After having a rough go of it during the Long Beach Half Marathon, I had one goal this time around: comfort. While running Long Beach, I definitely pushed myself to run fast (or as fast as I was running during my training) and that ended up wearing me out early in the race. When I started training for this race, I decided to focus more on running at a comfortable pace and trying to avoid setting speed goals. If it felt like I was getting tired, I would just slow down but not stop.
A few weeks before the race, I started to get pain in both of my feet. It felt like plantar fasciitis. I also had foot pain before Long Beach but this time it didn’t affect my training too much. It mostly hurt when I woke up in the morning and if I stayed still for too long. So running actually made me feel better. Regardless, after my last long run, I stopped running a week before the marathon to give my feet a break.
The morning of the race I decided to wear my New York Giants jersey. Since I was in California, I wanted to represent for my team. Also I thought it would provide me with extra motivation. I wouldn’t want to suck while wearing this jersey lest I jinx the team.
Lori and Cindy lined up with Wave Three while Elena, Nathan and I were in Wave Five. I learned my lesson from Long Beach. Even when she’s running slow, Cindy’s pace is too fast for me. I ran slowly with Elena and Nathan for half a mile until I decided to pick up the pace. I kept slow and steady as I had planned. When the hills came along, I slowed down to a pace where I didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard. I knew that there were hills on this course according to the elevation details posted on the website but I swore there were going to be more downhills. It just felt like we kept going up and never got the benefits of going down. Despite that, I still felt really strong. I just focusing on the songs on my iPod Shuffle.
Around mile 10, I finally had to stop and walk for a bit. During my training, if I wanted to stop running, I would ask myself, “Why do you want to stop?” Today I had my answer: my pinky toes REALLY hurt. I don’t know what the problem was but I guess my shoes were too loose and my toes were rubbing against the edge. I thought I’d never be able to get the same momentum again. Then I saw the 2:20 pace runner pass me. I hadn’t seen her since mile three. I didn’t realize she was so close. After that, I took off after her. I really wanted to beat my Long Beach Half Marathon. I did stop to walk again but after mile 11, I never saw her again.
I finished the race at 2:19:17. Eventually, I met up with Cindy (her race report) and Lori than Elena, Nathan and David (who just completed his first full marathon)*. After spending an hour in parking lot traffic (ugh), we headed back to the house we all rented in San Diego and relaxed with burgers and football.
I beat my Long Beach finish by a few minutes. Aside from my toes, I felt good about the race overall. I don’t know if I could run a full marathon but I started contemplating it so I guess that’s a good sign.
Also, the Giants won but that’s another post.
* Not pictured, Adriana who also ran the full marathon.