I have so many other things about life I want to write about at the moment, but I figured I better get this race recap up first so here we go.
The Big Sur Marathon has been on my bucket list for a long time. I ran the 10 miler in 2013 (I was injured with hip dysplasia so dropped from the marathon to the 10-miler) and have run the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge in 2014 and 2015. Every year has been totally different race wise and there’s a fire in me now more than ever to get there again next year to really go all out and give it everything.
As you know, Boston was a struggle. I knew I wasn’t trained well and I started the race too fast. My body wasn’t used to the long miles so it was really tough at the end. The whole recap is here. I didn’t do too much running other than a few shake out runs in the 5 days between the two marathons. I did my best to take it easy.
My favorite shake out run of the week though was the By the Bay 3K. It was Saturday before the race and it was freaking awesome.
Oh heck yes you better believe the whole family ran it.
It was absolutely beautiful through Pacific Grove.
I thought a 3K would be no problem for us, but I found out otherwise before we even made it to the halfway mark. Ha ha.
The did have a pretty cool aid station set up though.Don’t you think?
We all finished together though. Seriously, family races make me so darn happy.
We’re going to keep them coming and move up to some 5Ks. Then our plan is to rope in Grandma and Papap. He he.
The whole thing about the Big Sur Marathon is that it’s not just about the race, but it’s about all the amazing people that are there and put it together. We seriously feel like we’re family there and I’m fairly certain they make everyone feel that way. We think we’re special, but really we’re not. Ha.
Even the expo is a blast.
Rudy is THE BEST race announcer ever by the way and finding your name on the banner is pretty darn cool.
Oh and Bart Yasso. I mean, we’ve followed him all over the country (Washington DC, Boston, Kauai, New York, Pennsylvania, etc.) and it’s pretty much like he’s our roommate (you know, with the Flat Bart and all).
This guy is such an inspiration. He just doesn’t stop.
I was really feeling good the day before the race. I felt like I was mentally ready and my body felt good. I did the whole Flat Kristin thing like they tell you to do.
The pre race meal was the usual- no cheese pizza.
We went to Little Napoli (I think that’s what it was called) in Carmel. It was delicious.
On marathon morning you have to be shuttled to the start and the bus loading time is somewhere between 3:45-4:15 am.
I had to take a picture before I headed out into the darkness to find my bus. Ha.
You have to wait for a pretty long time once you get to the start. They take really good care of us though there and are stocked with lots of coffee, bananas and bagels.
It’s cool to watch it get a little lighter outside and that’s when you know the race is going to start soon.
I don’t think you can see it here, but the bathrooms have the funniest signs ever on them. Seriously they are the best. If only I could remember at least one of them off hand right now. Darn it.
I had my amazing friend Pam by my side yet again. We’ve run the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge together every single time.
When it’s go time they walk you up to the top of the hill and turn you around so that you actually have a downhill start.
Once you’re up in front of the start line you better be ready to go.
Pam and I ran together for awhile. She had a really smart race strategy all planned out in her head. That, my friends, is something I never really do. Ha. I decided to just stick with her and her smart plan. We held back the first 13 miles and kept our pace comfortable. She kept saying, “Let’s hold back a little.” I listened.
We talked our way through the first 10 miles which made them go by quickly.
That wind though.
It was BAD.
Hurricane Point took on a whole new meaning. I mean, I thought the wind was bad last year, but this was a whole new level. It didn’t stop and at one point I didn’t think I was going to stay on my feet and I swear I saw this older gentleman who was trying to pick up something he dropped almost go over the edge. I was ready to save him.
Despite the wind I felt pretty good. My breathing was good, my legs were okay and everything seemed fine. I actually felt better than I did in Boston.
But then after we hit mile 13 Pam was ready to speed up and I just wasn’t. My body did not want to go faster. It just wanted to slow down.
I told her to go ahead and get after it because I could tell I wasn’t going to be speeding up at all.
We did get this picture though right about mile 13.
I figured I’d give it another mile or two to get myself into gear, but that gear never really happened. That was a lot like my training I guess. I had good intentions to train really hard for these races and good plans to follow and I started them, but then life got in the way (in a good way of course) and the follow through and the hard work at the end never really happened.
So I continued to slow down and have to fight a little harder every mile.
By mile 20 I let my negative thoughts and my shooting pain in my foot get the best of me and stopped. I went to the bathroom, chugged a few cups of water and really just started taking my time. By then I basically knew I was going to finish, but I didn’t care about the time anymore. I just had to fight to get to that finish line.
My foot was hurting like crazy. The blister from Boston had never really healed and I must have been running funny on my foot because the outside of my foot hurt so bad. I got a really nice chafe under my arm too that hurt so bad I stopped and had a boy scout apply Vaseline on my under arm. Lovely. I asked him if he saw where it was and his dad said “Oh yeah. That’s bad.”
I don’t know how in the heck I got my current PR on this course two years ago. Seriously?
This course is hilly. I forgot just how hilly it is. There are a lot of rolling hills and one major one from about mile 10 to almost mile 12.
I thought I could coast into the finish line, but that really wasn’t the case either.
Thankfully I ran into Lani right around the 25 mile mark. It felt like it took us forever to get to the 26 mile sign. But when we finally saw it, it was fabulous.
It was rough and my time was 3:56:48. That was about 20 minutes slower than what I was hoping for.
Gosh darn it.
Here are my splits from the website.
Every race is such a crazy experience. This race will always have a special place in my heart. It’s my favorite. It’s the one I wanted so bad for so long and even after doctors told me I couldn’t run and I should find another “hobby” I still have had the incredible experience to run it. I will be coming back every single year I get the chance.
And these guys will be by my side every time as well.
This is their favorite race as well. It’s pretty much the highlight of our year.
A huge shout out to the race director Julie Armstrong, Sally Smith the registrar/creative and social media director and the awesome Shirley Smith who puts together the B2B tent.
Thanks Shirley and thank you everyone for once again one heck of an amazing experience.
Next time I race Big Sur I’ll be in the masters division. That’s a little scary, but I’m ready to head into that 40 and over division and bring it the best I can. I’ve got a lot of work to do.
Thank you also to all of you who donated to the Team For Life Lazarex Cancer Foundation. It was a true honor to have your support and to be able to run for my late father-in-law, my aunt and all those cancer patients we helped to get the services and treatment they need.
Until next year Boston 2 Big Sur.
I’m going to do everything I can to be back again and give it everything I have.