Ventura Marathon 2018 Race ReportI wanted to run the Ventura Marathon 2018, because Mountains 2 the Beach was such a disaster. I insisted on running M2B despite being injured, and I ended up walking 13 miles. It was a miserable, and I didn’t want that to be my only 2018 marathon experience.
Although, I have coaching experience (& I am a teacher by profession), I have actually never had a coach before Matt. I didn’t play any sports growing up, so I mean, really, I have never been coached. I’ve been running for almost ten years as a serious hobby, and I have coached myself. Clearly, I have my own ideas. Handing the reins over to someone else was hard. I knew that what I had been doing wasn’t working any more. I was ready to have a Coach, but I didn’t communicate as well as I should have with Matt. He offered to video-chat, and Run Better Academy has a great portal, but I was reluctant to discuss issues. My view of a Coach is that they tell you what to do and you do it. You don’t have conversations questioning them. When something wasn’t working, I didn’t say anything until I was really frustrated, and then I would just go off on my own and do my own thing. I hope to work with Matt in the future, so if I do, I’ll be more open with him about issues as they arise. I should have asked for help adapting the training plan to specific situations. Overall, I was very happy with Matt’s training plan. The exercises were a great add-on to running, and the portal worked perfectly.
The day before the marathon, the entire family drove to Ojail. We stopped at packet pick-up on the way to the hotel. Everything was easy, and there was a great band playing. The experience was short but enjoyable.
The race started at 6:40AM the next morning, so I set my alarm for 3:00AM so that I could eat. I had ½ bagel, a glass of water, a banana and a sweet potato (w/ sugar), orange juice and coffee. I ended up taking an imodium AD before I left the hotel. It was only about a 8 minute drive to the start. I went to the bathroom right before I left, but as soon as my husband dropped me off, I got back in line at the porta pottie. I made it to the corral with only a minute or two to spare.
I had a lot of fun for about 15 miles, because I felt strong and confident. My knees started hurting early on, but I knew that I could ignore it. My fueling strategy worked well. I took a Boom energy gel at mile 5, and I sipped on 8 oz. on Maurten from miles 10-15. My plan called for an energy gel at mile 15, but I felt so good that I didn’t want to risk stomach problems by switching back to a gel. I didn’t do the math, so I don’t know if I needed it or not. I took another gel at mile 20. My stomach felt great, not even a hint of nausea.
At almost exactly mile 20, the wheels fell off. I could have easily subbed 3:30 if I could have kept any kind of pace whatsoever for those last 6 miles. I just kept running slower and slower. I was probably running a ten minute mile by the time I hit the finish line. My feet hurt, my legs hurt, my abs hurt and my right shoulder hurt. My body would not obey my command. This young woman ran up right next to me. She was running about 8:15. I said to her that I was going to try and stay with her for one mile. I managed a ½ mile, and I squealed a profanity as I let her go. She turned around and tried to encourage me to stay with her, but I couldn’t.
As I got close to the finish, I saw my husband. He was excitedly taking pictures and motioning for me to speed up. I couldn’t. When I got past the finish but before I reached the gal handing out the medals, I stopped. I wasn’t confused, but I couldn’t propel myself the 4 steps it would take to reach the young woman. Someone said, “Are you OK?” I automatically said yes, but I felt something happening to me. I said that I have to sit down. A woman helped me to a chair, and I began to hyperventilate. I don’t know where the hyperventilating came from. Although I had pain shooting through every part of my body, before I started wheezing, I didn't think lack of air was a problem. I think it was just the emotion of being finished. I took a few moments to concentrate on my breathing and I was fine. When I hobbled out of the awards area, my family was waiting. My husband went to see if I had placed in my age group and my kids stayed with me. He called on the phone to tell me that I had won my age group, and I felt crying. My husband decided that I needed to ice my knees, so I went to the med tent and they wrapped them. I felt so much better wrapped in a cocoon of numbing ice.
I couldn’t eat, but I put my feet up on a chair and we all hung out for a while listening to the band. It was the perfect afterparty.
I loved the Ventura Marathon. I would highly recommend it. In case the race director wants my opinion...lol...I’ll give two suggestions. RaceJoy sucks. I don’t run with a phone, so my family had no tracking. Just let me pay the $2 or whatever so my husband can track me. Also, it was difficult negotiating the course with the people who walked the half.. Dodging and weaving in the last miles of a marathon is uncool.
The best things about the Ventura Marathon was that everything ran smoothly. The volunteers were friendly and helpful. The bands were great, and the course wasn’t too crowded.
I did not sub 3:30, but I did PR with a time of 3:32:59. I earned a -17 minute BQ, and I won my age group. It was definitely a fun and successful marathon! Thanks again to my Coach Matt DeBole for a great plan.