Originally posted in January 2011 during my quest to run 7 Rock N Roll Series events in one year and earn the Rock Legend Heavy Medal.
We’re half way through 2011 and I’ve only completed 2 of the 7 events for the year. Fortunately, they were the two hardest because they were full marathons. After this, it’s only half marathons! Yes!
Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon
So, Basic Race Info:
Good enough weather. Not hot enough to call forth cranky-Tiffany. This was not the same course I ran in 2008. I don’t know why but I’m going to say that I like this course better. One reason might be that I don’t recall any ‘false finish lines’ or misleading over-the-road signage that, when seen from a distance, makes you think you’re approaching the finish line about 3/4 of a mile sooner than you actually do. I hate that.
Band and cheering-wise, I think 2008 was better than this time around. I just remember a lot more love and a lot more music.
We can break this up into three parts. The Good, The Bad, and the Angry.
The Good: For the first half I was with my 12 min. pace group and running maybe a tiny bit fast during some intervals. Felt a bit of burning in the shins which might be due to my wearing compression socks for the first time, ignoring the ‘nothing new’ rule and trying to channel my inner Seng. But things were going well.
The Bad: While you’d think my husband joining me at mile 13.5 and restocking my water belt would be a huge boon, it couldn’t counteract the mental weariness that was starting to set in. I walked a lot more and my pace group kept on going. When we started up a hill on the out-and-back portion from mile 16-18, I just didn’t want to do this anymore. I looked at those ahead of me who were already coming down the hill and thought, “Why are they faster than me?!”. I looked over at the half marathoners whose course was veering towards their finish line with envy. Jason kept encouraging me to keep going though and he carried all my supplies for me which made it easier.
The Angry: At the 20 mile mark I looked at my chrono and realized I could beat my best time if I picked up my pace a bit. Normally, I would tell myself I didn’t care at this point and not be able to pull myself out of the doldrums. However, this time I had brought music just in case I got desperate and needed a distraction in order to finish. I played my iRun playlist. Fighter by Christina Aguilera comes on (cliche, I know). I ignored my interval watch, running to the pace of the playlist, with walk breaks between songs or when I just needed to catch my breath. I ran a lot harder than I do for training, using different muscles which made it seem like I had fresh legs. I just wanted to get this over with. I wanted to beat my 2008 time. I didn’t want to feel like I had merely finished another race without giving it all I could. I wasn’t in a bad mood or upset but I call this angry because I felt that I was attacking those last 6 miles with all the weapons I had left.
I got it done in 5:30:21, 9 min. better than ever before. I also got the joy of passing a ton of people in the last 6 miles, including one guy wearing an 80’s rocker wig, and several people I had seen ahead of me during The Bad period. I’ve never really recovered from “The Bad periods” in the other marathons I’ve run. But this time I did and I do thank my husband for the big part he played in running the second half of the marathon with me!
Official TNT photographer got our group at the start with a TNT beach ball and again with one of the bands, so I am looking forward to those photos!
A marathon isn’t complete without noticing a dude peeing off to the side of the course somewhere.
Got lots of compliments on my cute running outfit from runningskirts.com!
I saw lots of families with kids out there cheering for runners, like the one boy with a bowl of Jolly Ranchers and Dum Dum pops. He was maybe 8 yrs old? It was mile 19 and he was not getting a lot of recognition. So naturally I took one and thanked him. I think it’s so cool that they want to be helpful.
I’m sure I still got beat by a bunch of senior citizens but at least, this time, I wasn’t aware of it while on the course.