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Carlsbad Marathon - RunMarathon

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Carlsbad, California
United States
50F / 10C
Total Time = 6h 00m
Overall Rank = /
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Had a great nights sleep. Ate a banana and a cereal bar, also some coffee. Things were good, I used my racebelt and attached 4 GU's...I was feeling great.
Event warmup:

Just some stretching by the car, then i put on my HR strap and realized...oh no! I forgot my GARMIN at the hotel. Oh no, this is not going to be good, how will I know my pace, how will I know my effort? Oh boy, time to just stick the 4 hr group and go for it.
  • 00m
  • 26.2 miles
  •  min/mile

The gun goes off and I slip into the 4 hr group and all is well. It's still dark out but we are running nicely and crossing over the I-5 headed for the 101 for a nice run up the beach! We get to mile marker 1 and I'm feeling great although i don't have the pace data or HR data so who knows. Then I start to hear the auto lap functions tripping on every bodies garmin and hear some muttering about going too fast. In fact, we were at 7:50 pace that first mile...which is not good considering an even 4hr is a 9:10 pace. Well I stick with them anyway and we get to mile 4 having done a 7:50, 8:20, 8:20, 9. Good, we are least slowing a little and getting back to the 9min pace and hey look at least we are ahead a little.

I ran exactly with the group until around mile 6 where the big long hill appeared. Surprisingly I was feeling good and by the time we got to the top for the turnaround (around mile 10) I was about 15 sec ahead of the 4 hr group. This is the first place I saw my wife and Frank and they were cheering for me. I was feeling good, and feeling confident even though I was sure exactly where I was having no pace data and no watch even.

After mile 13 it got very lonely...I was still holding a good pace but I was in no mans land...there wasn't anyone next to me for 30yds either way. That has not happened to me before in a race but I was ok with it. At around mile 16 the route took us back to the beach along the 101, coming off the exit I got to see I was still holding about 20 sec lead on the 4hr group. At the bottom of the ramp all of a sudden we joined in with the Half marathon group that started around 7am I guess. I was suddenly surrounded in every direction for 4 lanes...massive crowd considering I was just all alone. My pace quickened briefly but then I realized they were just too chipper so I slowed back to what felt like the pace i was at earlier around 9. At this point I am still feeling good and the thoughts of actually breaking 4 are starting to get real for me and I am liking it. After all, this is my first mary, I am trained up, so why not attain my goal.

I believe the next sign I saw was the 17 mile marker then after about 1/2 mile we hit the turnaround for the run back into town for the big finish. Another 1/2mile or so goes by I hit the water station, eat a GU, and see the 20 mile marker. I look back to find the 4 hr group but there are just too many people and I can't see the sticks. Yes, I am at 20 now...almost home, with a lead even!

Wait a minute...did that sign just say 20? What happened to 18 and 19? I look back again to find the 4 hr group and nope, not there. I run for another mile or so and then start to piece it together. A 3:30 pace group goes past me and I am floored, I just realized I was OFF COURSE. About 30 seconds after this realization I see my wife and Frank again and they are yelling and clapping. I immeditly stop and start to explain, but they are saying..."you are doing great, keep going, you've made up ground". At this point I start walking but am looking at them telling them something was wrong. They wouldn't hear it...they just just keep moving.

I got back to running now but could not get my mind off this terrible feeling that all this effort is now wasted. For about 2 miles I am slowing drastically as the motivation is just gone and I feel terrible. There must have been a sign I missed. Damn it.

Finally at around mile 24 I just stopped. I couldn't embarrass myself by having such a great time in the race results. I contemplated just stepping off the course but decided I had to get back to the finish anyway. So I stood there stretching out and waited for the 4 hr group. Once they passed I got about 15 seconds behind them and ran it in to the finish to massive cheers and a 3:57 finish.

So congrats to the 4 hr group for finishing in 3:57.
What would you do differently?:

Use Garmin! Also, not run with 4hr group. Rather maintain steady pace and catch the 4hr group if I need to. I didn't really like starting out too fast...I prefer a steady run, esp in the beginning.
Post race
Warm down:

After the race I grabbed my finishers medal but refused to put it on. I was feeling like crap mentally. It took about 45 min before I met up with Frank and Mil and at this point I was feeling terrible but trying not to show a bad attitude about anything. They said I was fine, it wasn't a big deal but it just sucked for me.

We went and ate pizza and headed back to LA.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My first mistake was no Garmin...then of course, being off course.

Event comments:

Now a few days later as I write this I can say it really turned into a long run. It was actually a 20 mile hard marathon pace run with another 4 or so much slower. So thankfully I am not as sore as expected. Time to move on...IMCA 70.3 in 10 weeks so I need to focus on that.

I am in zero week for running and will start back on another 4 week post mary plan to get me to a 10K and then maintain fitness for IMCA.

I will have to accomplish this whole some other time.

Last updated: 2008-09-30 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 26.2 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/
Course: Very hilly course. I didn't seem as bad on the race profile but I was actually surprisingly strong. So running the hills around Hollywood proved to be good.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Bad
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? No
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] 1

2009-01-28 1:43 PM

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Subject: Carlsbad Marathon

2009-01-28 1:49 PM
in reply to: #1933921

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Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon

I meant to say:


 "I will have to accomplish this whole marathon thing some other time."


Here is the Marathon course that I looked at many times and visualized in my head.

Here is the Half Marathon course which I never even looked at.

Edited by sax 2009-01-28 1:59 PM
2009-01-31 12:31 PM
in reply to: #1933921

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Sunny Southern Cal
Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon
Sorry to hear about the miscue out there, that's a real bummer.  But it sounds like you have handled it well and put it behind you.  That's an easy thing to have happen if you get caught alone out there on a course and there are no other runners in sight to cue you where the route is going.
2014-05-01 11:53 AM
in reply to: #1933921

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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: Carlsbad Marathon

Sorry to hear you got off course. I am trying to figure out the bit you missed...

Did you miss the turnaround at 18 (And turn early)? From 18 it is a straight shot all the way back through the village.

I guess I was lucky because I live on the course and train on it regularly. (So I had no problems sorting out where to go)

I should go look up how you did at IMCa because this sounds like an awesome tuneup.

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