Surfer's Path Marathon RR

I waited a long time to write the RR because I have been waiting for the official pictures, WHICH ARE STILL MISSING!  So, bear with me.

This weekend, I ran the Surfer's Path Marathon as my first post-surgery marathon.  Hubby did the Capitola Half Marathon, which was the same race notwithstanding the different name.

This race takes place in Santa Cruz, California, along the city of Santa Cruz and the Village of Capitola and passes through what is known as the Surfer's Path.  It is where Jay Moriarity is from, the surfer whose life is shown on the big screen in the movie Chasing Mavericks.

Initially, I signed up for the half marathon together with my husband, assuming I would not be ready to run a marathon by May.  My husband asked me three times: are you sure you don't want to sign up for the marathon?  And I said, no, I won't be ready.  Fast forward to a month and a half ago after a 16 miler, when I thought, hey, I think I am ready.  Slow, but ready!  So, I accidentally emailed the RD and asked whether they could switch me to the full and he stupidly did. 

My training has been somewhere between regular training and recovery from surgery.  As you know, I had a hysterectomy on Valentine's Day (so romantic) and it went well.  It resolved some issues I have been dealing for the last 7 years and the only thing I can say about it now is WHY DID I WAIT THIS LONG?  Technically, activity could be resumed by Week 2, but the surgeon wanted me to do no running for 4 weeks because of the amount of running I do.  So, of course, I biked during the second week and by Week 3 I was running.  The surgeon was happy with my recovery (as am I).

Week 1 back to running, I ran 7.50 miles.  Week 2, 22.  Then 33, 44, and back in the 50s.  As "training" for this race, I did three weeks in the 50s, one in the 60s, one 14 miler, one 16 miler, and one 18 miler.  They all felt slow but great.  I wouldn't call this training but it went great than anything I have done since Chicago.  So, I knew I could finish it.  Tentatively, I planned on running it at the same paces I ran my 16 and 18 miler, with a goal of 5 hours.  I felt it was doable.

Then, I lost my voice.  I have been having issues with my asthma medication leaving my vocal chords damaged.  I sorta need my voice for work.  A lot.  So, I consulted with the doctor and asked for new meds.  She gave me Advair and Dulera to try.  I started with Advair two weeks before the marathon.  MISTAKE.

The weekend prior to the race, I ran a 5K in Coconut Grove and saw RobinCD (who was down here for business) and a RWOL forumite from the marathoner forums.  I was planning on doing some speedwork during the 5K yet, when the time came, I could barely breathe and ran one of the worst 5Ks in my entire racing career.  That night, I ran 10 with my husband and he noticed that I was wheezing.  Yeap, the breathing was low.  The Advair was not enough.  Yet, it was too late to change it so close to the race so I endure it and the breathing got better.  Or so I thought.

Because of work, we couldn't fly out until Saturday morning.  Arrived in San Francisco at 9:30am and drove to Santa Cruz, did the expo and sightsee.  Found a nice Italian restaurant within 1/2 mile from the hotel and walked there and back and had a nice dinner.  We went to bed at 11am PST.  Up at 6am and ready to go.

Some pics:

Me and hubby before the race:




Met athenaofamerica, from the RWOL Marathoners forum, who smoked her race with a big PR:



And off we went.  I started first and my husband stayed behind to fix his shin brace.  The race was not flat but not super hilly and I did good time.  During the first half turnaround, my husband passed me (da fuck?)  That pace was too fast for him but he looked to be having a good race.  Don't worry, ladies, I chicked him at the big hill and he remained 1/2 mile away throughout the rest of his race.

I passed by the finish line in 2:28ish so still around the time I wanted.  I knew hubby was going to run a sub-2:30 and at least a 5-10 minute PR because I saw him approaching the finish while I continued on to the North and the other half.  By then, the temps had gone from mid 50s to the 60s and by the end it was in the 70s.  Nice weather when it's been in the 90s in the Miami, but sunny!  I got a nice tan from it.

After the half marathon point, we ran North towards the Surfer's Path.  We ran by the sea, which was very nice.  I saw a lot of surfer's in the water waiting for waves (this reminds me of the time I lived in Honolulu).  And then, Mile 18 came in.  The "path" was a dirt path.  Dirt = Dust.  I am allergic to dust.  It was very windy.  The girl in front of me kept raising the dirt up and the wind kept hitting me with in the face.  I started choking.  This went on and on from Miles 18 to Mile 22, making me slow down a lot since I could not breathe.  I went from 11mm to 13-14mm but at least I never got an asthma or anaphylactic attack, woot!  Yet, my lungs were tired.

At mile 22 we ran back to the finish line (at the beach) and as soon as the dust left, my lungs started recovering and by Mile 23 I was passing people like there was no tomorrow.  I actually went back to the 11mm I was running during the first 18 miles.  I passed the last hill and I saw some dude taking my picture.  It was my husband.  I tried to tell him to find my albuterol before I finished but I realized I had no voice.  Here is me.  I look annoyed, LOL.



I finished in 5:16, 16 minutes slower than I wanted.  But considering I was choking for a good chunk of the race, I think the time was alright.  I also trained for only 7 weeks and did little to no speedwork so the time reflects my current ability post surgery and a point to work on.

Oh, here is the husband basking in his new PR:



Apparently, he has found the art of the selfie.

And here is me at the finish.  Windy?  I think not!



Now I am taking some days off to get my lungs back to 100% (which for me is 60% breathing capacity) before I start training for San Francisco.  I am back on the old asthma med and have already increased breathing by 5%.   Good!

Thanks for reading.

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