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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Executive Summary: finished in 3:36:18, went out at a 3:20 pace for a BQ attempt (despite an on-going groin/ab strain)<br><br>
Long Beach is my home course - I live in the next city over and I regularly train on various parts of the course. I set my eye on this a goal race a while back and ramped up my training accordingly. I got my mileage way up over the summer and was doing great. Then I suffered a lower ab/groin strain that really set my training back right when I needed it the least. I skated the fine line between resting my injury and training just enough to have a decent shot at the race.<br><br>
My race plan was simple. Step one – be prepared to bump down to the half by bailing out at mile 11 (at the half/full split) if I felt I didn’t have a shot. Step two – don’t get sucked up in a fast start – run miles 1-3 a little slower than goal pace. Step three - don’t try to “bank” any time until after mile 10.<br><br>
So Cal in October can be hot. Luckily the weather held up ok for race day. It was a bit hot and sunny for my tastes. Yes I know it wasn’t hot compared to Chicago, but I would have been much happier with a sky full of thick clouds to block out the evil sun.<br><br>
The newly installed corral system worked out just fine, I lined up and was over the line about 10 seconds after the gun.<br><br>
I watched my pace carefully in the early miles and kept my average pace 8 – 10 seconds over my goal pace of 7:38. Around mile 4 I took it down to ~ 7:37 pace. Miles 5 – 10 are good news, bad news miles – good news is you’re running right along the beach; bad news is you’re on the concrete bike path. I was really glad to be towards the front of the pack, as that bike path can get really crowded.<br><br>
One of the vendors at the expo handed out cowbells for the fans. At the start I ran past some people ringing their bells. My first thought was to yell out: <i>more cowbell, I gotta have more cowbell!</i> So there it was - I must have yelled it to 50+ people out on the course. The little things that amuse us when we have 3 or 4 hours to kill…<br><br>
So back to race, I was feeling pretty good at the split (just before mile 11), so I resisted the temptation to bump down to the half and call it a day. Right after the split one of the guys from my running club caught up with me. We ran together for a little while, and then I wisely let him go on ahead.<br><br>
I hit the half at ~ 1:41, just where I felt I needed to be to have a shot at 3:20. I was still on pace, but it was getting a little tougher and the damn sun was beating down on me. At 16 we had to climb up an on-ramp and go over a bridge (something I learned at NYC last year, bridge is a code word for hill…).<br><br>
I knew my wife and one of my kids would be out on the course just past the bottom of the bridge. I had given them a bottle of Gatorade to hand me as well. They held up signs to cheer me on and of course rang their cowbells. It was great to see them out there (but it didn’t help get me back on pace).<br><br>
Miles 17 – 19 are the worst part of this course. You go down a boring industrial road and cross a freeway overpass on the way to the university. My wife and kid drove down the course and cheered for me from the window. Then they parked and met me again after mile 18. By then I was far enough off pace that I stopped to give me daughter a quick hug. She was upset to find out I had pitched the Gatorade bottle after 5 minutes – I got sick of carrying it and didn’t want to drink anymore.<br><br>
As I turned down the street on the edge of Cal State Long Beach I approached the best water stop of the entire race. These guys had the disco cranked, they were all dancing around and wearing 70s clothes and afro wigs – nice! Right around the corner in front of the CSULB Pyramid was a nice group of students – very loud – more cowbell!<br><br>
Then I came upon the local hashers (LBH3) who were serving up beers at mile 20. I yelled hello, but passed on any beer. Mile 21 is a lonely mile on a slight incline. Under normal conditions you wouldn’t call it a hill, but with 21 miles on your legs it was acting like a hill. But now I’m way off pace and it doesn’t really matter. I informally hook up with a couple other strugglers and we keep it moving.<br><br>
At mile 22 we pass a bunch of people who are going the other way at their mile 12. I was so happy to be us instead of them. We then turned up the hill to start heading back toward the finish. This hill is bigger then the incline at mile 21, but on a normal training day you wouldn’t think anything of it. To add insult to injury we even got a nice headwind as we went up the hill.<br><br>
Just before 24 we drop back down to the main stretch of the course with the half marathoners. The marathoners have their own portion of the road coned off so we don’t have to battle with half-marathoners who are still out on the course.<br><br>
Next thing I know I’m at 25 and the finish is so close I can taste it, but still not close enough. Right after 26 the course turns downhill for the final run to the finish. I crossed the line in 3:36:18 (chip), just glad to be done - until the next one...<br><br>
Final stats:<br><br>
OA: 220/2324 – finishing behind ~ 10%<br>
Men: 190/1447 – finishing behind ~ 14%<br>
AG (40-44): 39/215 – finishing behind ~19%<br>
Wava table = 60.60%<br><br>
pics and videos are currently available in the PRT
 

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Sorry about the nagging groin issue. I hope you can get some rest and be out there getting that BQ in no time!
 

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At least your uterus didn't get any worse! It was great seeing you there and I think you did a great job. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
Rest well and recuperate completely! {{Teh Anti-Kewt's groin}}}
 

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Let that groin heal and go after it again junkyonaplane! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile">
 

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Nice report, and congratulations on the marathon. Sorry the day did not unfold as you wished.<br><br>
Long Beach doesn't sound like the easiest of courses. Perhaps in the next one you will find a fast course. Nice video interview, and I'm jealous that you're hanging out with Ilene and the other SoCal PRT'ers!<br><br>
Recover well.
 

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I love your persistance. I don't love that you'd pass up a beer. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/sad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Sad"><br><br>
Congrasts on yet another fast marathon. You'll get your BQ one day. You have it in you. You just need to let that little (or big?) groin of yours heal and then stay injury free!<br><br>
Great job, arcy!
 

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It's always nice to read your reports, and I agree that you have it in you.<br>
You just need to get a little older <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy"> Nice day with the family support and even though I haven't seen them yet sounds like you met some imaginary friends to boot.<br><br><br>
Barb
 

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Congratulations on your training, your marathon, and your BQ attempt! None of those things is a small feat. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"><br><br>
It sounds like you ran a very smart race. How did your groin feel during the race?<br><br>
I liked your description of the course. That '70s water stop would be a blast. I'd be tempted to stop and dance.
 

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It's always a blast to hang out with you post race!!<br><br>
Here's to many more dude!!!
 

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Great job! Sounds like you ran a smart race. After all...that uterus didnt manage to work its way all the way out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Very Happy">
 

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You did good work! Your report reminded me of the cowbells at Hartford. I also yelled "I need more cowbell" at some specs. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Smile"> I had forgotten about that.<br><br>
Good luck on the next one, and I hope the injury heals up quickly!
 

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Well, with better weather and a lack of an on-going groin/ab strain, that 3:20 is yours! Good luck in your next one!<br><br>
(If I read this website more, I'd probably know this but) Do you have another marathon planned before Boston '08?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks all for the kind words everyone.<br><br>
I am going to give it another go either at CIM (on Dec 1) or at Surf City (February 3) - it all depends on how my recovery is going. Hey wait, I swore off marathoning at mile 23...
 
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