Berlin Marathon 2019

The Berlin Marathon! One of six Abbott World Marathon Majors! I was lucky enough to get drawn from the lottery to race this event and boy what an experience this was! Being my first time to Europe and hearing about how great Berlin was, I went into this with no goal except to enjoy it and have fun. Because this falls at the end of September I was not able to take much time off work because it’s the end of our fiscal year and once month out from the SEMA show.  I arrived Friday evening and went straight to the Expo for bib pick up. Because of the time constraint I was on to meet up with Jeannine for dinner, I was in and out, picking up my bib and apparel. No pictures on the name wall, just one out front before I went in. And dinner was at Burgermeister, which was good and reminded me of Five Guys for anyone wondering.

The next morning was the big Breakfast Shakeout run. The run started at the Charlottenburg Palace and ended at the Olympic Stadium. This was a fun experience and I believe there was about 11,000 participants. I also met some new friends here. One being someone i knew form Instagram that lived in LA but have never ran with and the other two were mutual friends with Jeannine. I love meeting new people in the running community, it’s just funny that these people live in LA but it was in Berlin that we met.

The rest of Saturday was spent walking around the shopping district then resting/stretching for the next day’s race. We had Pho for dinner and FYI, they do not use hoisin sauce or Sriracha in their Pho! It wasn’t bad, just different from what I’m used to.

Race Day! 45 minutes of sleep had me wondering how I’d feeling during the run. I wasn’t too tired since I had a good night’s sleep the previous night. The plan was to run with Jeannine but through a series of unfortunate events we ran solo. I started at the end of the of starting block to try and find here but never was able to. The funny thing is that based on our start and finish times, we must have been pretty close to each other most of the way and I saw here cross the start line on the big screen as I made my way to the start line.

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This was fun! I high fived as many people as I could, just ran this without worry even though rain started about an hour into my race. It got bad enough to the point where by bib actually got soggy and ripped, causing me to have to have to hold my bib up for pictures. In my 21 my legs started getting tired and so from there I jogged and walked to the finish. One thing that I was unprepared for was the lack of food on course. I had my gels on my but every other marathon I’ve done there was pretzels, chips, etc on course and with Berlin, there was none. I think this may have had to do with my getting light headed and dizzy on the train afterwards. Getting some gummi bears in me had me back to normal later.

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Official time of 3:42:50. my fourth marathon and 3rd slowest time but I’m not even worried about that since this was just for fun. I’m really proud of Jeannine because this girl ran a PR by herself! The one thing I’m a little sad about is that I didn’t spend as much time in Berlin as I’d have liked to, I will definitely be back to sight-see in the near future.

Long Beach Marathon 2018

Just a few months late but butter late than never I guess. I’ll keep it short. Went in feeling confident. Had a good training cycle, felt good going into race day. Weather was ok but not terrible. I set a goal of 3:25:00 and missed it by about 9 minutes. It was a 20 minute improvement from my previous full marathon but it wasn’t what I trained for. Cramps got me in mile 16 and I couldn’t hold pace. It just wasn’t in the cards for me that day. You can check the Strava results here. Big thanks to Matt Schuck for pacing the last 10 miles for me, keeping me motivated to finish when I wanted to quit and my brother Cong for being there when I needed him.

Official Time: 3:33:59

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L.A. Marathon – Stadium to the Sea

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Welp I did it. I ran my first marathon. After a 19 week training program with the Long Beach Running Club I can call myself I marathon runner. In the days leading up to to the L.A. Marathon I was nervous about hitting my goals that I had set for myself;

A. Finish in 3:50

B. Finish under 4 hours.

Whenever somebody had asked me what my goal for the marathon was my response was always “Sub 4.” I didn’t tell anyone about my 3:50 goal because I honestly didn’t know if it was realistic for me or not since with running anything over 18 miles in training I’ve had cramping issues and my pace slowed down quite a bit after that.

I finished with a time of 3:54:24 (Strava Info Here)

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I hit by B Goal but not my A Goal. I thought I has done enough as far as being hydrated all week and on race day as well as proper calorie and salt replenishment but again the cramps started around mile 18 with things getting really bad halfway through mile 20. At this point there was a lot of walking and stopping to stretch out but keeping an eye on my watch and how much distance was left, I was sure would still hit my sub 4 hour goal. Knowing that at 17 miles in I had an average pace of 8:33 and sustaining that till mile 20 then losing 20 seconds of overall average pace int he last 6 miles is a little disheartening especially since those miles are predominately downhill.

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Doing some more reading this week looks like it’s just a part of long distance running, my muscles may have not been used to the demand of 3+ hours of running and should have got in some more long runs or incorporated some weight training and better recovery practices. There are just so many variables to this that I still need to figure out.

Overall I am happy that I hit one of my goals and was able to share the whole experience with my family, friends and the thousands of strangers cheering along the route. Would I do this course again? I told myself no but there’s something inside me that knows I can better this time in the future. Don’t know why I didn’t get the two pictures that I wanted which was one of me after the finish by myself and one with my brother since’s he’s guided me along this journey… man I F’d up.