Sunday, October 25, 2009

Long Beach Marathon - Race Day

We did not get to bed quite as early as I would have liked on Saturday night. I think it was almost 10:00 by the time we settled down and with a 4:00am wake-up time that did not give me as much sleep as I would have liked.
I set my Blackberry for 4:00am, thinking I could get up a little bit before everyone else and hopefully be able to "take care of business" before time for everyone else to get up.
I couldn't believe when the alarm went off, it really didnt feel like we had been in bed for very long!
I woke Michele up about 15 minutes later and then Bailey. Bailey is funny in the morning, well not funny but it is funny because she is such a grouch!!
James was planning on running the 1/2 marathon but he wasn't feeling well and had also been stressed out trying to figure out how he could run the 1/2 and make his way back to Anaheim in time to not miss too much of his conference, so he decided not to go. We were running a few minutes behind, well behind my desired time of departure, but I had given us a little bit of a cushion so I wasn't stressing too much.
We made our way to the car and Bailey was syncing up the tom-tom/Garmin thingy that was in the car. I looked at the clock and it said 2:53...Whaaaat oh OMG it was only 2:53 am. I really thought Bailey and Michele were going to kill me, especially Bailey!!! After we stopped laughing we decided we might as well go ahead on to the Race. For one it was a long walk to the parking garage, and two we didn't want James to know what we had done!!
So we had NO traffic on the way to the race and we had our choice of parking spots. We all got comfy and took a 3 hour nap in the car. Although it really wasn't that comfortable it really worked out great!
I think we woke up about 6 and headed to the port-a-potties it was early enough that the lines werent too long and I was able to have a successful visit.

It was cool temps at the start but not nearly as cold as it had been during Surf city, which was kind of stressing me a little bit.
I was worried about it getting too warm later in the marathon, but all that worry was unnecessary we really lucked out, it did warm up but it stayed cloudy the whole race, well until about mile 24.5 so I never felt too hot. Don't get me wrong I was sweaty but never felt uncomfortable.

The first 5 miles were pretty awful! The roads were very slanty, I know that's not a word but I can't think of the right word, whatever the roads sucked, and there was quite a bit of concrete and the course was so crowded!! I have run enough big races now to expect to have to dodge walkers in the first miles but it never fails to annoy me! Seriously some of these people had to have started in the Corrals ahead of us and it just doesn't make sense to me. Also if you are going to walk don't do it in the middle of the road!!!
I lost Michele and Bailey at the first aid station we had all stopped to get water but about 20 people surged in front of me and I never say Michele again.
Although I didn't love the first 5-6 miles of the course I was happy, I was running in So. California and that just makes me happy!!
I took my first Accel-gel about mile 4.5, I walked while I took it and drank water. It was about this time that I passed a row of port-a-potties and out comes Bailey. I called out to her and she slowed down and ran with me for a little while. I know in her heart she really wanted to run with me but it was so crowded and I was running at such a conservative pace it really was just impossible. She turned back for me once and I told her to go on, I didn't want to worry about her and I didn't want her to worry about me. It was bittersweet to watch her run off without me but it was also a relief.
I think we turned onto the beach path around mile 6, the next 3 miles were my favorite of the whole race, we had a great breeze and duh we were running on the beach!! I wish I could say it was perfect but the path was narrow and concrete and I was constantly dodging people.
The miles in between mile 9 and 18 are kind of a blur.
Oh I do remember one very important detail from mile 10, I had to take a bathroom break, I had been feeling the need for about a mile but was hoping it would pass, finally soon after the 10mile marker I knew I couldn't wait and luckily there was a row of port-a-potties ahead. It was a short line, and I did have to spend a few minutes inside. I was ok after the potty break and was still keeping a steady pace and feeling strong.
I was taking my accel-gels and also had a few almonds. This was the first marathon that I walked whenever I took my gels, normally I just take them while running and sometimes it takes me a mile or more to finish one.
Mile 15 was one more bathroom break, this time took a little longer and I didnt feel very good when I came out I never really regained my former pace, before that bathroom break I only walked to take a gel but after that I had to take a few more walk breaks, luckily since nothing was hurting it was easy to start running again after a short walk break.

this section was an out and back and we could see the faster runners heading back, I think it was about mile 21.5 for them, and I was about mile 16. It was here that I saw Danica from
I have been following her blog for close to a year. She is hilarous and a talented runner!
Anyway I saw her and I really wanted to yell out to her but you never know what kind of run someone else is having it was great to see her doing so well and I didnt' want to disturb her rythmn.

My second favorite part of the course was around mile 18 when we ran into the Cal State Long Beach campus and it was a big party!! Lot's of music, dancing and high fives! I loved this section and it gave me a surge of much needed energy.
I really wish I would have written this earlier when I still remembered more details. I remember running along and thinking I have to blog about this.. now I don't remember what "this" was :(
I do remember when I passed mile 20 thinking I had never felt this good this late in a marathon before. Oh I was tired and I had started taking walk breaks but nothing really hurt, no big toe pain no hip pain, I was pretty happy.
I also remember being disappointed in my pace but also telling myself that I had not really trained for a sub-5 marathon, I had trained for endurance and at that point was feeling like my training had been successful.
Bailey had finished her 1/2 and now had Michele's phone and she started sending me encouraging texts's. She reminded me that mile 18 was for Uncle Charlie, unfortunately I was already at 20 so I made that one for Uncle Charlie. I asked her who 21 was for, I was feeling in need of some extra encouragement. Her response... Mile 21 is for Brett and all those who serve with him. Of course I instantly started crying but I also ran that whole mile for Brett and all of service men and women serving overseas!!!

Mile 23 was when things really turned south. I started getting that weird pulsing/cramping thing just above my knee..kind of where the quad muscle connects to the knee, this creates some kind of chain reaction and all of a sudden my left calf was really cramping to the point I had to start walking. I would walk until the pulsing/cramping subsided and then I would run until it got to painful. I was thankful it didn't start until mile 23 but really would have been much happier if it had never happened!!
Around mile 24 or 25 as we are running along a group of people are on a balcony heckling the runners. It was kind of funny but annoying at the same time, I was running so they were actually cheering for me telling me I was doing great but they were giving this one guy a hard time he, was wearing a gray shirt and they were yelling hey grey shirt RUN, quit walking you wuss, RUN... on and on, they only took a break to cheer for me.. the guy in grey did start running and I said to him as I was passing I would like to see them try to run a marathon! That gave him a laugh and seemed to help a little.

The rest really is a blur, I do remember thinking I know Bailey is going to be somewhere near the finish line so I need to finish strong. I picked it up and everything was cramping but I could see the finish line and I really just wanted to be done!!!!!!
Sweet sweet finish line, Bailey was indeed there and I saw her right after I crossed the finish mat, and once I got through the maze of people there were cupcakes provided by a local bakery!! YUM!!
I was anxious to get my California Dreamin medal, and was searching all the tents to find it, finally I saw someone else with the medal and asked where they got it they showed me where the tent was and away I went. I also looking for Bailey and Michele but my priority was that medal!!
The guys at the tent were great they were very enthuastic in their praise on finishing the series!!
I found Bailey and we headed to Michele. I was feeling pretty good, I think it was the cupcake!!

We made our way back to the stop was In-n-Out Burger :)
I can't even thank Bailey enough for being our driver the whole weekend!!
We headed back to Anaheim for much needed showers, I was covered in salt!!! Michele, and Bailey were first and when I came out I could see Bailey was packing up to leave. I was SO sad to see her go, but she really needed to get on the road, she had a long drive back to San Jose ahead of her!!!!!!
After Bailey left it was just me and Michele, we were both exhausted so decided a nap would be a good thing. I put on my compression socks and crawled into bed. We probably slept close to 2 hours, and then James got back from his conference and it was time to go to dinner. He had made reservations at Roys Hawaiin Fusion restaurant. It was very yummy! Afterwards Michele and I walked over to Disney Land. We didn't realize how far the Entrance was, good thing or we probably wouldn't have gone. I was really wishing I had my Garmin on but I would guess it was about a 2 mile walk. We went to the ticket counter only to find out they didn't have any kind of evening/twilight rates and neither one of us wanted to pay $72.00 for just an hour or so. We did some shopping at the gift store outside of the entrance and then headed home. Good thing I had that nap earlier in the day!!
Total miles for the day at least 30! Of course walking is so good for recovery and we had our recovery socks on!

Another great trip to California and Marathon # 7 completed. Next marathon will be the Mid South Marathon in Wynne Arkansas on November 7th. Next trip to California will be in February for the Surf City Marathon, this time Arland is going too!!


Lucky said...
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runner said...

Hi Annette,

I enjoyed reading your post about the Long Beach Marathon. I have never, ever done a marathon. I more of a 5k'r myself.

I'm also a former Arkie living in MS.

I enjoyed your blog much!

ShirleyPerly said...

Congrats on #7!!

So funny about you guys getting up way too early. But I can't believe those folks late in the race were jeering participants for walking. I've heard some joking to try to motivate folks but nothing close to calling people wusses for doing a marathon. Glad you were able to cheer that other guy up some.

Danica said...

I wish you would have yelled to me! ha ha ha :) I would have smiled and like probably come over and given you a hug. I have never hugged so many people in my life. :) Glad you had a great race and nice job on #7!!! :) Glad you were a supportive runner out there too :)