Halloween is always a fun time for me, my family and my friends. We like to dress up, attend Halloween parties and laugh at everyone’s costumes. It’s important not to take life too seriously, and I feel like Halloween is a great time to express this.
This year, two girlfriends and I ran the 2016 Los Angeles Half Marathon the day before Halloween!
Day before Race
My boys decided to come with me for a “stay-cation” at LA Live to be close to the race location. I was excited to return to this area where I attended the BlogHer conference in August and had a blast (click to read my Resting Bitch Face Post from the conference!).
L.A. Live is also a busy spot for popular events in Los Angeles.
We arrived around 2pm and checked in to the J.W. Marriott. I love this hotel for the huge lobby area with many sitting areas including an open seating, hip lounge at the center of the hotel.
I was signed up to run with my friends Pauline and Jodi. They went to the Half Marathon Expo early on Saturday and ran into gridlock. As it turned out, Comic Con weekend was also happening at the Convention Center where we were to pick up our bibs.
There were elaborate costumes everywhere.
At first, when Jodi and Pauline sent me texts of these pictures, I thought these were runners at the expo. I thought, “They are running in that? These runners really stepped up their costumes!”
I was relieved to realize these people were in a different event.
My kids were amused at all the costumes on full grown adults!
Religious Demonstration in L.A.
Right by LA Live, there were demonstrators lecturing on mega phones about God, and how sinners will burn in hell. The men were screaming at women who were dressed in provocative costumes, “Whore! Repent for your sins!” It was disturbing. My boys were alarmed. My son Jake said, “I don’t like this place.”
Dinner at Wolfgang Puck
Jake recovered quickly when we arrived at Wolfgang Puck for our early dinner.
We each ordered a “treat” drink. Justin, a coke which he never gets to have, Dave, some orange alcoholic drink he doesn’t remember the name of, Jake, a Shirley Temple and ME… a Pearfect Martini! I wasn’t planning on drinking since the race was the next morning, but when I saw this on the menu, I couldn’t resist.
The last time I had the Pearfect Martini was 6 years ago at the Wolfgang Puck restaurant in Las Vegas. I tried multiple times to replicate the drink with no success. This drink is a dream…. if you go there, you’ve got to order one!
A little pasta loading with delicious mushroom fettuccine. I felt full, buzzed, happy and comfortable when we returned to the hotel. I slept like a baby while my hubby and kids had fun swimmin in the hotel’s heated outdoor pool.
2016 Los Angeles Half Marathon
Morning of Race
Up at 5am, I got dressed in my “Runaway Bride” costume. Jodi was to be a “Ghoulish Bride” and Pauline, a groom. We were excited.
I slipped a few silk flower branches under my laces and it worked great for a finishing touch!
I found my friends in the lobby. We took a quick group shot before heading to the start line which was only a block away.
Selfie while in our corral before race start.
It was still dark outside since the race started at 6:45am. The gun went off and we were on our way.
2016 Los Angeles Half Marathon Race Costumes
And just like that, we were finished. Well, not really “just like that”… about 2:27 minutes later.
I used to obsess about my race time, but my perspective is now so different.
My first half marathon was this same race in its inaugural year back in 2009. My goal was 2 hours. I ran in 2:02 and was never able to make my 2 hour goal time on the next 6 or 7 half marathons.
I am happy that now, I prefer to run to experience the moment. I can enjoy my time on the course, connect with runners and spectators I encounter during the race without being so focused on how fast I am going. It makes the race so much more enjoyable!
My hubby and kids were by the finish line and got this action shot of me! This was basically my mood throughout the race.
Finish picture with my race buds, Pauline (groom) and Jodi (ghoulish bride). I held that bouquet the whole time. The Korean in me couldn’t chuck it during the race.
It was Pauline’s first half marathon!
Training for a race is a great way to spend time with friends while conditioning your body. For this event, we trained separately during the week and met up for most of our “long” runs on Saturday or Sunday. It is fun to push, motivate and help each other reach our goals. Eating, drinking and going to the spa together afterward isn’t bad either!
Are you taking life too seriously? Do you take time to laugh and be goofy? Are you taking care of your health? Are you being active? Sorry to be annoying. But I want you to live a full life. Get off your butt and enjoy your days. Laugh. Be healthy. Drink (but don’t drink if you don’t want). Eat. Enjoy. There are no do-overs. Live in the moment!