San Diego Marathon Race Report 2010
by, 06-15-2010 at 07:31 PM (1016 Views)
I know, long overdue.
Arrived in San Diego on Saturday around 11am and picked up my rental car, a PT Cruiser. The PT Cruiser is one of the worst cars on the road; I asked them if they had anything else in whatever category I rented, but no luck. He made a joke that everyone hates the PT Cruiser, crazy how popular they were when they first came out and people were put on waiting lists to purchase one.
Went downtown to the expo and picked up my bib, corral one. I spent about five minutes at the expo, got a laugh seeing Jon “The Penguin” Bingham giving a talk, probably about how to complete the marathon in less than six hours. Not a fan of that guy.
Met up with my friend who lives in Newport but was down in San Diego doing a Mud Run. We met up with some of his friend’s downtown and went to a “Spirits Festival” and by spirits, I mean alcohol. They were giving out tons of “free” samples, tickets were $50 a piece but his friend got us in for free. Thus, I watched those guys pound some drinks, I did kick back a beer and did a shot of some premium tequila but called it quits after that. Later that night we hit up an Italian restaurant close to Mission Beach and had a great dinner, I hailed a cab and was back in my hotel room by 8:30pm.
At the hotel I got that feeling, you know the one, when your throat starts tingling and you know that you’re about to get sick, you can feel that sore throat coming on. Well that was what I was feeling that night, I wasn’t sick yet, but knew it was coming. Went to bed and woke up at 4am and had a mild sore throat, took a cab down to the start line and slammed a Red Bull (16oz). Before the race, I didn’t feel sick, but I felt a tad lethargic and not as pumped up as I normally am before a marathon.
The San Diego Marathon has corrals, not sure how many but they start in one minute intervals. I was in the first corral and they had a smaller corral of elites/pros in front of me. I met up with Rachel V. at the start. She was hoping for a <2:47 to obtain the Olympic Trials B Standard and we had chatted before the race and she was planning on running with me during the race. Rachel was in the elite wave though, but right before the start corral 1, merged right behind the elites.
I worry a lot about the weather before the race, knowing that ~50 degrees is ideal running weather and that your times start to slow once you get into the high 50’s and 60’s. The morning of the race, the temperature was around 64 at the start with 80% humidity, not ideal by any means, but luckily the clouds were out and it was not sunny.
The gun went off and it was time to race. Rachel went out a bit faster than I like to, but I caught back up with her around mile 2. She was running with another girl who was hoping for a <2:47 as well and both of them started to pace off of me at that point. After a few miles had passed, I looked back and realized we had a group of five or six people and I was leading the charge.
At mile ten, the race featured a rather steep uphill for the next 2.5 miles. The race also merged with the half marathon and I’m sure the people who designed the course thought it would be enough to have signs that read half marathon runners stay to the left, marathon runners on the right; it did not happen. We merged with the half marathon runners, who were probably running 9-10 minutes miles and taking over the right side of the road. It was awful, weaving in and out of runners for the next 3 miles. In addition, we were now running on a highway that was banked at around a 30 degree angle and my legs were killing me after a few miles.
Rachel and a few of the other pack members fell back on the climb up and after a tough climb, we had a really steep downhill. At this point I was running with two other guys. We hit the half marathon point at 1:23:23. I asked the kid next to me what he was hoping to run and he said 3 hours and then said “I went out way too fast!” Dropped him shortly after that comment and for the next 3-4 miles, I was running with Yoshi from Tokyo. He didn’t speak much English, but would often say “I’m about to hit the wall.” That made me laugh and Yoshi gave me some good company for a few miles, until he hit the proverbial wall.
At mile marker 20, the course went off the city roads and onto a concrete bike path near the ocean. At this point the sun came out and I was really starting to get hot. I was also running completely alone; every once in a while I would pass another runner, but any runner that I passed looked like they were hurting big time. I was also starting to doubt whether or not I could run <2:45.
Around mile 22, this old guy, looked like an old school track coach, spectacting the race, leaned over and yelled at me “Get tough! Take the pain!” that fired me up!
The last six miles were brutal, it was hot and the course was really boring. My fastest mile was a 6:14 and I finished with a 6:22 for my 26th mile which was slightly faster than I would have guessed. I thought I was dipping to about a 6:30 pace. With a mile to go, I picked off three more runners, including one guy with about a tenth of a mile to go. I’d say that I outkicked him but he didn’t put up a fight and I’m not even sure if I picked up my pace.
Finished the race in 2:46:18 (PR) and still managed a negative split on a hot day. They gave us a nice ice cold towel at the finish which was glorious. However, the entire parking lot was full of half marathoners, about 9,000+ people. I just grabbed a bottle of water and walked the two miles back to my hotel room, wanting to avoid all those people.
Arrived back at the hotel and was beat, plus the cold started to kick in, so I just lay in bed for a few hours. Then managed to muscle up some energy to go to In N Out Burger to replenish some calories, texting Fuller to make him jealous, not because of my PR, but because of In N Out.
Originally, I was a bit disappointed in my performance. However, thinking back, I think I ran a smart race and am positive if I had been running on a cool October morning that I would have knocked out a 2:44 for certain. I’ve now had a cold for the last 9 days and keep thinking if that cold would have hit me a day earlier, my race would have probably been ruined, and who knows if it affected my performance.
Not a fan of the race course at all, probably my least favorite marathon course that I have run. The concrete bike path sucked, a proper analogy would be the Denver Marathon having runners race the last six miles on the Platte River Trail.
I finished 30th overall, out of 10,643 finishers. The other interesting stat is that out of the 29 people that defeated me, all but two of them were in the Elite Wave, meaning I was third overall for runners in the first corral. I also took down a few elite males, who probably had a really poor race.
I’d like to run a fall marathon, we’ll see. I’m also wondering if I have the potential to run a <2:40 marathon. I think that I should still get faster at the marathon over the next few years and I still haven’t put together a hard training program.