Long Beach Marathon race weekend is when and where I first fell in love with running. This past Sunday I laced up to complete my 6th consecutive year running either the half marathon or marathon. I began my 20-week training with plans to run the full marathon. A windfall opportunity to participate in the New York Marathon this November came up and my training plan shifted to the half marathon.
My race day goal for the half marathon was to push out of my comfort zone and set a new personal best finish time for 13.1 miles. I came up two minutes short with a finish time of 2:14:18. At about mile 8 while running my cell phone dropped, popped out of the case, and bounced across the race course. As I reached down to pick up the phone, I prayed the screen wasn’t cracked. I even more nervously read the words “factory reset” in red. The thought of my phone being wiped clean if I pressed a wrong button left me paralyzed. I completely stopped moving and read every line on the screen twice to make sure I didn’t make a mistake that I couldn’t undo. When I was sure I properly restarted my phone, I began running again. Having lost my race momentum with this momentary stop I wasn’t able to kick back up my race pace enough to make up for the lost time.
As I reflect, I could not be more pleased with my Long Beach half race finish. I realize how much more I can continue to accomplish if I just set my mind to it. Getting back to long distance running after my knee injury last summer has been a long journey. Last fall, I cut my monthly running miles to almost none and focused primarily on strength training. Hold the vision and trust the process became a daily reminder as I found myself and my knee getting stronger. Come early summer began balancing strength training and running. I felt physically ready to start distance runs again. This coming week I will have my last distance run of 20 miles to mentally and physically prepare me to run 26.1 miles through the 5 boroughs of New York. I am hopeful my best marathon finish is still yet to come and I’ll find it on the east coast.