It wasn’t a good day out there in Long Beach, but considering how I’d been feeling in the last few weeks it wasn’t a surprise. All things considered, it wasn’t that bad.
I finished. Sean found me in the last 0.2 miles and ran in with me. I know he had a tough half marathon, but he still gave me a little boost at the end.
I had a strong start. In hindsight, it might have been too strong. Still, the pace didn’t feel uncomfortable or too fast. I was going by my Garmin, and according to that I did the first 10K closer to 9:20 pace. I slowed down after mile 10, but was still running <10 minute miles. Edited: Those splits up there are off. Official results a few days later showed the 10k split was actually 6 miles, 9:17 pace. That was 10 seconds/mile faster than my goal pace. I hit the half at 2:04:14, a 9:37 pace from miles 6-7. I slowed down a little, but not too much. The 18 and 24 mile splits are accurate.
I ran with Sean for about the first 3 miles or so. Then I lost him.
While it was hot and sunny, the weather didn’t affect me much. I was well hydrated and fueled.
My hamstring didn’t start acting up until a few hours in to the race. I’ll chalk this up to adrenaline, ibuprofen and las ánimas de mi tía Macaria (or: my parents’ and grandparents’ prayers and happy thoughts from friends). In the last few weeks my hamstring has started hurting after about 20 minutes. Two hours is definitely an improvement.
I don’t think I made the hamstring injury any worse.
Despite barely breaking in my replacement pair of Brooks Adrenaline shoes – they had less than 10 miles on them – they didn’t give me any problems.
None of the negative side effects that come with distance running reared their very ugly head (e.g. bloody ankles, lost toenails, chafing that makes you scream out in pain in the shower, emergency bathroom stops, or worse, not making it to the bathroom in time).
I didn’t cry despite feeling pretty upset each time I saw a pace group pass me by or the cramping made me say words I can’t use in the presence of pre-school toys. Sure, I wallowed in self pity, but I didn’t want to let my sister down and begin bawling on the course.
I really liked the medal. I think it’s my favorite, probably because it was so tough to earn.
We had a few logistical issues last year, but none this year. We avoided the traffic on the 710 by exiting at PCH and driving the few miles to the parking structure. We barely had to wait at the port-a-potties. We checked one bag. Sean says he had no issues picking it up, unlike last year’s baggage check confusion. Getting back to the parking structures was easier too without a single pedestrian bridge over the finisher’s chute.
On course support at the aid stations, medical tents and from spectators was great. All the water stations were well-stocked with great volunteers. I stopped by the medical tents a few times to get sprayed with Kool N’ Fit, it helped. I saw many more spectators this year. I’m sure the great [non-running] weather had something to do with that. My favorite spectator was the one handing out pumpkin bread around mile 24.
I didn’t get my personal best. I’ve raced each of the following distances twice: 5K, 10K, half marathon and marathon. This is the only time I regressed. Majorly. I shouldn’t feel so bad. The marathon is a whole other beast.
My hamstring started cramping and from mile 15 on I had to take walk breaks. They were initially short but got progressively longer as you can see from my splits above. By the time I finished, I was walking the majority of the way and running 3-5 minutes at a time.
My overall time, 4:54:28. When it became painfully clear that I wouldn’t be setting a PR, I decided I just wanted to finish in less than 5 hours and did the minimum to get me there.
My sock and capri pants tan line. I wore a hat, so my face was protected during the race. However, after I finished and was relaxing at Shoreline Village I took it off and got a little sunburnt. Summer may be over, but I’m more tanned now than I was in the summer.
Mile 15-finish. If you look at my splits, it looks like I was running two different races. The first half wasn’t bad. I was on pace to make my original B goal (<4:16). Even after I started taking walk breaks at mile 15, I was still comfortably within reach of a personal best at mile 18. As I neared mile 20, I tried to motivate myself to finish strong. I slowly ran miles 20 and 21. From there on I ran about 3-5 minutes and just walked it in.