My family was coming into town for the weekend for my aunt’s 65th birthday on Saturday but I had to pick up my bib in Malibu that day and that meant I would miss out on time spent with them. Either by making a 4 hour round trip in the morning or by going in the afternoon and missing the party. But then score…Josh (@bayou) went to pick up his bib on Friday and they let him pick up mine too so I didn’t have to miss out on family time. So Saturday was spent hanging out with my sister, brother-in-law, and the M&Ms and then the rest of the family at the party. Birthday cake is carbs, right?
Josh and I were riding over to the race together and we decided 4am would be a good time to pick him up. We had to be at Zuma beach before 5:30am when the last bus to the race start left. Since it was going to be a REALLY early morning, I decided to go to bed early and actually went to sleep around 9pm. But then I woke up at 12:40 and couldn’t go back to sleep. :( Which sucked. But on the plus side, I didn’t sleep thru my alarm!
Finally, about 2:30 am I got up and took a shower and then started getting ready – ate, got dressed, etc. I got to Josh’s just before 4 and then we drove over to Zuma where we finished up getting ready and then boarded the bus. Oh, the bus was nice and toasty! The ride over was nice but too bad it was in the dark so we couldn’t enjoy the view. Mostly, it was spent just listening to the other runners talk and Josh snoring next to me. ;)
We were on the second bus so when they dropped us off at the start, I immediately jumped in line for the port-a-potties since the lines were short. Then it was just a matter of waiting around for the start of the race. It was cold and they were offering ponchos while we waited but I didn’t get one. I should have though because the race was supposed to start at 7 but we ended up not starting until 7:30 because of some last minute bib distributions. :(
But finally, it was 7:30 and we were off!
Ok, this was the plan…since I’d run 100K two weeks ago and the Flying Monkey Marathon was in 1 week (and it’s got some hills), I decided I wasn’t going to race Malibu hard. I figured I would run it relatively easy and finish between 4:30 and 4:45. I knew there were some hills at the end but I figured I would hit that time pretty well.This is the course map:
These miles were okay. I, of course, went out too fast (around 10 min miles for the first 2) but finally settled down and ran about a 10:30 pace after that. The course was flat thru the first half and was a little boring, mostly farm fields to look at. The race wasn’t very big and I did talk to some people while we ran but too many runners were wearing head phones so that made it hard. At one point the race ambulance was coming by and I shouted at a girl running slightly in front of me to move back to our side of the road to let it go by and she never heard me. She didn’t move over til they blasted their siren real quick. I get wearing music but not so loud you can’t hear anything going on around you.
I felt pretty good thru the first half. My right foot was bothering me a little but it wasn’t getting worse so I didn’t worry about it. I think it was because of the slant in the road so I tried to run on the flattest parts I could find. I was carrying a water bottle filled with GuBrew but did get water at almost every aid station. I walked a little thru them because I am terrible at drinking from those little cups. I usually end up with more on me than in me. But the aid stations in the first half were every couple of miles so it wasn’t that much walking.
Finally, we hit Pacific Coast Highway and we could hear, see, and smell the ocean. It was a stunningly gorgeous day in So Cal, the kind they put on postcards. There was a little bit of cooling breeze too. The high for the day was 68 so it never got too hot but the breeze still felt great.
When we hit mile 19, the hills started. They weren’t big but it’s really not nice to put hills at the END of a marathon, you know? Especially one I’m running easy and for fun. ;) Since I was ahead of schedule, I walked them a little but I still passed a lot of people in these miles. I ran out of GuBrew around mile 19 so after that I hit every aid station for water. I HAD to make sure I was hydrated properly although I felt like I was really hydrated because I still hadn’t lost the PMS water weight I’d gained (who knew that could be an advantage?) Anyway, I also grabbed a couple of pretzels for the salt at one aid station and a little bit of orange at another. I never hit the wall during this marathon so I obviously did a good job of carbo loading with cake on Saturday! And eating a good breakfast on Sunday. And I changed to a different GuBrew that was 250 calories instead of the 150 I usually do. All that was enough to get me thru without a drop in energy.
Oh, when we got to mile 20, I thought “only 10K left, you do that all the time”. And at mile 23.1, I thought “just 5K left, you do that all the time!” ;) I’ve done this at every marathon I’ve run. It seems less daunting this way and besides, how many times have we run 5K or 10K when we were tired or sick? I use that to remind myself that I CAN do it because I’ve done it before. It works for me anyway.
Then I was at the top of the last hill and it was all downhill to the finish. Woo! I flew down the hill and it was so awesome to hear the announcer and the music because I was ready to celebrate! I rounded the curve to the finish and there was Josh, cheering me on, and then out of the corner of my eye I see 2 guys trying to pass me so I sped up! But they still passed me. :( Darn it! LOL, but I was happy because the clock said 4:42ish and I’d made my 4:45 goal. :)
They gave me my medal:
Also cool, don’t you think?
Then I went to find Josh. He was lying on the ground next to the photographer, relaxing and watching the runners come in. I wanted to lie down too but I thought if I did that, I might not get up again. My legs were tight so I tried to stretch out my hamstrings but my legs were shaking too. We headed out onto the beach to take our post race photos and then went to get something to eat from the food trucks there. Then we took the LONG, LONG, LONG walk back to the car. Which was probably good for my legs but I was tired! But we eventually made it back to the car and I took Josh home and then drove over to my mom’s. Celebration dinner at my mom’s was chile con carne with rice, beans, and tortillas and then apple pie a la mode for dessert!
Marathon #8 was done! I had a great run and I'm pretty happy with my time. Especially with it being just 2 weeks after doing 100K at Javelina Jundred. My legs felt a little sore on Monday and today but I felt great on my 10K run yesterday and the 8 miler I did today. Not sluggish at all! What a trip! My foot bothered me for a while on Sunday but I used biofreeze on it and it's been fine since. I have come a long way since my first marathon! This was not my fastest marathon but it for sure wasn't my slowest. :)
I saw a post from Athlinks about how race times have slowed over the past 4 years and they asked the readers if theirs had too. For sure mine are faster now...4 years ago, I wasn't even running! I've come a long way, baby! ;)