Long Beach Half Marathon Race Recap

It has been several weeks, and almost a month since my first half marathon. I should have posted a race recap quite some time ago, but alas I have actually been training for my second half marathon.

This all started in May when I signed up for the Long Beach ICB Half Marathon. I have these crazy running friends who were encouraging me, so I signed up. I followed Hal Higdon’s Novice 2 Half Marathon Training Program religiously. I only missed one run, which was actually my longest run, a 12-mile one. I was extremely exhausted that day, got up to run, and only made it 3 miles.

The night before the race, I carb loaded at Buca di Beppo with friends who were also racing {KellyCarrie, and Elise}. Of course, those crazy girls were running the full marathon, and I was doing the half marathon. We had a delicious meal and we were ready to race the next morning.

The next morning I got up extra early, like 4am-ish, and got ready for the race. I wore my Team Sparkle tank top, Lululemon Run Shorty Shorts, blue Team Sparkle skirt, and my slime green Saucony Kinvara 3’s on race day. I carpooled to the race with my Super Hero Friends {photo below} Kelly, Carrie, and Elise to the race, because it is a large race and can get chaotic.

The "Girls of Team Sparkle" at The Long Beach Half MarathonCarrie {Wonder Woman), Elise {Bat Girl}, and Kelly {Super Girl} at The Long Beach ICB Marathon 2012. Photo via Kelly {according-to-kelly.com}.

We got to the race with enough time to go to the bathroom one last time, and then we found our places to start.

Pre-Long Beach Half Marathon 2012

I had my usual morning breakfast about an hour before the race; a Muscle Milk and a Dr. Pepper. Don’t judge, it works for me. I need the protein and caffeine to start my day. I found my corral {group} based on my estimated finish time, and got ready to race. It was a bit chaotic as the half marathon and full marathon runners were all starting at the same time. You could feel the excitement in the morning air.

And then the race started. I didn’t have an exact plan for my run, but rather, I just wanted to finish the race. Similar to my training runs, the first six miles were a breeze.  But then, we hit the trail along the beach and the sun was beaming. I started getting really hot. I had my hydration belt on with water and Nuun in my bottles, but I then started drinking water and Powerade at the rest stops along the way {huge mistake}. At about mile 10, my stomach started getting cranky, so I stopped to go to the bathroom. I thought I was ok after that, so I kept running. At about mile 10.5 my stomach got worse, and of course, I had already passed the last restroom.  Well let’s just say that miles 10.5 to 13.1 were not fun. I alternated between a jog/trot and walking because of my stomach. My stomach was getting progressively worse and I didn’t think that I was going to make it to the finish line.

Long Beach ICB Half Marathon 2012 Medal

Luckily, I made it to the finish line, grabbed my medal, and promptly ignored everything else. I asked one of the volunteers, “where is the bathroom?” I ran about a 1/4 of a mile to the bathrooms, and then boom, I had to wait in line. My stomach waited to purge itself until I made it into the porta-potty.  Unfortunately, there was no toilet paper left. HUGE PROBLEM! Stupid me, used a toilet seat cover as toilet paper. Well after being sore and raw for running, this just made my nether regions a bit raw.  It was not pretty. After finally calming down, I found a grassy area and just laid down.  I was lying on the ground thinking, “what the hell did I get myself into?”  Seriously, it was so hot, and I hurt so much. But then, some family friends found me and I finally recovered enough to sit up and chat with them. They probably thought that I was a total freak, but seriously, my stomach was still a bit angry.

I looked at my cellphone to see what time it was, and realized the Kelly, Carrie, and Elise would be finishing their race {full marathon} soon.  I made my way to the finish of the race, and cheered them on at the finish! They all finished together with a marathon finish of 3:58:39.

I had finally cooled off and I took a proper “Official Race Photo” with the step and repeat. Photo below borrowed from The Race Photographer, Brightroom. Ignore the graininess of the photo….cough cough screenshot….And if you are wondering, my final race time was 2:53:03. My 5K time was 34:46, my 10K time was 1:12:45, and my 10 mile time was 2:07:10. So you can see where I started slowing down, ummm right past mile 10. Total stomach fail!

Long Beach Half Marathon-Angry Julie

The lesson for the day: don’t drink you meals, don’t over-hydrate, and don’t drink Powerade during the race. I had way too much sugar in my system plus liquid. I’ve done a few long runs in the past month and I think I have figured out my eating/drinking situation now. I don’t drink anything until about mile 3 now, and then at about every 3 miles or so. I also don’t drink any of my meals (Muscle Milk, Juice It Up, Carnation Instant Breakfast, etc.) on the day that I’m doing a long run/race. And the caffeine, well I need a little of that. And I just need to stick with water or water with Nuun in it during the race.

Post-Long Beach Half Marathon 2012Post-Lunch Photo. You can’t even tell that I feel like I’m dying right there. Seriously, ouch! I just wanted a shower. Good thing you can’t smell me in this photo, because I was gross and nasty.

After we left the race, we headed towards a late lunch at Ruby’s Diner. My stomach still didn’t feel right so I only ate a little bit. After Ruby’s Diner, Kelly and I left to go home. I had carpooled with Kelly, but we made a little stop at the grocery store on the way home. I had some “chafing issues” and Kelly suggested Boudreaux’s Butt Paste. When I got home I took a shower, and slightly screamed a bit. Water hitting chafed areas is not a good feeling. I then applied the “butt paste” and relaxed for a few hours.

Running is kinda like having a baby. You say that you are “never going to do that again” after the pain from having a baby. Yet, people have multiple children, well other people, not me, hahahaha. But silly me, actually signed up for two more half marathons before I even did this first one. I signed up for The Disneyland Tinkerbell Half Marathon in January of 2013, and a late addition to the race schedule, The Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World on November 10th. Yes, I have a half marathon next Saturday!!!

So Wednesday night, I will be flying off to Walt Disney World with Kelly for a little half marathon girl’s weekend. It is the weekend before my birthday, so it is my birthday half marathon. And this will also be my first trip to Walt Disney World, yippee!! And the best part, the race is at night, which means my body won’t be all messed up from the time difference between the east and west coast.


Sounds eerily like my Long Beach half experience - I'm the same way, I got hot, drank the PowerAde, and shuffled from mile 10 to the finish :D. The important thing is that you learned from it, and now you know how to apply these lessons for the next one!! It is totally like having a baby. I call it Run-nesia. I always swear I'm never doing this again, and the second it's over, I'm looking up a new race. Congratulations on your first, and SO JEALOUS of Wine and Dine!! ENJOY it, RunDisney is spectacular!

Jamie B
Jamie B

Nice work!! And Congratulations on your first 1/2. Sorry you didn't feel well during it. This same thing happened to my best friend at her first race. She now has a strict rule about trying new things during race day now. Like down to the type of socks she wears. LOL. Some of my racing tricks that work for me are: I hydrate starting the whole week prior, and only a small bottle of water that morning. This keeps me from having to pee. Gum and jolly ranchers during the race help with keeping the mouth wet. At around mile 9, which is where I usually start to hit the wall, I'll take one of those gel packets. But they are sticky to swallow, so this is the only time I'll drink water... to help wash it down. I always eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on the way, and a protein bar while waiting for shot gun. Good luck on your upcomming races. That's so awesome that you jumped right back in. :) Have fun at Walt Disney, that sounds like an awesome times awaits you.


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