Friday, June 7, 2013

Rock N' Roll San Diego Marathon 2013

Saturday we drove into San Diego and headed right to the race expo.  It was cray cray!!  I got my bib and such without having to wait in a line which was awesome.  Then it got a little crazy, there were oodles o’ people which made it hard to walk around.  We did stop by Pro Compression’s booth to say hi to Mike, what a fine young lad.
Sunday I woke up at 3:50 a.m. and Jake drove me to the starting line.  We were quite fortunate to be some of the first ones there because an officer let Jake drive on closed roads to get me to the start…AWESOME!  Jake had said that he would wait with me for a bit but to find a park would have been near impossible so I sent him on his way.  There were lots of people around so I felt safe.  As soon as Jake drove off a photographer asked me to take my sweatshirt off, to which I replied “Are you some sort of a pervert!”  He thought that was pretty funny and said, “A minute ago I had to ask a girl to take her pants off!”  We had a fine chuckle, he took my picture and that was that.
Once the photographer got me with my shirt off I realized that it wasn’t cold at all, it was 63 degrees and felt great.  I sat on the grass and watched all the people.   I do so love me some people watching!  Everything was so organized.  They had 26 or so UPS trucks alphabetized for the bag drop.  I walked to the end of the million trucks, dropped my bag and headed to the corrals. 
I had no idea what corral I was in so I asked some people.  They looked at my bib and said “You are in corral 3, you must be fast…you’ve practically already won the race.”  That made me feel good, I don’t think I’m fast at all but I’ll take the compliment and run…literally!
The music was blaring and I was ready to go.  There was a moment of silence in remembrance of Boston and we were off.  I went into this race without any goals at all besides finishing.  I didn’t know what to expect seems how I had just done 26.2 miles 2 weeks prior.  I started behind the 3:55 pacer and was content to stay there.
At .2 mile there was a guy standing with a sign that said “Only 26 miles to go!”  I was ready for it.  There was also a guy running who was dribbling 2 basketballs.  I guess he likes to go balls to the walls on his races.  He ran the whole race like that…#weird ;)
The first mile was slow because of all the people and I didn’t feel like weaving so I just went with the flow.  I ran without my music for the first 13 miles and just listened to people around me and soaked in my surroundings.
I was feeling really good so I glanced at my watch at mile 3 and it was a 7:23 min mile…what?  I didn’t feel like I was pushing it at all.  I told myself to slow down, I didn’t want to go crazy and end up bonking and hating it.  I felt like I slowed down but the next mile was another 7:23.  I decided that I had better start paying closer attention to my time, I had to slow down.
I think it was at about mile 10 that I saw the winner heading the opposite direction, I cheered for him and ran on.  It was fun to see him flying by!
There were LOTS of hills, it was a pretty tough course.  This wasn’t a Utah race that sends you running down a canyon.   Even the winner thought it was a tough course.   “I am excited to win,” said the 32-year-old Njoroge, who went through halfway in 1:05:03 but slowed during the course’s hillier second half. “I ran just to win but I am also happy with the time because this course was hard. Really hard.”
I fueled every 5 miles with 3 Shot Blocks and I made myself take water at every aid station.  It was quite humid so I started drinking half of the water and dumping the rest on my head.  I never felt really hot though, the sun wasn’t out so it felt awesome.
We ran around Mission Bay which was gorgeous…loved it!  I started to feel really good and started passing people left and right.  I kept it steady, I was still afraid of going too fast and hitting the wall.  I hit the wall BAD at Ogden and didn’t want to do that again.
People kept telling me that I looked strong and to keep it up.  It’s always nice when people look at you with huge smiles and encouragement rather than like they feel sorry for you because you look miserable :)  
I heard some people say that they didn’t love the course but I love San Diego so I enjoyed every minute of it.  Well, I didn’t love the 2 mile hill at mile 20…#RUDE!  We were running on the freeway straight uphill for 2 miles.  A ton of people were walking but I refused to walk, I eat hills for breakfast ;)
I figured that once the 2 mile hill was over it would be downhill or flat…NOPE!  Hill after hill after hill after hill!  Back at about mile 18 I thought that I may just have a chance at a 3:30 marathon.  I hadn’t wanted to push before then for fear that I would bonk.  When I finally felt like I was close enough to being done to push the hills wouldn’t let up.
Mile 22 to almost mile 26 there were rolling hills, my legs were starting to feel it but I knew I could stay strong until the end.  Of course, I was a sure that every hill I ran would be my last so I would power up it just to get to another one.
There was a nice downhill to the finish so I let the hill carry me and went pretty fast.  I ended up finishing in 3:35:35, Lou said that I ran 26.43 miles.  #UltraMarathon ;)
Not sure what was going on here.
I didn’t go into this race for a PR so I didn’t care.  I just kept running and enjoying myself.  They had bands every mile and HUGE cheer sections, it was amazing.  Such a fun race! 
I am super photogenic.  Check out that HUGE rose my familia gave me.
 I was shocked that my body allowed me to do what I did.  It could have been the elevation.  It could have been that Ogden was just a craptastic training run for this one.  Who knows?  Had I known when I started that I was going to feel so good throughout the race I would have allowed myself to do the early miles a tad bit faster.  There was never a point during the race that I felt uncomfortable, I didn’t feel like I was “racing” I was simply enjoying the run.  Maybe I should move to San Diego…it does a body good!
I was a soaking wet mess.  They handed out sopping wet towels at the finish.

That rose is nearly as big as mama's head!
My family found me stretching by a tree soon after I finished.  My parents have never seen me finish at a race so it was fun to have them there.  It was Kobe’s 10th birthday so I gave him a huge sweaty hug.  I ran every single mile for him and thought about how I was in the operating room having him at the exact same time that I was racing.  Heck if I could make it through the pain of that day I could make it through anything ;)
Another beauty shot.  I really should be a super model ;)
This race may just be my new favorite!
I attempted to take an ice bath in the ocean…I don’t get in the ocean so that was kind of a big deal.  Unfortunately the water wasn’t very cold.  We went to Coronado which was beautiful.  I think the reason I was able to stay in the ocean as long as I did was because the water was clear, I could see what was lurking in the water.
I’m still on a runner’s high from this race and hope to do more Rock N’ Roll marathons in the future. 
Mike got some great pictures but I can't seem to make them work, sorry for the lack of pics.  I had some good race photos too but who wants to pay $70 for pictures???  NOT ME!  I think that if these picture company's would let you buy your images for $20 they'd make a whole lot more money...just sayin'!

1 comment:

  1. Great job Steph! Haha! I love the balls to the walls comment! Ha!