Race Weekend -Part 2- The Marathon

June 7, 2010 at 9:57 am 22 comments

**Just a forewarning.. this is a very long blog post!**

I woke up around 3AM and was so nervous that I’d sleep through the alarm for wake up at 3:40AM. As much as I tried to fall asleep again I continued to wake up every 5-10 minutes until finally I gave up and decided to just lay there awake until I heard the alarm sound off.

I got dressed and used the coffee maker to heat the water for breakfast oats. Room service gave us styrofoam bowls with lids, so I managed to cook the oats perfectly by pouring the hot water on to the oats and sealing each bowl with a lid, letting it sit for 5 minutes.. et voilΓ ! Cooked oats! I topped each bowl with a spoon full of peanut butter and a drizzle of honey and one banana all of which I brought from home. I didn’t have coffee with my breakfast because I did not want to be dehydrated from the caffeine intake, plus I didn’t want to be running to the bathroom too often before the race. My nerves were enough to make we want to pee every five minutes!! Unfortunately taking photos of my breakfast was the least of my concern so I didn’t even think of snapping food photos… oops!

My parents and I hopped on the shuttle that our hotel arranged for all the racers, and we were carted off to the start line at 4:30AM. I am such a morning person, so I was loving it! And yes I am every bit serious with that statement πŸ™‚

My mom and I checked in our gear bag for things we didn’t want to carry during the race (namely cell phone and change of shoes) and we hung out, used the restroom, and stretched a bit.

At 5:30AM we did a short warm up with the San Diego Track Club. I got a chance to wish Karon and Steve good luck!

Finally, the time came to head over to our designated corrals. This is where the nervous chatter started getting louder, and louder, and louder. I made a casual conversation with the girl next to me in Corral #17, and we told each other our stories of how we wound up at the start line. It was a lot of fun hearing her story and those around me. Different paths lead us there and we all shared the same goal to cross the finish line. πŸ™‚

At 6:15AM they started releasing the wheelchair racers followed by the first corral. Slowly the line started to creep further and further to the start line and suddenly.. we were off and running!

So as I mentioned in an earlier post, I bought a Pacetat so that I could have a personal goal for myself as well as something to guide me during the race.

I wasn’t sure how attainable the goal was but to my surprise between miles 1-12 I was EXACTLY on target! It felt awesome!!

The first ten miles were very easy. My legs felt fresh, I was soaking in my surroundings and enjoying every minute of it.

  • -At mile 5, the marathon course took us around the Padres baseball stadium, Petco Park. They had some positive words of encouragement for the runners on the big marquee, “THE PADRES CONGRATULATE ALL RUNNERS – 5 MILES COMPLETED!”
  • -After reaching the 6 mile mark, I though to myself “Only 20 more miles to go! I have run 20 before, I know I can do this!”

Please don’t mind my super loud breathing!

I was having so much fun running around the parts of the city I ran through during my training. I kept having flashback memories from each passing street, everything filled me up with so much energy! I would wave at other runners during a loop we did, and high-five the folks in the crowd that would reach their arms out. There were bands throughout the entire course and I’d give them a thumbs up each time I’d pass a stage. I also got a good laugh out of some signs I saw that had things written like: “RUN LIKE TIGER’S WIFE IS CHASING YOU!”, “CHUCK NORRIS NEVER RAN THE SAN DIEGO ROCK ‘N ROLL!!”, and “HURRY, THE FREE BEER IS RUNNING OUT AT THE FINISH LINE!” Someone even wrote “Bruce: Will you marry me??” in chalk on the pavement!

  • -I took my first CLIF shot just after passing the 9 mile marker.

Look at how crazy my neck looks!!

  • -Around mile 12 I noticed my pace began to slow down a little bit, I was behind my target by 30 seconds. I started being cautious with the road because it was pretty sloped and I didn’t want to get injured. Even though it slowed me down a little, I didn’t mind!
  • -After reaching the halfway point, 13.1, I felt another burst of energy. Just in time! My pace picked up to 8:48/mile and even though I wanted to go faster I held back because I knew I had a ways to go and wanted to keep that energy stored for when I really needed it. I looked down at my watch and wondered how my parents were making out in the Half Marathon. Check out some of the footage I recorded at the 13.1 mile mark!

I would sip on the coconut water from my water belt between aid stations, and every other water station I’d walk about 5 steps for a drink of water before heading back into the race, running again. I made sure to thank every single person holding out the cups for us! They were drenched in water for being splashed by the racers!

  • -I think it was between miles 15-17 (??) we passed through a really cute neighborhood were families set up tables outside of their homes and were handing out oranges and pretzels to everyone. I grabbed two slices of oranges and somehow managed to eat them while running. They tasted like the best oranges I had ever eaten! Maybe that was just my feeling at the moment, either way they were really good! Shortly after that, I’m guessing near mile 18 we passed through a street where everyone lining the road dressed like characters from Alice and Wonderland. It was very cute and made me smile! :mrgreen: I think around that mile is where I was also passed by some dude wearing a diaper and a big plastic blow up monkey on his back!!
  • -At mile 20, I knew it was game time. I thought to myself: NOW THE RACE BEGINS. My legs felt a bit sore, and my feet felt the heat of the pavement. Thankfully, I wasn’t having any blister issues because all the blisters that I had during training had already become thick calluses.. nature’s way of keeping my feet – and me-Β  happy! πŸ˜€ I started passing people left and right, and I was also being passed myself. Whenever I passed people who had stopped running and began walking I would give them words of encouragement as I passed them, saying things like “You got this!!”, “You can do it”, “Don’t give up!”. I knew that if I were in their shoes I would have liked hearing those words, so I hope they did too!
  • -After reaching mile 21 each mile seemed to take so much longer. I no longer checked my Pacetat but I did look down at my watch. I knew for certain my parents had already crossed the finish line so what helped me power through to the next mile was that I wanted to cross the line as soon as possible so I could congratulate them. The course took us around an island, and I was so annoyed at how deceiving it was for the runners! A few hundred meters I could see the top of the roller coaster at Sea World (the finish line) and then we’d make a turn and it would be out of sight. I felt like we were on the island for-ev-er! 😯
  • -Around mile 23 I started to really rely on the crowd and not so much on my legs. I had a little over three miles to go. My closest friends were not able to make it to the race to cheer me on, but I pretended to see their faces among the spectators cheering the runners on. I have kept running this whole time, I’m not stopping now! I guess this is where I hit ‘the wall‘ people always talk about. I kept looking in the distance to pick a point to run to and would look at the feet in front of me until I reached that point. I kept doing that until I reached mile 25, while also envisioning my legs at the sole reason for the music to continue playing in my earphones. I let the musicΒ  and the crowd carry me in.
  • -Finally, I passed the mile 25 marker. This was it! The crowds lined the course straight to the finish line. There was a girl wearing a pink tank top that was neck and neck with me for the entire last mile. She passed me for the third time just before we had about 400 meters left. Out of no where just when I thought I had used up every ounce of energy I had left, my competitive blood shot through my body. With the cow bells ringing and the crowds cheering on each side of me, I began leaping further with each stride. I passed the girl in the pink tank top with about 200 meters left and crossed the finish line with both arms in the air holding up the rock and roll sign with each hand. I did it! I finished!

I’m trying to point at my cape that I wore the entire race. You bet I’m fueled by local farms!!

I’m very pleased with my race stats. I can even say I did a PR..since it was my first marathon! My parents did amazing as well!

  • Mom, Half marathon- Chip time= 2:23:00, Clock time= 3:11:05, Overall= 6158/13561, Sex Placement= 3646/9641, Division Placement= 136
  • Dad, Half marathon- Chip time= 3:18:44, Clock time= 4:06:49, Overall= 11717/13561, Sex Placement= 3652/3920, Division Placement= 29
  • Me: Full marathon- Chip time= 4:17:42, Clock time= 4:32:17, Overall= 2750/10625, Sex Placement= 907/5505, Division Placement= 121

We shared kettle corn and I ate a mini Luna bar and a banana as we headed back to the hotel. After we got home I took a nap and despite my lack of appetite I had a bowl of Greek yogurt with an apple, and drank lots and lots of water too. We celebrated in the evening by going out for dinner at Stone Brewery.

I had the vegan Tempeh Shepard’s Pie with a side salad. I was not super hungry so I ate half of the pie. Later I finished the night with a chocolate chip cookie (no photo).

All in all, the race was amazing! I don’t even think I have the right words to properly describe it. There is so much more I could share on here, but that would take forever and I think it would spoil the fun for anyone who may think of signing up for a half or full marathon in the future. It was brutal, very long, tiring, and incredibly rewarding! It is truly an epic experience!

I am so proud of my parents!!! They finished their first HALF MARATHON!!!!

I will definitely be thinking about another race in the future.. after I’m done icing and recouping! I have to beat my 4:17 time, next race! πŸ˜›

I’d like to thank everyone who supported me through my training up through race day, from the bottom of my heart. I thought of everyone’s encouraging words during the race and it truly empowered me the entire race. Couldn’t have made it without you all! πŸ™‚ Thank you!!

P.S. Camille wrote a great post about her race experience! Check it out-

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Entry filed under: Marathon Training.

Race Weekend -Part Uno- The Expo Blueberries

22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. hundredtenpounds  |  June 7, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Congrats! Great recap. That Pacetat looks like such a cool idea, too.

    Reply
  • 2. EmbraceYourSkin  |  June 7, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Congrats girl!
    I am so so proud of you!

    Reply
  • 3. Davide Carpano  |  June 7, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Your positivity makes me happy!

    I am glad that you did so well on the race!

    Reply
  • 4. Linda Villegas-Marrero  |  June 7, 2010 at 10:26 am

    We’re so proud of you sweetie. Thank you for your inspiration, we wouldn’t have done it without it! It was an awesome experience.

    Reply
    • 5. Alexandra  |  June 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm

      Thanks mom! Love you xo

      Reply
  • 6. Karon  |  June 7, 2010 at 10:32 am

    Your photos are awesome! It’s so great that you captured that experience. I tried to soak everything up along the way – and I am so happy to be able to enjoy your journal. You have accomplished so much! You should feel soooo proud!

    Reply
  • 7. Jess  |  June 7, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    HOORAY FOR RUNNING YOUR FIRST MARATHON! I’m going to tackle my first sometime in the fall πŸ™‚ The crowd was amazing. The marines passing water on 163 made me choke back tears a bit too. So many awesome supporters.

    Congrats on a job well done and tell your parents they are incredible!

    Reply
    • 8. Alexandra  |  June 7, 2010 at 9:00 pm

      All of the volunteers were outstanding! There were even little boy scouts on Fiesta Island too! Thank you and likewise!

      Reply
  • 9. Aubrey  |  June 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    Awesome job Alex! What a wonderful accomplishment to share with your parents. You are great πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • 11. Laura Plantholt  |  June 7, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    YAYYY! This post was so inspiring! Honestly reading it made me so emotional. I think it’s so sweet that you did this with your parents. What a great bonding experience. I’m so proud of you girl!!!

    Reply
    • 12. Alexandra  |  June 7, 2010 at 8:59 pm

      Thanks so much, Laura πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • 13. Jenna Jaguar  |  June 7, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    You are amazing, girl! way to go!!!

    Reply
  • 15. Erika @ Dr.TriRunner  |  June 8, 2010 at 7:13 am

    This is such a fun race report!! And I love the live footage during the race! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, and good luck at your first TRI ever!! Lake Tahoe sounds AMAZING!

    Reply
  • 16. Irene  |  June 8, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Congratulations!!!! Loved the pictures. I recognize Karon from the track club. I’ve seen her, but I don’t know her… yet. I missed about 9 weeks of training, and missed meeting a lot of people… BUT, this is all about YOU! You did awesome, and it’s so cool that your parents ran the half!

    Reply
  • 17. LC  |  June 8, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Congrats! Thanks for stopping by my blog. You have some great recipes/eats on your blog.

    Reply
  • 18. SDrunner  |  June 8, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Yeah, you ran the race the right way. You held back and had more left in the tank toward the end. I started out too fast and hit the wall well before you. But I’m still happy with completing my first marathon too. Congratulations and good luck on your next one!

    Reply
    • 19. Alexandra  |  June 11, 2010 at 9:04 pm

      Thank you πŸ™‚

      Reply
  • 20. Haley Poole  |  June 9, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    I AM SO UNBELIEEEVABLY PROUD OF YOU!!!

    Reply
  • 21. Kelsey  |  June 9, 2010 at 8:50 pm

    awe these pics are amazing!! ur so hardcore! i love it haha πŸ™‚

    Reply
  • 22. Farm Days « Eat Persimmons!  |  June 13, 2010 at 5:48 am

    […] I definitely was experiencing dΓ©jΓ  vu!!! We ran around the area where I ran my last 6 miles of the marathon from last Sunday! […]

    Reply

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Hello! My name is Alexandra.


This blog is a chronicle of living a healthy lifestyle through food and fitness! I'm a student, a gardener, an environmentalist, an athlete, and I love to cook and eat food that is locally grown. I love our planet so much, and I think it's important to treat it right so it can treat us right in return!

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