|Tina, marathoner extraordinaire|
As she prepares to run Long Beach once more - she ran this race in 2009 - Tina took time to share her story with me.
Question: What do you expect from the Long Beach Marathon? What do you hope to accomplish from the race?
|(L to R) Claudia, Natasha and Tina, a trio of stars|
Q: With this being your 10th marathon, how is it for you now looking forward to such a race? Do worry more? Do you get more excited? Less excited? Is it more of a chore? How has that evolved?
A: I still get excited and I still get nervous and I tend to worry about things anyway. You know every bad thing that can happen because you’ve probably experienced it at least once in the runs that you’ve done whether it’s training runs or marathons so you think about those but you also know how to alleviate them. You’ve taken all the stuff you’ve learned in the past and bring it with you. You want to make sure you’re eating right, you’re still worried about the week before that you don’t want to put something in your system that’s going to make you feel ill when you’re running. But I’m still excited to run every single race. This is my second time running Long Beach and I actually PR’d in Long Beach last year and it will probably be the longest race so I figure I’ll have the most amount of hours on my feet running a race but I’m still just as excited. I haven’t had that experience where ‘Oh, it’s just another marathon. It’s not a big deal.’ Every marathon to me is a big deal and every medal I get and every shirt I bring home is like ‘Yes, I got another one!’ I feel like I do it for the medal and the shirt!
Q: Most people don’t understand why anyone would want to run a half marathon or a full marathon but you went above that and ran an ultramarathon, the Shadow of the Giants 50K in Yosemite National Park in June. From the time you started training for that to when you crossed the finish line, what were the biggest challenges you faced along that whole experience?
|Pirouetting her way through an ultra|
Q: Two years ago you hadn’t done one marathon. Take us back to then, before you ran the first marathon. What made you want to run a marathon and why did you decide to do it?
A: It was one of those bucket-list things. I was like ‘I’ll run a marathon before I’m 30.’ I had a second job and I couldn’t give up my weekend work until I was 30 and then I said I just needed to run one. In my head I was just doing one, it was just to cross it off the list and say ‘I did one marathon!’ They say 99 percent of the world hasn’t done one marathon so that was exciting. Waking up on Sunday mornings thinking that at 6:30 I had to be up and ready and out the door, it was hard in the beginning but I felt like, being a Loper, having people – not that they rely on you, but you start missing people when they’re not there because that’s when you get to spend all this time. You spend hours talking to these people that you don’t see during the week but you see them on your Sunday runs but you look forward to it. That was motivating. I ran my first half marathon a week before I ran my first full marathon, and at that half marathon expo I signed up for my second marathon so I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. We had done training runs but I had gotten injured so I never got to run past the 20-mile mark. The biggest thing was that I signed up for it, a few other people had signed up for the second marathon at the same time so it wasn’t like I was alone in this. The friendships is probably the biggest reason that I can still run, that bond.
Q: How many marathons did you intend on running?
A: Did I want to run nine? No. That wasn’t what my plan was at the beginning. It was to run one marathon. It became addicting. It became where when I didn’t run, I didn’t feel good. Whether it was frustration or whatever, running helped make you feel good. Those endorphins get you going.
Q: What do you remember the most from your first marathon?
|Tina and Art crossing the finish|
Q: As far as Long Beach, what are some of the things you remember from last year’s race?
A: What I really liked about Long Beach was they closed the bike path down whereas in Surf City they don’t and you run quite a way along the beach. It’s so nice to get that fresh ocean air. I went to school at Cal State Long Beach and you do a little bit of a run there. They have the fraternities and sororities out there and they’re cheering for you and that’s really awesome because they’re up early in the morning cheering for complete strangers. That means a lot to us. Sometimes you just need a little motivation to get you through and you’re probably in the 15- to 18-mile mark when you’re on campus and I thought ‘Oh, look. I used to walk from here to here.’ Also I set a PR there so that for me was good because that was my fourth marathon last year. To set a PR was a great accomplishment. I had (Lopers) Natasha and Angelina finish together and that was very cool. At the very end, once you cross they had these unbelievable cupcakes and that was the best part! I’m looking forward to having some cupcakes at the end!
Q: What is your favorite marathon course you’ve run?
|On the Bridge, in 2009|