Before I get in to the race recap…let’s back up just a little
If your new to my blog you many not know that I have ran a total of 8 full marathons before I decided to sign up for this one. I started running them back in 2006 (you can see all the lovely recaps minus one here). After my first marathon I decided that I wanted to qualify for BOSTON, why not? And that my friends is when I started NHerShoes. I wanted to track my journey to Boston. Well 4 years later after 8 marathons and a 2.5 year break, I decided it was time to run another!!!
I signed up for Mountains to Beach Marathon, with just 9 weeks to train, but I still run often and I kept a lot of base miles. I decided that this marathon was not going to be about time, but it was going to be about the journey. To be completely transparent I only stopped running marathons, because we decided to start trying for a little one…I wanted to give my body some reset. So getting back to running distance again was a very emotional yet joyful journey for me. I wanted to run this race for my future children and for God who has given me such amazing peace through this time.
Alright on to the pre-race festivities! Two nights before I race is when I really carb load..I don’t like to usually eat anything out of the ordinary, but we were limited on our options so we went to the CPK where I ordered a BBQ chicken pizza!! Without even thinking I forgot to tell them NO CHEESE! So I enjoyed my wine and sangria and just had one slice of pizza.
Because the race was in beautiful Santa Barbara/Ventura area, I was so excited to make it a weekend get-away!!!
When we arrived at the Expo it was a little disappointing to be honest, but hey you don’t run the race for the EXPO right? Or do you?
Here my friends is the race course. Oh it’s deceiving just wait! Yes, you start in the mountains and run toward the beach but the elevation drop is just a little less then 800.
We trained at 5,000 elevation to 1,500!
Cliff Bar was there major sponsor and for some reason I didn’t even take any! I think I was just too nervous the whole day before!
Packet Pick UP!
and then it was off to dinner at Boccalis!!! This is the best Italian place in the world! Everything is super fresh and the ambiance is incredible.
I ordered a small pizza filled with all kinds of veggies (no cheese).
and we all shared the biggest secret! Homemade Strawberry Shortcake!!! Heaven in a bowl
I was so excited that my Dad and step Mom came out to support me. They have never been to one of the marathons I have done!! Honestly made this race even more special.
We called it a night early and then set our alarms for 4:30am. I kept telling myself, we are just going out for a long run…just like every Sunday. I decided to give myself 3 goals to focus on. #1. Enjoy every minute of the race, the beauty and the scenery #2. Finish in under 3:45 and #3. Boston Qualify. It was so great to start this race with my Running Buddy Susie, she hated me while I pushed her during training…but she felt more ready them ever!!
Miles 1-5: When we first took off there was a tight squeeze on the bike path, so Susie and I jumped off a bit and ran in the dirt it was nice gradual down hill for a couple miles and then at mile 3 it took a gradual up hill…just to do it again! It was a 5 mile loop, but we didn’t have to do the uphill again! Thank goodness. I really liked the start being at 6am, the weather was perfect and the sky could not have been any clearer.
Miles 6-10: We stayed on a bike path and left the loop and we had a gradual down hill. Now let me tell you folks this race is advertised at DOWN HILL and flat…but it isn’t!! It’s more like rolling and flat. More flat then anything else with a little down hill and up hill. So I was a bit surprised when we weren’t flying down hill. I saw the 3:25 pacer at this point and decided to keep him in my site. If I never saw the 3:35 guy past me and just stayed in between them the whole race I would be right on track to BQ.
Miles: 11-17: I was in the groove, I stared to get a little pain in my left butt cheek, but recognized it and pushed through. I knew mile 18 was coming and this is where I normally hit a little wall, so I kept praying Satan away and just focusing on the run. I stated to hit my wall a little at mile 16, my legs for some reason felt limp almost numb, it was the weirdest feeling ever! It only lasted a minute, Eminem came on and I was PUMMPED up! I thought to myself, I have run 20 miles so this 17 is nothing, I am about to be in the single digits. Friends if you have never run a marathon, then I have to tell you that while training you have to coach yourself or else your mind will rule over what you actually can and can’t do.
Miles 18-21: From mile 20-22 I was cruising on the beach, at one point I looked down at my watch and thought I was running a 9 minute mile and I was actually still holding a 7:50-8 minute mile pace!!!! This was a first, no WALL, no pain?!!! I saw my parent and Matt at this stretch and it gave me the motivation I needed to stay strong. I kept telling myself to keep my head and chest up, the minute I start to slouch I stat to slow down. Over and over in my head I would repeat, run with your arms, run with your heart, run for the children that you get to tell this store to one day,
Miles 22:25: THESE WERE THE TOUGHEST! Not because they were at the end, but because it was in the middle of a neighborhood and felt like FOREVER! You could see the people that had turned on your right side as you went up and they came down. You also passed the finish line before you actually finished. But my body was hanging in there. I didn’t want to break down so this is where I just started SINGING! I didn’t have a care in the world, I was blasting JT, Rhianna, Akon and anything that would get me through (best playlist ever). I hit mile 25 and I could see the finish!!
The FINISH: I look down at my watch and I saw 3:28 so even if I walked to the finish I knew I was going to meet all 3 of my goals!!!!!! I started to get all choked up and then I got tears in my eyes!! I SPRINTED FOR THE FINISH (well what I thought was a sprint) and was overwhelmed with every emotion a human could have. It was as if a burden had been pulled off my shoulders!! I felt amazing!! I didn’t want to sit, I didn’t want to be done…WHO AM I?!!! I ran straight down in to the water and had the best natural ice bath of my life.
We did it. We trained well, ran hard, and CRUSHED THIS RACE!!!!
My good friends finished the half in under 2 hours! Pretty amazing for her first!
Would I recommend this race? YES!!! Best weather, best finish, best place to visit!!! But it is not a DOWN HILL RACE!!! Train on a flat and semi down hill course.
So what did I listen to? Thanks to everyone on IG for the awesome tips!!!!! Best play list ever!
What was my official time and break down?
Mile 2: 7:40
Mile 3: 7:35
Mile 4: 7:47
Mile 5: 7:49
Mile 6: 7:33
Mile 7: 7:46
Mile 8: 7:34
Mile 9: 7:47
Mile 10: 7:36
Mile 11: 7;35
Mile 12: 7:35
Mile 13: 8:11
Mile 14: 7:54
Mile 15: 7:49
Mile 16: 8:06
Mile 18: 8:08
Mile 19: 8:24
Mile 20: 8:29
Mile 21: 8:32
Mile 22: 8:12
Mile 23: 8:25
Mile 24: 8:47
Mile 25: 8:50
Mile 26: 8:56
Mille .2: 7:26
Average Pace: 8:03// Fastest Mile 7:33
TIME: 3:30:55! Second fastest marathon!
Will I run Boston…who knows, but at least I had fun getting the time I did. I truly enjoyed the journey!!