Runners have a saying, when you can’t run with your legs run with your heart. Well, running with my heart lead to a fractured fibula in my right leg that I ignored. I reached the point where the injury finally knocked me out of marathon training and sent me into a bad case of runner blues. Thankfully, with positive MRI results on my knee, I was medically released to run again the week of the race. Okay, I wasn’t cleared to run 13 miles, but this is honestly the one race that I refuse to sit out. The Long Beach Marathon/Half Marathon is a collection of all my favorite running locations of my gorgeous city. So being the stubborn runner that I am I ran/walked the half marathon and had a fantastic weekend!
All the crazy fun began Friday night with my best running buddy Desiree. We headed to the race expo to pick up our bibs and do some shopping. We found some new running goodies before heading over to the VIP Pre-Race Reception.
At the reception, I visited with two of the most inspirational members of the running club Team Runners High. Roberta and Lorenzo. Now, I need to take a moment and share just how amazing Lorenzo is. He is a Long Beach Marathon legacy runner. What does that mean? It means Lorenzo has run the full Marathon every year for the last 33 years. That is pure runner inspiration!
After the VIP party, Desiree and I raced over to the AREC run club team party. Another fun filled event of our night, we celebrated our training runs and accomplishments for the year. A delicious carb loading dinner was served, awards were announced, and a multitude of race entries raffles were awarded. I was honored to join the AREC Century Club by collecting 155.8 race miles this season. If you are looking for a group to train with for the Long Beach Marathon or Half Marathon I highly suggest AREC!
Saturday morning, I enjoyed 3.1 miles running the Aquarium of the Pacific 5k. It was seriously some crazy fun because I ran with Megan who was in a shark costume. “Shark!” could be heard all along the 5K. To top of the moment, Megan was playing the theme music to the movie Jaws the entire race. Plus, it is not everyday you get to run through the aquarium!
Sunday morning Desiree and I along with my hubby Dean headed to the start line of the Marathon. Dean ran the full 26.2 so we cheered him and the other full marathon runners at the start of the race. Once the full marathon began we had an hour and half wait till the start of the half marathon. We embraced the pre-race energy and got ourselves ready to go. I lost my Hubby at the start of the race but I did get to finally meet my running buddy Renny!
At the start line of half I decided to keep the relaxed attitude and just enjoyed each and every moment of the run. This half would be just for the love of running and my love for the Long Beach Marathon.
So as you can see, I went a bit picture crazy during the race. It was about 5 minutes into running that I decided every friend that I saw along the course would be part of my Instagram race day update. It made the 13.1 miles a blur of pure running fun and gave my followers a chance enjoy first hand the miles with me.
Post race I enjoyed an amazing breakfast at the VIP tent where race day highlights were shared with my friends from the Bixby Knolls Dawn Joggers and other running buddies. The Dawn Joggers are another great motivating group of runners who meet up before the sunrise to collect morning miles. After breakfast, I enjoyed some ice cream and more race day conversation at the Team Runners High tent.
Long Beach still holds my Marathon personal best finish time and hopefully if I train smarter not just harder I will be able to chase it down next year. See, I’m a proud Long Beach Marathon Beach Bum. As a Beach Bum, after 10 consecutive years of running the marathon or half marathon, runners have their names engraved one of the benches along the Long Beach light house. So wish me luck as I have 5 more years to go!