Carlsbad Marathon

Day 215


I toed the line with maybe a thousand other runners on an early chilly Sunday morning. It seemed like a small town race but they hosted like a big city race. They exceeded my expectation in swags given out and the expo.

They did it better than the Marine Corps and the Baltimore marathon in some aspects, such as dividing the lane between the half marathoners and the full marathoners, so that the Half marathons did not get in the way of people running the full marathons. This is the first time I have seen it done in a race!

starting line at the Shopp Shopping Mall parking lot)

It was well organized. At least for the Full Marathon. We had plenty of potta-johns before and after the race. There were only a thousand of us and we probably have one toilet per runner. I can’t speak for the Half crowd, they were ten times the size of us. There were plenty of volunteers and water stations spaced at nearly every mile.

I stuck with the 5-hour finisher pacing group until past 13 miles then I stepped up my pace to reached the 4:45 finish-time pacing group at mile 19. However that was short-lived. I ran out steam by mile 20. I had to walk and run for the rest of the race (last 6 miles). Luckily, I was still ahead of the 5-hour pacers. I finished at 4:54 (hr:min).

What a beautiful morning. The temperature was around 50s.

My first goal was to finish the race and the second goal was to finish in 5 hours and lastly to have fun. Haven’t not run much after my JFK 50 race last November I was really nervous about my physical condition. I chose 5 hour finishing time because that was the last pace group available and I did around 5 hour on my last few marathons. The course had a time limit of 6 hours. I reached all three goals and had a good work-out.

I felt great and refreshed when I started out. I did not have the hang-over feeling for having lack of sleep for the last couple days. The Hotel was great but because of the time difference I didn’t sleep that well. Also I have been going to bed quite late (past midnight) and waking up quite early (3 AM) – biological clock from having East Coast time. Or maybe it was a pre-race jittery. I always have that before every race. I would wake up at every hour and check the clock.

The view was beautiful. We ran along Carlsbad Blvd (local name), which is also called Hwy 101. Hwy 101 hugs along the coast of entire California and is considered one of the most scenic highways in America.

There were many pretty lookouts but I am not much a photographer to capture them

My nutrition plan for this race was out of wack. At first I wanted to go to Target or Walmart to pick out sone candies or chewys for the race but I procastinated all day yesterday and by the time I could go, I was too tired and decided to just wing it. Meaning let manna comes from heaven.

I had chinese food two nights before: white rice, broccoli, mongolian beef, scallion and chunk of carrots and ginger with some kind of chinese sauce – probably oyster sause. Yum! Last night was even better. I had a wedding banquet – a fancy buffet style kind, but I felt it would be rude to get a second serving. I didn’t see other people getting a second. I am not good to describe what was on that menu.

However, I think the Bride/Groom secretly ordered a side dish of Chicken on hamburger buns with sweet potatoes fries for me. I was so surprised when I returned to my seat after going to the buffet line and saw the fancy burger on my plate on the table and no one can tell me who put it there. I even suspected if there was some mix-up of some kind, maybe for people who are on gluten free diet or vegetarian. People were asking ne if that a real chicken breast. Mind you we were on a farm and there was no McDonalds or ChickFil-a nearby! Bride and Groom used to run a few half marathons before. They must have brought it beforehand for me. I looked around no other people had special meal like I did. It was a mystery but I was so touch, because it was supposed to be their day not mine. And how thoughtful of them.

As for breakfast this morning, also from the bride and grooms after the guests have left, they gave them to me. I think it was from their secret stash. I took couples of them and ate them before going to bed but saved one for this morning.

Crunchy pre-race breakfast. I was going to stop at a McDonalds but ran out of time. Chips would do

As for during the race nutrition plan, I had a 6-8 oz hydration bottle on me during the race, which I sipped from it for the first 13-14 miles. I was a bit dehydrated even from the beginning. My mouth was dry. Also my throat was hurting from all the potatoes chips I ate late at night. For the second half while doing walk-and-run I used on course supplies. Their Gu was quite good. I was afraid to use Gu at first because the last few times I used them I had an upset stomach. This time there was no issue. Also the gel was in a much larger package and it was less sticky, they were almost sauce-like and I like them a lot. They were not too sweet. I think I used about three, one at the 16 miles, 20-ish, and 24-ish.

As with all marathons I did, the last mile was the hardest. I don’t know how I overcame that, maybe one foot before the other, but I finished it and sprinted in full stride after the 26th mile mark. It might not look that way, but in my mind I was sprinting, crossing the finish line and reaching all my goals.

One of the post race goodies. I noted it required heating for 90 seconds in a microwave, but unfortunately I did not come prepare with one. The rice probably can be eaten without heating but I didn’t try.

Post race: I sticked with the usual bananas and crackers, and water. I chucked two cartons of muscle milk they gave out. Ah that felt so good even though I am lactose intolerance. I feel sorry for whoever will be seating next to me tonight on the plane on my way back to Boston and then DC in the morning.

3 responses to “Carlsbad Marathon”

  1. […] one of the worse depression in my life. I really did not train seriously until the end of January (week1). At the time too, my finance situation was near melt down. For the first time in my life, I was […]


  2. Thanks! I have done 7 so far, 8 if counting DC–but unfortunately DC is not a state, and probably never will be.

    I have so many races I want to do…certainly Dublin is on my mind. Now I have been to Patagonia, I want to go back to do a race there too. Mixing race with vacation is so fun!


  3. Well done! You make running a marathon so easy!! How many have you done now? How many states?


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