medal carlsbad 06.jpg (1121770 bytes)Carlsbad Marathon 2006 

Carlsbad  marathon was the hardest marathon course I have ever run. I think the cumulative effect of “rolling hills” and the added bonus of a strong headwind right at you for miles 18 through 24.5 just toasted my legs. I had done all my long runs on the flat surface of Creve  Coeur  Lake Park. Unfortunately I have this tendon issue with my right leg that hills aggravate. Going into this race I knew the course would put me at a disadvantage. My objective was to get with the 4:00 pace group and see how long I could hang with them. Four hours is what I need to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I started out with the group and it was a congested bunch. The pacer wore a garmin and kept the same pace through the water stops and up the hills. He was like a running machine, a garmin robot, just right on that pace. We ran alongside the ocean and I wanted to hear it but there was a lot of chatter. I felt pretty good so I went ahead of the pace group. I just ran comfortably. Ok I have to clue you in my best time is 4:12:09 which I did in St. Louis (not flat, but not as tough as this one.) But several conversions on runs I had done this year led me to believe I could break 4. Off I went and stayed there until mile 18 when my legs were done. I didn’t bonk (feel bad due to nutrition) or have trouble cardio-wise but the legs couldn’t go on. It was a bummer watching the 4 hour pace group go by. I really struggled to finish. I guess when I made the choice to see how far I could go with the pace group I never considered that if I fried my legs I might not make it to the finish. That was a learning experience for me.  I never dreamed that finishing might not be an option.  Thankfully I had a few advils in my pocket. Now that was the bad part, the good part was that it was a warm wonderful day on a beautiful course.  The best part was that I got to run with my parents. My Mom walked the whole marathon in 5:45 at the age of 67. We saw each other passing on the course and that was cool. My Dad walked the half marathon and was waiting for us at the end. I ran a PR (personal record) 4:11:05 and came in 6th in my age group (they gave awards to 5th place-bummer) Oh, Maurice took a picture of the 4 hour pacer finishing and guess what? He was all alone!

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