Race day!

Today was the Long Beach marathon and half marathon that Dan and I have been training so hard for. In order to avoid getting stuck in traffic on the 710 freeway like we did two years ago, Dan and I woke up at 3:30 AM to make sure we could get to Long Beach and park in a reasonable amount of time. I think we erred a little too far on the early side, though, because we had more than two hours to kill after we parked at the convention center. We tried to sleep, and while I think Dan succeeded, I just couldn’t get comfortable. At about 6:45 AM we walked down to the starting line. I couldn’t believe how many people were there for the race. Everyone from serious runners to family members there for moral support. The only good thing about being packed in like sardines is that it warded off the morning chill! The officials had participants start the race in waves to keep the chaos to a minimum. I think Dan and I were in the fourth or fifth wave. When we crossed the start line Dan took off running and I tried to stay out of the way of as many faster moving folks as I could. My overall race experience was pretty serene. The Long Beach half marathon course is really beautiful and I saw parts of the city I’d never seen before. I maintained a fairly fast pace throughout the 13.1 miles due to the fact that there weren’t any huge hills to slow me down (like on my normal weekend walk). Also I think I pushed myself harder because I was surrounded by other walkers, some impressively fast, and I wanted to keep up with as many of them as possible. My legs aren’t going to thank me tomorrow, but I finished the half marathon 15-20 minutes faster than usual. After I crossed the finish line and picked up my medal, I elbowed my way to the fence where I could wait to watch Dan finish the marathon. I waited there about forty minutes before he went sprinting past. I wanted to take a video of him crossing the finish line, but I just didn’t have enough time to get the camera on my phone set up. Dan wasn’t doing too well when we finally met up so we walked directly to the car and drove home. Showers and naps were our next order of business. At 5 PM we went out to dinner at Fleming’s steak house with Dave S. and enjoyed a great post-race meal. Dan and I were both really hungry after eating very little the rest of the day and burning a lot of calories. We finished the day watching New Zealand beat Argentina in the quarterfinals of the Rugby World Cup. Go All Blacks! I intended to go to bed early tonight, but since it’s already 11 PM I guess that’s not going to happen. I have a feeling a combination of muscle soreness and plain exhaustion is going to make getting up in the morning very difficult. Anyway, our final stats for the Long Beach half marathon and marathon, respectively, are listed below. Pretty impressive, huh?

Lauren Feller – 3:32:19 (16:12 min/mile pace)
Dan Feller – 4:24:21 (10:05 min/mile pace)