Sunday, May 31, 2009


San Diego Rock 'N' Roll Marathon Report!

Waking up at 4 AM is never easy if you're not used to it, but I felt amazingly rested. We had cool temperatures, in the low 60s with drizzle -- the perfect weather for running! My son and his friend dropped Michael and I off a couple of blocks from the starting area, but we needed to meet with the track club for one last stretch. I met up with some of my new track club friends who were eagerly anticipating the run. Most of this stuff is the typical pre-race protocol, such as dropping off gear at the UPS trucks to transport to the finish line, and making sure I got in line to use the port-o-potty... I was smart this time and made sure I had TP and Wet Ones. The port-o-potty was out of TP...

Michael and I barely made it to the starting corrals in time for the start. He started with me. For the first three miles I had to remind him to slow down. He was going faster than I was, and I knew he would burn out. After about mile 4 I pulled ahead of him and ran with a lady who was singing songs along the way. When I came upon her she was singing Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline," and the guys with her did the "bom, bom, bom" during the chorus. It was hysterical. I sang the "Brady Bunch" theme song with her after that. It was a blast. I high fived a bunch of cheerleaders, guys dressed like girls on the 163, and anyone who had their hands out.

Once I was off the 163 and got onto Friars Road, I happened upon three track club members who I have run with. I ran with them for a good two miles, and that's where everyone sort of separated. One guy went on faster, I kept the same pace, and the two other women slowed. Throughout the entire race I kept running with many of our track club members, and that was the neatest thing.

Around miles 15 and 16 was my neighborhood. My daughter and my grandson were there to cheer us on! I spotted them sitting along the curb near the elementary school. My grandson called out "Mimi!!!!" and gave me a big hug. That was priceless. I also got a big hug from my daughter. This is also the same street where the neighbors give out oranges and pieces of watermelon. Around mile 16 I turned on my iPod. With all the suggestions, there was over 3 hours of music! I put it on shuffle. The very first song was "Sedated" by The Ramones. That song perked me up right away.

I kept thinking that I was going to attempt to make it to mile 18 and then walk, but by the time I made it that far I still felt pretty good and continued to run.

Somewhere after mile 18 or so, the people were taking photos of runners in their running skirts. When I saw them, I started waving profusely. They're going to post the photos on Facebook. I must have seemed like a dork with all that waving I was doing, but I did look good doing it. LOL. I wore my red dot running skirt with a black tank top. A friend of mine was out there to take pictures, and I told him what I was going to wear, but he mentioned that there were SEVERAL women in my exact outfit!

About mile 21 I started running with Doreen from the track club. We have about the same pace, more or less. Some days she's ahead, and other days I'm ahead. We ran over the Ingraham street bridges together, then she had a burst of energy and took off.

Usually, the miles after 20 are what I call the sucky miles. I'm not sure why, but they weren't so sucky today, even on that switch back on Friars Road that's usually dry, dirty and drab. I did slow down after about mile 23, but I kept running, and it never really sucked. My legs felt good and my hip never bothered me, although I was slightly more gimpy, only because I was beginning to get tired. My lower back was sore at mile 23, though, but I think the water belt caused that soreness. With only 3.2 miles left I figured I could buck up and finish running, even if it was slow.

I saw my son and his friend at the 23.5 mile hydration stop on Pacific Highway, and got a hug there, and continued on.

As I ran down the Pacific Highway towards the turn towards MCRD, nearing in on mile 25, there were a lot of people cheering. I was in the zone. I had my iPod on and "The Pretender" by the Foo Fighters was on. I couldn't hear anything, but I later found out that my friend was there cheering for me! I didn't hear or see him! As I turned the corner into MCRD "Burn It To The Ground" by Nickelback came on, and that's what I thought I would finish to. I actually finished the marathon to "If U Seek Amy" by Britney Spears! (It WORKED, Flo! It really worked!)

I finished in 5:16:01. I never once hit that wall and I never once walked! It's not my slowest marathon, not my fastest, either, but considering all the shenanigans I went through last year with my injury, surgery, and rehab, I'm feeling rather content.

After the run was over, I retrieved some water, a cold towel, the medal and went to the medical tent for some ice. I iced my hip, just because I do that after every hard workout at rehab, and found Doreen icing her legs as well. She finished just ahead of me at 5:14.

They ran out of mylar blankets... It was a wee bit chilly after the run.

I waited for Michael to finish. While waiting I talked to several people who were just sort of milling around, gathering their minds, looking a bit bedazzled. Michael finished about 6:07. He said he had an upset stomach and had to stop several times, but he finished.

Once we gathered our belongings at the UPS trucks, we went over to say hi to the gang at the track club tent, then to listen to the featured band "English Beat." It amazed me that some of the marathoners were up and dancing. I could walk but I wasn't about to dance. We sat on the grass with Tara, also from the track club, and enjoyed the concert.

Back at home, showered, fed, and rested.

Surprises of the day:

  • Some of the songs that surprised me were "Time To Say Good-Bye" by Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocheli, "Hold On Tight" by ELO, "America" by Neil Diamond, "Fantasy" by Earth, Wind and Fire, and "Dirty Dancing" by New Kids On The Block. All of the songs were great - and I could not have finished the marathon with out ANY of the suggested songs, really, but those songs I mentioned were surprises because they were songs I wouldn't have thought to pick on my own. I loved them!
  • Coach Paul was just about everywhere on the course with his bull horn: "You make a difference!"
  • I was surprised that I ran the entire marathon.
  • I was surprised that I never hit the wall.
  • I'm still surprised that I'm not walking funny. We'll see what happens tomorrow morning...
Pictures to come.

Yesterday's song:
Part Of The List - Ne-Yo


Splits: 10 Km Half 21 Mile Finish O'All Sex Div
Times: 1:10:22 2:30:30 4:08:02 5:16:01 9208 3826 257
Pace: 11:20 11:29 11:49 12:04


AKA Alice said...

Oh Irene...I cannot believe I didn't see you!!!! I completely lurked and saw your finish and split times and know that somehow we just missed you in the crowd (we were at Mile 14...right as you turned onto Napa) from about 2:10 until 2:50 and later on I saw Doreen on Grand right before Mission Bay High School (Paula Ann and I were across the street, hollering like, well, like us).

I did see Michael on Friars and I think he saw us too...He was right behind the 5:30 pacer.

Great race for you! You should be proud of yourself. I was cheering for you, even if I didn't see you.

Rhoni Renee said...

I've been waiting all day for your report! Sounds like it went awesome! I'm so excited for you. :)

Southbay Girl said...

I didn't make it down there but I was tracking you virtual! Gotta love computers!

I'm so thrilled for you! What an awesome job you did-especially considering everything you went thru last year! Keep your head high! You are back!!

I Run for Fun said...

CONGRATULATIONS to both of you! Sounds like you had a great time throughout the race. Way to go!

Rookie on the Run said...

It sounds like you had a great race!! I looked for you but never saw you (speedy lady!).

I'm glad your hip wasn't bothering you and that you enjoyed your music selections.

I hit that "wall" pretty early on and that sucked. I'm so glad the weather cooperated!!

Flo said...

Yea!!! Congrats!!! Sounds like you had a fabulous race, that's awesome. I'm so glad you like If U Seek Amy!! It's so cheesy but I really like the beat of that song.
Congrats again!!!

Backofpack said...

There's nothing I like better than reading about a successful comeback after injury - you rock! I'm so happy for you and so amazed by the long year of rehab you put in - and always with a cheerful attitude. You are awesome!

Pat said...

congrats. I'm impressed you ran the whole way. I could never do that. Not yet anyway.

Miss Rachel said...

Congratulations on a great marathon Irene! Can't wait to see the pictures.

Joyce said...

Congratulations!!! I don't know what else to say, except that you rock.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

CONGRATS! Sounds like it was a really strong race for you! Considering your injuries and your surgery, you're a huge inspiration! Well done! :)

Anne said...

I'm so glad things went so well for you -- complete reversal of last year when you never made it to the starting line. I thought of everyone all day, what with the perfect running weather. I had a feeling a lot of people would turn in "good times." Glad you were one of them.

IzzyBubbles said...

Wow, how AWESOME that you can say you saw your GRANDSON along the course! I hope I'm a hot running grandma just like you someday! Sounds like an amazing race. Way to go, congrats!!

Juls said...

It all sounds like it worked out wonderfully. How nice to have your family there. That's always so nice.

I could have missed it, but did you post your playlist for the race? It would be fun to see.

barbie2be said...

dude, you're a stud!!!

Irene said...

AKA Alice,
I'm glad you were all there! I was pleased with my run. I don't feel like I was hit by a car or anything! I'm still debating on joining everyone for the Iron Girl even this weekend.

Thanks so much for your support!

Gotta love technology! My dad knew about my finish time before I did! Thanks for the text that morning!

Thanks so much! It was a really good day!

I kept an eye out for you, but there were just SOOOOOO many people! Hey, congrats to you, too!

You're right, something about the beat of that song works! It's not all that cheesy, but when I tell someone I ran in the marathon to a Britney Spears song they look at me funny. I swear, it works!

I finally get to have a marathon post! It feels good to be back at it! I still don't know if this will be my last marathon, but we'll see how life rolls. Thanks so much for your support!

Thanks. This is the first marathon that I've run the entire way. It feels good to say that.

I loved "Hold On Tight." It was a pretty good mental boost!

Thanks!!!!!!!! You've been very supportive over at PDB, too. I appreciate it!

I was surprised, to say the least. I'm glad I never hit that wall! Thanks!

Thanks so much for being so very supportive of me this past year. You were the first person to understand what I was going through. May 31, 2009 was a good day!

It's the first time everyone was at the marathon. It is such a mental boost to see your family cheering on the sidelines.

Dude, Thanks! ;)

leslie said...

I am so crazy proud of you! I had tears in my eyes as I read what you wrote. WAY TO GO, IRENE!!!

NotSoccer Mom said...

wow, you must be so proud of yourself! i guess i shouldn't be surprised at this but i am--because of your hip, etc. this is just amazing. go irene!

SavyArt said...

You did so great, and you look great in the photos too! I may have to borrow your idea for the ipod songs though and do a call out when I'm closer to San Antonio!

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

Congrats on a great run!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...


Deene said...

Congrats and well done! Woot woot!!

Fair Weather Runner said...

what a great race report. congrats and amazing job!!

Irene said...

You're so sweet. Thanks for your constant support. I hope we get run together, soon.

It still was a matter of unfinished business. Thanks so much!

Well, if I can't BQ at least I can look good! LOL. j/k...


I'll second that! Woohoo!

And woot-woot! LOL. Thanks. :)

Fair Weather Runner,

Dori said...

Great race report, Irene. I could envision parts of the course as you talked about it. What's your secret to running a marathon and not hiting the wall? That's a goal of mine. :-)

Irene said...

RE: not hitting the wall:

Cooler weather?

Getting rest the day before the marathon by not going to the expo on Saturday. I went on Friday.

Not being sick.

Better nutrition.

Not going out too fast.

Not using the electrolyte on the course, but the stuff I had with me.

The time I put in at sports rehab. Can you say squat? I squat 'til I can't squat no more. I think it helped.

Training with the track club.