Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Marathon the Easy Way

So after yesterday’s cathartic session, I am ready to give you all an upbeat step by step on how to enjoy a Marathon – the easy way. Leave it to me to figure that out!

The journey actually starts on Saturday. My original plan was to ride the train from OC to San Diego on Saturday for the expo, and then drive early Sunday morning for the race. But, if there is one thing L.A. is *not* known for – it’s our public transportation network. Sure enough – when I went to buy a ticket Friday night, there was a “Service Alert”! No trains on the weekend due to track maintenance. So I punted late Friday night and ended up booking a room in San Diego for Saturday night. I was lucky enough to find one with a shuttle to/from the race. I was set!

My day began on Sunday with my 4AM wake up call. I packed up my room and made it out to the 4:45 AM shuttle. Fifteen minutes later we were at the start line.

P6060043The first thing that struck me was the humanity stuffed into the northwest corner of Balboa Park. This was going to make my most important task of the day very daunting – finding my blogging and twitter pals. Yikes!

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But, it wasn’t long before I heard the sounds that akaAlice had told me to listen for – the coach on the bullhorn. I wandered in that direction and score! Heffers!

P6060053_0002 It was shortly after that the highlight of my day occurred. San Diego’s history is steeped in the military. There is a large Navy/Marine presence in the city, and we were honored with the USMC marching band to kick things off:

I was hoping to make it to the 3:30 pace group to meet Adam, but the crowds were just not moving forward, and time was getting tight. Sorry Adam!

By this time, there were about 30 minutes to the start of our little run. Time to make it down the corral line and find some people I had been dying to meet! First stop – corral 9 for Tea Time and her sister!

P6060059Then corral 20. All the way from Kansas. Hannah! I hope Southern California treated you well!

P6060061Next was corral 34 to meet up with Slomohusky. Great seeing you again Slomo! By this point it was time to get back to my starting corral. As a relay participant, I was free to choose whichever corral I wanted, but I decided to move into corral 19 to give my niece and her friend a few last minute pointers before their first marathon.


Then, it was time for the National Anthem, followed by the “buzz”:

And then we were off. Another start. Another marathon! Well. Not really. It took us around 15 minutes to make it over the start line. But soon enough we were running.


I was lucky enough to have pulled the straw to run the first leg of the relay. It was overcast and in the mid 60’s but INCREDIBLY humid as we headed around the neighborhood and into Balboa Park. I dove into the first water station at mile 2 and grabbed some liquids. Soon enough we were in Balboa Park and on some of the new, realigned course. I need to say this – this part of the course was AWESOME!!!

P6060080 From Casa del Prado’s distinctive Moorish architecture, to the statue of El Cid:

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And past the Spreckles’ Organ (too bad Phantom of the Opera wasn’t playing when we ran past!):

P6060086On a side note, the more I run, the more I realize what a small community this is. I ran into a gentleman who I saw at Laguna Hills the weekend before. He is making an attempt to run 50 half marathons by the age of 50. San Diego was #29. He was looking real strong at mile 4!

P6060084Soon, we were leaving Balboa Park and back into downtown San Diego:


Next stop was Petco Park in the Gaslamp Quarter, the home of the San Diego Padres at Mile 5:


Then, we made our way through the streets of the Gaslamp and down to Seaport Village and the U.S. Naval Reservation past mile 6. At this point I was starting to hurt. I thought that my leg was around 7 miles in length so I had sped up at mile 5. We were on  a short out and back along the harbor when I realized the transition point was *not* at mile 7. In fact, it was nowhere to be seen. Thank goodness about that time Allison came bounding up! She was all smiles and provided a huge lift for me. She had come out from Atlanta to enjoy San Diego with Team in Training. We first met at Surf City, and will be meeting again for the San Francisco Half. Thanks Allison!


I pulled it together and rounded a corner to head back into downtown. My Garmin was saying 7.5 miles. Then – there it was. Runners standing around with nothing to do. That could only mean one thing – TRANSITION ZONE!!!!


And just like that, my race was over! Woo hoo! Speedy Sasquatch released!


Final stats: 7.6 miles in 1:10. Splits:

  • Mile 1: 9:09
  • Mile 2: 9:33
  • Mile 3: 9:31 (Miles 2 and 3 - I kept having to slow down as I ran into the back of waves that had started before me).
  • Mile 4: 9:25
  • Mile 5: 8:41
  • Mile 6: 9:43 (Photo stop at Petco! Have I told you I’m a baseball fan?)
  • Mile 7: 9:27
  • Mile 7.6: 6:06 (9:28 pace)

I gathered my wits and went off to wander the streets of San Diego. Before I left though, I plastered a high five to my niece as she passed the relay transition! Woo hoo! Go Patricia!

P6060100 Up tomorrow – time to turn into a spectator and cheerleader.


  1. Sure sounds like you had fun! Neat to meet fellow bloggers as well. Great photos.

  2. it sounds awesome, great pics!

  3. You are so right, they SHOULD have been playing Phantom on that large organ. That would have rocked!

    You have race-photo-taking skillz. Running and photo-taking, I couldn't do it. :)

  4. Love the pics, Glenn! Awesome job!

  5. I love the pics! That part of the course looks like so much fun. I meant to say this on your previous post...I love the video of the Marines!

  6. That sounds like an awesome time, Glenn. How fun. And that medal is sweet! Great job out there!

  7. Wow, it looks and SOUNDS like such a great time! Now only if they got the rest of their well ya know... in order :)

  8. Sounds like you had a GREAT time and did it the "easy" way!

  9. I love marathon relays, the team support is so fun you certainly lived up to that! The pictures were really great, thanks for sharing them!!

  10. Sounds like a blast man. Thanks for sharing your day with the vids and pics. Marathon the easy way....nice.

  11. I really need to try the relay at some point!

    Running past the organ was pretty cool. This is the first year the course has run through that part of the park, and I also think it's one of my favorite stretches of the run. You have the best pictures.

    Again, sorry I missed you! There were so many people (bloggers) in town for this and I didn't see anyone. Ah well.

  12. I love love love the pics. Makes one feel as if they were there. Great job!

  13. I am very impressed by your blogger meeting skills, Glenn!

    Congratulations on completing another race for the books. ::high fives::

  14. Bummer that we didn't get together. It was a ZOO at the start so it honestly doesn't surprise me though.

    nice work on the even splits for your leg. The first section was, by far, the best part of the race.

    Love the pics!

  15. Super speedy Glenn! Great job on your relay! Sounds like an awesome time!

  16. Your relay leg sounds scenic. I definitely think a marathon-RELAY is the way to go :) Quicker recovery, no sucidal thoughts at mile 22... ;-)

    Hope your niece did well and is hooked on running another!

  17. Great report! I love all the pictures.

    I think I would have enjoyed the first part of the new course. I love Balboa Park!