I knew from Day 1 that Carlsbad would be an amazing race/experience. The whole experience was surreal – not a moment of anxiety, everything happened so perfectly. I am glad this would be the opening race of my year-long adventure.
I heard about this BEAUTIFUL course from a few friends and I was eager to add it to my list of marathons this year. I was rather disappointed (just like Boston) to find the race sold out when I tried to register, yet surprised to find that you can race if another registered runner will transfer their bib on to you for an additional $20 transfer fee (unlike Boston). Excited, I hopped over to the Carlsbad Marathon FB page to post my interest for a bib. So many people were posting all over the place looking for one and my chances looked grim. I continued posting every 4 hours or so (so my post would remain at the top of the list) and was contacted the next day by someone who couldn’t make it to the race. I got in and I was elated (thanks Mike and Hudson)!
Since I had categorized this race as a B Event in my 12 Marathons. 12 Months. post, I had put less emphasis on this race completely. This was a totally different experience, compared to CIM, like the pressure to PR, not to mention the list of things I shouldn’t have done: going to bed VERY late two nights before the event, throwing random items into my race day bag, showing up to the start line with 3 minutes before the race and even making phone calls during the race! Those were bad decisions and I am lucky that nothing went wrong, anyone of those things could have very well prevented me from running well or accomplishing my goal… Lesson learned.
My friend Janel R. and I arrived to Carlsbad the day before, and immediately headed to the expo. I was hoping to find some racing gear and a 26.2 sticker for my back car window. I only found the sticker but I was happy to run into my new friend Dane Rauschenberg – he had a booth and was signing copies of one of his books, See Dane Run. I hopped over there for a quick chat and of course to snap a photo (and I totally forgot to pick up one of his books). He was pleasant as ever and his gregarious personality radiated across the hall. I look forward to getting to know him better as he such an inspiration for runners of all goals. After the expo, I checked into the hotel, went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to find something to wear and then headed out to Vigalucci’s for dinner. Dinner was funny to say the least – I normally wouldn’t drink, but again, disregarding my focus for the race, I had a couple glasses of wine in addition to two pasta dinners (I was hungry). The hospitality at this place was a great addition to the yummy food.
Dane and me at the expo.
Race morning went very well — I slept like a baby. I think the wine idea will become my pre-race tradition but I will make sure to limit myself to one glass. The 6am start time wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, it was a little odd to run the first few miles in the dark but totally worth it when we were able to catch the sunrise while running parallel to the ocean on Carlsbad Blvd – so beautiful. This was a peaceful run – running next to crashing waves and tons of running space; I had a lot of time to think about things and clear my head.
When I contacted my friends that were eagerly awaiting my results, the first thing they said was, “so much for a B Event!” As I had mentioned earlier, this race was considered a B Event, a race that is ran smart and conservatively, mostly to avoid injuries, but mainly so I can focus on my two A Events later in the year. I did reference approximate goal times but my way of categorizing the races have more to do with a level of pushing myself physically and mentally – the time will speak for itself. Today I didn’t set a timed goal, of course I used my Garmin, and yes I PR’d, but I ran according to how my body felt. I felt great, the only thing that annoyed me was a tight knee – it never seemed to warm-up and I’ll have to consider wearing capris during my next cold race. I will definitely be back next year!