Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Race Report: San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon 2009

Marathon #3 is under my belt. As always with race reports this is going to be a long post. However, I'll cut to the chase on results early so some of you can skip to the fun pictures. I did PR however, I did not hit sub-5 or sub-5:30. Official results say: 5:49:04, PR by 7 minutes from Arizona and a 12 minute course PR over San Diego 2008. In 365 days, I completed 3 marathons, each time with a new PR, I'm pretty proud of that!

Friday morning Mr. Pi and I headed out bright and early. We arrived in SD, not to sunshine but to clouds and humidity. Portland was actually having nicer weather (go figure). We hit the expo to pick up our race numbers and basically walked around the city all day. Friday night we met up with one of Mr. Pi's college friends and one of my college friends, who both live in SD; it was a fun evening out.

Saturday we slept in, trying to get as much sleep as possible! Mr. Pi went for a quick 4 mile jog while I waited for miss Chic Runner to arrive from the OC. She texted around 9:00am and I met her in the lobby. It was friends at first sight. She's an AMAZING chica! From there we headed to breakfast at the best little pancake and omelet joint in SD, Richard Walkers Pancake House. GO THERE! Only down side is there is usually a line.

After brunch, we went to the expo so Miss ChicRunner could pick up her race packet and see some of the expo before our blogger meetup. Before we knew it, it was meetup time. I've been fortunate to meet two of the ROHOs before but it was awesome to finally meet Maritza, Tara and Kristin! I also got to meet Amanda, Maddy and the 4 Feet Running Crew, Nik and Dan!

It was crazy to have so many of my "online" friends in one place! Mr. Pi, Maddy, Nik, Dan and I spent some time chatting after the larger group had dispersed. Maddy and I have been scheming a plan to run together for over a month! It was great to finally meet her! Meeting Nik and Dan was amazing. Mr. Pi and I have been listening to their podcast since they started it, in fact, it was the first podcast I ever listened to. Meeting them was like meeting a celebrity! They are just as fun as they sound on their show.

Saturday evening, we spent out with Mr. Pi's college friend and his little sister (who I went to college with). His sister was in town from DC, trying for a BQ. (Just to end the suspense, she BQ'd with time to spare, she even beat Mr. Pi!!) We went out in search of pasta but ended up with pizza. Eh, it's carbs right? I headed back to the hotel early so I could braid ChicRunner's hair and get settled. I hadn't seen much of my best friend Kristen and her hubby so I was hoping to see them back at the hotel too. Saturday night I got about the normal amount of sleep, in and out, up to pee twice. All in all, not to shabby for the day before a marathon!

Sunday morning, my iPhone woke us up bright and early 4:05 am! I started the coffee pot and the routine of bodygliding every possible point of friction. By 5:00am we were off to the start line. Here is Kristen, Danica and I with the "lucky banana" waiting in the port-o-potty line. Where we ran into the ROHOs! Couldn't believe it, out of all the thousands of people there we saw them. It was great to get good luck hugs from them.

Mr. Pi and I in a "before" shot!
After dropping off our check bags we headed off to our respective corrals. I was meeting Maddy at the number 14 sign. I didn't see her but I did see Nik and Dan! Soon after Maddy arrived and my nerves kicked in. It was humid and drizzly, not my fave weather. But I wanted that PR! The gun went off and so did we. Maddy and I's plan was run a mile/walk .05. I stayed with her until about the 10k mark and decided it was not going to be a sub-5 day for me. In fact, I was so sweaty, hot and queasy I contemplated a DNF around mile 7. Then I saw Dan and decided, nope, I'm going to PR today!
I struggled through miles 6-9 trying to run at an 11:00/11:20 pace with minimal walk breaks. I was just so dang thirsty and sweaty! Everyone complains about the freeway section of the race, I personally didn't mind it. Once I crested the top of the freeway hill, I decided to let my legs go. The downhill freeway section clocked in at 10:01 pace. I didn't even care that I was going too fast to sustain. I was getting my groove back.
I hit the half marathon split on pace for a 5:30 finish. I was a little re-charged but knew I had a long way to go. I tried to Gu at mile 16 but could only choke down about 1/2 of one. My stomach wasn't feeling so great, I was again really HOT and queasy. I love the heat, I do, I never complain about being hot. It was the humidity that killed me. Last year, the weather was sunny but not humid, I'd take that any day!
By mile 17 I was ready to be done and had thrown in the towel on sub-5:30, I was just going for a PR. I had forgotten about all the "little" hills in this race. Each one seemed to get a little tougher. Around mile 18, I got a boost. My good friend from college who lives in PB was waiting on the corner. I saw her and my face lite up, my pace quickened and I re-gained some of my confidence. She and her friend had jamba juices and kindly let me have a swig. It definitely put a little pep in my step!
A little further down the road I saw the RunningSkirts otter pop stop. I happily took one, it was soooooo good. I even made their facebook page. Here's the shot from their photographer.
Miles 20-26.2 were hard, as they usually are. I did break down and cry (which I totally expected) at 24ish. I called JM! She was such a boost. She kept telling me that I was almost there, which I was! I hung up with her when I saw the mile 25 sign. 1.2 miles, I knew I could do it, the end was in sight! When I entered the MCRD, I was overwhelmed with emotion especially when I saw that we were on Dunlap Street! My legs were tired, I was tired but I kept chugging along. I saw the ROHOs on their way back to their hotel. It was nice to get a cheer. I knew Mr. Pi was going to be waiting for me somewhere, my eyes were peeled. I saw him and ran over for a pre-finish kiss! I turned on whatever I had left and finished, hands in the air, with a new PR.
My best friend Kristen and her husband were also waiting for me. I totally lost it and started balling. Really, for no reason other than I was so happy to be done and to see her at the finish. I weaved through the finish area, I didn't even stop to have my photo taken. I just wanted my Mr. Pi hug! And it was amazing! My husband is amazing! He finished with a new PR of 3:25:XX (which as Dan pointed out was only minutes behind Dean Karnazes...no matter that Dean ran down from LA before starting the marathon). I am so proud of him and so lucky to have him be patient enough to wait over 2 hours for me. Thanks honey! Here we are in the "after" shot. Mr. Pi's eyes are close but it's still a cute photo.

Here is the whole crew, Mr. K, Kristen, me and Mr. Pi. All smiling after 26.2! I am so proud of Kristen. She and I have been best friends since elementary school and it was amazing for me to be there for her first marathon! Way to go Kristen!


Sunday night Mr. Pi and I had dinner with Maddy, Nik and Dan. It was a great way to spend our last night in SD. I hope I make it out to Florida for a Disney race with Maddy sometime and next summer we'll be on the east coast and maybe we can squeeze in a run with Nik and Dan.

Post race reflections: I am really proud of myself for pushing through a tough race and finishing with a new PR! 26.2 miles is a long way. I think my body is ready for a rest period, I've been in marathon training mode for over a year now. 3 marathons in 365 days is small peanuts for some but for me it was a HUGE accomplishment. I'm ready to do some cross training and maybe try a TRI. I wouldn't say my marathon career is over but I'm not even going to think about it for at least 6-9 months. I'd like to set a new 5k and 1/2 PR in 2009 (I haven't run a 5k since '07). I'd also like to try out the 10k distance. I'm all about having fun and working on improving my speed at shorter distances before I tackle another marathon.

I want to give a BIG shout out to everyone that cheered me on through twitter, this blog, email or text. Special thanks to JM for helping me through that rough patch. Uber special thanks to Mr. Pi for always being my biggest cheerleader and inspiring me to keep running.

35 comments:

  1. awesome race report! You did such a great job - a 6 minute PR is nothing to sneeze at.

    I think you are going to have a lot of fun smaller races coming up this year!

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  2. Woo hoo! What a great race and what a fun race report. 3 marathons and 3 PR's? That is fantastic - glad you stuck it out on this one to keep your streak alive. I'm seriously thinking that after the 1/2 iron distance a marathon is my next goal. So I'll cheer you on as you tri and you can cheer me on as I learn to run long, ok? :D

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  3. Great job! Keep those PRs rolling. It's a great feeling to get through a tough stretch like that and make it all work out in the end.

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  4. Good job girlie! you really overcame the mental and physical struggles of marathoning to pull out a great race. very nice.

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  5. :) I just like you! You totally did it! And you did it with a great PR. I love your new goals - you know how I feel about that! Big supporter :)

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  6. Woo hoo! Congrats on a new PR and another marathon!

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  7. Great race report. I teared up when I read you cried at the end. I almost cried when I finished mine also. I never thought I would do that. Running a marathon is SUCH a great experience. I'm hooked!

    Gina

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  8. Wow! I loved reading your blog! Congratulations for all you accomplished! Double Wow!! All the little details and big emotions helped me know what it was like for you! So proud and happy to have you as a daughter!!! (But then I always have been since we met you!)

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  9. What a great race report and congrats on the PR! Good luck going forward too. I've always wanted to try a tri.

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  10. awesome!!! 3 marathons and 3 PR's, whew, great job!!! Congrats on another great race!

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  11. Way to go on marathon #3!!! Yay for a PR!

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  12. Yay! Congratulations! I was so happy to see your race report up and thrilled to see you managed to stay strong enough mentally to PR during a physically very tough race. I agree-- heat is fine, but humidity is killer, definitely achieving a PR in that climate is a huge accomplishment. And way to go, Mr Pi (aka speedy pi, awww, sounds like sweetie pie). I love your shorter race goals looking forward because I'm also trying to polish my speed at those distances. And you should TOTALLY do a tri. If I could swim like you, I would!

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  13. Love those PRs!! I was anxiously awaiting your report and it was worth the wait. Way to go, Alisa!

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  14. yeah, girl! congrats on your PR! you have done a heck of a lot of marathons. that's a lot of training and hard work! i;m with you in working on 5k and hm pr's. i'm on the look out but the only thing even remotely on my horizon is run like hell in october. and sheesh that's a long way off. tell mr pi congrats too!

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  15. YAY! you rocked it and I know I have a forever friend in you :) So glad we got to hang out and have fun together.. and great great great job!!!! you are too cute and I am glad Mr. Pi is so cool too :)

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  16. I enjoyed reading your blog!! You did great in San Diego...keep up the good work! :)

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  17. CONGRATS chica!! Ohhhhh you did fabulous!! 7 minute PR is definitely something to be proud of ;D ;D

    Dang that race looked the blogger hookup! You're so lucky to have met all those peeps! Very cool!

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  18. Congratulations on your PR. Way to push through the negative thoughts and keep going.

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  19. Congrats on a new PR!!!!! that humidty killed me and those later miles seemed to last forever!! I am so glad that we got to meet :) I seriosly loved training for the half I did in February of this year...it was the best!!! Enjoy your rets time you earned it!

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  20. Aww thank you honey! I wouldn't be running marathons if it wasn't for your suggestion of doing so and your support! I actually feel guilty that I got to enjoy some of the post-race festivities for those 2 hours while you had to keep truckin' along.

    Thanks to TFH (ha, Speedy Pi, it is probably not my place to start calling myself that, but I like it!) and ChicRunner (great to meet you by the way!) too for their shout-outs!

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  21. Oooo, thank you Cindy as well!

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  22. WOW!! Congrats on an awesome race, and PR!! W00t! well done!

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  23. Great Job Alisa. It's so cool that you PR'd every single marathon this year. 3 marathons is a lot and I'm glad your giving yourself some time off from that distance.

    Way to tough it out considering you felt so badly early on. That's serious work for a long way. you deserved every one of those tears!!

    I can't wait to hear what's in store next for you.

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  24. Fun race report! I think it is so cool that you were able to meet so many bloggers. Way to push through and PR. You just keep getting faster!

    Great job to Mr. Phi too.

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  25. Congratulations Alisa on the PR Marathon!! i'm so proud of you for pushing through and finishing strong. :)

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  26. Congratulations on the PR, Alisa! Thanks for the awesome race report. I'm so jealous you got to have all those blogger meet-ups, especially with THE Nik AND Dan!

    (P.S. Thanks for the doggy ownership insight!)

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  27. Congratulations on the PR!! I guess it was a PR kinda day out there, despite the muggy conditions!

    You did great, dug deep when times where tough, and kept on trucking! Great job!!!! You should be unbelievably proud of yourself!

    So nice to finally meet you!

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  28. Congratulations on a 6 min PR, great report!

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  29. ok just made it back from SD so I'm catching up on reports. it was really fantastic to meet you, i just love our little bloggie group everyone is so sweet!

    congrats on the PR and way to rock the fun outfit :)

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  30. i havent commented yet??? boooo on me.

    CONGRATS girl! you did amazing and pushed through those tough spots for yet another marathon PR! they are never easy and you just keep racking them up!

    it was great seeing you again :)

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  31. Congrats on a new PR! That's so awesome. And I'm so jealous you got to meet all the running bloggers!

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  32. Great race. 3 PR's in 3 attempts. That is awesome.

    Congrats!!!

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  33. Way to go! You both rocked the marathon! I tried to figure out the miles per hour on both yours and I think It's way amazing to keep those up for 26 miles....I can't even do Justin's for one mile barely could except in one race in highschool track and to even run 26 miles is awesome. I hope you both are proud and happy with your accomplishments and tell yourselves you rock...I hope you keep fitness fun too though like how your going to do other things/races that's a great idea too :)

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