The Long Beach Half-Marathon is only a day away!  That can only mean ONE THING. . .it’s time to make a 3 hour ROUND-TRIP to the L-B-C, BAAAAABY!

If you think a 3 hour round-trip drive to spend about an hour in a crowded Convention Hall just to pick up a Race Shirt and Bib sounds borderline tortuous. . .maybe you’re forgetting the fact that it’s MANDATORY!  🙂

Unless you want to pay an extra $25 to get your race packet shipped to you, that is.  All in all, it’s just part of the experience and I REALLY DON’T MIND!  I mean, if I had the packet shipped to me I would have missed out on:

  • Entering the directions to the parking-structure I pre-paid for into my GPS navigation only to have it lead me to a dead-end alleyway-looking area and proudly proclaiming ‘You have reached your destination!’  Having to then search for the NAME of the parking structure and finding that it’s actually around the block.
  • Parking in the same parking-structure I got lost in LAST year because of the confusing numbering system ONLY TO FIND that they FIXED the confusion by COMPLETELY REMOVING THE NUMBERS!  I had to count the number of landings I went down to get to the ground-floor since there were NO FLOOR NUMBERS.  (Yes, I realize that they painted the pillars a different color for each floor. . .but would it kill them to have a number on the landings in the stairwells?)
  • Finding out that since they decided to NOT assign Bib Numbers before people actually picked their race packets up it meant that I had the pleasure of standing in ONE line to get my Bib Number so I could THEN STAND in ANOTHER line to get my STICKER that said I was eligible for the Beach Cities Challenge award (this will be my 3rd out of 3 necessary races, meaning I get the 2018 Shark Trophy, inspired by a Happy Meal Toy.  I actually think it looks kind of cool now that I’ve seen it in person, but still.)
  • Returning to the parking-structure and counting the landings on the way up, then promptly WALKING RIGHT BY my car because. . .I have no idea why. . .just because. . .
  • Remembering that this parking-structure now required me to PRE-PAY my parking stub at a ‘convenient’ automated-machine, and the only one I remembered seeing was BACK ON THE GROUND-FLOOR!
  • Returning to the ground-floor to find that the ‘convenient’ automated-machine was NOT IN SERVICE!
  • Returning to my cars level and finding another ‘convenient’ automated-machine on the complete opposite side of where I was parked. . .feeding it the discounted ticket that I had received in the Expo and having the machine jokingly tell me to ‘Insert Ticket’.  Staring blankly at the machine for a while as people lined up behind me. . .eject my discounted ticket and re-insert it for the same funny Joke.  ‘Insert Ticket’.  After letting several people try their ticket only to see them be successful, I tried again, only to be served with the same FUNNY joke as the machine pretended that I was a moron.
  • Reading my discounted ticket and coming to the realization that the machine was CORRECT.  It clearly stated that I needed to put my ORIGINAL ticket stub in first and THEN this discounted stub.  I WAS a moron.  More importantly. . .I was a moron who MAY HAVE THROWN OUT his original ticket stub when he got handed this discounted one!
  • Returning to my car to THANKFULLY find that I had simply tossed my original ticket into one of my bags at the Expo.
  • Returning to the ‘convenient’ automated-machine to FINALLY be successful and be rewarded with the opportunity to pay $3 so I could finally leave the parking-structure I’d come to love. . .and then park on the freeway!

Yes, I’d truly HATE to miss out on all THAT fun!  🙂

I did actually have some fun AT the Expo as I got to meet up with a few friends that will also be running tomorrow.  Also, they had a pretty cool mural printed up that consisted of the names of every registered runner!

I found mine. . .it’s somewhere in the area I’m pointing too!

Now I’m all set to wake up and leave the house around 4am tomorrow morning!  I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to set a new Personal Record. . .my current record is 01:57:58.  That was on the O.C. Half-Marathon course. . .I think it’s actually a HARDER course than Long Beach since it has more elevation gain!

01:58:13 was my time from Long Beach last year, so I guess as long as I beat that I’ll have a new PR on this course, but still. . .my goal is to try to finish with a mile average of 8 minutes and 45 seconds.  That would be 15 seconds per mile faster than my current PR!  Sounds kind of ambitious. . .but right now I have my Race Shirt, my Bib Number, a bunch of stuff I picked up at the Expo, I’m home again, and  I feel like it’s possible!  I guess I’ll find out tomorrow!


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