Masters Running


Carlsbad Marathon RR (Read 414 times)

    This marathon was to be #6 in 6 months, getting me to the second level (silver or 2-star level) of the Marathon Maniacs. As such, I really didn’t have a time goal, but I always like to see what I can do and sub-4 is getting to be my default goal these days. Only one really long run (19 miles) since my December 16 race, but I’d been consistent and steady on my runs so felt good going in. We left early Saturday morning after a really short night’s sleep... seems like there’s always last minute arrangements you need to make when leaving your teenage kids and geriatric pets with a house sitter... At least the weather forecast called for mild temps while we were gone. Getting out of the car (my dad drove us at 5:30 a.m., what a peach) I slipped a bit on the snow as I was closing the door and slammed it right into my thigh. Ouch! I’d feel that later... Arrived in San Diego a little early, got our car and headed to the Boomer/Masters gathering at Gregorio’s in Carlsbad. Our hotel was up in Oceanside, we’d get there later. The highlights of these marathons for me have really become these night-before gatherings. This one would be no exception, with a first-time meeting of Ilene- and Fast Forward, Sherie, SLOjim and his DW. And of course, seeing Opie again was a highlight, and meeting his DW and the Opie-lets was fun. Dove and MrDove (oops, sorry, I mean Hawk) were there and it was good to see them again after Seattle. But I must say, the highlight of this evening was finally meeting my old friend Cashmason. We’ve been online friends since early 2005, supporting, encouraging and teasing each other through several marathons, tris (his), injuries (his and mine) and personal highs and lows. We’d been e-mailing a lot this year, and it was really just “time we met.” I wasn’t disappointed. Cash is a sweetheart, truly engaging, entertaining and endearing. And boy does he talk fast! Dove took a great pic of us after dinner... After dinner we found the hotel, got settled in and I started going through my goodie bag which Opie had so graciously offered to pick up for me (Thanks Opie!). I decided I was going to “run light” in this race. I don’t get to run in warm conditions often (especially in January!) so was not taking my usual beltpack for phone, Gu, Kleenex, lip balm, pace strip, Wet Ones, S-caps (yes I do carry all that usually!), etc. So what to do with this stuff? Mcsolar says he pins his Gu to his shorts, so I figured I’d give it a try. Wearing nothing but my shorts (yep) I arranged 4 Gu packets evenly, 2 each side, on my front waistband. Felt weird, but oh well. The E-caps went into a snack size baggie DH would have for me at various points on the course. Water would be from DH and water stops. Phone and everything else would stay home. Got to bed early but couldn’t get to sleep because both DH and the guy in the next room were snoring! Oh nooooo! I could nudge the former, but the latter just ripped like a buzzsaw all night long. Oh well... I think I got about 5 hours sleep... on top of two the night before, hey I’m good. Race start: 7:30 a.m. Alarm set for 5:30 a.m. Woke up right before wake up call... Got up, made coffee, toasted my raisin bagel I brought from home and munched away with my banana. I think these pre-race breakfasts taste the best, ya know? Full of promise and goodies for what you’re about to do. I always bring my own food to “travel” races. Can’t count on getting what you want when you’re there, especially running late like we were. My leg was very sore from where I hit it with the car door, and a good bruise was developing but I hoped it’d be ok. So... got dressed and out the door and... headed off the wrong way. Ok, no problem. Quick turnaround and off we go in the right direction. Arrived at the mall parking lot and DH drops me off to go park the car. I get my warmup in by jogging to the start... or the porta potty line! Holy cow... this thing was huge, and was NOT moving. 8 minutes before the start I bail and head for the start. I’d gone at least 5 times before we left our room (read: trouble ahead), so hoped I’d be ok. I found the 3:50 pacer group and decided to start with them. This start field was packed because the half-marathoners and the 7:30 start marathoners were all together. I wasn’t that far from the start, but it took me about a minute to cross! First mile with the 3:50 pace group (8:48 goal pace) was fast. Pacer apologized, and said he’d try to do better. He didn’t have a Garmin, just a Timex that was set to “alarm” at every 8:48 interval. We hit the first mile at 8:40 and one of the pack complained that he wouldn’t be able to keep up. I just ran easily and ended up moving ahead of them, but really worked at not going too fast. I think I actually did pretty well at this, since this is always a big problem for me. But I kept putting distance between the pacer group and me, and ended up nipping the heels of the 3:40 group at one point. I was supposed to meet DH at the 2-mile marker so he could take my long-sleeved shirt (the race shirt), but he wasn’t there. Oh well, it was nice out, but a bit breezy and I was actually glad to have the shirt for awhile longer. Mile 4.5 or so I took my first drink; asked for water but got Ultima... ick. Spilled it on my legs and hand, down my chin... what a mess. Not even mile 5 and I’m already sticky. First Gu at just past mile 7... don’t really remember the others. The pinned-to-the-shorts thing is still beyond me. I had to walk to get the first one off, tore off the second, walked to get the third one off, forgot about the fourth one. That bruise on my leg was hurting, but I just ran with it; I’d dealt with worse on training runs so what the heck. The first half of this race is really hilly. By mile 8.5 or so you’re heading up some serious hills, then down, then turnaround and go back up, and then—woo hoo!—down you go. That was fun. I figured I’d do a negative split on this course based on the profile, but that wasn’t going to happen. Opie and I agree the profile doesn’t seem to really reflect the course, don’t know how, but it just doesn’t. But the downhills we got were awesome and I just let go and did my downhill thing. What a blast. And the views along the course were awesome. I’ve never run along the ocean, and it was spectacular. At one point I thought I saw seals in the water, but wasn’t sure... they looked pretty big. Then one of the seals got up by shore, picked up his board and headed for his car. Ok, so they’re surfers. Heh, who knew? (ok, everyone but me...) DH ran with me for awhile here and there to give me S-caps and water, he took my long-sleeved shirt at mile 5. At one point he had left the car quite a bit away so we chatted a bit about how I was feeling. I was worried about his knees... He said he’d seen Dove and Opie earlier, got a good picture of Dove... I didn’t walk (except for the water stops) till just before the mile 18 turnaround. The missed potty stop at the start was calling to me... loudly. I ignored it and kept going. Dang, there it is again. Oh geez, I might have to step “off the course” for a bit... oops, can’t do that we’re out on a freeway or something. Rats. Keep going... found an empty potty just passed mile 19 and popped in...... ok.... well?.... grrrr! Nothing... so I pull myself together and get out of there. That cost me probably about a minute or more... and totally unproductive. But since my gut felt I called it’s bluff it behaved the rest of the race. Met DH just before mile 20 and he gave me more e-caps and water. I never saw the 3:50 pace group again... I think they passed while I was in the potty. I have never made a potty stop during a race before and I’m so fed up with this one I don’t think I’ll ever ever ever do it again! What a waste that turned out to be. Oh well. The last few miles were hard... I kept expecting some nice downhills and they never really showed up. Hmmm. I had been following a girl with “Carly” on her back for several miles. At one point, she turned to me and said “Hey, we seem to be running together, I think we’re on pace for a 3:40!” so I had to tell her the 3:40’s were ahead of us, and the 3:50’s were just behind us. I caught her by mile 23 and passed her. She was slowing down a lot but still running. I told her I was run/walking at that point, but ran past her... she finished just after I did. The finish was hard because just as you want to put on your final kick to the finish, you’re dealing with a whole herd of walkers from the early start and HM. They walk side-by-side, some holding hands. WTF?? At one point, I yelled “Coming thru!” and just pushed on through them. I admit to also brushing past (intentional contact) the slow walkers plodding along on the course—side-by-side—across the full path. Good grief! Anyhow, I managed to push it around the corner and felt a good kick to the finish, for a chip time of 3:51:28; good enough for a BQ time (don’t need it) but not a PR (oh well, that wasn’t a goal here). Still, a good race, a gorgeous course, perfect weather and good friends. What else can you ask for? Stats: 5/49 in 45-49 AG (awards only to top 3, oh well), 40/371 for women, 199/926 overall. Fashion report: Yellow Marathon Maniacs singlet, black shorts, Thorlo socks, Asics Gel Nimbus 9 shoes, Garmin 205, Goody headband. Nice to run “lite” for a change! Next up: Ragnar del Sol Relay... Yeah! More Sunshine Running! Then Boston.....
      Okay Deena and Joanie, move over...I have a new hero! Thanks for the wonderful report and congratulations Erika. I love your attitude and the consistent sub 4s are sweet. I appreciate the time you took to describe all the details and convey your love of running. I hope I'll get the pleasure of meeting you in Boston in April (guessing that I'll have to push through your legion of fans). Happy trails until then. CNY
        Erika, you rawk. Nipping the heels of the 3:40 pacer!!! I LOVED all the details. The race is in the details, isn't it? Sorry to hear about the unproductive potty stop. And the seals climbing onto the land, awesome hallucination there. Ok, and the walkers? Well, there are some campfires somewhere they should be sitting around singing at....with a ukelele. I'm not dissing walkers, just this roadblock phenomenon. I think a trip to Legoland is in my future in 2009..... Don't know if I could stand all that sunshine though. Gorgeous as always, and tough as nails, you are an inspiration! (We need more details about the dinner however)

        "During a marathon, I run about two-thirds of the time. That's plenty." - Margaret Davis, 85 Ed Whitlock regarding his 2:54:48 marathon at age 73, "That was a good day. It was never a struggle."


          I was speaking slowly for you and your husband. Normally I talk even faster than that.... wink. Did not recognize you with your hair pulled back in a pony tail. The walking not running, hand in hand thing all the way across the road way is pretty common here in Calif. These peopel are doing it as an event not as a race. I had 2 miles of that in San Diego at the Rock and Roll marathon. Most of them were in purple Team in Training shirts. They do a wonderful thing in raising money for charity, and some of them actually train for the event. But many of them do the absolute minimum of training and its more a social event than a race for them and they have no problems walking most of the race. One person I saw in a purple shirt was in the marathon/ half marathon start and ran a good 100 yards from the start line before they started walking. She said she was taking her walk break.

          MM#209 / JapanJoyful#803

            erika - wow, missin' another PR without even trying by only a potty stop but still gettin' a nice inaugural PP PR while continuin' to climb up the marathon maniac ranks. <>valentine marathon)>>>

            Henry the Great: "I'm going to keep running as long as I can."

            T. Igarashi (summiting Mt. Fuji at age 100): "Enjoy yourself. Your younger days never come again."



            MM #405

              What a great race Erika!!! I loved reading about it and your photo's are beautiful! Congrats on the 2 stars and yet another sub 4! (how do you do that?) The pic of you and Cash is so cute...he looks so innocent, like he's in some sort of deep, deep shlt, and one flash of that angelic grin and no one suspects a thing. Big grin And what's with all the green leafy stuff everywhere? That must have looked totally bizarre coming from your Northern Winter Wonderland. You must have felt light as a feather wearing shorts and being able to feel the warm air on your legs....heavenly. I haven't worn shorts outside since..hmmmm....I think September? Sad Just wanted to say congrats again on a most awesome race, glad you had fun and I miss you... arf
                Erika, you rawk. Nipping the heels of the 3:40 pacer!!! I LOVED all the details. The race is in the details, isn't it? )
                I've been looking forward to this RR and it was worth the wait.


                The Jogger

                  Erika that was a great report and great race, you did really well, love the pics. Roy
                    Erika, Great report and I feel warmer just looking at the pics. Congrats on #6 you are an inspiration.

                    Chumbawamba: I get knocked down But I get up again You're never going to keep me down

                      Great report with pics...... and very nice race! I don't know how you Maniacs do it...... 6 in 6 months and such a strong race.... congratulations! I also don't know how you run a full without potty breaksSmile I was in that pre-race line at 7:30 as they started the race.... I figured with the chip timing it wouldn't be too bad.......but I still had to go back to my car for my race number and get rid of warm-up clothes. By the time I got to the start line, the last few walkers were crossing....... I ended up have to dodge around 3500 walkers and slower runners! It was great to meet you and DH ......I'm glad we were able to get a group together... fun weekend!
                        I really enjoyed your report and pictures. Thank you for taking the time to share your great weekend with us. Congratulations on running another solid race!
                          Nice work evanflein! Great RR and the pictures made it even better.
                          Quit being so damn serious! When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change. "Ya just gotta let it go." OM
                            nice race evanflein! 6 in 6 moths though... errr... ummm... no comment. ok, can't resist... that's insane. thanks for the rr humor about the seals and the full-contact marathoning. oh, about those gu packets, i'd be happy to give a demo at ragnar Wink stay warm and try to remember how to sweat!
                              Fantastic race and report, Evan. It was neat you got to see so many of our cyber crew. Congrats on your sub 4 and 6th marathon in 6 months. TomS
                                6 in 6? Wow. I'm amazed at how casual all this sounds...few long runs, little sleep, bruised thigh, etc... and (ho hum) another BQ. Geez, you must be in great shape! You look so relaxed in the photos, too. Congrats but take a break now!