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Saturday, October 15, 2011

the long beach half marathon race report

the long beach 1/2 marathon was my very 1st race 2 years ago. it was a fantastic race and it had me instantly hooked! when i didnt get into the nike 1/2 marathon that happens in october (see what happened here) i thought about long beach but wasnt sure i wanted to go back. did i want to run the same course? would i get bored?

ultimately i ended up going back and it was soooo the right decision! if you didnt read the whole weekend recap, check it out here. now its on to the race recap! the race was sunday morning and we went down saturday morning. we stayed in san pedro, the town next door at the crowne plaza because of the shuttle on race morning. thank goodness that was there because we were literally in the ghetto! i did have 4 goals set out in my head for the race:
a. finish under 2:13 for a new pr.
b. finish under 2:10 for a super stretch pr. ::fingers crossed::
c. keep a pace under 10:00 min/mile. this would be amazing!

d. finish under 2:17. that was my time 2 years ago in long beach.

saturday night after getting back from dinner i laid out all my clothes and snacks and bags so all i had to do was grab and go in the morning. it was so great to be back to the hotel early and get to bed early, this never seems to happen. 330am though still came damn early. i let richard sleep a little longer since we didnt have to be downstairs till 415am and i fumbled to put on my race day outfit. we actually ended up heading down a few minutes early.
ready to rock and roll!
the race breakfast from the hotel!
 i grabbed my race morning breakfast bag to go and we waited to board the shuttle. the concierge guy was freakin on it, checking everyones names off as we came down and then when we got on the shuttle he called roll one more time. race day shuttles are the best thing ever, seriously. to roll out of bed and not have to worry about keys and leaving and road closures on a day when you are already nervous enough is beautiful! we got to the start line super early and got to people watch for a few hours. the time went pretty quickly and there were lots of things going on with the bike race and the corral line up. soon enough it was time to go! holy crap.
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after two good luck kisses i left richard and mosied my way into the start corral which was crazy! i could barely get into the right corral let alone in the correct part. i found the 4:30 finish for the marathon pacer and knew i needed to stay in front of hime to break my time. once they let the 1st 2 corrals go we were able to move to the start line and i made my way through the crowd a little better. then we were off! my new tank top kept riding against my skirt and in the 1st 2 miles i was tugging on both of them every 3 steps it seeemed. then there was enough sweat i think for them to grip on that it was much better (i know, its gross, happens when your a runner).

the miles clicked by pretty quickly and i was feeling great. i stopped at all the water stations, powered up the overpasses (thank you runner group), and was passing people like crazy, best confidence booster ever! pretty soon i caught up to the 4:15 marathon pacer who i swear was the doppleganger of a good family friend. about the same height, wore his hat the same, same build, a little younger, same face on a quick look, so he was super to follow. not long after though my legs felt great and i decided to forge ahead. the spectators were great and i didnt get to see richard because he had staked out claim at the finish line. there was one part that we ran behind the finish line that i kept hoping he would be there, no such luck. soon we passed the 10k mark and we were headed to the beach for miles 7-10. this was definitely the warmest part, the sun had come out and the reflection off the clear water made it a warm path. i just kept clicking away.
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we got to mile 10 with the gu's (my favorite) and i knew we were only 3 miles to the finish, i was thinking, 3miles? i can do that in my sleep. while i was grabbing gu the 4:15 pacer passed right in front of me i was like, i no i didnt work this hard to have him pass me. so i hightailed it out of there and caught up pretty quick. .8 miles down the road the full marathoners turned right and i was sooooo glad to stay to the left. i did know this meant i would have to finish on my own. i passed the 11 mile mark and saw a clock that i think said 1:59 and i knew if i had a chance at coming in under 2:10 i had to get friggin going. by this point my body was hurtin. i didnt hit a wall, but i was ready to see the finish line. i knew it was close and when i saw the 12 mile marker all i had to do was countdown the lights and look for the left hand turn downhill to cross the finish. finally i saw the turn left sign, i plastered a smile on my face, fixed my tank top and skirt and gave everything i had left in the tank to the finish line. i could hear the crowd and the announcer. i could finally see it. i threw up my hands when i saw the finish time at 2:15 and knew by starting in corral 3 i had beat my 2:10 goal time. i crossed the line and even did a fist pump!!
i grabbed water and a mylar blanket even though it was warm (i never finish in time to get one, so i friggin jumped at that chance!). the 1st full marathoner hadnt even finished yet and i was grabbing my medal, it was awesome. i made my way through the crowd and found richard, thank goodness he is tall, and he said he didnt get a picture but had an awesome video of me crossing the finish line! ive never had a video before so i was stoked. then i wanted to know my time, did i beat my 2:10 stretch goal? what about my under 10:00/min pace? they had a tracker website we could access from our phones and i had to know. richard said it had issues keep track and all i wanted to know was the finish. he pulled it up and had a huge grin, "2:03:56." i was stunned!! no friggin way. are you kidding. i did not just knock off 10 minutes from nashville. i probably would have been jumping up and down if my body didnt hurt so bad. i was still in disbelief and went over to the results tent to check out the computers. it said the same thing with a "9:26 min/mile." i was sooooo excited! i dont think the grin left my face all day.
video
it was an awesome race! i had such a good time and am so glad i went back. remembering the course definitely helped a little bit and made for a whole different kind of race experience. i cant believe i am done with 1/2 marathon #5! 2 years ago i never would have thought i would get to that number so quickly. my training was tough, i put in a lot of miles, all the early morning workouts, and the ravenous hunger was all so worth it. the giving up of all the fatty foods i love was also worth it when i found out i had knocked off 10 minutes off my time.

i will totally admit, im addicted:)

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