Ok, time for a quick race report
The best way to sum it all up is BEST.DAY.EVER. I still get teary eyed thinking about how amazing it was.
We started the weekend on Sat. when Tausha and Chris flew in from San Francisco. We all met at the hotel in Long Beach and went to the Expo. Picking up a bib for something so huge was amazing for Tausha and I to do together. We wandered through, bought each other 26.2 stickers for our cars (couldn't buy our own, too afraid to jinx our finish, lol), and headed back for a quick nap at the hotel. We did our carbo load at Old Spaghetti Factory in Newport. We were STARVING when we got there, it was absurd. I ate my salad, every lick of fettucini alfredo, and half a plate full of crab ravioli. Good lord it was good, but I felt like the staypuff marshmallow man!!!
I slept very little that night, nerves were all over the place. We got up, put on our 26.2 tattoos, and headed down to the start line at about 6:30.
Here's us girls all ready
Our wave finally got moving at about 7:30. Amazingly enough, there were no clouds and it was 68 degrees to start. The course was beautiful. The lifeguard boat was out with it's spray going, a Carnival Cruise Line Ship was in port, the Queen Mary is gorgeous in the bay, it gave so much to look at! We got to run past the 84 Olympic Pool in Belmont Shore, and I have the most amazing memories of swimming there for CIF championships growing up when I swam club & high school. It was very touching to have that moment of growing up as an athlete & being a runner now.
Tausha & I at the 3-4 mile mark
at the 7 mile mark
The full/half split came at the 10.5 mile mark. The halfers went straight and us crazy people turned right. Tausha got lightheaded around 11 so we slowed down , she had a gel and worked it out. About the 13.5 mile mark, she was slowing down, and keeping that pace I am not accustomed to was killing my ankles. She and I had already made a pact that we'd go on if we needed to, so at that point I left her and her hubby and set out on my own feeling strong.
My hubby and girls were at the 16.5 mile mark. I could see them as I was coming down the street and it was the most spectacular thing to see. The girls were shouting and holding their signs. This was the first race I have had them come to, and it meant so much. Hubby handed off water and some paper towels to me, and I kept on truckin down the street. Saw them at 19.5 again for another exchange.
It was about this point that the 5 hour pace group passed me. 5 hours was my goal. I was so sad that I started to cry. Right about the 20 mile mark it got tough. That wall is no joke. I'd told my mom that 20 was tough, and that's where they stationed themselves, so that energized me again. Miles 20-26 were tough. I talked to myself a lot. I had to walk a little bit for that 6 miles, but I know I did my 100% best. The residents of the neighborhoods in that area were AMAZING. They handed out bananas, pretzels, gummi bears, sprayed runners with hoses, a 5 or 6 year old boy gave me an otter pop. There was a motorcycle officer going up and down a long stretch shouting and joking with the runners, all of it helped so much.
Hubby and girls were right that the beginning of the finishers chute, and I could see how proud they were, it was great. I finished strong, and as soon as I saw my hubby I said "never again". He laughed and said don't say that, a year from now you'll change your mind. I finished in 5:08:37, and BFF finished about 30 min later. It was 84 degrees in Long Beach at the finish, so yep, a bit warm!!
I cannot say enough about what an AMAZING experience it was. About 24 hours later and I was sitting on an offramp in my car I thought to myself "Next time I'll break 5 hours." And I almost hit my head on the steering wheel b/c it didn't even take 24 hours to already say "next time".
When I had no long run ahead of me this morning, it really hit me the enormity of what I have accomplished. In less than 18 months, I have gone from being a true non runner (could not run 30 seconds), to a marathon runner. I'm telling you, you can do anything you set your mind to!
And just to say it again: BEST.DAY.EVER.
This was around the 20-22 mile mark
With the bling...