon goal, but I decided that when I run my first marathon, I want to run it well. So, I want to sign up for the Huntington Beach 1/2 marathon in February and my first full will be next year's Long Beach Marathon. I have a time goal for February now, anything less then 2 hours. I have 4 months to lose 55 minutes off of my time. Since I know I can do the mileage, my plan is to only increase mileage to 15 mile long runs (with hills this time), work on increasing time, and lose 20lbs. I am definitely open to your suggestions!

I love my metal:


  1. YAY you!

    The medal is awesome.

    I'm with you. I never do drop bags. I carry everything on me & trash/donate the rest. :)

  2. Congrats Nikki! Sorry I didn't see you there. I was at the back of Wave 4.

    As you start training for your next one, the key is aerobic conditioning. Spend more time running 8 to 10 miles. One medium long run during the week and one long run on the weekend. And keep it slow. Remember - race pace is for race day, not training day.

    Hope to see you around the back bay sometime!

  3. I know - bummer! We were in the back of 5. We are planning to do the Turkey Trot in DP - will you be there? I was just at the Backbay this morning - love it there. I have track work outs on my new plan - do you know a good track in the area? Which one should I pick OCC or Vanguard? Do you know what times are best?