Race Recap: San Diego Marathon!

4:30 am wake-up call, because we had to be out the door at 5:15 am. Just enough time for a bagel with peanut butter and a cup of coffee with cream and sugar. I slept in my running clothes so to facilitate the consumption of the bagel and COFFEE. The morning was shaping up to be the perfect running day. . . cloudy, cool with a 100% chance of ocean breeze. 🙂

I wore my Oiselle, Gwen tank and my Roga shorts. Most women of this San Diego crowd were “Lululemonized”. I wore my Brook’s ghost 7s, smart wool socks and a visor. I chose not to wear a fuel belt or carry water because there is ample drink and nutrition for this race. I enjoy road racing more when I can walk through aid stations to drink versus carrying my water and nutrition.

Here are some interesting race stats for the full and half marathon.

Full Marathon

  • 4,218 people ran it.
  • 2,426 were men
  • 1,792 were women
  • elevation for the marathon was 1071′

Half

  • 13,743 people ran the half
  • 5,613 were men
  • 8,130 were women

Both courses are great. The full and half start at the same spot and run separate courses until mile 10. Both finish at Petco park in downtown San Diego. Both courses end on a 2 mile downhill. This would be a great destination race for couples and/or friends. Southwest Airlines flies direct to San Diego. You could rent a condo downtown through VRBO and walk to all festivities. San Diego has great food downtown and there is much to do and see, while you are there. The race is always held the first Sunday in June.

I like to follow a pace group in the road marathon. More than anything,  it takes my mind off of my watch/pace. This time I chose the 4:40 group. To be honest, I was not feeling too well and my very unspecific guess at my finish time was between 4:45 and 5:00.

The first part of this race through about mile 17 is very conformable running. There are some inclines but for the most part it is downhill or flat. It took me about 4 miles to warm-up and settle into a good pace. I was running ahead of the 4:40 group. They were maintaining a 10:40-ish pace. I liked being in front of them just a bit. I had to stop for the bathroom on the course two times (GI issues). When I came out from the port-o-potty the first time, the 4:40s were just running by me. PHEW! I caught up  with them again. When I stopped for the bathroom the second time, I had to wait, what seemed like, forever! As I was in line the 4:40s ran by, it was a bit nerve wracking waiting for my turn as they ran by. I got out and had to surge a while to catch them. Eventually, I caught up and moved ahead again. I decided because the weather was good that I was going to push my pace and see how long I could do that. Thank goodness there was no more stops at the bathroom.

After I caught up to and passed the 4:40s, we started on a nice stretch of running, around miles 11-14, right next to Mission Bay Park–think ocean breeze. 🙂 I was still pushing pace. I made the decision to push my pace because I may not have another cool, overcast marathon opportunity for the rest of the year.  The push helped me mentally because, miles 17.5-22.5 were going to be the hardest part of the course. I wanted to give myself plenty of time, if I needed it, to walk. From this point on, the 4:40s never passed me again.

As I anticipated, miles 17.5-22.5 were tough! For some reason, I had calf pain the entire race. I stopped to stretch them several times but it did not really help. I told myself that this is a marathon, something is going to hurt. I would have to remind myself of this many times until the finish line. There was a lot of walking for me at this point. I was still holding a strong 10:10 pace going into mile 18. I focused on keeping a smile on my face, running to landmarks, during this section, and then, walking a bit. Miles 19.6-22 were run on the 163 freeway. FINALLY, done with this section and headed for home.

The last section, miles 22-26.2, has one incline and then,  it was downhill BA-BY!! It is interesting to note that there were a lot more people walking in the marathon this year than in year’s past. There was also A LOT of calf cramping and a few people on the 163 freeway, laying down and receiving medical care. Maybe, people were not drinking enough because it was cool and overcast in the beginning? It would be too late at mile 20, when the sun came out,  to catch up on all the electrolyte’s lost. I made sure to walk every aid station and drink plenty of water and Gaterade. I drank and ate well.

I ran the last 2.6 miles to “Fight Song” by Rachel. I love the chorus.

This is my fight song

Take back my life song

Prove I’m alright song. . .

My power’s turned on

Starting right now I’ll be strong

I’ll play my fight song

I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me.

I’m thrilled with my time of 4:40! Not a PR but a very, happy finish time.

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