Happiness is... being finished and ready for a beer!!

4:30:18- The Finish Time.  Thought I would post my time and get it out of the way.  I PR’d by almost 7 minutes from The New York Marathon in 2010.  It’s an honest time.  Last Sunday was a perfect day to run 26.2 miles.  Besides the usual jitters, I was feeling good.  This would be the first time having a run buddy dedicated to my finishing goal time, I wasn’t having any stomach issues, and the weather was brisk but dry- great running weather!  4:30:18 is true reflection of the effort I put into the race with all other factors being ideal.

4:20- The Goal. Considering my half marathon times last year have been right around 2 hours, a 4:20 finishing time in theory seemed perfectly doable.  At this point in my life I can spit out 13.1 miles and skip around afterwards without issues.  Not sure how many times I need to beat it into my head, but being in shape for a full marathon is a whole different beast than being in shape for a half.  I did not increase my weekday mileage, in fact it probably dropped.  I cannot be sure since I didn’t keep a log.  Training fail (again)!

The Running Buddy- What can I say?  Everyone should have a Monika to run and train with.  There is so many reasons why I love Girls On The Run.  One of which are the AMAZING women I now get to work with.  Carlsbad marked her 17th marathon.   The marathon prior she had reached her goal of a sub 4 hour finish and soon after decided she wanted to join the Marathon Maniacs.  Her goal for Carlsbad was  to cross the finish line, which put me in luck!  A 4:20-4:30 finishing time was a super comfortable pace for her so I could tell she was determined to get me in that range.  She kept me accountable for our long training runs and even “encouraged” no beer for the days prior (BOO!).

The color coordination was purely coincidence. =)

Carlsbad– Did I mention already how perfect conditions were?  Starting at 6am meant having to wake up at 3:30am, when some are just getting home from their night out.  That also meant getting to run during sunrise along the beach.  It was absolutely breath taking!  With just under 1200 participants for the full, the course was not crowded at all.  Even when the route met up with the half marathoners for the first time, we were put along side runners at our pace.  Awesome!  When the course met up with the half marathoners again, it was clearly marked for marathoners and half marathoners.  There was no need to weave around half marathon walkers like the poor runners who just did the Vegas Rock and Roll the month prior.

Miles 1-18–  I felt great.  Monika was there to slow me down when I ran too fast and I was able to see the 4:15 pacer about a football field away for the majority of the time.  Mile 8-9 marked the biggest “hill” of the course and after I got over the hump feeling good I was pretty confident.

Miles 19-26.2– I felt like complete poop.  I hate that dreaded “wall”.  I wish it were a person so I could stomp on its big toe.  I don’t know how it’s possible to go from feeling fantastic to craptastic in just a few steps.  Chugging along progressed to wanting to crawl into a grass pile and nap.  My heart broke when I saw the 4:30 pacer zoom by me.  Thank goodness Monika was there to glue it together and do the math to realize he was more on track to be under 4:20.  How cruel is that?  If you read this Mr. 4:30 Carlsbad pacer man, I’d call you “Wall Jr.” and stomp on your little toe.  Humph!

Left our smiles at mile 18

I saw many familiar encouraging faces in the last few miles which REALLY helped me cross the finish line.  Christian, Lisa and Trasie- thanks for being out there and cheering everyone on!  You’ve inspired me to do the same.  It really does help!

18 seconds– I missed the 4:30 mark by 18 seconds.  Boo-hoo-who-cares!  I still PR’d!  If I ever get my training and diet down, maybe I’ll have higher expectations for myself.  Today, I’m just going to be happy with exactly where I am and what I’ve done.

Baize PR day– I wasn’t the only one to PR that day.  Even with FIVE pee breaks, my ridiculously awesome husband also posted a PR by over 20 minutes!!!  He has come so far from the guy who I signed up to run his first half at Carlsbad 5 years ago.  He was all smiles afterwards and that’s always a beautiful sight.

GLAM RUNNERS–    Shout out to a couple of my Glam Sisters!  It is always nice to see our supporters out on the course.  Look at how happy, strong and beautiful they are!  Silly too, but what’s life without a little silliness?

Marie and Michelle rockin' the tutu

UP NEXT– The new Tinkerbell Half Marathon is this weekend.  I’m doing this one for fun and plan on taking it easy.  I’ve made a ton of tutus for this race and can’t wait to see everyone running around in them!