This weekend Rhett and I took on the San Diego 50 and Trail Marathon. We drove to Escondido from my house starting at 4:45AM in a major downpour. It was a tough drive there because it was raining so hard. When we got to the race we checked in and relaxed in my truck for about half an hour. By the time the race started it was no longer raining but it had been raining most of the night and that morning. The start of the race was perfect weather with clouds covering the sun and a nice cool breeze. The race started right on time and off we went. It didn't take long to realize that we were in for a muddy day. The first few miles were awesome with scenic views and legs that felt nice and fresh. We tried to keep a pace that was not too fast. After the first aid station we started a climb and decided it would be best to hike some of it. We got to the top and started the run back down the hill. It was pretty steep and much longer than the way up. This was an out and back course so we knew we were in for a treat about mile 21 on our way back. On the way out we dealt with a lot of mud and we had to cross a little stream that got our shoes nice and soaked. About 1-2 miles from the turnaround point it became really really muddy and our shoes became much heavier from all the mud. We hit the halfway mark feeling good and started our way back. We went through the crazy mud again and crossed the stream again, which this time felt really good and helped to get all the mud off our shoes. Then came mile 20 to 21. This is where things started taking a turn south. Rhett felt great but started having problems keeping anything in his stomach while I started to really feel like my legs were HEAVY along with my stomach not feeling great. We both think it might have been the water because it was terrible. I felt the decline until about mile 24. At mile 24 I really started to feel the lack of training and the fact that I only did 2 long runs to prepare for this marathon. We stopped a couple of times to either let Rhett throw up or let me rest my legs between miles 22-24, but we only needed short breaks. From miles 24-26 we both pushed through and finished the marathon. I was a little disappointed that I didn't feel better at the end of the marathon. My goal was to finish and feel like I could go longer. That was not the case. When I finished I was spent and I didn't want to run another minute. The course was a little long according to my watch and believe me, I was wishing it was a little short instead of long.
Even though it didn't turn out like I wanted it to, I still had a great time on the trails and running with my buddy. This was my first marathon since Boston in 2017 so I was happy to make it through. I forgot how tough the last 5-6 miles are with a marathon and I had to dig deep to keep my legs going the last 2 miles. On a positive note, I am not sore at all after running the marathon and my legs feel pretty good. Usually I take a couple weeks off, but because we ran so slow I think I can run much sooner. The next goal is to BQ at Mt. Charleston in April.
I am always thankful that I have been blessed with the ability to run like I do. I love the feeling I get when I accomplish a goal, even if it's not exactly how I had it planned out in my head. I had a great time and pushed through some pretty dark moments while I was on the course, but I still pushed through. I alway love the chance to run with my buddy Rhett too. He has been the #1 reason I have been able to do all this stuff. It was great to spend time with him and pusing through some dark moments together. We were able to both help each other during this reace. Now the serious training begins for Mt. Charleston.