Hello! I ran the Long Beach Marathon yesterday. It went okay and I’m up at 5am not sore at all the next day – so I’ll take it. Did you run this weekend? How’d it go?
I haven’t run a full marathon since the Jerusalem Marathon way back in March so I thought I forgot the drill. I planned on using the LB Marathon as a training run for Revel and other races I have coming up through the end of the year. Since it’s been so long (relative to what I normally run) since I’d done a full 26.2 miles I wasn’t sure where my body was fitness-wise.
The problem with running a full marathon as a training run:
– You don’t taper as much as you do for a goal race and may show up a little tired
– You’re not at goal fitness level and need to be smart with pace
– It can be discouraging if you have a hard/bad race
– You need to bounce back faster because you still have more training to do
I tried to keep all these things in mind, but it still got in my head a little bit that my legs were just so tired toward the end.
The night before the race I laid out all my ‘running must haves’:
Sunblock / Spark / visor / Energy Gels / Shot Blocks / Chapstick / Sunglasses / Headphones / Running belt / prayers
I woke up before my alarm about 3:30am.
Instead of laying there trying to sleep another 5 minutes I got up and ready to go.
I’ve run the Long Beach Marathon several times before, but this was my first time driving solo and dealing with parking. I was nervous because in the past I’ve been dropped off near the start and ended up frantically hitting up the restrooms and rushing to the start line because I was late!
The year before last I carpooled with StuftMama and that was great. I like when someone else is in charge of logistics because I’m bad at that game. (Semi-related: I was having a hard time in life around then and if not for the fact that I knew she was picking me up I probably would have bailed on the race. I randomly thought about that this weekend and let her know I appreciated it. She was just being a friend and didn’t realize how much that helped me.) *Here is the recap for Long Beach that year.
I did it! I drove, parked and got to the porta potties with plenty of time to spare! Boom.
Since the full marathon started at 6am and the half didn’t start until 7:30am the porta lines were short and it wasn’t super crowded at the starting line.
Long Beach also offers a Bike Tour option where you can bike 26.2 miles.
Fun fact: I did the bike race in college with my bf at the time. It was my first race!! I tried to grab a gel from a volunteer at one point and failed miserably. I’m not good at cycling.
The race: The Long Beach course is fairly flat according to their elevation chart. There are 2 overpasses early in the race (I think before mile 4) and then it’s pretty flat from 5 to around 14. But the hills that are on the course are at crappy times when I’m fading already. Around Cal State Long Beach I’m tired and there is a good steady climb leaving the school for a while. This wrecks me every single time. But I love Long Beach so I keep coming back to run it!
Not So Fun Fact: SR knows this and teases me for doing LB when it wrecks me. And I met a reader at the starting line and randomly told them this race kills me but I keep coming back. <- not positive mindset to have before the race. I’ve been working on my ‘head game’ with running and this was the complete opposite of that. Fail Monican!
I felt okay the first half of the race. I didn’t feel great and tried to keep my pace slow because I knew I wasn’t in 100% shape for a full. And my stomach was a little off so I tried to manage that. I ran strong until about mile 18 and then started walking through the aid stations and a few of the big hills. Oh, and I stopped and went to the restroom. Now that I was so close to a sub-4 hour I think I should have skipped that! Darn.
I am proud that I ran the full and that I did run strong for most of it. It was hard the entire time between mile 21 and 26, but that’s where I am with my training right now so that makes sense. I did think I was in better shape, but that’s the point of using this race as training – to get a real idea of where I am.
Long Beach Marathon finish: 4:00:57
Saw this runner license plate on the way to my car – yes it is Runday!
After the race I wobbled to my car and went to my parents’ house to use their pool as an ice bath. Since I had already gotten so much sun I stood in the water up to my waist covered in a towel and checked Instagram.
I got Chinese food and relaxed the rest of the day. There were a lot of other random eats that missed the camera. Overall it was a really delicious, low key Sunday.
Good weekend! Good food! Good running!!