Picking up from yesterday –
I ran around ‘til I basically made it to the Long Beach Transit Center. Oh, man. This is where get the subway after the race, and it’s 3.5 miles from the finish line. How great would it be if this were the finish line? Well, it’s not. I looped back and kept on going with 7 miles to go.
It wasn’t until the sun came out that I thought about how smart the 6:30am people were to minimize their time in the sun.
The hotter it got, the harder the race seemed. I lost a few minutes, stopping multiple times for probably a whole minute each; trying to get as much water as possible from sort of low-flow, small-trajectory drinking fountains (and covering myself with as much water as I could). So sunny. So very, very sunny.
In the running between all that stopping, I realized I was slowing down. I said to myself, “Oh yeah, mile 8. This is where I usually slow down.” But then I said, “Forget usually! You know all that reflecting you’ve been doing lately? – Saying you’re gonna be a better, stronger person? Be her! She may not be a fast runner, but she’s gonna be someone who keeps pushing in mile 8.”
So, I kept pushing. I need to get better at the whole distance – especially if I want to increase it to marathons. Eventually mile 13 is going to have to be as strong as mile 1. I didn’t allow myself much walking. Even if my strides got smaller and slower, I tried to keep it at a jog.
The final loop was the same as the first loop. I didn’t know what to expect when the last three miles were the same as the first three miles. Would it be fun to do it all over again after different scenery in the middle? Would it be awful – “Didn’t I just do this earlier today?”
It was actually nice. I knew what to expect. It was familiar, but still somewhat new, since I’d gotten a 7-mile break before doing it the second time. However, there was this really loud, judgmental guy, meanly screaming at everyone who went by. He kept shouting something about everyone “being retards” for putting themselves through the pain of running. Rude, right?
That dude riled me up a little, ‘cause you know, it’s this strange guy furrowing his brow totally screaming at you while you’re just trying to finish your race. But I mellowed out almost immediately. Maybe it was all the endorphins from all the running, but I thought, “What do I care if this guy wants to be angry that people are exercising? I’m sure he’s got something going on in his own life that’s making him so angry. I don’t need to be offended that he’s yelling at me. He doesn’t know me at all. It’s not really about me.”
Boom. Example for myself of me trying to be a better, more understanding and compassionate person. ‘Cause I word fight with crazy strangers sometimes. But there’s really no need.
I jogged on through to the finish with a time of 3:05:49. Not a PR, but not too shabby. I felt absolutely amazing – not about the time on the clock, but just the miles under my belt felt good. My body and brain were very thankful. I thought, “Oh, yeah. I almost forgot, I truly love running. And I desperately need it. Life is better in this moment.”
I got my medal from the super lovely race director. I love Rocket Racing Productions. This was my first race with them, but will not be my last. The race had a great vibe.
I enjoyed the 3 1/2 mile walk back to the subway station, dancing most of the way. I saw a humongous yoga class taking place on a lawn, which looked really cool. I should’ve run over and stretched out with them.
I also came across this humongous staircase from the road down to the beach, and did some really fun “stair acting” to a Frank Sinatra song as I went down the stairs. Something about stairs – I love to act on them. There are so many various ways to walk down stairs – regally, shyly, excitedly, and the list goes on and on. I made a mental note of this place. Someday if I feel like it, I can just run up them for exercise, and act on down them for fun – over and over again all day. Mmm, stair acting.