After running the Great Race of Agoura Hills 10K in April, I found it very hard to get motivated to go running regularly. Having a training plan made it easier to go out after work and not make excuses like “Well, there’s a lot of TV tonight and I don’t want to get a late start on it” so when I got the e-mail for the Long Beach Marathon, it seemed like a great way to get going again. Cindy had always told me that it would be a good race for me because it’s mostly flat (I hate hills). We both signed up (Cindy later switched to the full marathon) and she made a training plan for me that I started in July.
Fast forward to October. I felt pretty confident going into the race. I had a couple of injuries during training (a groin injury a month before the race and a foot injury a few weeks before) which cost me a few training days. When Cindy and I went to the expo and were getting pace bands, I grabbed one for 2:00 and one for 2:15.
On the morning of the race, I lined up with Cindy. I had told myself weeks prior not to get wrapped up in the race and start running with Cindy. I can keep up with her for a while but I should really stay at my own slower pace. But once we started, all that went out the window. I was able to keep pace with Cindy for about three miles until I started to slow up. I already felt like I was burning myself out and my feet started to hurt. I was beginning to regret my shoes decision. I had both new Asics a few weeks before the race. On my first run with them, I really hurt my right foot and had to stop running for a week and a half. Even though runs with the new shoes since then had been fine, I didn’t run longer than six miles and was nervous about running in the half marathon. I decided to wear my old, worn-down shoes the night before. About five miles into the race with my feet now throbbing, all I could think about were my clean, brand new shoes sitting in my closet.
I started the race thinking about finishing in two hours. Five miles in, I gave up on that and started thinking about 2:15. After running and walking along the beach with the sun beating down on me, I just thought about finishing. All that confidence I had, gone. I would get bursts of energy and pick up the pace but I was pretty much slowly jogging. Every time a pace runner passed me, I got more disappointed in myself.
After the 10 mile mark, I tried to run the rest of this race as hard as I could. I was getting a good rhythm going then a woman who was riding on her bike to my left in the opposite direction fell off her bike pretty badly. A bunch of runners including myself ran over to her to make sure she was okay. After help came, I started running again. By the time, I made it to finish line, I was drained. I didn’t stop to take my photo with my new medal. I just went straight to bad check and then to the car to get my stuff.
While I was waiting for Cindy to cross the finish line, I was enjoying watching the full marathoners make their way to the end. Some looked like they were going to collapse and some were so excited. Watching their energy got me motivated to try again. When I saw Cindy, I took a few photos and then I took off running alongside her with all our bags and crap. When she crossed the finish line, we took our medal photos separately and then one together (I’d buy it if it wasn’t so expensive).
When I got my final time (2:25:26), I was actually surprised it wasn’t worst. I’m going to give it another shot at the Carlsbad Half Marathon in January.
You can listen to my running playlist here on Spotify. My finish line song was “The Show” by The Roots.