OC Marathon Race Report (Read 596 times)

    As I said to someone else, the first mile was easy. The last 25 were a real bitch. Big grin After 2 injuries that seriously threatened to derail me (I even posted for advice here about all the time I had taken off), and a horrible case of food poisoning that had me in the hospital 24 hours before the race was supposed to start, I wasn't sure if I was going to make it to those 26.2 miles. Saturday night, I wasn't planning on running. Even though I felt better, 26 miles is hard when you're healhty, let alone when you've just been sick. But my husband kept telling me to wait and see, and Sunday I woke up feeling absolutely normal. No residual effect of the food poisoning, which (as expected) was gone in 24 hours. So we went. Worst case scenario, I would call from an aid station to be picked up, or even choose to do the half instead of the full. But I didn't have to call, and I finished in under four hours, which was my goal when I was healthy. 3:59:18, and it was my very first marathon. And I'd just been sick. And I've had 2 major injuries in the last 2 months that required a total of 3 weeks of complete rest. Shocked I can't believe how well I did! Okay, on to the "real" race report: For anyone considering doing the Orange County Marathon. DON'T. At least not until they change the course. The home page says "ocean bays" and "beautiful architecture" but apparently that was from before they changed the route 2 years ago. Now it's on a closed down toll road, running along the freeway and down off ramps and up on ramps and on little trails along the ditch below the overpasses. The scenery was crappy, there were very few spectators (because they couldn't get to the marathon side lines due to road closures), and while I wouldn't call the course hilly, miles 12-21 were at a slight constant incline that killed my quads. Not only that, but the weather was just weird. It was really windy at about mile 20, which was a little more incline than before, and the head wind kept pushing me back. When the wind died down, I was out in the middle of nowhere on a freeway with no music or people to distract me, and the sun was beating down on me with no relief. There were no trees, no buildings, no houses. The biggest hills were at mile 23.5 and then again at about mile 25. Even had I NOT just run so many miles, I would have said that the hills were tough. But add in the last hour of running and, even though they weren't really long hills, the incline just wore me down. The race support was good, with aid stations well stocked and spaced throughout the course. The volunteers were all nice and friendly, but that doesn't come close to making up for the horrible route and lack of spectator viewing areas. I really should have looked at reviews of the marathon before signing up, but was so gung ho about finding one relatively close to me, and the timing fit. I'll know better for next time. And now, 2 days later, I think I can almost say there will be a next time. Yesterday was tough, since we had to make the 4 hour drive home that turned into 6.5 because of an accident. I was so sore everytime we stopped that I had a hard time getting out of the car. I had a massage last night, and today is much better. Not that I am walking normal, but it sure beats the limping steps of yesterday. Overall, it was an absolutely amazing experience. While it wasn't exactly what I expected, it was defintely worth the pain and the hard work to cross the finish line and come home with a medal. My biggest surprise so far was actually how sore my upper body was. I expected the leg pain and tight calves and thighs, but I didn't expect my shoulders and neck to hurt as badly as they did yesterday. During the race was fine, but within 24 hours I was tight and sore to the point where I was getting a headache. So far that has really been the only thing I hadn't really planned for. Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know how it went. Have a great week! ~Callie
    "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' " - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

    You'll ruin your knees!

      Callie, Congrats on a fantastic first marathon performance! Sub-4 hour is awesome, particularly having overcome a major sidelining illness just before the race! Reall bummer (get the socal slang?) to do a mary in southern California and not have scenery or crowd support! Rest well and I'm thinking you HAVE to do another to see what may come if you don't get sick right before, then another in a more scenic location, then... Tongue Lynn B

      ""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)


        Wow Callie, it is amazing that you could still run after just having food poisoning and overcoming injuries. Congratulations!!! Smile Any training advice for other first-timers? In your training, what do you think you did that best prepared you for the marathon?

        madness baby

          CONGRATS Callie! You are an inspiration! I'm so impressed to hear that you came through after injury and illness. And what an amazing time for your first! You are inspiring me to more seriously consider doing the LA marathon. I am running my first half in Carlsbad in a couple of weeks and have been tossing around the idea of the marathon in March if the half goes well. I am concerned about the wind in Carlsbad also, as the course runs along the ocean. (Though it does help with the heat. . .) I have an idea of where the OC marathon must have been. For such a classy area, that doesn't sound like a course to fit the peeps in that area! Anyway, congrats again, and thanks for sharing Wink

            Wow! Great race and time! Considering all the obstacles (especially the food poisoning.. that sounds awful!), it's really amazing that you even met your sub 4-hour goal! Congratulations and enjoy your recovery! If you're already able to think about it, I know you'll be back for another marathon soon! Big grin
              Big grin Awesome race, girlie!
              2009: BQ?


                Nice one...i hope they'll change the course someday because i'd like to run that one of these days..


                  a tremendous accomplishment, even more so with the recent illness and injuries that threatend to throw you off! Congratulations!
                  Walk + Jog = wog.
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                    Damn, that is quite a showing, especially under the circumstances. Just think how well you would have done had all factors been more favorable! Big grin k

                    '17 Goals:

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                      Lynn and Kirsten, I thought the same things! I have to do another one just to see how it would go! VA123, I may have to think about that question for a while. I think it was defintely good that I trained for as long as I did. I just started running 18 months ago (I was a couch potato before), and even once I got to the point where I could run 10 miles comfortably I still didn't sign up for a marathon. Focusing on speed and just getting a really good base was probably the biggest reason I was able to run and finish, even with the setbacks. Deb, I've heard that LA is awesome, and the only reason I didn't do that one was because I was afraid of all the people. But there were a TON of people running the OC half who had LA Marathon Training tshirts on. If you want to space it out a little more, San Diego Rock N Roll is on June 3. I was thinking about making Long Beach my next full, which is in October. Steve, apparently the course was different at first, but for the last 2 years they thought it would be a good idea to change the route to the current one. Confused It makes no sense to me why they would have us run on the freeways when there are such more scenic areas in Newport Beach. Trishie, Clowning around Wink Thanks for all the congrats, guys!
                      "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' " - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

                      Now that was a bath...

                        Girl that's one impressive time!!!! You are a real inspiration. It's amazing that you had these issues and still aced the time demon. I want to be you. You are my new hero! Claire xxx
                      • jlynnbob "HTFU, Kookie's distal tibia"
                      • Where's my closet? I need to get back in it.

                          Congratulations on your wonderful finish Callie! I really enjoyed your race report. Sorry to hear you had so many health issues before your race. You'd never know it by your results. Your progress in the 18 months since you started running is awesome. I can't see any marathons in my future (unless I live a LONG time). My dream is that someday, down the road, I'll eventually break 10 min/mile :-) Happy recuperation! Arlene
                            Wow, that is awesome Callie, congratulations! Quite the inspiring story- next time I try to talk myself out of running because of a small headache, I'll remember that you ran 26.2 miles the day after having food poisoning! Tongue
                              Arlene, you don't have to be fast to run the marathon. Heck, there are marathon walkers. Most courses have at least a 7 hour limit, which is less than 5mph. It's just a thought, if you really wanted to do one.
                              "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?' " - Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian

                              madness baby

                                Callie, I thought about the San Diego Rock N Roll, but we have a wedding back east to get to that weekend. Damn weddings. (Just kidding of course, as there's no better subsitute for a race than drinking and dancing your heart out with wonderful friends. . .) Thanks for the suggestions. I didn't know there was a marathon in Long Beach, but it's definitely a pretty area down there and something to consider. Good luck as you plan your next race. Keep us posted on what you decide!