Rebel Runners Long Beach Marathon Race Report

Long Beach Marathon, 10/14/2007: And so ended another chapter in the epic history of the Beach Runners, associated with, aka “SoCal’s Funnest Running Group.” So many Beach Runners (“BRs”), so many stories, so many outstanding experiences, and so many personal records (“PRs”).This report is not about PRs, and not about typical BRs. We are the Rebel Runners (or “RRs”).

To assist in this story, here are a couple of RR concepts—or really, fictional characters—who played a big part in RR amusement during our training season.There are “Bad Idea Bears,” derived from the Broadway musical “Avenue Q.”Bad ideas for training are, for example, going out drinking the night before a long Saturday run, missing scheduled runs, or focusing on things like weddings instead of form while running.Bad ideas sound, well, bad.But Bad Idea Bears sound really cute, cuddly, and socially acceptable.That’s why the RRs like the term Bad Idea Bear.


Bad Idea Bears—Aren’t they cute?

And (surprise!) there is the “Good Idea Bear.” Avenue Q doesn’t feature such a creature. After all, Avenue Q is a comedy, and good ideas are not nearly as funny as bad ideas. So the RRs just made this bear up.

The RRs stuck together throughout the training season, sometimes rebelling from the BRs. Like when we decided to make up our own RR course on Saturdays. I guess that course was a Bad Idea Bear, in the sense that we didn’t get to meet as many BRs as we might have. But it kept us particularly motivated to run (especially seeing the numerous jellyfish floating in the Marina Pacifica residential area). So, on the whole, the RRs thought that course was a Good Idea Bear. (See “A Different Sort of Run Report,” posted earlier on

The RRs also had a lot of distractions this season. Especially weddings. Lani got married to John (not me, but some other guy named John) in August. Kristin will marry Wade in February 2008, and Mina and Doug marry each other in May 2008. I can say from personal experience (married to Laura—not BR Laura, but another gal named Laura) that getting married is definitely a Good Idea Bear. But wedding planning is certainly a Bad Idea Bear when concurrent with marathon training. Especially for the women. I can’t say how many times the female RRs started going too fast in training while talking excitedly about wedding planning.Thus, the RRs did not feel particularly prepared for the LB marathon. Thus, we set our race goals as: (1) finishing, and (2) no barfing. We thought pacing ourselves at a 11:00/mile pace would do that trick. (And, that’s one great sign of an RR. Coach Gary complains that he “bonked” when he was running 10:00/min miles. RRs, in contrast, think it’s better to run “bonked” for the whole marathon.)Shortly after we started, some of the RRs soon started rebelling from the RRs.After about 4 miles, BR Jim (aka Uncle Sam) passed us up with a group of other BRs who were doing about 10:30s. Right at that point RRs Mina and Doug decided to take off with them, leaving the other RRs behind. For awhile, we kept the rebelling RRs in sight, but around mile 14 they were nowhere to be found. Also, around this time, RR Randy fell back a bit.


Kristin, you’re too slow. Mina and I are going to speed up!” “Okay Doug, but remember—NO BARFING!”

Thus, RRs Kristin, Lani and me were alone when we approached Studebaker Road, around mile 18. Ugh. That part of the race is the bleakest, ugliest, and (with the bridge over 7th Street) the hilliest section. The RRs were dreading this part of the course the most. I guess the advance dreading was definitely a Bad Idea Bear, because that’s where we started bonking and walking. (I’m sure Coach Gary would’ve advised us that we should’ve been chanting “Studebaker Road is our friend.”)

The week before the race, Lani had a Good Idea Bear regarding this part of the course: tell a story to help keep our minds off the dreariest part of the race. So Kristin came up with hers, about the time she ran the Honolulu Marathon under trying circumstances. I told my story about how I shouldn’t be running marathons post-knee surgery and post-orthodics, but ChiRunning® keeps me going.Then, Lani decided story-telling was a Bad Idea Bear and she refused to tell hers. That was an admirable rebel trick for an RR.

As we passed to the north of LB State, I was looking for some inspiration to get through the run. I then spotted people passing out FREE BEER!! How ironic: much earlier in the run I was telling the RRs that it would be a Good Idea Bear if on one of my training runs, I filled one of my Fuel Belt® bottles with beer. I could then swill it down after, say, 3 hours, and see how my body responded. That way, I’d know if I could drink a beer during an actual marathon.So, here was my chance to test the theory, but during the run instead. I knew what Coaches Steve and Gary would say: if you haven’t tried something in training, then DON’T DO IT DURING THE RUN!!! Thus, the thought of drinking beer now was definitely a Bad Idea Bear.Since I am an RR, I had to drink some. Mmmm, beer….Meanwhile, Mina and Doug’s decision to run ahead of the other RRs was definitely a Good Idea Bear—they

finished ahead of us.


“Mina, I don’t believe in ‘ladies first,’ okay?” “Aw, Doug, you’re so romantic.”

I know what the BR coaches are thinking right now: Mina and Doug’s decision to do all that trail running for the March 2007 Catalina Marathon and the September 2007 Mount Baldy run paid off for them; that’s why they ran faster. Sorry guys. The official RR position is that trail running is a Bad Idea Bear. There’s a possible exception when the RRs need beautiful scenery in the mountains for purposes of getting engaged, which is what Mina and Doug did in March.At around mile 22, I felt like I had more energy than my RR buddies, and I sped along. I walked through the rest of the water stations, but otherwise kept up the pace, and I actually ran the last mile in about 9 minutes. (I’m guessing, because I had another Bad Idea Bear that day: I forgot my Garmin.) am certain that I finished ahead of Lani and Kristin because of the Good Idea Beer.


“Woo, a strong finish—must be the beer!”

After the run, I headed off to the BR tent where BR helper Laura was greeting a whole lot of BRs, along with my next-door-neighbor Suzanne, and Lani’s sister Maile. Laura was waiting with a lot of peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches for me to scarf down. So I achieved my goals: finishing, and no barfing. All of the other RRs finished also. But I’m not so sure about the barfing.

John Siqueiros – Beach Runner and Rebel Runner


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