October 13, 2009

Long Beach Half Marathon!

After taking a very lovely scenic tour of Long Beach Sunday morning due to what seemed like EVERY road being closed, I finally arrived at my pre-assigned parking spot.  I parked, stuffed everything into my iFitness belt (that thing holds an incredible amount of stuff!), and jogged to the start line.

Just as I started making my way towards the "Wave 3" signs, I realized I really had to go to the bathroom and looked in horror at the ginormous lines.  I joined the billion other people who apparently also had pre-race IBS, and ended up crossing the start line in Wave 4, almost 15 minutes after the race had started.  Thank goodness for Mr. D-chip.

The first 3 miles flew by, and it wasn't until I looked at my watch for the first time at mile 4 that I realized I was well ahead of pace for my 2:15 goal (thank you, wristband).  Bonus!  I was a little concerned I had started too fast - but decided to just keep going and hold on for as long as possible.

"As long as possible" came between miles 9 and 10 when I got a huge bummer of a side ache.  I was thinking "ugh why does this ALWAYS happen!" and that I really needed to figure out how to get rid of them, ASAP.  Apparently I had accumulated some good Karma because within seconds I felt a tap on my shoulder followed by the glorious words, "take deeper breaths, and finish strong!"  Superman then flew away, literally (if I passed 378 people in the last 7 miles, this guy must've passed 2000).  FINALLY, someone told me how to get rid of a side ache, and I felt great again.  This was short lived.

Mile 11 I guess I hit the "wall."  This was totally expected - I knew I could finish, and if I kept myself from walking, I knew I'd be able to break 2:10!  I used the last of my energy to speed up again, and crossed the finish line at 2:08 (a 16 minute PR!).  I was not expecting to do that well at all, and was SO happy!  :-D

                             Here's me: happy!  And, I was a good girl and recycled my foil cape!

This was only my 2nd half marathon and I'm still learning a lot about long distance running.  Here are the main things I took away from this race:

1.  TRAIN!  I really need to give this another shot.  I most likely would not have hit the wall so hard (my pace slowed by almost 2 min), and my legs probably wouldn't still be hurting this bad had I done more than one long training run.

2.  Refueling really helps.  I decided to run with Gu this race.  First time I've ever tried it while running, and it definitely made a huge difference.  Who knew?!

3.  Enjoy the beauty of the course.  So, for about four miles of the race we ran along the beach, next to this huge, blue thing called the ocean - yet, I don't recall ever actually seeing the ocean...I guess I was in "the zone" but I might as well have been zoning out in the middle of a cornfield.

4.  Pay it forward.  If you see someone struggling (or just to be nice) help them out!  This type of running may be all about personal goals and achievements, but we're all one big team.  I don't think I would have been able to meet my goal had "Superman" not taken the few seconds to tell me how to get rid of my side ache -  so thankful!

5.  My skort is awesome.

I've worn this during both half marathons, and both times I've been pleasantly surprised with a "cute skirt!"  Compliments are always nice, but when I hear this it also means I've passed someone :-D.

After the race I walked back to the parking lot, took a lovely scenic route out of Long Beach since the crazy full marathoners were still running all over the place, and made my way to the airport to fly back to Minnesota.  When I awoke to immense pain Monday morning, I was also greeted with chilling 35 degree air, and 3 inches of snow - Uffdah!  Here's to 2 weeks of running on a treadmill...


  1. Andrea, I am really enjoying your blog. Keep it up. And yes, more than one long run in your training will probably be helpful. :)Adam

  2. Thanks, Adam! Congrats again on your awesome first half :)