Of all of the races I have participated in, one of the most scenic is the Carlsbad marathon and half marathon. Although I have only run the half marathon distance, I can imagine the marathon is just as breathtaking. I ran Carlsbad last year and fell in love.
In fact, I raced a lot in San Diego county last year. There is just something about the energy of small beach towns. I typically take advantage of the race day packet pick up for these races. It takes me a little over an hour to drive to the venue so I take advantage of the quiet time in the car during my dark drive. When I arrived at the venue, I grabbed my bib and went right back to my truck and reclined. About 20 minutes later, my girl Smitha text me and asked where I was. So naturally, I grabbed my stuff to go meet up with her. We coordinated our Pro Compression socks to match, because that is what the cool kids do.
We met up with some of her other running pals and couldn’t resist an early morning photo shoot. I mean, have you met us?
After photos, I went to my truck to drop off some last minute things, and remind my dad that in fact I was not at home but near San Diego. He was going to surprise me with breakfast. He’s the best. Anyway, I walked to the start corral and was ready to get the party started. Given that I ran the race last year, I was pretty familiar with the twists, turns, and gentle rolling hills. This truly is a scenic route and Carlee is so lucky it is literally in her front yard. The course is awesome, the majority of the race is coastal and what the parts that aren’t run through the quaint city of Carlsbad. Like I mentioned, it’s a beach town so many locals come out and support and cheer which is so amazing.
I, in true Sharpie fashion, started too quickly yet again haha. So my first 5 miles were amazing then I slammed into the wall pretty hard. I have been putting in a ton of miles training, so my legs were pretty heavy and toasted. This was good. Running on tired legs is a good thing, builds endurance. But I also knew I was probably overdoing it. So in the following week, I dialed back my training runs to allow ample time for recovery as to not injure myself…because who the hell has time for an injury??? So although my pace may have slowed down, I had the best view to keep me inspired and smiling.
When you climb out of the mile 6 pit (as I lovingly call it) the sweeping views from the top of the climb certainly make the phrase “earn your view” more true than ever.
As I came back toward the final miles of the race something caught my eye. Now I thought I saw this on my way out when I started the race but I just chalked it up to my mind playing games with me…wishful thinking of sorts. But I lifted my glasses and I was not dreaming. There was a spectator…a true hero in my opinion…who was pouring shots of SILVER DON JULIO TEQUILA!!!!!!! When I tell you I pulled over and took a shot so quick! It was so smooth and so delicious! Best decision ever. EVERY race should have a tequila shot station. And for those that need training wheels, he also had limes and salt. Ha!
The last mile of the marathon flew by. I was close to another sub 2 marathon but knew my legs weren’t going to allow it. I had one too many walk breaks, and the tequila stop didn’t count. That was fueling. I ended up finishing at 2:01:00 on the nose officially. Doesn’t get more cleaner than that. I enjoy this race a ton and will continue to run it. It is beautiful. It is fun. It can be fast. And there is tequila…if the nice guy comes back.