Friday, October 12, 2012

The Good, Bad and Ugly of the Long Beach Half Marathon

I decided to sign up for the Long Beach Half Marathon as a fun run with no pressure or expectations. My brother and sister in law were doing the half and both got elite entry into the race. It would be a nice, short runcation for us. We left Saturday morning and it was going to be a quick trip as we came back Sunday at 12:30. When we got to our hotel, they did not have our reservations and they did not have any rooms available (The BAD) . I found a room available at the host hotel the Hyatt Regency and it ended up working out better for us anyway. We were right near the expo and the start line. We went to the expo and it was one of the bigger race expos that I had been to. All of the people and the race atmosphere started to get us excited and pumped up for the race. We had dinner at Outback and we were back in our room by 6pm, done for the evening.  We were asleep by 8pm and had a wake up call for 4:30.

Our hotel had a walkway connected to the convention center, so it was a short walk

The Aquarium of the Pacific, right behind the Hyatt

Myself, Allison, and Derek outside of the Expo

Lighthouse near Shoreline Village


Derek and Allison left around 6 am to warm up and get ready for the race. I left at 6:15 and walked down to the start to check it out. I warmed up a 1/2 mile and then made my way to the start. The race started on time and we were off. I was trying to do the first 3 miles at 8:30 pace and the second 3 at 8:15 pace. I completely failed my coaches plan and ran all 6 at 8:15 pace. I know that I am not in the best shape and in between miles 6-7 I started to mentally fall apart. It is funny how many half marathons I can complete and how many miles I can complete on a long run and still doubt myself mentally. I did not want to stress out about my time and just relax. I started to slow down and just focus on moving forward. Miles 7-9 were on this long stretch of sidewalk right next to the beach. This long stretch was hard for me to stay positive and focused. I started walking through the water stops, just hoping that I would get better. After mile 9 we headed back towards the direction of the finish. The next 4 miles were just "get to the finish" for me. It is really frustrating doing well with my training but not being able to translate it into a good race. I know I wasn't in racing shape and came into this race without expectations, but I am still frustrated.

Allison and Derek before the race
During the race struggling


 On a positive note, my sister in law Allison won the half marathon with a 1:19:14. She trains so hard and it was so awesome for her to get the win. The race gave us entry into the VIP tent after the race and Allison was treated like a star. She had photos taken, video taped an interview, and had people coming up shaking her hand congrats! My brother Derek ran a 1:13:50. It is so unbelievable how they can run so fast. So I am going to keep training and just keep at it. I love running and I love racing, I just need get better mentally.

Derek running so fast

Allison winning!!