OC Marathon 2015 recap

It's been 8 days since, so I'd better write up a recap. Memory is not my forte anyhow, so here it is.

I started to taper one week prior to the race week. Ran about 10 miles less than prescribed, and did not do strength work or tempo. Just eas-ish running instead. The right ankle was getting pretty stiff and sore, and I really felt that resting it up would be a good idea. The week of the race I did not run at all Wednesday through Friday and just rested and iced the ankle. Unfortunately by Friday I started develop a little bit of nasal congestion. Really, really hoped that it does not develop any further. Loaded up on Vitamin C and liquids.

The day before traveled to Newport Beach and checked into a hotel. There was some stupidness going on with the shuttle passes, but thanks to my friend Joanne we got the coveted wrist bands even though it cost an extra $10. Had a chicken sandwich with mashed pot at TGI Friday (it sucked and was drenched in Tabasco, ugh!).  Laid out my gear for tomorrow and went to bed at 9:30 and kinda sorta slept til 3am.

Woke up and had PB&J sandwich and a banana with coffee. The weird head cold thing was still there but it was sort of in the background. Wanted to see if I can cram an extra Clif bar and some Shot Bloks but was way too full. Got on the bus at 4:30, got dropped off at the race start. Had a bottle of Gatorade, hit the porta potty a couple of times, forced myself to have a gel at about 5:25am. The race got going at 5:41am. It was almost bright enough. The temps were in the high 50s. Perfect!

The first few miles were rollers through the town, and I kept pace pretty controlled. Then we got to Corona del Mar and the pace quickened a bit. I was at 7:10 and saw a few 7:08s. I knew that this was not going to be prudent, and really tried to keep the pace in check. We hit the first (and really the only) sizable hill on Dover Dr heading towards Castaways park. The pace was around 7:11 and it stayed that way til the half marathon split point.

I had to make an assessment there. My plan was to honestly ask myself if I was feeling strong - this was the logical place to bail if something was not firing right. I had another marathon scheduled 3 weeks out - and it'd been smart to avoid running the full 26.2in OC, to save the energy and fight another day. But I felt like a million bucks at that point. The ankle was a tiny bit achy but otherwise all was good. And so I popped a gel and it was on!

The course was pancake flat til mile 20. We ran past the Segestrom Pavillion, through the mall and through some fairly non-descript 'hoods. Had another gel - but I felt no signs of energy depletion. The pace was around 7:13 at mile 20, but I started to feel the miles a bit. I took one last gel and pitched the remaining 2 to reduce the weight. At around mile 22 after we got off the river bike path there was pretty small but sharp hill and it felt like I was running up the Trash Truck Hill in Griffiths Park. I also found that if I sharply turn my head, I get dizzy. Ugh again. I think that the temps were rising and my body started to lose electrolytes faster than I was able to replenish them.

So the pace was at about 7:15. Started popping salt tabs but still from mile 24.5 I was cramping a bit here and there. But I still was on track, just had to keep thinking good thoughts. At mile 25 or so some dude gave me mini bottle of ice cold water and yelled at me to pick it up as I was almost there. Right he was. Pushed harder but had to mind the crampy state of affairs at that point.

Got to the fairgrounds, it was kinda desolate there, but eventually reached the merger point with the half marathoners. Was very happy to hit the finish line and see the clock at 3:12. The official finish time was 3:12:43. I've done it! The full Strava thing can be found here.

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