Race report

2011 Santa Clarita Marathon Race Report

4th OA women, 1st in my age group!

In 2006 the Santa Clarita Half Marathon was the first race I ever ran.  After that experience I started to fall in love with running and have been continuously racing marathons, half marathons and triathlons.  So this year I signed up for the full marathon in Santa Clarita as a back up race if I was unable to Boston Qualify in Portland.  Luckily I did BQ in Portland so this race became a training run for an upcoming 50K as well as a practice in race execution and recovery.

Kwicky Blade-Light Runs laced and ready to go! (Marathon # 2 in this pair!)

I got up race morning, had trouble getting any solid food down but I had an Herbalife shake and some coffee so I wasn’t going into it with a totally empty stomach.  The race start was cold and rainy but that has always worked well for me so I was happy to get started.  My plan was to go out easy and try to get faster as the race went on.  Well as usual I went out too fast but my legs felt so good.

Around Mile 7 I met a really nice guy, Iyob, who I ended up running the next 10 miles with.  Iyob really helped get me through the middle miles because we were talking the whole time(about running of course).  When we got to mile 13-14ish and we ran through the aid station I found out I was the 4th women overall so far!  At this point I started to focus on not letting anyone pass me and hopefully catch one of the other women.

But as the run went on I started to hit the wall hard at 18.  My hips and knees were getting angrier and angrier as I ran on.  Another runner who had been following for awhile caught up and tried to help push me along, but I was fading.  I just tried to stay on top of my nutrition and NOT walk no matter what! 22 until the end were terribly painful.  About a half mile  before the finish I saw my first ever running partner and burst into tears, but I kept running.

I finished the race and found all the people I had been friend-ed by on the run.  We had a big group hug and got strangers to take our pictures.  It was the friendliest race I have ever run.  Not only that, it had the cutest and sweetest kids at every aid station.  I hobbled to my car, put on some dry clothes, and hobbled back to see how I did.  I was thrilled to see I had come in 4th women over all and 1st in my age group with a time of 3:46:04! I made the leaderboard;  I had never done that before!!

So back to my original plan for the race, I totally failed at the pacing plan.  I went out too fast and died the last 6 miles.  But I was much more successful with my recovery this time.  I ate well, often, and very soon after the race.  I also went home and soaked my legs in a very cold swimming pool and then wrapped my knees with Arctic Ease wrap.  Instead of curling up in bed I kept moving; this was the best thing I could have done.  It is two days since the marathon and I am barely sore!  Which is a good thing because I have a 50K in less than 2 weeks!

Click here to see all the Garmin Details…

Ventura Half Marathon of the Harbors

This was a race that I was looking at several months ago but I didn’t decide to run it until about a week before the race.  I have been training for the Portland Marathon and my training plan called for 15 miles that day.  I figured 13 miles at a pace below my planned marathon pace would be a acceptable switch.  I PRd at my last half marathon (1:46:26) but that was way back in February, so I wasn’t quite sure what I could expect my body to do.  I went into the race hoping to run a 7:45 pace which would put me around 1:41.

The race was in Ventura, Ca and was very flat.  It was an out-and-back along the coast from one harbor to another. Flat and out-and-back are not my favorite ways to run but at least the temperatures would be good. So I got to the race with just enough time to wait for the potty then do a quick warm up without too much standing around time.  It was a pretty relaxed race so we all shouted go together (kind of cute).

Of course I went out a little fast at the start but within a couple miles I settled into a pace that was just around 7:45.  Overall I was feeling great and comfortable until after the turn.   By about mile 8 I started to feel it a little more.  I almost broke my ribs about 4 weeks prior to this race when I fell trail running.  I was starting to feel some pressure in my ribs as the race wore on, but not too bad.  As usual miles 9-11 were pretty tough and I had trouble keeping up with a couple people that passed me, but I was looking on target to make the pace I wanted if I could kick it for the last 2 miles.  When I got to the turn back into Ventura Harbor I got one last boost of inspiration that helped me finish with the fastest mile of the whole race, 7:26.

I ran 1:41:02 by their clock. Good enough for 7/83 in my age group (if they did AGs like triathlons I would have had 3rd!).  Over all I am very pleased with the results.  The next big race on my schedule is the Portland Marathon October 9, 2011.  I am really starting to latch on to the goal of qualifying for Boston since someone pointed out to me that my qualification would be good for the 2013 race as well. (I can’t do 2012 because I am hoping to do my first Ironman and it is too close to the Boston Marathon.)

Click here for the Garmin data. (And yes, I did max my HR at 202; I think I am part hummingbird…)