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Long Beach Half Marathon Pre-Race Report

First things first, in case you missed the airplane banner I flew from coast to coast, or the commercial I paid for during Monday Night Football, I have some rather exciting news from yesterday:


My sweaty writing was published on the Runner’s World website!

Like many of you, Runner’s World is pretty much my favorite publication, my bible and the most exciting thing to grace my mailbox on a monthly basis, so when one of the editor’s contacted me last week to ask if they could post My Pacing Problem on their site, I clearly offered to run it down to the Rodale offices and hand deliver it if it would make it appear live any faster.


Special thanks to my scary fast friend for kicking my ass and inspiring the post. Lesson of the day: clearly only good things can come from this somewhat-terrifying-yet-unbelievably-awesome running relationship. 

If you wandered over here from reading the Runner’s World post, welcome!


My name is Emily, I love to sweat and I do not love showers. I’m more likely to be found at Nike than Gap (unless I’m in desperate need of cheap flip flops to wear when stranded at a post long run brunch in soggy running shoes). I think all carbs are good carbs. And, I sleep in my compression gear and dream about my next 12 races. Please feel free to stick around for lots of run fun and sweaty shenanigans.

Now, let’s talk Long Beach. And by “let’s talk Long Beach”, I clearly do not mean actually talking about the race, as I’m still not to a point where I can do that without a stream of expletives attached and I’d rather not get kicked off the internets due to a vulgar race report.


Clearly Sarah feels the same way I do…

So let’s talk about some stuff leading up to the race because that’s way more fun and way less likely to make me kick something before noon.

I arrived in SoCal a little before 8pm local time on Friday night. Although I had been up since approximately 4am overpacking my life into a carry on, I could think of nothing I wanted to do more than proceed immediately to Yogurtland and hang out with a bunch of other running girls.


In case you’re unfamiliar with Yogurtland, it’s the frozen dessert Utopia of California. And after seeing it plastered all over some of my favorite running blogs, it was definitely at the top of my to do list for my trip to Cali.


Now, my lovely hostess Sarah, unbeknownst to me, had organized this little froyo party with a bunch of the local socal running girls.  I suspect she didn’t tell me out of fear that I would lash out irrationally upon realizing I had to be social instead of collapse immediately into bed after being awake for nearly 24 hours. 


Luckily, Sarah quickly earned that I care much more about geeking out about running over massive cups of frozen yogurt than I do about silly things like sleep (or showering. see: return trip.) 


We hung out with Skinny Runner (BTdubs SR, thanks for unknowingly letting me steal all of your photos from the evening, you’re the best ), Monica, Katie and Heather until the combination of massive quantities of frozen yogurt and the crisp night air chased us home. The nice thing about hanging out with fellow runners is you don’t have to feel guilty about only wanting to talk about running, and how much you love running, and how your need to get in a good training run sometimes makes you do less than moral things like bowl over small children who get in your way on the beach path. NOT that any of these girls do things like that, but you don’t have to feel badly about discussing it…


I also made the mistake of asking Miss Runs Marathons All the Time about whether I should run NYC two weeks before Philly. Clearly the girl who is running another marathon across the country on the SAME WEEKEND as she’s running NYC is not going to give me sound advice about taking a reasonable amount of recovery time between 26.2s.


When we got back to Sarah’s house after froyo, I was greeted by a sight that immediately led me to believe I had picked the hostess with the mostest to spend race weekend with.


Race weekend essentials: whole wheat bread, peanut butter, bananas, champagne and orange juice. Sounds right to me.

The next morning was the running highlight of the trip. Since Sarah lives 1/2 a block from the beach, we decided there was really no better place to go on a 3 mile shake out run jaunt on the day before our big race.


Or, maybe not so much “we decided” as I demanded we run ocean side.


Sarah, the girl who I’m pretty sure moved to California from Ohio for the sole purpose of running on beach paths, seemed to be a pretty willing participant…

While she felt positively spectacular while we were running, I was a little discouraged by the fact that my calves were extremely tight and my legs felt heavy. I probably should have absorbed that as the sign of bad things to come on race day, but I let myself get distracted by the shiny ocean water and chose to dismiss it instead. It’s easy to let good sense fall to the wayside when you’re surrounded by sandy beaches.


Sarah is unaware of my plan to follow suit and move across the country to run exclusively on the beach, but I discussed it at length with her guest room and it ‘s on board, so I’m pretty sure she’ll be excited when she finds out.

After Sarah and I returned from our quick and easy run along the water, we proceeded immediately to the closest eatery that offers a solid bagel selection.


Race day rule: do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars, definitely do not shower, go directly to the closest carb.

One of my favorite things about staying with Sarah during a race weekend was her belief in attaching a number to each meal: breakfast #1, followed closely by breakfasts #2 and 3, and chased with lunch #3.


And as my next portion of recapping the weekend includes an epic carbo loading dinner #1, I’ll sign off for now and be back later with more running fun and excitement from my weekend in Long Beach (but don’t hold your breath for the actual race report…that’s still awaiting a solid cuss word cleanse.)

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22 Responses to Long Beach Half Marathon Pre-Race Report

  1. That pic of Sarah flipping the bird is priceless.

  2. you are making me want to live by the beach!!

  3. I saw the RW post online last night – so awesome!!

  4. I like the idea of a pre-race report. Especially when it involves the beach and froyo. And bagels, or course. Congrats on the RW article – that’s awesome!

  5. i want to move in with sarah now.
    you better be in nyc or ill punch you in the face.


  7. Your RW post just popped up on my facebook wall!!! Congratulations! I am at work rigfht now hence I should be working. But I am going to read your article instead. duh.

  8. congrats on your RW article! it’s a good read – and oh so true (and maybe why i don’t garmin? who knows). i totally jealous of your sunny beach running. it’s tempting me to find a winter race in LA/San Diego… hmm….

    btw, sarah’s plaid capris are ridic. want.

  9. major kudos on the writing!! And the whole wonderful weekend of FUN with your girls

  10. The beach looks so nice! And the trip out to CA is hard with the time change.

  11. So sad I missed your add on Monday Night Football! I think you could replace Hank Jr., fo sho.

    I’m embarassed at how long it took me to figure out “BTdubs.” I’m going to slink back to my cubicle now.

  12. Love the article, girl! Congrats on being on the RW website!

  13. Love the pre-race report! California looks incredibly gorgeous and fun…beach, froyo, running/blogging buddies, bagels – doesn’t get much better! It’s awesome that you were able to wrap up such a fun trip into a race weekend. Can’t wait to hear more!

  14. Congrats on the RW placement – that is freaking awesome! Also, I have concluded, YogurtLand is by far the #1 fro yo place ever created. Thus, I’m glad you got your fair share with other lovely bloggers!

  15. In RW?!?!?! That is beyond the coolest thing ever. Ever.

  16. […] ICYMI, Part I of my Shit that Happened in Long Beach Recap is here. […]

  17. Congrats! That’s fantastic news!

  18. […] and carb-loaded like champ, and got to sleep at a respectable time like good little runners.  Read her posts for more D’s – I’m just gonna hark her photos and let them do the […]

  19. […] the race photos are posted…the pre race events have been recapped in great detail…and it’s been 4 full days since I crossed the finish line in Long Beach. I guess I can’t […]

  20. […] Lululemon and vodka. Clearly these girls learned everything there is to know about me over the course of one frozen yogurt date. […]

  21. […] I’ve finally made a turn away from the dark/lonesome side of running.  A shake out run with Emily here, letting B tag along on a tempo there (I made him stay 2 paces behind so I wouldn’t know he […]

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