Monday, December 7, 2009

California International Marathon

Yippee! I did it, I finally ran a marathon and enjoyed it. I also was able to actually exceed (by 1 minute) my goal time of 5:30; 5:28:52 - a PR for me. I'm SO excited!

I usually do a run/walk ratio of 1/1 for my marathons, but decided to try and run all the downhill sections of this one. Because of that, I started out a little fast, but not too much. The first mile was 10:41; but then I leveled out and kept the rest within my range.

This marathon is advertised as a pretty easy one and I believe it is. Not to say it isn't challenging in some areas, because there ARE a few hills that can get you down, if you don't prepare for them. Fortunately, where I run is rolling hills so I didn't really have too mamy problems with this race.

It was nice having so much support along the course. My last (and only) 2 marathons had pretty much no support, which I'm fine with, but I really enjoyed having people support me along the way.

I noticed a blister forming on my fourth toe of my right foot at about mile 8. I should have worn a pair of toe only socks in addition to my 2 pair, but I forgot to pack them. The blister broke at about mile 20, a new, weird & painful experience for me. :) I've never had a bloody sock before. LOL Still, it actually quit hurting after a while and I did fine.

I was concerned about my breathing since I have had a cold for about a week, and I did have some issues with coughing after mile 20, but overall, I was fine. The problem I had started about mile 19 with my legs just feeling like they were giving out. This made it harder for me to run so I did a lot of speed walking then. Disappointing, but I still met my goal!

I kept close to the 5:30 pacer and actually was ahead of her for the last part of the race. I was overjoyed when I realized I would meet my goal pace.

I was able to finish the last .1 of the race running, so I finished strong and I'm sure the photo at the finish was better than if I walked it. I loved the announcer at the finish - he was great, even commented on my pink Newtons. :) I especially liked it when he said I was 56, but looked 29. I think I'm in love. hahaha!

This was a great race and one that I actually enjoyed running. I'm really glad I picked this marathon. Next marathon - Salt Lake City Marathon, April 17, 2010!

When I run long runs, my hands swell extremely. Anyone else have this problem?

Here are before & after pics: