Steve’s Long Beach Marathon Race Report – Part 1

Beach Runners Doing Their Pre-Race Body Looseners

This is an interesting race report for me to write because I am sure many of you probably think I am a sandbagger, or why am I not faster. I know all about marathons. I don’t know the exact number I’ve done, I don’t count them but at least 15.

I started out doing them the hard way and then I started doing them a smart way, I’ve just never done them the smart/fast way, and 4:06:56 isn’t fast. Based on my 5k times I should be a lot faster but a Personal Record (PR) is a PR.

I had used my taper weeks practicing visualization techniques. I visualized the finish line clock showing 4:05 as I crossed the finish line with my arms held high in the air. I knew if I saw that time I might have a shot of coming in under 4 hours.

As it worked out I started the downhill run toward the finish line and when the clock came into view is showed 4:08 and some change but let’s start at the beginning.

Without going through all the Beach Runner training, I spent most of my time training with the half marathoners, running slow and coaching from the back of the pack. I really don’t think about PRs, I want to make sure our participants get across the finish line safely while having fun.

I knew I would run the long runs with the marathoners later in the session, just slow. After our first 3.5 hour run, I knew I had a decent base but no speed. Then I decided to get the last two long runs in working on pacing. This serves two purposes. I get to run with Beach Runners training towards time goals and it usually makes me run faster.

On the day of our 4 hour run, I started out in the 11 – 10 minute mile pace for the first hour then hooked up with Diane whom was training to go sub 4 and-a-half hours. We ran 13 miles together working on varied paces. We ran anywhere from 10’s to high 7 minute miles. I always coach my runners to work on many different paces on their long runs. We went over 19 miles that day.

A couple weeks later I ran the Beach Runners 5 hour training run mostly with Delta. Delta was training to finish her first marathon with a goal of sub 4 and-a half. A pretty lofty goal for a first timer, plus she was coming off a broken pelvis injury. We ran at varied paces, We talked along the way and supported each other when the other was getting tired. Together we ran close to 22 miles in a little over 4 hours. She finished stronger than I did. I was done for that day. Overall three good long runs, time to taper.

I kept it easy over the next 3 weeks. I practiced my visualizations of a 4:05 finish line clock reading and worked on getting in touch with the emotions I would have out on the course. I don’t run marathons fast, I just enjoy myself and run with the people I coach. The week before the race I made the commitment, now was the time to test myself and go for a new PR.

….Continued tomorrow!


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