Rock 'n' Roll Marathon - RunMarathon

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San Diego, California
United States
Elite Racing
65F / 18C
Total Time = 3h 48m 2s
Overall Rank = 1662/13328
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 60/957
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 5:15, quick shower then had a cup of coffee and a bagel with peanut butter. Brian drove Kent, Jennifer and me to close to the start of the race. For once I didn't need the port-o-potty--thank gosh because the lines were really long.
Event warmup:

We all went to our correct corral and had about 20 minutes to spare. I did some stretches Trish taught me--standing on one foot, extending legs, walking on toes, heals, etc.
  • 3h 48m 2s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 42s  min/mile

I had a very relaxed attitude about this race. I had been having hip/IT band issues almost the entire time training for this race and even went to the chiro on Thursday which helped. My hips ached a little before I started so I popped some ibuprofen (even though I know you aren't suppose to). Once the race started it was only a minute and a half until I crossed the start line. The first mile or two was very crowded and I never felt like I could go the pace I wanted until mile 3. I felt fine, no pain, and decided to try to keep an 8:45 pace which would put me around a 3:50 finish.

After a few miles one of the coaches on the side yelled to conserve energy going downhill. I really didn't feel like we were going downhill but ran an 8:15 mile so we were. Around mile 5 I took off my t-shirt because I knew I'd see Brian soon but in doing so my ipod dropped off my belt. I stopped and ran back to get it and about caused a pile up and made some people mad but I wasn't about to lose my tunes. I had planned to go as long as I could without music but still wanted it close by in case I needed it.

A mile later I spotted Brian. It was great to see a familiar, cheering person. He asked how I was doing and I said great, high fived him and tossed my shirt to him.

Next I was worried that going up the hills was going to be brutal but miles 8-10 were quite gradual and even at the highest point near mile 10 I felt good. I couldn't believe my hips didn't hurt. I kept telling myself to pick up my knees and keep my turnover high, as Trish and I had practiced last week. I was enjoying myself. The weather and tempature was great--60s, cook and overcast. The humidity did seem high and I was sweaty right away but there was often a slight breeze to keep me comfortable.

As I was cruising downhill during miles 10-11 and was next to a girl and I commented that I wasn't expecting the big downhill. She mentioned she did Mt. Rushmore--the whole thing downhill and it was actually really hard. From there we started chatting about running and marathons. This was her 7th one and she her PR was 3:20 (impressive). She had done Boston once and Chicago once and many others. From running we talked about jobs, then marriage (she was recently divorced), then friends and family and I can't remember what else but we just kept chatting and running at a really comfortable pace. At mile 14 I had a Gu. I was getting water and/or sports drinks at every stop although sometimes I would just take 1-2 sips and toss the cup.

At mile 18 Val needed a pit stop. I was tempted to stop and wait for her but I didn't want to take the time. I told her to try and catch me. Once she left I realized that 8 miles had just flown by. I quickly realized I was running the same/faster and it felt even easier. I guess chatting had expended energy so I decided for the rest of the race I was going to try to run a little faster and keep my mouth shut.

Next came the dreaded mile 20 but I still felt good. I took in another GU just to make sure I kept feeling like I had some energy left. I knew I only had a 10K left but instead of focusing on what was ahead I thought about how fast the 20 miles had flown by. I was calculating my pace/time in my mind and knew even if I slowed to a 10-minute mile pace I would still easily break 4 hours--which was my goal. Then I started thinking about if it would be possible to BQ but I quickly told myself, no, that's not what you are here for, just keep comfortable and keep this pace.

Shortly after this my right knee hurt a little but nothing bad and later my left quad was "pounding" or spasming but it went away to. I kept running and got to mile 22 were there was a strange turn around. I saw a guy collaspe and was watching him when I guess Brian saw me but I never saw him. Then I was heading back the other way and was one of the runners I had been envious of five minutes ago. Next was a long hill but I picked up my knees and kept close to the pace. I still felt good at mile 24 and then started thinking that if I picked it up a little I could break my old time of 3:49:19 and have a new PR. Mile 24-25 was once of my fastest at 8:25 then right after I crossed the mile 25 marker I finally turned my ipod on and picked up some speed. Coming into the Marine Corps facilites was exhilerating and after only two songs turned off the music so I could hear people yelling. I finished as fast and strong as I could and passed some people close to the finish line. The announcer yelled my name and I crossed not knowing exactly what my time was but that I had broke my old time for sure. I felt great and was thrilled to be finished. Of course it didn't take me long to fiqure out I only need to shave 2 minutes and 3 seconds off my time to qualify for Boston. Look out Chicago, here I come!

What would you do differently?:

At the the expo I bought a 3:50 pace bracelet and also a 3:45 one to wear for Chicago this fall. Maybe, just maybe, if I had wore the 3:45 bracelet I could have kept a faster pace but who knows...
Post race
Warm down:

Walked through the finish line, grabbed a blanket and wrapped up and kept walking all the way to family reunion. I felt pretty good right away but nothing sounded good to eat. I went to the L's and waited about 15 minutes for Kent. He finished in 3:36 had been done awhile but had walked around first. He arrived then we decided to go to the finish line to watch Jen. We got there around the 4:20 time and I had never watched so many people finish a marathon before and it was amazing. There were fit people who were struggling, people who didn't look fit but looked like they were running comfortable, people running together holding hands, a Grandpa running with two toddlers, couples, friends, people of every body shape, a bald woman with a cancer shirt holding hands with two girlfriends (very touching), people laughing, crying, you name it... then we spotted Jenny. We had a few people around us screaming her name but she had ear phones in and just kept a nice pace and looked straight ahead at the finish line. We were so glad we got to see her cross and accomplish her dream!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Although I had done six training runs between 18-22 miles each, most of them were really painful. I think I ramped up my training too quickly and had to deal with sore hips through most of the training. Luckily the last two training runs of 22 miles had been more comfortable--but quite a bit slower. They built some confidence but also made me believe I would be running 9:30-10 minute miles to avoid hip pain. However running faster and a hillier course seemed to keep me from having any hip pain. Or maybe it was just my lucky day and there is no good physical explanation on why I felt so darn good on race day--but whatever the reason, I'll take it!

Event comments:

The bands were not as plentiful or as impressive as I expected. Some bands were good but they seemed really spread out and I hit several bands in between songs. More bands needed!

Last updated: 2009-06-02 12:00 AM
03:48:02 | 26.2 miles | 08m 42s  min/mile
Age Group: 60/957
Overall: 1662/13328
Performance: Good
Lap 1, 8:46 Lap 2, 8:40 Lap 3, 8:29 Lap 4, 8:15 Lap 5, 8:33 Lap 6, 8:42 Lap 7, 8:46 Lap 8, 8:48 Lap 9, 8:52 Lap 10, 8:47 Lap 11, 8:30 Lap 12, 8:44 Lap 13, 8:33 Lap 14, 8:35 Lap 15, 8:42 Lap 16, 8:50 Lap 17, 8:50 Lap 18, 8:44 Lap 19, 8:42 Lap 20, 8:28 Lap 21, 8:39 Lap 22, 8:47 Lap 23, 8:53 Lap 24, 8:42 Lap 25, 8:25 Lap 26, 8:31 .38 2:58 (7:48 pace)
Course: An urban course that began near Balboa park. Miles 4 and 5 were slightly down hill heading to downtown then miles 5-7 went through city streets. Miles 8-10 were slightly up hill with mile 10 being the largest hill. From there was a big down hill then gentle hills with low grades scattered throughout the race. Miles 10-14 were through the Fashion Valley and miles 14 started a big loop along the coast. Miles 18-20 looked familiar from when we stayed in Sand Diego and went through Crown Point and the bag. Miles 21-22 were near Sea World but I missed that. Miles 22-23 was a strange, and slightly annoying turn around then another slow, gradual uphill. From there I don't recall anymore hills. At mile 25.5 we entered the Marine Corp training center which was lined with crowds and very exciting.
Keeping cool Good Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4