Net Time: 3:24:23
Overall Place: 132 / 1,451
Age Group Place: 17 / 143
I’ll be honest, I was pretty disappointed with my time. I went in hoping to run a sub-3:15, but knew around mile 16 it was just not going to happen. I never got into a comfortable pace the entire race. My pace was all over the place, bouncing between 7 and 8 minutes, before I decided to slow it down for the last 10 miles to avoid the walk of shame. Although there were not any big hills, the course was full of rolling hills, which may have taken a toll on me earlier than I expected. The marathon continues to humble me and I’m certainly not in sub-3:15 shape.
But to keep things in perspective, this was a training run to gauge my fitness level for Boston in April. I figured if I ran well at Carlsbad (i.e., sub-3:15) I would attempt a 3:05 for Boston. Since I didn’t run as well as I had hoped, I’ll plan to ratchet down my goals for Boston – probably around a 3:15 is more realistic.
Not exactly sure where I went wrong this training cycle. Could have just been a bad day. My stomach was a little unsettled from the beginning. Although I ate breakfast about two and a half hours before the start, it didn’t seem fully digested. Also, may have ran the early hills a little faster than I should have. But who knows exactly what went wrong, just too many variables to really know why.
The race itself was very well organized. It was a small marathon, so congestion was not an issue until the end when the full marathoners merge with the half marathoners around mile 20. The weather was good, cloudy and in the 50s. There was a little drizzle at the start, but stopped early into the race. The course was challenging, lots of rolling hills, although there was only one significant hill around mile 9. It was very scenic along the Pacific coast, bit of a headwind going in one direction, but manageable. Plenty of fluid stations, gels, and fan support. Port-a-potties were plentiful at the start, but sporadic along the course.
There was a decent sized expo that was in a big white tent. Marathoners received long sleeved tech t-shirts and a nice jacket. At the end of the marathons, they handed out the customary medals, mylar blankets, water, coconut water, chocolate milk, and a bag of fruit with protein bars. Although not particularly happy with my time, I did enjoy the experience and will probably run this marathon again in the future.
It now time to reflect over the next few days and reassess how I need to adjust my training plan for Boston. I was hoping that following the Hansons Marathon Method would have miraculously put me on another level, but for me at least, it hasn’t proven any more effective than the other plans I have followed. I won’t say the method doesn’t work, but for me personally, it wasn’t revolutionary. However, given that Boston is just two and half months away, I will probably just tweak what I have been doing rather than coming up with any major overhauls.