Long Beach Half Marathon Recap: Full of Surprises

13.1 miles
Surprising Strides

Long Beach 2012 has come and gone, but will not be forgotten.  Especially since my legs are sore enough to remind me that the race went a little quicker than I anticipated.

First off, let me tell you a story on how NOT to prepare for a race.  Saturday was a day of heat, sun and soccer.  I was not very good about eating (unless you count cupcakes and butternut squash ravioli with a salad) or hydrating.

Such a pretty sunset should have yielded a pretty night. Notsomuch.

My evening was uber stressful as somehow my children managed to break 2 glass plates and a full 1-liter bottle of balsamic vinegar on the kitchen floor.  And of course, they couldn’t happen at the same time, so instead of cooking and eating dinner, I spent 1.5 hours cleaning up glass and mopping up balsamic vinegar off walls, the carpet, garbage can, fridge, etc.

Words were exchanged (mostly me apologizing for totally losing my patience) and we all ended up in a pile of tears on the floor.  And I literally mean every last one of us sobbing in a puddle of emotion. I ate a craptastic “dinner”, couldn’t find my running stuff so I threw whatever I could find in a bag and figured the race would be what it was.

What time is it? Way the truck too early.

I stayed awake from midnight to 2am worrying about work and realized that I was going to have to do this with 2.5 hours of sleep.

Luckily I met up with some fab ladies at 5am.  Sarah, Kristina and I carpooled up to Long Beach listening to the aptly named “Wake the Shizzle Up” playlist.

After waiting in line for the bathrooms repeatedly (not kidding I went 3 times) we happened to bump into this little lady.  That super sneaky Monica was doing a surprise marathon.  She looked a little nervous, but totally killed it and got a new PR.

We eventually hopped the fence into the first corral and took super awkward photos.    I’m sure no one was annoyed at all by us doing either of those things.

Sarah and I. I’m pretty sure I took a better picture than this after giving birth.

I took off with the intentions of running 8-8:15 minute miles.  After the first 7:40ish I realized I need to pull back, but apparently didn’t.  I don’t know.  Remember when I said I couldn’t find anything.  That meant my watch.

 I had no idea how idea how fast I was really running most of the race.  I just followed my body’s lead and around mile 8 I was feeling like hot stuff and turned up the heat.  Around mile 9.75 I met up with Sarah and we kicked it for a few miles.

At mile 11 I realized I could pull a PR out of my butt if I ran 7:30 miles for the last two.  Turns out, that I could run one 7:30 minute mile and I coasted through the last one finishing with a time of 1:41:01.  1 second slower than my previous PR.  You can imagine how happy I am about that 1 second.  I’m still pretty surprised by the pace – I was really expecting that “listening to my body” would put me around a 1:50ish pace.

1st tapped keg PR!  Between that and the ProCompression socks we were well on our way to recovering.

Kristina ran her 2nd fastest race ever with a super speedy 1:34 something and Sarah busted out a 1:41:41 shattering her PR.

After the race Sarah and I found out we both reached a new type of PR when we went to the beer area and got beer from the first tapped keg.  I mean, if you run fast enough to get your beverage out of the first keg then, hey, you know you must’ve hauled it.  This the PR that matters.

Speaking of beer, kids, let’s learn a little lesson here…don’t mix yogurt and beer.  Why I thought this was a good idea post-race is beyond me.  My stomach hated me for the rest of the day.

Fun times.

As I’ve said before, Long Beach is my favorite local race.  I just love the course.  From miles 2-4 I couldn’t hear anyone talk, but was surrounded by the sound of pounding feet like a herd of angry elephants taking the Port of Long Beach by storm.  It was darned near breath taking.

A well staffed, stocked and supported course along the beach is just fine by me 🙂

Tell me about your races this weekend.
Any PRs?


22 thoughts on “Long Beach Half Marathon Recap: Full of Surprises

    • I was wondering if you were going to make it happen. You missed a beautiful race day. They didn’t have the fab lunches they had last year, but the weather was pretty good and, as usual a well run race!

  1. I love it when nothing goes as expected/right before a race and yet it all comes together. Congrats on your PR!! That’s fantastic. Maybe you need to leave the watch behind all the time?!

    • Thanks! And yes I should ditch the watch. That said, I was super annoying running up to unsuspecting Garmin wearers asking, “How fast are we going?”. I was THAT obnoxious runner!

  2. Congratulations I love that you had such a great race after such a hectic night. And to think I was frustrated when I dropped the giant dog water bowl all over. Water is much easier to clean than balsamic. I love how sometimes the most un-ready for races turn out the best.

  3. Pingback: Clarified Expectations | Striding Mom

  4. go you!! I’m so happy to hear your race was so fun AND successful. Can’t ask for a much better combo. I was looking forward to reading your recap. Very cool that you had friends there for before and after funtimes, too! 🙂

  5. Pingback: ready…SET…go? | Striding Mom

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