Sunday I ran my 4th Orange County marathon. I think this is the most times I have ever ran a single race. Anyways, the race started at 5:30 am. YUCK! And so I was up at 3:30 and out the door a few minutes after 4:00 to head to the race. Since its a point to point marathon, which starts in Fashion Island and ends at the fair grounds, you either have to get dropped off at the start or take a shuttle from the fair grounds to the start. Mark was up in Lone Pine for the weekend running the Wild Wild West 50k (which he won for the 3rd year in a row!), which meant shuttle it was for me.
I was a bit panicked because once I actually got on the shuttle it was already 5:15 and I looked around on the bus and almost everyone’s bibs were red instead of yellow like mine, which meant that they were running the half, which didn’t start until 6:15. By the time we got to the start it was exactly 5:30, but I really had to use the bathroom and the lines were somewhat long so I started to panic a bit more, but once I got to the actual start everyone in the marathon was still waiting and the race hadn’t started yet. PHEW!
About 10 minutes later the race finally the race started. I was given a race plan by Lisa which I wanted to stick to the best I could. The first part of the plan called for running the first 10k at a decent pace. I tried to stay under an 8 minute pace, which I did, coming in at 48:01 at the 10k mark. After that, I was suppose to run 9 minutes and walk 1 minute until mile 15. I was a bit nervous about walking so early on in the race, but I trusted Lisa and so went with it. It was funny though, when I would start to walk, runners or spectators would try and encourage me to keep running and to just hang in there, but I reassured them I was more than fine. I ended up really liking this run/walk system because it broke things up a little and I felt like I could push harder during those 9 minutes of running, knowing that I would get a 1 minute walk break. After mile 15 though, I only got a 1 min walk break after 14 minutes of running and this continued until mile 22. Then at mile 22 it was time to put my head down and just go. I ran as hard as I could for the last 4 miles but think that I walked once or twice for a minute each, not even because my legs were aching, but because I was out of breath from running so hard and needed to relax for a tiny bit! I knew I was on track for a huge PR though and so tried to hand in there and push it as much as I could. My quads started to cramp the last mile (remember to take salt at BW!) but I tried to ignore it and came into the finish in 3:30:55… a 10 minute PR from last year. I was kind of hoping I could even break 3:30 and get high 3:20s but maybe next time. I was still really happy with my time 🙂
It literally took about an hour just to get out of the parking lot (it was a total chaos leaving) and then I went home to clean up and then to help work our Genr8 booth at the Dana Point Grand Prix. I have to admit I wasn’t too thrilled at first about going, since I had been up since 3:30 and just ran a marathon, but I ended up having a really great time. My friends, Genr8 sponsored athlete, Slater Fletcher and his wife Monique were also helping out at the booth so it was great to hang out with them. I also got to meet one of our other triathletes, Lauren who is training to qualify for the Kona Ironman. We got along fabulously and quickly formed a “fromance” which is a name we made up for a female bromance.
And then not only did I have a fun time hanging out with friends, but it was my first time ever watching a criterion bike race, which I found to be super exciting! I would get so nervous watching those guys on their bikes riding so close to each other. I was definitely impressed. But it also made me feel like a big wuss about myself when I ride.. I do not think I will be taking up this sport anytime soon!
Tomorrow I will be racing the Whoo’s in El Moro 50k. This is my most favorite 50k so I am really looking forward to it!
Also PLEASE check out my donation page for my Badwater charity, the Dreamchaser Foundation. All the money goes to help support orphaned children, some with AIDS 😦