Despite feeling horrible after Boston to Big Sur last year, I signed up for it again this year because the views are just too amazing to pass up. Last year, my quads took a beating in Boston and they were not fully recovered before Big Sur. My massage therapist even kinesiotaped my quads to help with recovery. I told Andrew that I would pace him to a 4 hour marathon at Big Sur, but by mile 3, my quads were screaming. We were both in trouble by mile 21 and fell off pace. We ended up running 4:07 last year, but we were pretty happy with our times considering it was the first time we ran 2 marathons in 6 days! This year was quite the opposite experience for me. It was AWESOME!
I was surprised that I was walking pretty well by Wednesday after Boston this year and when I went to see my massage therapist on Thursday, I told her that I did not need to get kinesiotaped! Feeling optimistic about running another 26.2 without leg pain, Andrew and I flew to San Francisco early Friday morning. After our usual stop at In-N-Out, we drove 2 hours south to Monterey, went to the expo, checked into our hotel, and then went to have engagement photos done. Yes, jam packed itinerary!! If you knew me, that would not surprise you. =) I managed to secure a photographer after we got engaged to take photos along the coastline. Andrew had only slept 2.5 hours the night before so I was not sure how the photos would turn out, but there was no other time to do the photo shoot. Our photographer was awesome and he sent us the photos Saturday night. We had to wake up at 4AM for the marathon so we wanted to get to bed early, but I could not resist looking at the photos!
We managed to wake up on time and get to the start a little earlier than last year. We even had time to use the porto potties twice before having to get to the start line! That did not matter because Andrew and I both had to go pee within the first 2 miles of the race. Luckily, there were plenty of porto potties along the course and I did not have to wait for one (or have to pee myself during the race!)!
I had no doubt that Andrew could run sub-4 at Big Sur so after running the first 2 miles together, I told him to take off and that I would see him at the finish line. My goal this year was to not feel nauseous and be able to enjoy the strawberries at mile 23! Finishing sub-4 was a distant goal considering the hilly course and the heavy winds. Running faster than last year was a realistic goal so I ran as fast as my legs felt comfortable going.
Even though I had run Big Sur last year, the views still took my breath away. You really are running along the edge of the western world. Instead of spectators lining the course, you had the sound of ocean waves carrying you through the 26.2 miles. You do not get this in New York City!
After the photo with the ponies, I looked at my watch and realized that if I wanted to break 4 hours, I would have to stop horsing (hehe) around and get to work! I passed the halfway mark at 2:02 so I had some time to make up in the second half. My legs have never run the last seven miles of a marathon so hard before. The last few miles were a blur. I remember slowing down to grab a strawberry from the table at mile 23, a runner asking if that was the last hill, and remembering that there was a big hill at mile 25. I did not have the heart or energy to tell the runner about that hill. I had to save my energy to get to the finish line!
For the second race in row, my name was announced as I approached the finish line, which got me even more excited to cross the finish line. After playing a little too much in the beginning of the race and then having to drop the hammer later in the race, I made it under 4 hours (just barely)! 3:59:28! I have never had so much fun and had to run so hard in a marathon! It will definitely be a race that I will remember for a long time.
See, it was AWESOME!!
Some Race Statistics:
Men’s Champion: Adam Roach 2:30:48
Women’s Champion: Malia Crouse 2:57:02
Number of Male Marathoners: 1715
Number of Female Marathoners: 1717
Number of Boston 2 Big Sur Challengers: 372 (# of males: 167. # of females: 205!)