I did write one post where I briefly talked about the marathon and posted a few pictures. If you missed that one, don't worry about going back and re-reading as I will probably say a lot of the same things here and share the same pictures. That's not my usual style, but since I've taken so long to really process the marathon experience I figure ya'll have forgotten it anyways. tee-hee...
My first thought always when I think about my marathon was that I'm really glad I did it and that it was really, really, really hard. I am even more amazed now by folks that run these things repeatedly than I ever was before I actually experienced it. I said it before, and I'll continue to say it until the day I die - completing a marathon is no friggin' joke.
|How it all started...with a registration confirmation!|
|Flat Kristen...ready to go!|
|One of my favorite training spots was Diamond Valley Lake|
|A training run with my DIL's and a much deserved reward of feet in sand once done!|
|A training run in Dana Point through the Harbor|
|Hot, Sweaty, Mess...and I wasn't even done...Still had 12 miles to go!|
|Giving my Hubby the thumbs up just after crossing the finish line|
|Panorama of Ventura Beach from my hotel room balcony|
|The afternoon before the race it was just a *tad* breezy...|
|After the training run|
COURSE: The actual race course was pretty awesome. It was an out and back course running from the Ventura Pier to the Port Hueneme Pier and then back again. You have sections that are near the ocean, but I don't remember actually seeing much ocean during the race. You cross a couple little inlets that are quite pretty and the waves crashing on the rocks at the turnaround point were pretty spectacular. There are a lot of long straightaways which is actually kind of nice, unless you like a lot of variety in the scenery, then not so nice. Personally, I liked using the long straights to get in a zone. There's good stretches of shade and lots of places where spectators can cheer (more on this in a moment).
|One of the inlets as the sun was coming up|
AID STATIONS: There were plenty of aid stations along the way stocked with lots of water and Fluid Performance beverage. They also had more than enough Clif Shot gels at the aid stations that they were designated as being available at. And not just a single flavor, they usually had a variety so you could get one that you liked. I learned during the training run that I really enjoy the Vanilla Clif gel. It is like eating vanilla frosting! I tend to be a Gu Girl, but if I was buying vanilla it would be the Clif brand. I also have to say that the volunteers manning the aid stations were fabulous!!! They were very complimentary and encouraging and ready to help with whatever you needed if they were able to.
|I would have LOVED to see an aid station like this! LOL|
The aid stations didn't have anything else but water and Fluid Performance, and Clif Shots at every other one. I always hear about aid stations that have gummy bears and licorice and bacon and pretzels. I didn't see anything like that at all which was weird to me because they had ALL that stuff on the training run that I attended previously. I was a back-of-the-packer though, so perhaps there had been things that were gone by the time I got there. Totally possible. But at one point I would have died for a popsicle, but got lucky that one girl at the turnaround point had ONE ice cube left. I treasured that single, solitary ice cube like it was the last one I would ever have.
The second part on the aid stations was that none of them had any kind of body glide or vaseline available. They did have some folks helping with medical needs so I was able to get a band-aid and finally at the next to last aid station a gal finally had some vaseline. You see, I had some arm chafing and the aforementioned blisters on my feet and would have KILLED for some body glide. (Side note: I had body glide on my person when I left but it fell out of that previously mentioned Flip Belt that I purchased at the expo which was extremely frustrating and disappointing, but had nothing to do with the actual race).
And seriously, those are the ONLY negatives I have. The tech shirt and medal are AMAZING! The race organizers were fabulous. There were a ton of port-o-potties (although there could have been a few more on the route in a couple places, but not a deal breaker), the atmosphere, location and course were wonderful. If it wasn't so far away from me at about 2.5-3 hours driving, I would totally do the race again - well the HALF anyways. hahaha
|This picture...well, it just says it all!!!|
And just in case you think it was just writing this post that took forever, I just barely put my 26.2 sticker (that I ordered the day after my race) on my car on the 7th of this month - exactly three months after actually earning it! Apparently my marathon processing time is 3 months. :-)