Running has recently taught me to inhale confidence and exhale self doubt. I didn’t expect to run my next full marathon until October. While talking to my friend Sarah, I found out she was running the Rock’n’Roll Marathon Series San Diego full marathon with an injured calf muscle. I was signed up for the half marathon and thought why not run the full as support as she was aiming to become a marathon maniac. The Marathon Maniac qualification requires two full marathons within 16 days or three full marathons within 90 day time frame. This really is no easy feat.
So Friday I drove down to San Diego and exchanged my half marathon bib for the full 26.2 which was no issue and easy to do at the solutions help area.I stayed for a bit to explore the Expo. While there, I saw Kelsey from OC Marathon. The OC Marathon was number 6 and where I found my running self-confidence again. It is also the race course that this hold my PR. Lucky me, I also got to visit with my girlfriend Traci from runDisney and my awesome runner friend Will who was representing a Run To Remember.
I didn’t get to explore all the fun other tables because I had to get home being that my husband was running the San Diego 100 Ultra Endurance Marathon. I had to get home to my children. I got all packed up and was ready to make the drive back to San Diego!
Saturday I made the drive back down to San Diego to meet up with my husband who completed the San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run. Yes, my husband is a crazy running machine! The next morning my race adventure began.
My nerves were rattled when I was trying to get into the parking structure and dealing with the line of runners waiting for the shuttle to the starting line. Rock’n’Roll Marathon did warn to arrive early. I just didn’t arrive early enough! The parking issue was totally avoidable, but I got myself stuck in it.
Luckily, we were in corral 22 which gave me enough time find Sarah and start our marathon running adventure! Sarah is an interval runner, so she set her watch timer for 1 minute run then 1 minute walk. I ust say this made for a nice recovery time along the entire 26 miles.
It was a cloudy start to the race, but extremely humid. Sweat was dripping off my fingertips by mile three. We enjoyed continuous conversation the entire run and the miles quickly clipped off one by one. I also ran into two of favorite running buddies Maricris and Lillian along the way.
When we reached mile eight, I asked Sarah her how her calf was feeling. Sarah had the option to continue on with the full marathon or make the left turn and drop down to the half marathon. With complete mental determination, she continued her journey to complete her marathon number 15 and become a Marathon Maniac.
As we reached mile 21, the course led on the the 163 Freeway. I thought, hey how cool we get to run on the freeway! Yeah, not so cool. The freeway camber was painful on my legs and I’m sure unbearable on her injured calf during those three miles. We chose then to walk this section of the course and it seemed everyone around us did too. As the freeway portion finally ended, we picked back up running to finish the last two miles.
This race wasn’t about the finish time, it was all about celebrating the finish line. We delightfully crossed the finish line in 5:45:54 then stopped for our medals, photos, and a drink. We quickly went by the medical tent to ice Sarah’s calf. After the icing, we ventured off to collect our awesome marathon finisher jacket and I picked up a cool frosty drink to celebrate.
Overall, my first experience running a Rock’n’Roll Marathon race was an exceptional one. The finisher medal is a new favorite and I couldn’t wait to wear my race shirt and marathon finisher jacket to work. Though, while looking at posted pictures of the half marathon I kept thinking, Hey! I didn’t see that on the course! So, next year I’m looking forward to the half marathon experience. The positive energy of San Diego has me wanting to come back for more. Bonus! I earned some pretty cool virtual badges too!