“The next time you’re in the USA, run a marathon there”. Those were the words from by brother Jaime after he took part in Chicago marathon in 2011.
It has taken me 2 years to go back there. This time for my honeymoon. This did not stop me to follow the advice. I went through a website with all the marathons in California and found that San Diego Rock’n’Roll marathon was taking place on the very last day of the trip. Perfect! That way the muscle soreness of the following days would not interrupt the tourism activities.
June 2nd, the day of the race was only one month and a half after March 17th, when we ran Rome marathon, thus I did not follow any special training plan for this marathon. I just tried to keep the form with which I arrived to Rome by running often, though I didn’t do any series session and only one long run… I paid for that.
The atmosphere was very good but only in some neighbourhoods, in others not so many people cheering the runners. Along the road 163, during the steepest (up to 6% along 1km) and longest (about 4km) climb there was almost nobody. Even if the overall profile is a descent I found the course quite tough. The times of the first 3 runners seem to say the same (2h15 for the winner, 20 minutes more for the second…). The other thing that I didn’t like much was the solid or the lack of abundant and varied solid supplies along the course. I thus only relied on my 3 energetic gels and drinks.
I went quite well at the expected pace (below 5’20” / km) for the first 28 kilometres, then I started to miss endurance and right afterwards the long climb “killed” me. I, however, did not stop and kept running up, if very slow (most of the runners in my time -between 3h45 and 4h- where walking during those kms). I’ve gone through much tougher situations in the last years, thus I only thought “well, slow the rhythm and the climb will finish at some point, keep up”.
In the end I finished in some 3h56’19” as clocked by the official chip (see the report of the race as recorded by my Garmin here). I was happy enough with the result and with having finished the second marathon in the year, another sub-4-hour marathon (the 4th in a row under 4h) and the 9th overall.