This past Sunday, I ran the Long Beach International Marathon (my 2nd marathon). My main goal was to finish faster than my first marathon. My secondary goal was not to hit "the wall" at mile 20 and in a perfect world... to run it in 4 hrs 20 minutes.
During my 16 week training program, I totaled 365 miles. I was injury free and ready.
Bryan and I headed to Long Beach, CA the day before the race to pick up my race packet, take in a beautiful day at the ocean and load up on carbs. Here I am sneaking in a beer with a big pasta lunch. Hey now, beer has carbs.Rise and eat at 4:00am....It's race day! My husband bought me these cute "race day" underwear. Bryan, you're so good to me. Little did I know, this would be a short lived gift.
At 5am, we headed to the start line...but not without stopping at the dreaded porta potty. This photo is a foreshadowing of what was yet to come.The race started in the dark, before sunrise. It's almost time...
Miles 1 & 2 were a complete cluster cluck (sorry Grandma). There were way too many people to pace yourself, let alone follow the pacer. At mile 2, I broke away from the crowd and pacer and decided I would have to use my watch and pace myself. Mile 4, oh no, need to hit the porta potty. Miles 4 through 6 were uneventful, I felt good and was keeping my pace. We ran through the marina and around the light house.
Miles 6 through 10 were along the beach. I made sure I took it all in. It was beautiful. I still kept my pace, but succumbed to the fact that I had "runner's trots" and making my goal of 4:20 would be impossible. Ugh. It's going to be a looooooooong day.
At mile 13 I began to have horrible abdominal pain, but I was able to run through it, still keeping my pace. It was a terrible feeling not knowing when the next porta potty would be in site. I felt good during miles 14 through 17. Mile 18 was the worst for me, up a hill and then down one. My knees began to hurt.
I feared that I was going to hit the "wall" at mile 19, like I did last year, but I remained positive. I kept telling myself, "I am much stronger this year and even though I am pooping my pants, I can do this!"
Miles 19, 20 and 21 came and went. I did it, I kept my pace and didn't hit the wall! I was really happy, but was concerned because the uncomfortableness started settling in. At mile 23 they merge the full marathoners with the half marathoners and it was a hot mess. My pace slowed down during miles 21 through 25.
There was great support throughout the race, more than enough water stations and bands played at many mile markers.
Ah, the end was near. I surprised even myself that I had energy to pick up my pace and finish well. My husband, mom, Fred, my brother John and his girlfriend were at the finish line cheering me on. Thanks for your support!! Thanks to all of you who supported me from miles away and thank you Christina...no one can make it to the start line without encouragement.
I did it. I beat my time from last year, by 11 minutes (even with 4 bathroom stops). I didn't hit the wall or walk one time. My favorite stat below is that I was ahead of 52% of the male runners. The pain is worth it to say, "I beat a bunch of men!" I know, what a poor sport I am. You run 26.2 miles and then you can be the judge. I felt great after the race. My feet hurt pretty bad, but overall I was really pleased. I did hate having to tell my husband I had to throw his gift away...