42km The Recaps[Posted on ]

Recap: Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego

I’m totally slacking as I’m posting this race recap a good two weeks after the marathon! It’s not to say that I got injured or something, but just got really busy and well, wasn’t really too happy about some of my performance at San Diego. 🙁

The odd thing is, nothing out-of-the-ordinary really went wrong — in fact, other than the weather, everything was great. I think I just wasn’t fully prepared, mentally anyway.

The first four miles was brilliant because I was running with my big sis, Annelle. It’s always fun to run with someone during a long distance race cos well, you don’t get as bored when you’re running on your own. I say the first four miles because it was then when we were split up by the race course — she was doing the half, I was completing my 5th (and penultimate) San Diego marathon. Still, during these first few miles, we actually went through Balboa Park and saw the museums within the park, unlike the previous races.

From the 4th to the 9th mile, I was actually doing great — the new course meant new sights to see but at the same time, the weather was beginning to warm up. Despite the sun hardly peeking through, it was still humid and there wasn’t much wind.

The deal breaker was at the part of the course where we had to run on the severly slanted 163 FWY for three miles! For some reason, I keep forgetting that despite the flatness of the course, the 163 section is the suckiest! I was lucky to find a guy who “paced” me for the two-mile climb up the freeway, though. I basically drafted behind him for two miles until we reached the 275-foot “peak”. It felt like we were the only two running up, too, as the rest of the runners were resolved to walking.

By the time I reached the half-marathon point, I was three minutes behind my 5:30 pace. Still, I had not lost hope that I would PR the race, though I didn’t really push myself much for fear of feeling my recurring knee pain. I knew that I would hit my wall around this time, so I was mindful of it. I’ve been maintaining my run/walk interval of 6:1, too, so it’s not like I was prepared to give up! ^_^

San Diego course map - Last 10mi

San Diego course map - Last 10mi

It was around mile 16 that it began to go wrong, I think and I was beginning to mentally unravel. The course was designed so that from 16 onwards, you can practically see where you’re headed.  I’m not calling it a flaw in the course design but for me (and bear with me because I’ll try to make sense) I’d rather not see where I still need to go in order to finish the race. So at mile 16, I could see a line of runners (ahead of me) and when I looked to my right, more runners across the bay and running on Fiesta Island. At that point, I was thinking… We have to somehow still get across the bay and onto Fiesta Island before the finish?! Logically, it has to make sense because I was only at mile 16 and I had 10 miles to go. However, logic does not play a part when you’re three and a half hours in a marathon, tired and the sun is getting to you. LOL.

Mile 18. Guy with cast passed me

Mile 18. Guy with cast passed me

I think it was around mile 18 that I decided to stop doing my run/walk intervals and mostly walked despite knowing that I could have still PR’d the race. To give you an idea of how pathetic I was already feeling, this guy wearing a cast zoomed past me! AHHHH. My tweet caption accompanying this photo was: “Mile 18. Man w/ cast passed me. FML. #RnRSD” LMFAO sad, innit?

It was also around this time that I had already made several stops to get ice from either the water stations or the medical tent. The time recorded via my chip when I hit mile 20.5 was officially 4:35:54. In hindsight, had I not walked more than run, and took less stops, I would’ve probably been able to get to mile 20 in four hours… But back to the map.

The course just kept looping and looping and I knew there was more to come because I had just gotten on Fiesta Island… that’s where I spent the next five miles just staring at the bay and baking in the heat. I just wanted to get over the island so with the second-to-the-last bit of energy, I ran without stopping for two miles and then resumed my run/walk interval. Throughout this entire ordeal, my body felt fine, but for being fatigued: my knees were amazingly holding up, I had no shoulder pain, and there was no pain in my right arch either! Again, I was just mentally failing and wallowing in the fact that I wasn’t going to PR. 🙁

It was around mile 24 that I decided that I at least needed to beat my San Diego course PR which was set four years ago at 5:54:23, but then midway through mile 25, I saw that I couldn’t beat that either and I told myself that I just needed to get in under 6 hours! Those mini-goals made at the spur of the moment actually got me going. This time, I ran more than walked. By the time I was off Fiesta Island and then made (what I thought was) the last right onto the finish line stretch, I began to up my pace. I kept thinking, I can do this — my watch was counting up, nearing the six hour mark and I so did not want to get in at over six hours!

I saw the band at the end of the street and I thought that was the finish, so I kicked it up a notch — I don’t even know where I got this energy but I remember passing several walkers AND runners because I really wanted to just finish under six hours. When I got to the “end” of the path where the band was stationed, I cursed cos I had just remembered that I hadn’t seen the “mile 26” marker yet! Another left turn and a few yards down was the 26th mile marker and then a few more yards down was finally the finish line! FINALLY. To my dismay, the official chip time crossing the finish line was 6:00:05! AHHHHH FIVE SECONDS OVER SIX HOURS! LMFAO

Anyway, without being too overly dramatic (too late), I know that, despite my overuse injuries, I was able to finish the San Diego marathon pain- and injury-free.

My motto for that morning was “PR or ER,” and though neither happened that day, I still have the Marine Corps Marathon this year to train for and PR. ^_^

As usual, I leave you now with my post-marathon meals.

PF Chang's finish line tent

PF Chang's finish line tent

Murphy's Stout

Murphy's Stout

Proteeeeeeein!

Proteeeeeeein!

^_^

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