The day could not have started out more perfect.
This was the first marathon that I have not needed to spend the night in a hotel. That, in combination with my Mom having my children at her house for the evening, gave me the perfect night sleep. I woke up free of a migraine (I have chronic migraine disease), I was hydrated, well fed, I had my marathon support man with me, and the weather was nice and cool. So you can imagine my disappointment when I completely failed to come close to what I truly felt capable of and have executed in training many times over. Frustrating, yes, but after 4 marathons I have learned to let it go and keep trying. This distance has given me trouble in the past and, if I am honest with myself, I probably was not trained well enough. I needed to do longer long runs and more tempo work.
A nice, small race with only a 1000 or so runners, the Malibu Marathon started at the Camarillo Airport. In typical Southern California fashion, the race was a half hour late getting started. Since living here I have not been to a race that has started on time. I guess I’m spoiled having run the bulk of my races on the East Coast, as late starts rarely happen there and when they do the runners give the race directors such hell they need not show their faces in town again. That half hour delay is a disadvantage because the temperatures begin to rise, which for most slows you down. Ok, minor detail, but worthy of a mention.
After the gun went off, the first half was really flat and, I thought, very nice through the agricultural fields of Camarillo. Most of the aid stations were fine, no complaints. The mile markers were these cool surf boards. Again, a minor detail, but I’m still not sure if it was the actual miles ticking away or seeing the cute surfboards, but each board made me smile and I looked forward to seeing the next one.
We ran past the The Naval Air Station Pt. Mugu and then onto the Pacific Coastal Highway (PCH or Hwy 1) up along the majestic Pacific Ocean. This is where things got good and things got bad. I had kept a nice, easy pace in the beginning and then, around mile 10, as we starting along the coast, I saw my husband cheering me on and I thought “this is where I need to pick up my pace.” The view of the ocean was epic and like no other run I have ever experienced, but my lungs began to tighten up. You see, PCH is a Highway with… you guessed it! Traffic! All of that traffic makes a shit load of exhaust and fumes. I was inhaling plumes of thick exhaust, my lungs burned and tightened up.
I carried on and looked forward to the next surfboard mile marker and then, at mile 15, I saw a huge pod of dolphins that were leaping through and surfing the waves. Truly a sight to behold.
I continued on through the exhaust and then; dunt, dunt, duuuun the HILLS around mile 20! Just when you’re ready to curl up and go to sleep, even on a flat course, the fun part began. Luckily, I had TriBeccaTO and Quadrathon waiting there to jump in and run me to the finish. My husband also met me at this point and gave me a new water bottle. I stopped to use the bathroom and was really not feeling well at this point. This was the beginning of the largest hill and I felt like a was going to hurl. Becc and Stuart put me in my place and the three of us set off for the finish line. It was a tough 6 miles of rolling hills, Stuart kept telling me this was the last hill and I was relieved when it finally WAS the last one. The last strech was down hill and I gave one last push to get my body across the finish line as fast as possible. I saw my husband along the sidelines cheering “you got this babe!” “you got a 3:38” but I looked at my Garmin and knew he was mistaken… I crossed the finish line at 3:56 about 11 min off of what I wanted to achieve. I was disappointed, but almost instantly let it go. It happens, I’ll keep trying. I grabbed a bottle of water, took my shoes off, and headed for the ocean to cool my swollen feet in the ice cold Pacific.
You received this really cool beach towel along with your medal…
It was the best feeling having my husband, Becc and Stuart there to put things in perspective for me. I had just run sub 4 and I did get 6th in my AG (small race) but still… So Marathon #4 complete… #5 coming soon to a blog near you.