Well today I ran the 2nd Annual Malibu Marathon in approximately 3 hours, 5 minutes (still awaiting the "official" time)!
I'm thrilled with this performance taking into account my month-long battle with colds, bronchitis and other ailments, average training mileage of 45 miles a week and course conditions.
It was a BEAUTIFUL day today! But beautiful days don't necessarily translate into good marathon weather! The darn wind was still out there, with some pretty major gusts on PCH near Mugu Rock!
Today was a day that everything seemed to finally go "right" for me. No potty breaks during the race, no logistical fumbles like at my last marathon and no big mistakes!
My race strategy was to start nice and easy and work into it. Easy to say, but not always easy to do if you feel good at the start of a marathon. But given my sparse training, medical trials and trevails and the dry, windy conditions, I didn't want to chance screwing up another marathon!
The strategy worked PERFECTLY! From mile 1 on, not one person passed me and I passed roughly 20 people, nice and steadily. I did not do stupid things like speed up for no reason (a lot of people do this and it does you no good at mile 9 of a marathon...it just hurts you).
In my more youthful marathon days, somehow a song would come to mind that carried me through the marathon. Not something planned, but usually just some catchy tune on the radio with a cadence that would help me maintain my pace. This happened today. One of my Facebook friends posted this video of her niece covering Sarah McLachlan's "Angel" and she does such a nice job with it that it became "that" song for me today. The 1-2-3 cadence in my mind helped me maintain my pace even through the brutal 3 hills in the last 6 to 8 miles. Here it is...thanks Julie Lavery!
I was fine until mile 22, when I started getting cramps in my quads. If I have one complaint about the race, there was not enough fluids. We went miles at a time without water and the advertised coconut water seemed sparse. I could have used Gatorade or some other electrolyte drink badly. It was way too dry out there.
I managed to merge into the half marathon right after it started, which was both good and bad. Suddenly there was a massive tide of people in front of me that I had to veer around. But the good thing is that after running completely alone for miles, I got to wrong with people again...until the half marathoners veered right at Leo Carrillo.
At that juncture of the race was a daunting hill, but after having absolutely no idea where the other full marathoners were, suddenly the course was clear and I saw 2 targets up ahead of me. One was "road kill" - he was walking. I waved to him. I've had days like that. The other guy was slowing and I was able to reel him in around mile 21 or so.
Physically I was fine the entire race until mile 22, when my quads started feeling like they were gonna cramp up, mostly on the uphills. I fought them off and made it to 24 mile mark, where most of the rest of the race was downhill.
It wasn't pretty, but I made it. I'm sore, but the beauty of finishing a race at Zuma Beach is that you can cool off your legs in the Pacific Ocean afterwards, which I did. My final smart move of the day.
So while this time is 30 minutes slower than my personal best from 15 years ago, I had an excellent day overall and am thrilled I was able to complete this marathon. Things generally went right for me.
Looking forward to finding out my place! Now off for a beer!!