Rock ā€˜nā€™ Roll San Diego Marathon - RunMarathon

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San Diego, California
United States
Competitor Group, Inc.
61F / 16C
Total Time = 3h 33m 41s
Overall Rank = 540/7087
Age Group = M40-44
Age Group Rank = 68/525
Pre-race routine:

I switched up my 'marathon eve' menu a bit for this race. Rather than carb load the night before, I had consistent levels of carb for a few days building up to the race, then the night before went a bit more protein so my metabolism would kick into gear. I am not sure if it had any effect on my performance, good or bad, but it was a good meal and I am satisfied.

We stayed close to the finish line and I woke up early to catch the hotel shuttle to the start. Spoke with another athlete who had done this race before and he warned me about the poorly angled road conditions on the freeway we would run on for about 4 miles. I was already aware, but his description helped me a bit more to know when it would occur, and for how long. Listened to music to prepare myself and people-watched at the start area by Balboa Park. Did some dynamic stretching about 30 minutes prior to start then went to the corral (corral 2) and took my place towards the center-back.
Event warmup:

Dynamic stretching to loosen up the muscles - no pre-race run.
  • 3h 33m 41s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 08m 10s  min/mile

What a great race!! The place was packed, and the racers and crowd were all awesome today. I planned this race and my execution out well in advance, and my last three (3) decent training runs (18, 22, 14) were all strategic in execution to plan for the marathon. I started in corral 2 (wishing I had started even later, but ok with my results) so as to not go out way too fast with the super-runners. I maintained a very strong and aggressive pace, and kept my HR intact, but still a bit higher than I wanted. My splits were right on track and my legs felt great. I have been struggling with left glute and groin soreness, and these surfaced about 4 miles into the race, but they do not stop me or force changes, so I just ignore them. I worked on my form as much as I could to keep consistent, and never felt fatigued or struggled as I have in the past.

Typically my races start off great, I post a good half marathon split, then fall apart at mile 16-18. Today was different. I went out about as planned (perhaps a bit quicker based on split times), but kept in a good rhythm and ran my own race. At mile 16 I just told myself "not today" (as in bonking out), and kept that in my head the rest of the race. I had to pee at about mile 3, but did not bother until it got out of hand at mile 21, then found a bathroom along Mission Bay Park and freed myself of the burden. That slowed me down by about 45 seconds, but also refreshed my legs just a tad which allowed me to kick back into gear.

Although my mind told me to walk/run at about mile 19-20, I ignored it and kept my form running in my head so I would keep pace. The 3:30 pace group finally caught me at mile 22 (which was a bummer), and I tried to keep pace for about a quarter mile, then let them go, knowing my goal was to break 3:40, not to guarantee a 3:30 time. Going around Fiesta Island I ignored my GPS watch a few times to allow feel to take over and drive as hard as I could. When I left the island for the last .5 mi run to the finish, I picked up the pace a bit and pushed through to the end. Knowing I was sub 3:35 was an incredible feeling, and I was proud of how I executed my plan very well.

I owe a great deal to a number of people who helped me change my form, training and mental aspect of the race (Dan Cadriel, Carlos Mendoza and Sue Meno to name a few). Thanks to them and others, I finally broke my 7yr old PR and am ready to keep advancing toward new heights.
What would you do differently?:

I wonder if I could have held pace with the 3:30 group for 4 iles. I doubt it, but I am curious to know how long I could have held out, and whether it would have affected me later in a bad way.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around the finish area, hydrated, connected with my family, snapped a few photos, and walked the LONG walk over the bridge to the car. Drove to Aliso Beach and chilled on the beach before spending a few days at Disneyland!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing that I am aware of.

Event comments:

I love the race, love the weather, love the crowd, HATE the finish area and how difficult it is for spectators. I am not sure what they can do to fix it, but it is not an easy race for spectators unfamiliar with the area to navigate and plan to be at.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2012-01-05 12:00 AM
03:33:41 | 26.2 miles | 08m 10s  min/mile
Age Group: 68/525
Overall: 540/7087
Performance: Good
1mi - 7:54 (148BPM); 2mi - 7:46 (157); 3mi - 7:21 (163); 4mi - 7:20 (162); 5mi - 7:36 (158); 6mi - 7:26 (161); 7mi - 7:45 (164); 8mi - 8:11 (164); 9mi - 8:21 (164); 10mi - 8:13 (166); 11mi - 7:35 (158); 12mi - 8:17 (163); 13mi - 7:54 (164); 14mi - 7:54 (166); 15mi - 7:56 (167); 16mi - 8:09 (169); 17mi - 8:02 (170); 18mi - 7:59 (170); 19mi - 8:34 (173); 20mi - 8:24 (171); 21mi - 8:36 (172); 22mi - 9:33 (169); 23mi - 8:21 (174); 24mi - 8:39 (176); 25mi - 9:09 (173); 26.2mi - 10:46 (177)
Course: Winding course starting in Balboa Park, snaking its way through downtown San Diego, past Petco Park, up the freeway and into Mission Bay Park, along the Bay, then through Fiesta Island before the last Bayfront run to the finish chute. A couple of inclines, one through part of downtown, then another just before entering Mission Bay Park (mile 19ish). Overall, a flat course with good terrain. About mile 11 on the freeway there is a serious road angle for rain runoff that forces you to adjust your stride for about 3 miles.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
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] 5