This was the first stand-alone marathon I completed since the fall of 2011. When I first signed up for it my goal was to have a successful marathon but nothing crazy fast (for me). I just wanted to run a good race and enjoy it. After Oceanside in April I realized that I was actually running pretty close to BQ pace so maybe I should go for it. After that I trained with that goal in mind!
The race started really early, 6:00 AM, which is really good for me. I do so much better in the cooler temps so the early start and perfect cloudy/overcast weather were perfect for me. I started with the 3:43 pace group (I was shooting for 3:42 or faster) because I wanted to keep myself from going out too hard. My plan was to stick with them until 6 miles and then assess how I felt. But by mile 3 when the downhill finally started I was finding it hard to stay back with them. I let myself run my pace but I watched my HR very closely. The only numbers I was paying attention to were my mile splits and HR. As long as those numbers were good I wasn’t going to push it much harder. Original goal was just to run 3:42 but I had set my watch pacer to get me 3:40. I knew that if I ran 5+ min under my BQ time I would pretty much be guaranteed a spot in Boston. At mile 8ish I finally looked at the pacer screen on my watch and saw that I was spot on for a 3:40. After that point the goal was nothing above an 8:25 mile as long as my HR was still aerobic.
Stuart was amazing! He found me all over the course. If you want a race that your family can really see you at, this is it.
There was a bit of a hill after 15 but running up felt good for a change. Around 17-18 I saw Stuart again and got my second can of Red Bull. I followed my nutrition plan all day. Water at every aid station, Cliff Shot every 5 miles ish (alternate chocolate and mocha), and Red Bull at miles 9 and 17.
By 18 things were getting a bit tougher. My knees were getting a bit angry but I just kept an eye on my pace and HR. I knew if I just kept it up I would have my BQ by 5 minutes. By mile 21 I was starting to struggle but I knew it would be over soon. Luckily/unluckily the road surface of Ventura Ave is kind of crappy so instead of focusing on my pain and discomfort, I concentrated on the road and picking the cleanest and easiest line.
The last 3 miles were really tough. I had looked at my watch finally to see how far ahead of the pace I was. I saw I had a 1:20 lead over the pace and I was just hanging on to NOT let that get below 1:00. That was all I could focus on. It wasn’t until Mile 21 that I finally was running in my threshold HR zone. I wasn’t maxing out so that was good!
I was dying for the finish. I didn’t know exactly where it was. Once I knew I was close I really kicked it into the highest gear I could. 3:38:56!!! I am going to Boston!!!
The race has a net downhill and is very popular for local runners trying to get a BQ. What made this a benefit was there were so many people cheering in their Boston Jackets on course. It really helped keep me focused on the goal. They even have a gong that you can ring if you got your BQ.
It was a super successful race. I met every goal I set for myself. When you look at the data here, you will see how controlled my HR was and how even my pace was. I was only 10 seconds slower in the second half over the first! I owe so much of my race to my Coach Jen. She trained me perfectly to meet this goal.
I owe a ton to Stuart for the day! He was everywhere on the course taking awesome pictures and keeping everyone informed of my progress.
Boston here I come!!!
Way to go girl! What an awesome result. A well controlled race from start to finish. You earned your Boston place!
Thanks! I am so proud of myself!
Congratulation on your achievement! You achieved a wonderful goal and you looked like you had fun doing it.
Whoop! You look so strong, happy and focused… well done, Becca! Big congrats on your BQ!
I’m so happy for you! You set this goal on somewhat of a whim, but really trained well for it! Those great days on the course are special! And I always super appreciate Stuart posting updates for us!
Woohoo! Congrats again. I’m preparing for M2B this year! Would you mind emailing me your garmin data with the elevation by mile!? 🙂
https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/1189656665 if you scroll down to the splits you can find all the data for each mile. Let me know if that doesn’t work. Good luck if you are running. It is a great fast marathon and if you hubby is going to be watching he can find you really easily a bunch of times.
You are awesome! THANK YOU! I’m very excited for the race!
When you get to Ventura Ave the road gets crummy and the last three miles are a bit rough but otherwise it is a great race! so many people are going for BQs so everyone cheering wears their Boston Jackets. It is pretty cool!