I'm now a full day-plus removed from the marathon, and since I have so many thoughts floating around about the race, post-race and my thoughts on my running future, I figured I'd just dump them all here. Most of 'em anyway.
* Surf City attracted around 20,000 runners combined between the 5K, Half Marathon and Marathon. Also, there were an estimated 40,000 onlookers, this according to a local news report. So while Surf City isn't a big-city event like the LA Marathon, it's also not a small-time race.
* Wanna read some more race recaps? Angie wrote this up on Angie Eats Peace, and I was touched by it because she included some stuff in there on yours truly. She posted a really bad picture of me, one of my "before" shots (and I don't mean moments before the marathon), but it's all good. Angie ran the half marathon with another friend of hers who also had gone a significant weight loss/lifestyle change.
Lisa of Discovering the Meaning of Stonehenge (a runner's journey) wrote a detailed race report on her own marathon experience. Lisa ran her first marathon a couple of years ago and finished in 4:54, and made it a goal to improve on her time. Sunday, her third marathon, she rocked a 3:57!! Amazing. It gives me hope that I can improve my time. I'm not going to get under four hours like she did but it's encouraging to see her progress nonetheless.
* The official race photos won't be up until Sunday (hopefully sooner) but here is one more picture of yours truly during the race.
One of our pace leaders shot this probably around Mile 20 or 21.
This is pre-wall, hence the smile. My Loper buddy Marilu is the small speck of pink on the right side. She finished ahead of me by the way, but we kept leap-frogging each other from this point forward.
* My BlackBerry let me down. It froze on me. Ugh. I had to do a battery pull right smack in the middle of the marathon. I had listened to the first playlist (I broke up my playlist into three separate ones) and was going to skip ahead to the third one. I hadn't listened to music at all until Mile 8 or 9, so I only had time for one more playlist. As soon as the first notes of Fight Fire With Fire began, the song quit on me. It took me a while to figure out that the phone had just quit on me, just froze. I ran like that for a couple of miles and then decided that I need to take the battery out and try and revive the phone. I needed it obviously not just for the music but for the phone calls. It worked fine after that.
* Mrs. LB called me four times during the race and each time it was a welcomed sound. It worked great and I would definitely recommened it if you have the capability of course. I probably wouldn't recommend holding a phone in your hand for the entire race but if you can keep it somewhere so that it does not get in the way, go for it. I'm lucky that mine fit in my arm carrier thing.
* The hat was awesome. Several people said "Go LB!" or just "LB!" Huntington Beach is close to Long Beach so maybe it was people cheering for Long Beach, but I pretended they were cheering for me :)
* Random cool moment: One of the people who congratulated me for my bib turned his head around once he got about 10 feet or so in front of me and said "Soak it all up!"
* Random cool moment, part two: Two others chatted with me briefly about their own experiences. One guy said he had lost 70 pounds, and the other said he'd lost 80, and each of them was also running marathon number one.
* Random cool moment, part three: I saw a runner wearing a white running shirt that said "Blind Runner" on the back, and next to her a runner wearing the same shirt except on his shirt read "Guide Dog."
* Random cool moment, part four: Our group very early on passed a runner, probably in his late 60s or early 70s, with a POW/MIA flag singing cadence. After I'd found my family and was recovering, I saw him finishing up his own 26.2-miler, still singing cadence.
* Random NOT cool moment: There were several bikers on the beach path, and while most of them were going slow and taking care to not run into anyone, not all of them were seemingly happy with sharing the beach path with marathoners.
* I have to go on a run today. Two miles. I really don't feel like going out there and running. It's not that I don't want to but my legs are still feeling the effects of Surf City. Mostly my quads are feeling it. I don't usually get sore in my quads after runs, so this is sorta new to me. We'll see how it goes. I'm definitely not going to worry about time or anything like that. I'm going to get out there and run to help me recover.
* What about Marathon No. 2? Have I decided on and if and when? Kinda, yeah... well, not decided on one but have a lot of thoughts on that. But you will have to wait for the next post for that one :)