Going into a marathon I never know what I am going to get. This time around was no different. I was nervous. Chacha and I had only had time to squeeze in 2 long runs ( an 18 miler and a 20 miler) and going into it we agreed to try to run together. I was pretty worried that my last-minute-squeeze-in-a-few-long-runs would not bode well.
As runners (and friends) we knew that if one of us needed to pull away it was a-ok. It’s kind of an unspoken deal right? Not everyone has the same race and neither of us wanted to screw the other one up.
I woke up at the BCOD on Sunday morning to light rain. I gathered my stuff and headed down to the start. I immediately found Pam and her amazing hubby who had an umbrella ready. They drove down for moral support and I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. It’s few and far between that you meet friends like them! After a few minutes of chatting Chacha arrived and we took a quick “we’re ready” pic.
As we walked down to the start line we discussed pacing. We decided a good start pace would be around 8:45 as the first 9 miles are the toughest.
The gun went off right at 6:15 and we were on our way. The first few miles went by really fast. That’s what happens when you have someone to chat with!
We were doing a really good job of keeping the pace between 8:40-8:50. The plan was to keep the pace right there until the first turn around after mile 9. After mile 9 we knew that the hills were rolling yet manageable. No more monster climbs!
Not sure when we hit the half mark as there are no clocks on the course and the mats were in weird spots. Per our official splits we hit mile 13.8 in 1:59 with an average pace of 8:41.
When we finally made it out to the beach around mile 15 we hit a pretty good head wind. It wasn’t terribly strong but enough to knock a little bit out of us. Even with a pretty decent climb in that mix we made it to the 18 mile turn around in 2:36. We were still maintaining that 8:41-8:42 average.
We merged back with the half marathoners around mile 21 I believe. I was really impressed at the organization as it was yellow taped off to keep the two distances separated. In years past I know there was a complaint so it seems like they did a great job of resolving the issue.
It was at mile 21 that we started to pick up the pace.
Mile 21: 8:26
Mile 22: 8:18
Mile 23: 8:15
We started to talk less and focus on finishing. At each mile I was calling out our Garmin time to try to mentally hang on. Chacha looked so strong and I just kept thinking to myself do not let your legs stop. Keep going. I remember asking her if she ever hear the song “Gangham Style” and we both started singing it. “Heeeeeey sexy lady…” LOL!
Mile 24: 8:21
We then hit a complete merge with the half marathon and that was tricky. There was a hairpin turn that was somewhat chaotic and it slowed us a bit.
Mile 25: 8:30
Chacha told me at that point if I wanted to take off I could. I replied ” I am barely hanging on!” She said “Me too!” I guess we both must have thought the other was feeling a lot better than we were. The power of having a running buddy is amazing! We put our heads down and just ran.
Mile 26: 8:06 (that there is how you crush the final mile of a marathon)
As we turned and saw the finish line I could see the clock. 3:45. I knew it was a PR for both of us! So.freaking.cool
We crossed with an official time of 3:45:25. Average pace 8:36.
We smiled, did the sweaty side hug and took a picture. We couldn’t believe that we made it all 26.2 side by side. And we both PR’d. And we ran a negative split. What are the odds?! She helped me so much during those last tough miles. Having a friend to sing with and talk to for 3:45 is priceless. Thank you my friend, you are amazing.
I absolutely loved this race (even when it hurt like a mofo) and highly recommend that you all run it at some point. There is a half and a full, the course support rocks and overall it is a very well organized event. Plus who wouldn’t want to spend a morning staring at the ocean?
Next race is on 02/10. Half Marathon in beautiful Rancho Santa Fe. It is hilly but so peaceful and pretty. My MIL will be here visiting so that race will be for her. No matter how hard it feels nothing compares to what she is going through. Time to show PANCREATIC CANCER who is BOSS.