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Carlsbad Marathon - RunMarathon

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Carlsbad, California
United States
54F / 12C
Total Time = 4h 41m 34s
Overall Rank = 770/1129
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 96/114
Pre-race routine:

I woke up at 4:00am, and had everything prepared the night before. Breakfast included 2 slices of bread with generous Nutella spread between them, plus a double shot espresso. Drove about 30 minutes to the start line and parked my car fairly close to it.
Event warmup:

I walked around the start/finish line area. I watched people as they were getting ready for their race. Lots of people knew each other and seemed to be in a good mood. I kept on walking until 15 minutes before the race started. Then, I went to the start line and looked for the pacers. I wanted to be around the group which carried the 4:45 flag...
  • 4h 41m 43s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 45s  min/mile

I started with a pace plan in mind. The plan was to run slow initially and then increase my speed in the second half of the course. I noticed, pretty early into the run, that I was running too fast and forced myself to slow down. I missed the pacers due to stopping helping the lady who fell down, (see course description) and was pretty much on my own at this stage. It seems that quite a few people were running on a predetermined pace and I followed them for a while. Miles 2 through 5 were along Historic Highway 101 and it was mostly flat or downhill - which helped keeping my pace were I wanted to. Then, turning into Palomar Airport Road - was a whole new story. This road is fairly hilly (compared with the coastal road) and people started to slow down. I felt that the my training along the hills around my home came in pretty handy now. I managed to keep a similar pace, by keeping short strides and keeping my HR under control. The course was designed such the on Palomar Airport Road - runners run out and back, so I could see people on their way back to the coastal road. So, when I was somewhere between mile 6 and 7, I saw the leaders on their way back. There were 3 of them. They were running incredibly fast and were hitting mile 12 or so at that time. Everyone on the course was cheering for them. I was monitoring my pace constantly and noticed that I was running faster than I planned on, but since it felt good, I did not want to slow too much. Every time I noticed that my pace was going below 10:00min/mile I slowed back and corrected it. Then, back on the coastal road, we merged and ran along side with the 1/2 marathon people - it was mile 14 for us and around mile 6 for them. All of a sudden, the road was packed with people. Some of them were walking, some were running but the most noticeable fact was that it was quiet. Almost nobody was talking. The only thing I could hear was the shoes hitting the ground. Then, at mile 15 we split again and the road was fairly clear. I was concerned with miles 17 through 20 based on my training experience. I was afraid to hit "the wall" and that I will have no choice but start walking - as many people around me were doing. Also, from mile 17 and on, I started seeing EMS crews busy on the course. It did not give me a good feeling - to say the least. I kept on going. Mile 18 was the turn around point and I knew that from this point on, there will be no more U turns and that this is a straight 8.2 miles run to the finish line. Although most of it was still with an incline, I kept on running. I monitored the time and pace. I knew that my time was pretty good with respect to the goal I've set and started focusing on my third goal - keep on running. Then mile 21 came by. This was the hardest part of the race for me. I felt that I was about to drop on the ground. At this stage, the 1/2 marathon and full marathon courses merged again and everybody was on their way back to the finish line. Most people were walking at this stage - whether full or half marathon participants. I kept on running, remembering some of the good advice and preparation that I got from some of you guys here on BT and stuck with my plan. I used my mantra and focused on things that I had prepared up front to think of during those hard points of the race. It really worked - as before I noticed, it was already mile 23. At this point, I knew: I made it. I just kept running. I was drinking water at every aid station and thanked the volunteers with a big smile. At mile 24 I ran slower than before but I did not really care. I just wanted to get to the finish line. I was imagining in my head how would it feel. I was passing quite a bit of people who were just walking slowly. I felt a great sense of accomplishment. Mile 26 approached, I could see the mile marker but not the finish line. I could not figure out where was the turn to it. I just followed the crowd and there it was the finish line. Huge sign and actually two finish lines - one for the marathon and one for the 1/2 marathon finishers. I saw my family waiting and cheering. I passed by, waived to them and crossed the finish line. That was it! I made it! I turned around to see that it was all real. For moments afterward, I was not convinced that I really did it. It was time to move on...

Notes about my nutrition plan: I knew that this was on the major keys to success. So, I did not take any shortcuts nor made any changes to it. I took my sport beans (and even GU) on time, I took my Enduralyte pills every hour no matter where I was on the course. Orange slices that were handed out on mile 23 were a great addition to the overall plan.
What would you do differently?:

Nothing on race day.
Post race
Warm down:

A fellow runner told me to stretch a lot and avoid sitting for as much as I can. So, I stretched and walked. Got a goody bag and a plate with salad, pasta and some bread catered by Pat Oscar. I kept on walking and standing for as much as I could. I met with my family and answered all their questions. I was looking to see friends and other BT members - but had no luck. Then, headed to the my car and drove home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My fitness level? my training?

Event comments:

Great race, well organized with plenty of volunteers which did a great job all over the course.
With that said, I would like to thank the volunteers, my fellow BT members for the inspires, advice, and support. And to my family who was behind me all the time while training, before, during and after the race!

Last updated: 2008-08-20 12:00 AM
04:41:43 | 26.2 miles | 10m 45s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/114
Overall: 0/1129
Performance: Good
Course: The course was fairly flat but not quite as flat as I imagined. There were a couple of hills, which seemed to have slowed me down quite a bit, specially at the second half of the course. The scenery on Historic Route 101 was great and the breeze from the ocean was a nice addition to it. Palomer Airport Road was a bit more hilly than I initially thought. Running in the dark, at the beginning of the race slowed people down a bit. Not only that, but some people hit the on ground reflector on the lane dividers and fell. One lady, who ran next to me fell off about 0.5 miles into the race. Another lady and myself stopped and helped her to get back on her feet. She was shocked, and started crying. She kept crying and said that she was sorry. When she started walking, I moved on. After that, I picked a side and ran on it, trying to avoid as much as I could running in the center of the course.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5] 2
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-01-26 9:36 AM

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San Diego, CA
Subject: Carlsbad Marathon

2009-01-26 9:50 AM
in reply to: #1928899

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Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon
Congrats Ronen on completing your first marathon!  Great job!
2009-01-26 10:02 AM
in reply to: #1928899

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San Diego, CA
Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon
Well done !! Great RR
2009-01-26 12:11 PM
in reply to: #1928899

Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon
You did such a good job!!! I am so proud of you for training properly, and getting all your ducks in a row nutritionally so you could have a successful race!! SOOO AWESOME!
2009-01-26 12:42 PM
in reply to: #1928899

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Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon

Way to go Ronen!  Great RR.  To have read your blog just about every this past year, and see how unbelievably far you've come - it's amazing, inspiring and just freaking awesome!!

You are a very powerful inspiration and a shining example of what hard work equals = which is big time results!  I can't believe you ran the whole thing too!! You should be very, very proud of yourself. 

Edited by Dream Chaser 2009-01-26 12:43 PM
2009-01-26 1:01 PM
in reply to: #1928899

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Simpsonville, SC
Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon
You are such an inspiration. Way to go!!!

2009-01-26 1:13 PM
in reply to: #1928899

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Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon

First 'thon AND helping a downed runner? Awesome job!


2009-01-26 1:19 PM
in reply to: #1928899

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon
Great race, Ronen!! You did such an amazing job pacing yourself and sticking to a really solid race strategy. It says a lot about your fitness and your athletic intelligence that you pulled this off so well.

Huge congratulations to you! This is such a major accomplishment. It feels pretty incredible at the marathon finish line, doesn't it?

2009-01-26 2:24 PM
in reply to: #1928899

Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon


Seeing how disciplined you have been in your training over the past year and how hard you have worked, I am very happy for you.  I enjoyed your RR, and I enjoyed following your journey leading up to the race.  I can totally relate to the part where you mentioned you looked back to make sure that it was real.  A couple of days from now you are going to be asking if you really ran the race.  It will all seem like a dream.  When that happens, pull out a photo or two or go grab your memory  You did it!!  You did what many people only dream about or are too afraid to even try.

Train on! 


2009-01-26 8:23 PM
in reply to: #1928899

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Liverpool, New York
Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon


What a wonderful race for you, and a beautiful RR!  I loved reading about how you stopped to help a fellow runner - what a difference you made in her day!

You trained hard, planned well and it all paid off!


2009-01-26 8:24 PM
in reply to: #1928899

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Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon
Congratulations Ronen.  Nice RR.  Way to stick to your plan. 

2009-01-26 10:52 PM
in reply to: #1928899

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Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon
Wow! You are an amazing athlete, and an amazing person. I love the part about you stopping to help another runner, without concern for what it would do to "your race". It shows where your heart is, and that is something special. Oh, and let's not forget, you blew away your goal! Way to go Ronen!!!
2009-01-27 5:07 AM
in reply to: #1928899

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon


You rocked the house in so many ways, I hardly know where to begin. Well, at the beginning. You started off eating Nutella, which I tell you, is the food of the gods. Wise.

You went in with really solid training, excellent aerobic work from cross-training, and a super pacing and nutrition strategy which you really stuck to. Great job noticing you were going out fast and adjusting to slow down accordingly.

And like many others said, you're a TRUE champ for helping a fellow runner who went down.

And when things got worrisome in the late teen miles, you still just put your feet down and didn't let it faze you. And when things feel intolerable in the twenties, you still just dug in to deep places and made it happen.

You RAN a marathon, you blew away your goal, and you sure blew all of us away with your performance.


2009-01-27 6:51 PM
in reply to: #1930891

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Suwanee, Ga.
Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon
WOW....great RR.  Very inspirational.  Just what I would expect from a fellow Manatee.
2009-01-28 11:41 AM
in reply to: #1928899

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Chapel Hill, NC
Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon
Great report, Ronen - you did a superb job on sticking to your plan and HTFUing thru the last few miles despite pain! Sorry you had to stop and help that lady who tripped on the reflector (I call those things turtles!). Maybe seeing that happen to someone else, actually helped you NOT trip. I love Nutella...yum!
2009-01-30 10:17 AM
in reply to: #1928899

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Madison, Wisconsin
Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon

Awesome job Ronen!!

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