Mountains To Beach Marathon Recap

I am still on cloud 9. What a race.

As you saw in my last post, and probably on Twitter and IG I had a major PR. A 15 min PR to be exact. And I BQ’d. There were lots of tears at the finish.


Sunday morning I woke up late. Really late. Lucky I didn’t miss the race late. I accidentally set the alarm for Mon-Fri. Ooops. So thankful that my husband randomly woke up, freaked out and got me up. If he would not have gotten up I would have slept the day away.

Back to the race.

I threw my clothes on, heated up my oatmeal and we were on the road just after 5 am. By the time we got to Ojai I had just enough time to go to the bathroom (the line was crazy long) and get to the start line.

As I waited for the gun to go off I chatted with a gal from Orange County about goals for the race. I told her my BQ was 3:40 (hers was too). She had a pace band and offered to make sure we stuck to the splits if she saw me on the course. I told her I was gunning for a 3:30. I hadn’t told anyone but L that. In fact, I knew I could run better than a 3:30 if I ran smart. There was no way I was running this race with anyone but me.

About 10 min after 6 it was finally go time.

I took off a little fast in knowing miles 2-4 were an uphill climb. I knew I would slow a bit during those miles and felt good where I was at. Plan was to try to run an even split.

Picture 37

As we finished the 10k loop around Ojai and started downhill toward the beach I was cruising. I was talking to runners around me. I felt awesome. Crazy awesome. I felt like I could run forever. I couldn’t freaking believe it! I crossed the half right around 1:44. I was right on pace for my 3:30 (or better!).

Around mile 17 or so we lost shade. It started to feel warm but I still had some spring in my step. I couldn’t wait to hit the beach. At mile 19 I ticked away another sub 8 mile and knew that all I had to do was hang on.

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We made a turn out at mile 20 and there was the water. It was gorgeous. Much better than last year when the last 10k was out and back through a neighborhood! At mile 22 I saw my husband and gave him a giant smile. At that time my watch read 2:57. I just had to hang on for 4 more miles and I would get my 3:30.

Those last 4 miles hurt like a mofo. At 23 I pulled out my iPod and turned it up loud. I just needed to make it to the turn around at 24 and give it what I had. At 25 I was begging my legs to run faster. Finally at 26 I saw the finish banner. I passed a lot of people that last .20. It felt freaking awesome.


As I crossed the finish line I cried. I ran a strong race. The past several months have been a roller coaster ride. So many highs and lows. Every emotion fueled me through this race. I freaking did it. I did it! Mama Kay would have been SO proud!

Oh, and my plan to run an even race? I came so close to nailing it! The last 4 miles were the pace killer, lol.

Picture 39

Picture 40

I ran the tangent pretty dang perfect. Man, I had a day.

You know, last year I ran a 4:09 in Ojai. That’s a 39 min course improvement. Hard work totally pays off.


50 thoughts on “Mountains To Beach Marathon Recap

  1. Good LORD, woman!!! What a wonderful race and you are so strong to hang on to that pace! I ran way too fast in the beginning… I think I was at 1:44 and change for the half marathon, too (which was waaaay faster than my intended pace, haha).
    They really should have had more porta-johns at the race start. And thank God your husband woke up!
    Mama Kay IS proud of you, as are we all 🙂

  2. CONGRATS x 26.2!!!! :)) I feel your joy & elation my friend. I can only imagine the emotions that welled up after you crossed that finish line! You did it!!! All that hard work paid off!! You look great too…BTW!! “haute mama” indeed!! 😉 BOSTON 2014!!!

  3. YEAH!!!!!! Way to go, girl! Enjoy this runner’s high…I bet it lasts quite awhile!!! MK is for SURE proud of you, as am I! 😉

  4. Looks like the adrenaline of that late wakeup panic attack lasted you a full 26.2…

    Congrats on an unbelievable performance leap from your previous PR and even over the same course last year. That’s awesome!

    And we’ve all had those finish line tears of joy. So much better than the other kind. With everything that’s gone on for you the last year, I can understand that emotional swirl.

    Way to go!

  5. Nicolie, Dad and I are so incredibly proud of you. Your hard work and dedication have paid off. Way to go!!!!! Love you.

  6. Holy Moly Girl!! Congratulations! You are a rock star! You’re definitely an inspiration to so many.

    1. Thank you! And agreed, that course owned me the year before leaving me feeling defeated. I made a strong come back at Chicago and at Carlsbad but this was sweet sweet revenge!!

  7. Those last 6 miles are always a B! Except for Carlsbad – I don’t know what we were smoking in that race. Maybe we had too much left.

    Nice even splits and excellent job hanging on. That’s all you can do at the end is just hang on – next time you’ll be in the 3:20’s!

    1. Dude, Carlsbad is so tricky. We didn’t know what we were going to get. That headwind from 16-18 was sketchy. Maybe we did have too much left but at least we ran strong!!

      Just hang on…just hang on…3:20s…hmmmmmmm

  8. I saw you in the middle and you looked so incredibly strong out there. Huge congrats on the BQ and PR!!!

  9. I am so glad you did this! You inspire me to put in the work. The last few miles of the marathon are so difficult, but you hung in there! Way to go!

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