Ahhhhh….. How lucky I am to get to write another race report! I am not injured and am very thankful for that!
I got to go over a little early (Wed.) to visit my daughter who lives in San Clemente which is about an hour north of San Diego. Watched the grandkids do Ju Jitsu (sp?) and gymnastics and had a really nice time for a couple extra days. Drove to Su-Lyn’s in Laguna Niguel on Sat. morning and we travelled to SD in her red Corvette, Ruby. We arrived at the hotel around 1:00 I think and checked in. We headed over to the convention ctr to packet pick up, took at least an hour to get there and it’s only about 6 miles! Traffic was crazy busy. Typical RnR packet pick up, very organized and fast. Even changed my corral # so I could start with Karen and it was very easy. Wasn’t going to buy anything but sometimes you get caught up in the excitement! Bought a new pair of my favorite new running shoes at 10% off so that was good. We were about done there when Karen texted and I told her don’t bother going to the hotel first just come to get your packet since traffic was so bad and it was only open until 5. Met Karen and Richard at the front door, then we left to go back to hotel. We had dinner in the bar (imagine that!) with Erika and her family, very fun seeing them but sad that Erika could not run. Lisa didn’t make it over for dinner. Went to bed around 8:30
The hotel provided a shuttle to the start but didn’t tell us until we (me, Karen and Su-Lyn) were boarding that there was a $12 charge per person. And no continental breakfast so we were glad we brought our own. Shuttles were at 4:30, 5:00 and 5:30, 5 was full when we signed up so we took the 4:30 one. Arrived with lots of time to spare and got in line for porta potties at least 3 times! Lisa found us at the starting festival and we were happy to see her. By the time we made it to the corrals after the porta potties the race was just about to start. We squeezed into the corral just in time. After we started (about 6 minutes after the gun, wave start) Lisa needed to head for a potty so Karen and I didn’t see her again until the finish. The first several miles of the course seemed super easy, not much effort at all, sometimes our pace said under an 8 minute mile, which for me is super fast. Mostly flat, little bits of ups and downs, but really nothing until miles 8-10 which didn’t look uphill but was. That slowed us down a bit! I wanted to take a walk break around mile 9 but Karen wouldn’t so I sucked it up and kept on going. After mile 10 we flattened out and had a nice bit of down hill. I actually don’t pay that much attention to the course while running, Karen even had to point out that we were running THROUGH the Padres stadium!
I have to say that this one seemed like the longest marathon I have ever run. After we got to around mile 14-15 Karen wanted to slow down a bit and told me to go ahead. I did, but it wasn’t nearly as fun as the first half with her company. There were a couple of out and back loops and times when we were running side by side with the half marathoners which was pretty cool. The cheerleaders and bands are always great to see and hear along the course. Jeff and Shaun showed up around mile 18 when I really needed some encouragement and again at mile 22 or so. Very good to see friendly faces! After mile 20 the course just drug on and on, at least for me. Around mile 22 after seeing Jeff and Shaun the course went out around a peninsula or island and for parts of it you could see runners up ahead that seemed to stretch for miles! It was along the ocean through a park. I could not make my legs go any faster and took a couple of walk breaks. By mile 25 I finally said ENOUGH! I kept seeing my avg pace getting slower and slower and I knew if I wanted to at least meet my prior marathon time that I would have to pick it up. So I tried as hard as I could the last 1.2 miles and came in at the same time as my PR at PF Chang in Phoenix. It was not what I had hoped and trained for (I so badly wanted 3:45), but I am ok with it. I still qualified for Boston and even though I’m older I didn’t get any slower. I waited for Karen at the finish, then we waited for Lisa. Su-Lyn ran the half so she was already done. We grabbed our chocolate milk and goodies and headed over to change into dry clothing. Dry clothes are a MUST after 26 miles and you are wet and cold! Stayed for a little whiled but decided we didn’t want our free beer enough to stay for long. Richard had come over with Gracie and he drove us back to the hotel. Not sure if I want to do another full marathon, but I think I probably will after a little more time goes by. As of today (5 days after the marathon) I still have not run even one step! And I’m ok with that too! I don’t think I would do this one again, there are too many other places I would like to run. And I prefer to do smaller ones without the huge crowds of people. All in all it was a very nice race, but the best part was the training with my friends and being with them for the run! Rock on runners!!!!