Dancing for Food

Overcoming the ballet body image.

Long Beach Half Marathon 2012

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Oh my, where do I begin?  While this was the same race I did last year as my first half marathon ever, it was definitely not my favorite.  To start with, I didn’t get enough sleep AT ALL.  We had Amanda and Conor over to make leaving in the morning easier, and while it certainly was easier, it made for getting to bed later than was ideal.

I wasn’t too worried about it – I wasn’t expecting a great night’s sleep.  But then, I couldn’t fall asleep.  And Mat, I love him to pieces but when he takes over the middle of the bed or rolls over and hits me with his arm while I’m already having trouble falling asleep and am getting myself all worked up over it because of the thought of wanting to PR in a half marathon in the morning, it’s annoying.

It’s ok though.  He cooks me good food and loves ME to pieces so I forgive him.  🙂

Once I woke up this morning, I felt ok.  I ate a tiny granola bar I got free at the expo on Friday, slathered on the sunscreen (I learned my lesson with oh so cute tank top lines in 2 out of 3 previous races), and we were off.

Traffic getting there was nonexistent because we left so early.  We had plenty of time to hit the portapotties once or twice before lining up at the start.

I was running alongside Mat for the first 1/4-1/2 mile or so and then he took off.  I knew he would (he was hoping to finish between 1:40 and 1:50).  I just wanted to try to keep the pace I was doing.  We both started in wave 1, even though I technically should have started in wave 2, and that helped because you didn’t have to weave around all the slow people and the people walking.  Wave 1 was for finishing between 1:16-1:50 and wave 2 was for finishing between 1:51-2:05.

Around mile 2-3 I was already feeling fatigued.  I pushed through anyway hoping I’d feel better by mile 5.  I sort of did, but for the most part I was constantly fighting fatigue in my legs.  When I passed the first clock somewhere between miles 6 and 7, it said 56ish minutes (gun time).  I figured that if I could keep the pace I was doing I MIGHT be able to break 2 hours.  Or at least come very close.  But, I also knew that I had the long stretch of beach ahead of me still that I had hated last year.  Even though I’d remembered my sunglasses this year (you run toward the sun for a good 2 or 2.5 miles) I was still worried.

Obviously, that worry was a bad thing.  It made it harder.  I just kept telling myself that I was hurting less today than I was last year because I was much more prepared (last year my max distance going into the race was 10 miles the weekend before).  When we finally reached the turn and could put the sun behind us for the last 3ish miles, I was very happy.  Still very fatigued, but I got my Clif Shot at mile 10 and tried to focus on the face that I was almost done.

We reahed the split at 10.8 and I was incredibly relieved to only be running the half.  Honestly, there were times during this race, including at the split, where I wondered if I’d be able to make it the whole way running.  But, I’m stubborn and only allow myself to walk through water stations, simply because it’s difficult to drink water out of cups without spilling it all over yourself.  (Now, when the sun is out I don’t mind spilling, but then I don’t get as much to drink which is bad).

I saw mile 11.  I pep talked myself that I only had 2 miles.  I’d done 11 on tired legs, what was 2 more?

I saw mile 12.  Only 1 more!

I saw the marathon mile 26 marker.  Only .2 to go.  There was the finish.  It’s a downhill finish.  Time for one last push of energy!

I flew down that downhill toward the finish.  I just wanted to be DONE!  Right before I crossed, the timer said 2:05.  I knew that I’d started about 30 seconds, maybe more, after the gun, so either way I had PRed.  My previous PR was 2:08:33.  I didn’t break 2 hours, but I wasn’t really expecting that.  Honestly, I was getting so worn down today that I just wanted to finish the damn thing without walking.

Needless to say, it was not the best race.  My body was arguing against me, it hadn’t had enough sleep, and my mind was against me too.  The fact that I still PRed despite all the negative thoughts in my head and my legs feeling like jello makes me pretty excited.  🙂  (At the time of posting, official race times were not available.  Mat did finish under 1:50 though).

However, soon after my poor system began to hate me.  You know those stomach cramps and nausea you sometimes get after pushing yourself through a long run?  Yeah that was me.  It lasted much longer than I’m used to and was much worse than I’ve ever experienced. UGH.

But, on a positive note, some pictures from after the race!

Mom and Amanda after finishing the 5k.  Amanda ran the whole thing even though she hasn’t really been running lately!



Mat and Daddy – they got their Beach Cities medals!



Mat and I:




Once my stomach issues were over, I was able to eat.  Thank God…I needed FOOD!  It was fitting that today’s Instagram photo challenge was “splurge:”


Overnight oats (peanut butter, oats, milk, chocolate protein powder, flax seed, and chocolate chips topped with granola and strawberries right before eating), banana, strawberries, chocolate chip banana bread with peanut butter (thank you Mommy!) and ice coffee with milk and Hershey’s.

Like I said, it was a splurge.

And now?  It’s all about the tv watching and total lounging.  We’re both pretty sore.  We’re also planning to go through some wedding pictures and start picking out what to put in the photo book our photographers are making.

As for running this week?  There won’t be much of it.  I need rest, that is very clear.


Author: Melissa

Getting healthy - mind, body, and soul.

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