I did it! The Big Sur Marathon is complete. And what an adventure it was. From taking my family on a road trip through Napa, San Francisco and Carmel and then completing a marathon. I feel like there is so much to share!
First I’ll start today with just focusing on the race. I was going to be running across this bridge in less then 24hours! Better snap a photo at the race expo. 😉
I haven’t run a marathon in about 5 or 6 years. Since the last one I’ve had 2 kids but continued to run and train for shorter races from 5K to half marathon distance. After pretty much following my 15 week training plan I felt well prepared for this race. Needless to say, I’ve never run a destination race and brought my family along. That part is exhausting. I loved it, but the night before the race when I felt completely worn out it made me wonder how I would perform the day of the race. I laid out my race outfit and the photo bomb by my youngest perfectly fit the chaos of the night.
Well there was no time like the present. After I woke up at 3am I attempted to pump (I’m still breastfeeding my youngest). Nothing came out!! I was too anxious and stressed about time that my body just wouldn’t relx enough for me to pump. So that gave me two problems… 1) no milk for my youngest when he wakes up and I’m not here and 2) I’d have to lug around some extra weight in my sports bra for this marathon! Gulp.
Nothing else I could do, it was time to catch the bus! My friend Jamie drove us in the “cruiser” which is a Land Cruiser without a roof. Loved it! The morning was warmer then expected and so far no rain.
So fast forward through the bus ride, waiting around at the start, long lines to the toilets, warnings of posion ivy if we decided to pee behind a tree (I stuck to the lines) and then seeing Dean Karnazes. If you haven’t heard of him he is an ultra endurance runner. He completes crazy amount of mileage on a daily basis. Dean decided that he would start running around 2am in the morning to the start of the race. He pretty much did 2 marathons in 1 day. It probably seemed like a warm up to him. To me, I love running but a marathon is plenty long for a day.
Ok, so it was time to race! There were Cliff Bar Pace groups at this event. I decided that I should take advantage. I always thought it would be helpful to run with a pacer but have never had the opportunity. I was aiming for around 3:30 so I told myself that as long as I kept the 3:25 group in front of me I would be fine. I tend to go out too fast like many people. And I would have definitely done this because I was wanting to pass them. I felt so comfortable that I was snapping photos and videos throughout the first half. Good thing I stayed back because it was hard to keep up with them in the end.
Harvey Lewis was the name of my pacer. He was awesome. He usually runs sub 3:00 so this pace was a breeze for him. He was positive, up beat, gave us a few pointers along the way and did a good job of keeping a good pace overall. I definitely gave him a big hug at the end because I couldn’t have kept such an even pace throughout the race without him.
Towards the middle of the race there is a big hill called Hurricane Point. It goes from about mile 10 to 12, it’s long. But they have drums at the bottom to pump you up and a grand piano playing at the top. I couldn’t resist taking a short video of the both of them.
Then the hard work started. The second half had a few more ups and downs but I did my best to stay on pace. Around mile 22 I couldn’t stay with Harvey, the pacer, anymore. But I didn’t give up. I kept pushing hard, hoping that my finish was going to be strong.
Oh, and there were fresh strawberries after mile 22. I was really looking forward to that and they tasted wonderful! During the race I ate 4 Gu gels and a couple orange slices and half a banana. I like the Gu because they are easy to carry and fast to eat, as long as you have water to wash them down. But after a while I was craving solid food and the fruit at the aid stations hit the spot! I never felt like I bonked or ran out of energy. My feet and legs simply began to ache once I had about 4 miles to go. But that’s part of a marathon, pushing through the pain.
I finished at 3:26:07. I hate posting my times but I’ve had a lot of inquiries so I thought I’d share here. I needed a 3:35 to qualify for Boston so I’m stoked that I did! Now I just need to convince myself to train for Boston 2015! I was secretly excited to go back to half marathon training simply because it doesn’t take up as much time. And I love that distance, it’s my favorite.
Some after shots of the race. It felt like pure bliss at the finish.
I finished 3rd in my age group!
I was so proud of my friend Jamie! It was her first marathon and she rocked it! I think she’s hooked now. Her dad completed the 21mile race and he is about to turn 70! These two are such an inspiration!
Thank you Jamie for convincing me to run this marathon! I would have never done it without you.
I have injured my foot somehow and haven’t been able to run, let alone walk much since the race. I’m going to see a doctor tomorrow and will let you know what’s going on.
More to come on my trip too!