Runner's Footprints

Runner's Footprints

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Myrtle Beach Marathon

With Friends That Are Like Family 
I came to the race with the mentality that I would race strong but it would be targeted as a harder training run than what I had done at the Carlsbad Marathon (four weeks earlier). In Carlsbad, I jogged and held back tremendously the first half with my friend Niel's help and then raced the second half with what I had left at the time. Two weeks earlier, I targeted Surf City as my PR effort, unfortunately, warm temps and the non shaded portion of the last 16 miles got the best of me resulting in six minutes slower than my PR. For Myrtle, I would listen to my body for the first 13 miles and decide my race strategy at the halfway mark unsure how recovered I was and knowing how sleep deprived I felt. 

After 2 hours of sleep 2 nights prior and 4 hours of sleep 1 night prior, I had never wanted to sleep in so much on race morning. Rushing to the race start is never smart but I found myself stuck in a porta-potty line at 6:29am while the start was one minute away. Oh well, I like starting the first few miles slow as a warm-up anyways but I found myself dodging runners until I found my pace around the 5K mark. I grooved comfortably into a 7:40 average pace until the half. It was so great to share some company with Alicia running so gracefully right ahead of me in eyesight. Slight gradual hills thereafter slowed my pace slightly especially at Mile 17 but my average pace remained in the 7:30s. Running into Kino at Mile 19 with his smile and encouragement helped me stay strong. Thank you Kino! After Mile 20, I decided to give it what I could and dropped my average pace to 7:20s. I was sleepy, I was tired, but I really, really wanted to see if I could go sub-3:20 even though I had not planned on it. By Mile 24, I checked my splits and knew that the only way I could make it was by hitting the last two miles at a 7:00 min/mi pace. I attempted to pick up the pace but then immediately felt a nauseating feeling in the pit of my stomach. My thighs throbbed and I could not bring down the pace. Even though my last two miles were my fastest miles splits, it was not enough. Finishing in 3:20:39, I immediately plopped on the ground raising my legs above me hoping the nauseous feeling would go away. Could I have gone faster if I slept more? Could I have gone faster if I had not been in the porta potty line just one minute before the start? Or did I just simply need someone yelling at me during the last 5K to dig deeper? Usually when it is just seconds, we might all find ourselves asking what if I had done this differently. Then again I remind myself, one of the best questions I could ask: what did you learn about yourself? It’s an eye opener. It may not have been a PR, it may not have played out the way I had planned, but I had an amazing time with friends and that is what made this race weekend count. The memories shared with friends we can consider family. Till the next one!
Myrtle Finishers: Benny, Nadia, Kino, Thunder
Course Description:
One relatively flat loop with periodic Atlantic Ocean views. Approximately 70% of the course was shaded with coastline resorts, trees and shrub. Loved it! Half marathoners ran along with the marathoners until about Mile 11 when half marathoners were guided to their finish and marathoners continued forward. Food provided twice on the course at Mile 16 and Mile 22 with fluid stations at approximately every 2 miles providing water and Powerade. Race temps at the start were 40°F and 66°F at the finish with sunny skies. Great conditions for personal fast finishing times.

Red-eye flights are almost never fun unless you are provided with a bed or are in first class to get some quality shut eye. Unfortunately when I'm mostly restricted to weekend travel for many marathons in other states and aim to minimize cost, flying from the west coast to east coast typically is done via red-eye to optimize my time. Booking a flight late wasn't optimal in this case because I was limited to only center seats on a turbulent flight with two connections (three airplanes) from Los Angeles, CA to Wilmington, NC. So it was either lean on the older man sitting next to me or read to kill time. Needless to say, it was rough. The remaining 80 miles from Wilmington, NC to Myrtle Beach, SC were driven by car. Sleeping perhaps one hour on the 2nd plane and perhaps another hour during a connection, I was in desperate need of sleep.

Race Expo:
As a last minute trip, I needed to register for the marathon at the expo. Again, not my optimal choice as there was always a chance that it would fill to capacity before I arrived; however, I did not have another choice since I made the decision to participate after online registration closed. The expo was reasonable having its share of approximately 20 vendors. In and out within fifteen minutes.

Food Consumption:
One of the most enjoyable aspects of marathons for me: eating! I cannot deny that I love my fair share of carbs.
2 cups of Edamame, 2 cups of strawberries, 2 bags of pretzels, 1 cup of organic granola, 1 cup of Wheaties cereal, and 1 bag of almond, pistachio, dried cherry, and cranberry trail mix. (Snacks on flight… where I should have been sleeping but found myself reading and eating)
1 Starbucks Greek Yogurt with honey & granola (Breakfast)
1 Subway foot long turkey on wheat (Lunch)
6 mini bags of pretzels (Snack)
Lobster & Shrimp Ravioli entrée plus rolls of bread (Dinner)
1 half cannoli (Dessert)
1 Organic granola bar (Midnight snack... woke up hungry)
1 cup of Organic granola (Race morning)
2 half bananas (During the race… forgot my gels in my gear bag)
2 oranges, 1 Greek yogurt, 2 chocolate milk cartons (Immediate post-race)

Myrtle Beach Results Summary:
Saturday, February 18, 2012
3:20:39 (7:40 pace)
Half Splits 1:41/1:39
1st in Division W 25-29
145th Overall of 1767 finishers

Marathon Totals:
4th 2012 marathon
18th state/country
35th BQ
51st sub-4
71st total marathon

Upcoming Marathons:
Napa Valley Marathon
Catalina Island Marathon
LA Marathon
Boston Marathon
Big Sur Marathon

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