08 October 2011

Pre-Race Ramblings... Long Beach Half-Marathon

As someone who posts every single day (not because I think people want me to but because I need to or my brain might explode), it may seem curious that I have not posted anything since Thursday... which was our first bloggiversary. Worse than a Paper Anniversary like a first wedding anniversary, this proved to be the Zippo Bloggiversary as I did nothing at all of a celebratory nature.

I plan to fix that next week. And boy, o, boy have I got a prize for you :) But it's a surprise still.

Why have I not posted for the past two whole days? And did my brain, in fact, explode? 

Answer to the first question:  I have been majorly tweaking about this race tomorrow. Majorly. All week. Some people picked up on it, and they were worried. It was suggested that I get myself pulled together. I've been working on that.

Which brings us to the second question:  While my brain did not, in fact, explode, I did get a whopper of a migraine. I woke up with it Friday, and it finally started to subside this afternoon. It was so bad that I pretty much didn't sleep last night... which was good in a way because I had an early flight this morning. The pain is nearly gone now (7 p.m.)... whew. Running 13.1 miles in the heat and the sun with a migraine does not sound like an enjoyable Sunday morning activity at all.

saying my good-byes at the airport...


 Whoops... did the kids see that?

It was an uneventful flight... which is almost always a good thing. The woman next to me had two trashmags that I got to read over her shoulder. As my headache was still quite active, I didn't get to do as much of that as I would have liked, but it was still enough for her to sense it, I think :P

We arrived in Long Beach at its cute little airport. Seriously, it's like from a different era. I love it. I caught the shuttle and was given the guided tour to the hotel. The driver was quite possibly the most eager person to ever drive an airport shuttle. That means he talked non-stop :)

After checking into the hotel and getting directions to the Expo, I set off. The front desk chick did not know what she was talking about. She sent me the wrong long way... all the way around the entire perimeter of the Long Beach Convention Center... which is huge! Following these wacky directions, I ended up going through the loading dock area and service entrance. I kept thinking to myself, "This is a really weird Convention Center... aren't they usually 'inviting' and sort of grandiose?"

The Expo itself was a zoo. I guess the 'good' ones usually are, right? So I got my number and my bag and my shirt and braved the masses. I had fun chatting with the Spi Guy. And yeah, I bought one of his Spibelts. He was sort of irresistible.

When I left the building I found the inviting way...

and the grandiose way...

...which was directly across the street from my danged hotel! And now I know how to get to the starting line in less than 45 minutes...lol. 

I went back to the hotel and spent the early afternoon lying around, being bummed that I had a headache and no free in-room wifi in my awesomely comfortable digs. I may have fallen asleep. Then I ran out to meet sweet Giraffy and her equally nice husband at the Expo. We wandered together through the madness and then walked over to scope out the starting area. We were all struck by the huge horseshoe-shaped Port-a-potty corral. It was huge. She took a picture of it that may or may not appear on her blog. Did I mention that it was huge?

Before they left to go home, they pointed me in the direction of the Promenade where there are a bunch of restaurants. I meandered over that way and passed some cool fountains...

and then found what I felt like eating... 

I have never been to a Johnny Rockets before, but when I saw 'burger' I started getting hungry for the first time since this headache started.

I started my meal with this...

...which I haven't had in forEVER.

And this was what I ate...

there is a burger wrapped in that paper.

I contemplated but passed on this...
Deluxe Shakes Menu
click on the photo to biggify and see all the amazing combos that I resisted.

What elevated this meal beyond all expectations was the truly awesome service. The three people behind the counter were engaged and engaging... both with the customers and each other. They seemed to enjoy working together and doing what they were doing. While I was eating, a number of 'regulars' came in... the old-timey, friendly, "hey-how-you-doing-tonight?" was a total pleasure to be around. They were pleasantly chatting and working at the same time. Prepping, serving, cleaning, cooking... all with smiles and attention and care. I watched as Adan literally crafted a grilled cheese sandwich. It didn't take him forever to do it... it was quick but with attention and pride. It is so rare to find this anywhere nowadays, but I found it at Johnny Rockets in Long Beach, California :)

Many, many thanks to 
Shawn, Becky, and Adan!

If you're ever in Long Beach, California and looking for an awesome diner with amazing-looking shakes and tasty burgers... Johnny Rockets is your place :)

We'll have to wait and see tomorrow how it does as a pre-race meal ... 

Now it's time for bed. Let's hope that my earplugs help silence the 'ambient' noises of crying babies and live bands that I can hear right now yet DO NOT prevent me from hearing my wake-up call or my alarm! 

Here's to fast dreams and fast running :)


  1. Wahooo! So excited for you girl! You will be awesome! You've done the work...enjoy the ride! Your kids and hubby will be so proud of you!

  2. I'm so happy for you!! Have a wonderful race day!! You will be in my thoughts today!! Can't wait to hear how great you did and how much fun you had!! xoxo

  3. Good luck!! You are going to be awesome! :D

  4. You can do it! Good luck!

    Can't wait for the half-marathon follow-up post.

    Gillian from Baby Talk without the Babble

  5. Given the time difference, you're probably already up and ready to go this morning, but haven't started (still dark there). So many good wishes for you today. Enjoy the kid-free time.

  6. Best of luck to you today!!!!! Thinking about you and hoping that burger provided you with Rocket fuel!!! Have fun, run hard!!

  7. Good Luck in the Half. I think I would run 13 miles for a little time to myself and a trip to Long Beach these days ...

  8. I'm excited for you! Have fun, enjoy the ride. Sounds like a great pre-race day (once the migraine said goodbye), and hopefully today will be even better! :)

  9. Can't wait to hear how it goes! Congrats on your blogiversary!
    Looking at that food makes me want to eat a burger!

  10. What a great pre-race meal - totally up my alley!

    I'm so excited for you!! Get back soon to tell us all about it :-)


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