Monday, January 23, 2012

Carlsbad... Forever in My Heart

Two years ago, I got back into running after taking several years off to have babies. Before then, I just didn't have the urge to train and race. 2006-2009 were such transitional years for our family. I got out of the military and had our second son in 2006. We moved to TX in 2007. My husband was gone A LOT with his airline career. We had our 3rd son in 2008. We got back into the military after my husband got furloughed and moved to AZ in 2009... Running was simply not a priority for me until fall 2009 when I decided that I wanted to run the Carlsbad Half Marathon in January 2010 as my comeback race.

My goal was simply to break 2 hours. 

Me and my longtime running buddy Leslie after Carlsbad 2010

I didn't even have a Garmin at this point, but as I calculated my Timex splits during the race, I realized that I had the chance to break 1:50 if I could hang on. Oh, I hung on alright. I even pissed in my running tights because I knew I didn't have time to stop. That's how I roll. What? They're black. Who's gonna notice?

I crossed the finish line in 1:48:54. I had a huge lump in my throat. I couldn't believe that I did it. After 3 kids, I figured it was all downhill for me fitness-wise, yet I managed to run my second fastest half marathon time ever. (I have yet to break the 1:42:06 that I ran in 1996. No worries. That will be smashed to pieces at some point this year.)

Yesterday, exactly two years after I ran my second fastest half marathon ever, I ran the Carlsbad Marathon. This was my third marathon. I had a pretty lofty goal that I kind of kept to myself. Yeah, ok. I admit it now. I wanted to BQ. 

So much to tell you guys... but I have NO TIME right now!!! I have managed to get behind in my grad school class because my taper last week... Yeah, it was a mental taper for me too. I did SQUAT for class and now I am paying for it.

At any rate, during yesterday's race, I got to 13.1 miles at around 1:48. I actually said to the pace group that I was running with, "Oh my gosh! Two years ago, I crossed the finish line of the half in 1:48 and felt like I was going to collapse. Here I am at the half way point in the marathon and I feel GREAT! Woo hoo!"

It was such a confidence booster for me. This race had some challenges for me both before that point and after. 

But don't they all have challenges? When is it ever easy?

It wasn't easy yesterday by any stretch of the imagination. It took a lot of mental fortitude to get through it. I had to dig really, really, really deep.

But I did it.

Post Carlsbad Marathon 2012
8th in my AG (35-39)
43rd Woman Overall

I didn't just have a lump in my throat when I crossed the finish line this time. I cried like a baby. You would have thought *I* just made the Olympic Team or something! It was so much of everything... Lots of emotion coupled with sheer exhaustion. I actually did not sleep a wink the night before the race. It was unbelievable. More on that in the next post... 

I adapted and overcame. And that's what I will tell you about next.

Now back to the books!!!


  1. Impressive! Congratulations :)

  2. YOU DID IT!!! BQ! Right? They have complicated things with adjusting the qualifying times, but i think that's a WINNER!

    I am thrilled you felt so great at the half. Looking forward to more details.

    Looks like you will have some time to study now that you are recovering. Hope you are riding on a cloud!

  3. Raina, I did BQ... But... It's getting so competitive now to enter Boston. I will be in the last group to register. Sort of thinking I need to get it in the 3:35 range (at least) to be able to have a better chance of getting into the race, yk? But now that I have this under my belt, I think a 3:35 is knocking at the door. This wasn't a particularly easy course either. Fairly hilly.

  4. Awesome race, congrats!! That is such a great time, and yay for a BQ! Isn't it amazing to look back and realize how far we've come in our running? Can't wait to hear all the details!

  5. Im so happy for you, so excited to hear your story. Youre an example to us all that hard work and dedication can serve up your dreams on a platter. I hope you are basking in the glow of your accomplishment (and in Bengay). I was rooting you on all day, hoping you were the best you that you could be on that day. Im so stoked and absoultly impressed and excited for you!

  6. Super Congrats Allison!!! I totally know that feeling of gushing emotions at the finish line. I did this in Boston. I'm not sure if I was just tired, or overwhelmed or disoriented or what but I was bawling!! SO happy for you! Looking forward to reading more!

  7. I literally "WOOHOO!!!"'ed at my desk!!!!!

    I am so incredibly happy for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I can't wait to hear the recap - so proud of you!

  8. That is the best!!! I am so happy for you!! What a way to knock it out of the park. And you ran a really smart race, from the sounds of it. Look out Boston!

  9. How is it that we have known each other for 13 years, ran together a large part of it, and I didn't know about your blog???? Dude? I'm even it it! CONGRATS! I know I've told you this a thousand times in the past 24 hours, but I don't think you can say "congrats" enough after a race like that!!

  10. BQ!!! Awesome! I think this year is the attempt to procreate year (I'm turning 34 in June, so, it's time already), so by the time I try to BQ in earnest (as 42 mpw is not sufficient for me - I think I need 50+ mpw to get my pace up), I'll be in the 35-39 AG and 3:40:00 will be my goal time as well.

    Even with the bullsh*t weaving with the halfers at the end it was still a perfect race day. Beautiful course, great volunteers, well organized. I think Carlsbad will always be my favorite race.

  11. Yeeaaahhh!! Wooohooo! Congrats on an awesome race!! BQ! WOOHOO! How did we not see each other? We were pacing the same until I had to drop out due to injury. Darn it, we could have chatted!

  12. congrats, BQ BABY!!!! that is awesome.

  13. Effing nicely done Allison!! Now I'm inspired to know I can have babies and still kick butt at running afterwards.

    P.s. what is this Carlsbad, and did every blogger run it?!

  14. aaaaaahhhhhh YAYYYYYYY!!!
    i am so happy reading this. i got a lump in my throat just reading your little recap - i can't wait to read the whole thing!

  15. RR, it's a smallish coastal marathon in so. Cal. If you ever get a chance to come down and run it, you should. It's a great race.

  16. ah, sorry for the late read and comment...BUT... CONGRATS!!! so excited for you. You worked your a** off for that and I"m so proud of you. Off to read the recaps.