Rock 'n' Roll Marathon - RunMarathon

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San Diego, California
United States
Elite Racing
Total Time = 5h 04m 14s
Overall Rank = 9291/16373
Age Group = 18-24
Age Group Rank = 586/1191
Pre-race routine:

Got up around 4-ish, sunscreened everywhere but my wrists apparently, bodyglided about 90% of my body since everything I was wearing was new except my shoes and my sports bra, breaking one of the cardinal rules of race day, I know. I raced as Elvis so I was wearing a running dress with long sparkly sleeves, a sparkly collar and a sparkly skirt which was custom made by the awesome Misty. I wore under armour compression shorts and a nike profit shirt under the outfit since the skirt was a little see through and I didn't know how the seams at the sleeves might chafe. I also wore a full on pompador wig and big, gold Elvis style sunglasses.

I had a cup of coffee which Yanti thoughtfully made, and a piece of bread with peanut butter for breakfast. I also had a banana at the starting line. We ended up taking this shuttle from our hotel to the start and the guy was like so MCRD? and we're like um, that's the finish line, we need to go to 6th and Palm. Fortunately he turned around and headed the right way because that could have sucked. Took some pictures with the Elvi at the start then checked my gear bag and headed to my corral, 18, and hung out, took pictures with some people, talked to a Team-in-Training guy from Texas who was doing his 16th marathon today, which was really cool.
Event warmup:

Standing in my corral? It wasn't too cold out so I didn't need to jog or jump up and down to keep warm or anything.
  • 5h 04m 14s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 11m 37s  min/mile

Well...The first few miles were really good, it's always hard at the beginning seeing everybody shoot by but I knew that 26.2 miles was plenty o time to catch up with most of them. This was the big Team-in-Training marathon so there were people there from all over the country and Canada (yay!). I also figured this was a first marathon for a lot of them so they might not be quite as good at pacing themselves. I decided I'd take it easy for the first 10 miles since the hill was supposed to be around mile 10, then I could pick up the pace a bit. And yeah, basically from mile 5 on I was passing people.

The first 10 miles were fun, I saw my parents around mile 7, and the course was pretty flat through downtown. The hill around mile 10 was really not very bad at all, but still better to keep it slow in the beginning. There were some great TnT cheerleader guys who were literally dressed in drag as cheerleaders with HUGE balloons in their shirts, they were out there twice and it was hilarious both times.

The middle of the race is all kind of blurred together. I remember taking a picture with a couple other Elvi, and that I felt much better at the half marathon mark than I did at Honolulu. I tried to keep an eye on my hydration since I overdid it last time. I only took the accelerade twice I think, although I took water at most of the stations. I took one of the packets of salt, and an orange slice around mile 15. I had two of my own gu's and the powerbar gel they were handing out at 17. Most of the race it was overcast and even when the sun came out it was never hot, really perfect race weather.

I'm really glad I ran as an Elvis because I got so much more support on the course than regular people. Everytime there were volunteers or onlookers at least one person yelled encouragement at me, if not more, especially the high schoolers and cheer squads. Runners who passed me or who I passed by would say "go Elvis" and even little kids, like 4 or 5 years olds would get all excited and yell "it's ELVIS!!!" which suprised me because I didn't think they'd know Elvis. I tried to either do the finger pointing pose and/or say "thank you very much" as much as possible. On the last hill around mile 22 I think I was taking a walk break and a woman patted me on the back and said "come on, Elvis", and then when I passed her on run interval she that "that's it!". It was really really fun and the costume really wasn't uncomfortable at all. I wore the wig the whole time, but if it had been much hotter I probably would have taken it off, and the long sleeves on the outfit might have been a pain.

Around mile 16 was when it started to hurt and miles 19-21 were kind of hard as evidenced by the splits. After the 10 mile mark my strategy was to take it fairly easy until mile 16, start picking up the pace until mile 20 and then go for it on the last 10k. That definitely didn't happen quite as planned, but by mile 22 there were a lot of people cheering on the course and the bands were closer together and I just got 2nd wind and was able to pick up the pace until the end since I knew that was where I really needed to push it out, even though I knew at that point I wasn't going to make it under 5 hours. I started to get really thirsty by the end so I was taking all the water I could, so maybe I should have be drinking a little more throughout, but I didn't want to wait like 5-7 for a port-a-potty so I kept it to a minimum.

I kept up with the 2:00/:30 run/walk ratio until the end, which really worked for me. I was able to sprint in at the end, after taking advantage of a good photo up just before the end, of course :). They have a video of it online, actually, if you go to around clock time 5:13:40 you'll see me (it took me about 9 minutes to cross the start line), I'm the one with the big black wig :):

After I crossed the finish line I must have looked pretty bad though because one of the volunteers lining the end chute came over to me and put her arm around my shoulder and asked if I was ok and I didn't notice them do that to anyone else.
What would you do differently?:

At this point, nothing, I think it was a solid race overall, and I ran negative splits for the most part in the second half so I'm happy with that. I would have liked if I could have made it sub-5, but I was about 6-7 minutes behind the pace I needed for that the whole time, and there were enough little rolling hills (you think big rock would have taught me) that I don't think I could have made up the time. I'm glad I didn't go faster at the beginning though, because it allowed me to finish strong and I feel much better now than I did after Honolulu.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked through the finish line area, picked up all the food and my gear back, met my parents at the end, wandered over to the grass, sat down for about 15-20 minutes, wandered over the family reunion area that bordered the race course to see if Yanti was there, ate an ice cream sandwhich, then stood by the course to see Yanti come in. Actually, by the time Yanti came in I felt much better.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Probably just general athletic ability, I improved my time from Honolulu by just over 50 minutes, in just over 6 months which I think is pretty good. I think my running will continue to improve with the tri training though, like it's done the last few months. I think it'll be a while before I hit a plateau where I'm going to have to really focus on the running in order to get better.

Event comments:

The race was really really well organized. There were lots of water stations and med stations, plus tables with salt packets, and the people giving out the orange slices. Tons of volunteers who were all great, most (if not all) of the water stations were themed. The bands and all the cheer groups were fun. Lot of spectators, people with hoses keeping you cool. I liked the gear check at the beginning, because I could wear a sweater in the morning and they drove it to the finish line so I could get my stuff at the end. Should have paid more attention to the rolling hills on the course map, but I just noticed the bigger hill near the beginning and wrote off the rest as flat (which it mostly was).

Last updated: 2008-02-04 12:00 AM
05:04:14 | 26.2 miles | 11m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 586/1191
Overall: 9291/16373
Performance: Good
1: 13:03 2: 12:28 3: 12:39 4: 11:41 5: 11:53 6: 12:06 7: 12:03 8: 11:56 9: 11:23 10: 12:02 11: 10:38 12: 12:01 13: 11:24 14: 11:23 15: 11:27 16: 11:13 17: 11:13 18: 11:15 19: 11:29 20: 11:18 21: 11:34 22: 11:07 23: 11:19 24: 11:14 25: 11:09 26.2: 13:30
Course: Start in downtown SD down through downtown back up through balboa park by the zoo, up and around SD and back down into MCRD (Marine Corp Recruitment Depot? = hot marines!)
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
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