Ten years ago, I ran my very first marathon. It was called the San Diego Marathon back in 2003, then renamed to Carlsbad Marathon starting in 2004. It is the same course; it might have been slightly changed, but I seem to recall the course being the same or similar. I still love this place and will always come back to run this, whenever I can. In summary, I was much slower running this same race 10 years later. However, this run is part of my AR 50 training.
2003 San Diego Marathon finish: 4:58:02
2013 Carlsbad Marathon finish: 5:09:34
Here are the details of the 2013 version:
Location: Carlsbad, California â€“ The start line was by the mall parking lot, then run towards the ocean. We wrap around some inland neighborhoods, till we meet with the half-marathoners back by the ocean. We are not really on the sand, but running on the cliff side.
Weather: It started out raining at 6:00 am. The race started promptly at 6:15 am. I was running for about 9 miles before the rain stopped, and the weather was a perfect cloudy morning. It was unusually cold though, for San Diego; it was almost like Bay Area weather.
Course: It was fairly flat, but had some uphill running, which I did not quite expect mid-way. I should not complain since I have been running hills about a month ago.
Finish and split times: 9.4 Mi: 1:38:14 Pace: 10:27 13.8 Mi: 2:24:16 Pace: 10:28 18.0 Mi: 3:17:03 Pace: 10:57 19.9 Mi: 3:42:24 Pace: 11:11 26.2 Mi: 5:09:34 Pace: 11:49
Days leading to race day: A week before this marathon, I was feeling under the weather. I got better and was well by that Tuesday before the race. I ran at Tuesdayâ€™s track workout, but took it really easy, going at 10:30 pace instead of my usual 8-8:30 pace at track. It felt really nice and easy running at that pace, I was running with this lady who is getting back again into running. Other than that Tuesday track workout, I didnâ€™t do anything else that week.
Race day: As I mentioned above, the day started a bit rainy, but not like the storm at CIM (California International Marathon) start line last December. It just felt like dÃ©jÃ vu, marathon in the rain again. I seem to be taking these runs by storm, one marathon at a time (marathons in the rain:Â 2010 NWM, 2011 LAM, 2012 CIM, 2013 Carlsbad). Around mile 9, the rain turned to light showers and stopped. I saw my parents cheering me on, so I took off the rain jacket and left it with my parents. I felt good in the beginning, but kept a good 10-10:30 pace. I think even if I was already well from my cold the previous week, my body probably was not well recovered. I was coughing a few times, maybe because of the cold air.
Running a marathon is a humbling experience. When I run these races, I observe the other runners around me. It is amazing to see many other people with goals of completing this same 26.2 journey. In the beginning, I was running with this guy who was running his first marathon. When he noticed I was getting tired, he was keeping me motivated and telling me, â€œweâ€™ll get through this!â€ It was a virgin marathoner encouraging an experienced runner like me. This just tells you that no matter how long you have been running, you are all equal at the race. Another man I saw on the course had one real leg (his own), and one blade (prosthetic). He was already walking then shuffling, but he kept going. He passed me. When the course met back again with the half marathoners for the second time, there were these two ladies (walking the half marathon) who were encouraging us, marathoners, to keep going. The marathoners were running just the same pace as the half marathon walkers. Thanks to those two ladies, I was able to run the last two miles. My sister tried to take my picture, but only captured by back as I crossed the finish line.
When I finished the race, my parents told me that they were surprised to see many people of all ages running the race. Then they told me that a little person (a lady with dwarfism) was running 45 minutes ahead of me. Running is really the sport for anybody who puts their heart and training into it.
This weekâ€™s training started with the common cold and cough, one short track workout, then the marathon run on Sunday. It was a heck of a week during this AR 50 training.