Monday, November 9, 2015

Mt.Laguna Trail Marathon Review

I am sitting here in my living room and I am still so excited about yesterday's race. First of all, it is hard not to be when this is honestly my favorite race. This is my third time running this marathon and every time it has been a great experience. I was not sure if they where having the race this year but as soon as I heard they where I signed up and told all my friends about it. You have to share stuff like this. So, next year if you haven't taken part in Mt. Laguna Trail Marathon, do it.
The race started at at 8am. How awesome is that?! I got to sleep in a little and I also got a ride to the race (thank you Jeff ).  SWEEEET!!! We arrived at 7:15 am and we had plenty of time to get parking and our bibs, go potty and take a bunch of pictures. Everything was completely organized and there was coffee and bagels. As I was walking around I could hear happy conversations. You know runners catching up and excited to run. For me this was the perfect race to end my running year. The race started right on time. Scott Mills counted down and off we went. 

I ran a long time with my friend Jeff. At one point I told him he was the rabbit I was the greyhound. He would run and I would catch up. I was afraid it was going to be cold but it warmed up really quickly. The air was crisp but the sun felt warm on your skin. The trail was really well marked. I never had a 'Oh no am I lost' moment because there was chalk at the turns and lots of ribbons to keep you on the right path. 

This picture was taken by the race photographer.

This course is not easy but I don't think I have ever run an ultra that I could say was easy.  The course is fun, challenging and beautiful. What made this year different was knowing all my friends were out there too. As far as nutrition, I had Tailwind in my pack and I had a GU every 7 miles. I had 2 small bananas at the aid stations and a small cup of ginger ale and that seemed to work just fine. I was able to keep my 13 min mile pace. I was happy with that.

My goal was to run faster than last year. I really didn't care how much faster but faster. So I knew I had to try and keep a 13 min mile pace to do that. That thought kept me motivated to keep moving. I really did enjoy myself and maybe it was the distance 26.2 miles but I was OK this entire race. I never felt tired and my tummy was fine. Yesterday I had one of those runs that reminded me that getting all my training runs in and working out make a big difference. I felt like I knew the course and I could compare last years run to yesterdays run and I just felt stronger. 

My dad and my 14 year old son volunteered yesterday and I have to say that running into an aid station and seeing my them felt so special. My son took this picture of me when I ran in. He kissed me on the head and said 'way to go mom!' ( I melted a little)
 The course ends with yellow valleys on your right and then a steady up hill at the end. As I was running to the finish line I saw my youngest standing there. 

I finished 5:45 minutes. 6 minutes faster than last year. I can honestly say that when I saw this little guy standing there with all my friends and family behind him well I felt like I won the big race of life. My kids, my family plus add a marathon ( my favorite marathon) on the perfect fall day and I would say I had the perfect race day. 

How cool is this a bunch of the Trail Crasher Ladies placed. Debbie won the female division and Becca got 4th and Julian got 5th. Congratulations Ladies. I have so much admiration for you. 

I love this picture. All those smiles are I am happy to be done smiles. A huge 'Thank you' to the race director Kathleen Baker and Scott Mills for putting on this epic marathon. The amazing volunteers who took good care of us runners. Congratulations to everyone who showed up run this epic marathon. Happy Trails 

Showing up is half the battle training is the other half.

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