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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Boston HERE I COME.