Before & After the Long Beach Marathon
Running a half or full marathon is a big undertaking for your body and mind. It takes a lot to get you to the starting line and just as much for your body to recover once you’ve broken the tape at the finish! With the Long Beach Marathon and Half Marathon just days away, here are a few critical things you should consider doing, and places to do them, before and after the race to ensure you not only run your best, but recover just as well.
BEFORE: BODY PREPARATION
Over the last few weeks and months, you’ve run hundreds of miles in the hopes of making Sunday’s Long Beach Marathon very special. That’s very tough on your body. Bloch Wellness (6324 E. Pacific Coast Hwy.) can help to facilitate healing while providing procedures critical to helping your body operate at its peak come race day. For instance, cupping involves applying suction cups to the skin to increase circulation to critical areas, allowing toxins to come to the surface so the body can dissolve them more easily, while also stimulating energy flow and optimizing tissue function. Bloch also offers a wide array of massages, from Sport to Deep Tissue. All of this will not only prepare your body to perform, but give you a confident, comfortable feeling likely to have you relaxed and ready to run your best on Sunday.
AFTER: BODY PAMPERING
Just a few blocks from the finish line you’ll find The B Room (209 Long Beach Blvd.). Ostensibly a vintage barber shop complete with old timey furnishings – barber pole, dark wood, velvet chairs – but which is, in fact, a full service spa offering every sort of self care service you’d want after putting your body through multiple, street-pounding miles. If you’ve let the hair on your head or face grow as you’ve prepared for the race, now you can get a stylish cut or perhaps a soothing straight razor shave complete with a hot towel. Like to address those feet you’ve put through so much? The B Room offers foot reflexology. There are massages of all types and nationalities – deep tissue, hot stone, Swedish, Thai, as well as one just for the back, neck and shoulders – plus aromatherapy. They’ll even address your need to hydrate with a complimentary beer while they attend your needs.
Leading up to a long run, it’s important you’re getting enough nutrients as well as staying hydrated. Juicing is an excellent way to do both. It not only aids with hydration, but provides nutrition without the fiber that upsets many runners' stomachs. There are a lot of great local juicing options. Salud (1944 E. Fourth St./4918 Second St.) is one of the city’s most popular juice spots, featuring ingredients from local, organic farmers in individual juices as well as its very popular, multi-juice cleanses. Movita’s (421 W. Broadway) commitment to health can be seen on their menu where vitamins and mineral amounts share equal space with fruit and veggie ingredients as well as calories. For instance, “The Cleanser,” is not only shown to feature pineapple, kale, cucumber and lime, but also potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and Vitamins A and C.
Sunday morning, after the cheers and the very deserved feeling of accomplishment you’ll feel, you’re likely to feel something else: hungry. Luckily, Long Beach has all kinds of breakfast and brunch options. Claire’s at the Museum (2300 E Ocean Blvd.) overlooks Long Beach Harbor with views of the Pacific, Catalina and the Queen Mary, along with a terrific menu by Chef Michael Ryan. Directly across the harbor, next to the Queen Mary, is Fuego (700 Queensway Dr.), the Latin-infused restaurant and lounge at the Hotel Maya, featuring fantastic cocktails (signature Margaritas and Bloody Marys) and fare (Ropa Viejas, Caramelized Plantains with Chipotle Rum Glaze) as well as its own spectacular views of the ocean and Long Beach skyline. The Breakfast Bar (70 Atlantic Ave./3404 E. Fourth St.) was recently named one of the top 15 best brunches in the nation by Yelp and is known not only for great dishes like Uncle Marcee’s Omelet Casserole, made 24 hours in advance, but has great mimosas and breakfast mai tais.
BEFORE/AFTER: RUNNING SHOES
Whether before or after races, local runners have long flocked to Runner’s High (5338 Second St./6416 E. Stearns St./4101 McGowan St., Ste 145). Unlike grabbing a pair of shoes off the shelf or internet, a trip to Runner’s High means your feet will get the personal attention necessary, whether its devices that analyze whether you pronate or supinate, or an expert staff to observe your gait and ask you about your goals and routine. They will then suggest several pairs that you can not only try on, but walk/run in to see how they really feel. They also have recovery sandals for after running, giving your feet some tender loving care. After all you’ve put them through, don’t they deserve it?