Oz's of Water/Cytomax/salty water drunk during race: about 80
Number of Times I had to stop to un-cramp: @81
This was my first marathon and I have to say, I'm proud and happy that I did it. I wasn't nearly as ready as I could/should have been, and the weather was much hotter than I expected so proper hydration was a challenge. But I ran pretty well when I ran and had a good time and I am un-injured. Though sore.... oh so sore.
The race started out like other RnR events (I've done three 1/2 Ms). Lot's of people waiting for the porta-potties, cold-stretching themselves into injury, eating free food because it's free, fine tuning their monkey diaper/Elvis/Scottish warrior/super hero costume.. you know what I mean. I had decided the day before that I would not be running with the 5:00 pace group. I couldn't bring myself to wear a pink id bib:
Besides, I was pretty sure 5:00 was a bit on the horizon. Maybe next Marathon.
Got going and went out fast the first 8 miles. Between 9:00 and 9:15 fast. My plan was to keep it around 10:15 to 10:30 and make myself walk for .1 every two miles. But I couldn't convince myself to walk while moving downhill. It seemed like a waste of a walk. Ran up with Rio somewhere around 8 or 9 or 10, not sure, and we traded photos. She was not enthusiastic at that point but ended up with a time right around 5 hours. And a big happy BIRTHDAY to me, her parents gave me a ride home from the trolly station area --more on that later in the complaint section.
As you can see, the sun came out about then and started to cook my fat cells, brain cells, and water cells (do we have water cells?). I had to tighten my Nathan belt and still it kept falling off.
Cruised through downtown and then entered the streets of slanty camber. I got a funky pain in the front of my left ankle and it still hurts. Also started to stress in some other leg muscles but held up ok.
We got to mile 17 and from there through mile 25 I hearby dub "The Batan Death March" Out in the open sun, almost constant cramping in hammies, calves, and groin (?). My Garmin pace graph spikes to a stop no less than 30 times in the last 6 miles as I stopped to stretch and un-cramp. Cardio was fine and mental was fine, but I was dehydrated pure and simple.
I will also say that I was deeply affected by the site of the approaching Fiesta Island parade of zombie runners. As we approaced the 21 mile mark, we could see the runners stretched out on the East side of the island and knew that a big hot mile was in store for us. Followed by three more hotties on the backside (twss). Got to the damn island and el sol was relentless. I couldn't get enough water/Cyto. At each station, I filled my Nathan, and also drank a cup or two. I did eat a salt pack at mile 10 and again at 20, and I ate 5 Gu's and a Roctaine through the race. FINALLY made it off of the island and it was fairly easy going to the end. I ran the last 1.2 and actually ended up running 26.53 miles due to swerving and inefficient tangents. Other racers reported overages also, but as you can see, we were happy.
From the left, that's Runlaur (her third marathon or ultra-marathon in the last month!!), Rio, Boring Adam, and moi. Tiffany is hiding in the back stealing free Gu out of Adam's backpack.
With the race over, it was time to enjoy the post-race activities. For me, that meant bottled water and an escape plan, and getting my shoes off asap. I lubed my feet pre-race and my toes are actually in better shape now than before the race. Got home and had a celebration dinner that night and the next night. Enough celebration calories already! Very happy.
The rest of this report consists of complaints, so you can stop reading now or become a Competitor executive and make some needed changes.
Rio and I got into line to take the shuttles back to the trolly, which would take me back to near my hotel, where I would walk. As we got into line, a staff member told us that the line for our shuttle bus would be 1.5 hours. Or we could take a 1 mile walk to the trolly station. Ugghh. We opted for the one mile walk where we would meet with Rio's parents who would drive me back to my hotel. Blessings! We walked with throngs of other exhausted runners along the freeway (Dante's Inferno) and noticed an enormous cue for the trollies. Crap! We would have waited 1.5 hours for a shuttle and then another 1.5 hours for a trolly. Thank God for Demi's parents and the drive back. Competitor needs to notice that the lines for the porta-potties are too long, and that the shuttle system to the start and from the finish is in need of enormous improvement. One last thing, why not offer sunscreen at some of the water stations? Mostly, they were on target, but these few improvements should be made.
First Marathon: Done and done! Now on vacation for two weeks in Central coast.