Santa Barbara Marathon Recap

It wasn’t easy, but I did it. Marathon #6 is done. santa barbara international marathonAnd I’m retiring.

First let’s back up to the lovely Motel 6 we stayed at in Carpentaria. The door had been kicked in at one point… Fancy.IMG_9056 (800x600)

The Santa Barbara full Marathon started at 7:30am so the wake-up call wasn’t too bad. I laid out all my stuff and got ready. running gear

Pre-marathon meal = A banana and a Picky Bar – the company sent me a few samples to try. Normally I have toast, but I forgot to make a PB&J for the morning.picky bar

Margarita Shot Blocks. My new fuel strategy for the marathon is to eat every 5 miles – 5, 10, 15, 20 (in case you didn’t know how that worked)cliff shot blocks

And I filled up my water bottles with beer. I mean, tea flavored Nuunbeer or nuun

beer or nuun

It’s a point to point course so while Ben drove me to the start I started to freak out about my shoe choice. I brought my go-to Brooks Ghost, but when I grabbed them yesterday they looked too worn down to run 26 miles.

get it together

brooks ghost

So, I also grabbed my Brooks PureProject Flows just in case I wanted to wear those…

IMG_9073 (800x600)

Well, I grabbed my Ghosts for some further inspection and realized…


brooks ghost running shoes

See? From the top the look the same…

brooks ghost running shoes

From the bottom it’s obvious they are not from the same pair AND the ones on the right are beyond worn.brooks ghost running shoes

So, I while I LOVE my Pure Flows I usually only wear them for 8 miles max. But, I had no choice and they were along for the 26 mile ride.

There was a bit of a disaster yesterday when we couldn’t get Ben’s car out of the shop in time. Blah blah <insert freak out because I can’t get my bib in time> blah.

Luckily, Sheila (Striding Mom) randomly messaged me right around my freak out Friday and hooked me up with Kate from Run with Kate. She was running the SBIM too and could pick up my bib!

LIFE.SAVER. Thank you so so much Kate.

run eat repeat and run with kate

The Santa Barbara Marathon was very well organized and the porta potty lines were short. What more can you ask for?

santa barbara marathon start

The start was delayed about 15 minutes, but they announced it right away and that was the only hitch with the day.

santa barbara marathon start

Okay, here’s my detailed mile by mile Race Recap…

Mile 1: I felt okay, went out a little too fast (like always) but just tried to relax and keep my head positive.

Mile 2: Not really. This is boring. Plus, I don’t get how people remember how they felt at each mile?!

Wait – I do remember is there was a HUGE hill at mile 23 and I told myself the whole race I could walk that hill (I had been warned about it).

Luckily, at Mile 23 I felt so great I didn’t need to walk. Ha! Kidding!! Not at all. I walked that ish unapologetically. Boom.

santa barbara marathon recap

Long story short – I PRd!!! 3:53:39

Santa Barbara Marathon Race Review

santa barbara marathon resultssanta barbara marathon results

Oh, but it’s so painful. Marathons are rough. I’m here to officially announce my retirement.

retired marathoner

Overall, I would give this race two stinky sneakers up! The location is gorgeous, it’s a nice sized race – not too big or small and the finish is across the street from the beach!

retired marathoner santa barbara

So, we walked across the street to the Pacific Ocean and I peeled off my disgusting clothes…

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California Ice Bath!!!

after the santa barbara marathon

after the santa barbara marathon destination race IMG_9096 (800x600) after the santa barbara marathon destination race IMG_9098 (800x600)

Ben surprised me with some Pumpkin Bread, but I only had a bite.

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Yelp helped again and we ended up at D’Angelo’s Pastry & Bread for brunch/lunch/post-race meal time (it was almost 1pm by this point)

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Egg white omelet and toast for me…

what to eat after the santa barbara marathon

Ben got the Sunshine Toast with poached eggs.

food after the marathon

Then, we walked around Downtown Santa Barbararunning in santa barbara

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I got a Chocolate Chip cookie from D’Angelo’s because it’s the right thing to do.

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It was good and had a good amount of chocolate chips, but it was too thin. I like my cookies thick!

cookies are my victory dance

Now I’m driving home. I’m kinda craving an epic hamburger or something for dinner?! What are you having?


  1. says

    Congratulations! What a great time and a super PR! That hill at Mile 23 is pretty brutal. Not that I have ran it but I drove it when I was there last month and it is no joke!

  2. says

    Monica , CONGRATS. That’s huge – and you looked super cute in your outfit doing it too!

    Are you serious about not doing any more marathons?

    It has been so inspiring to see your running journey. Enjoy this and congrats!

  3. Mel says

    Question. Why are you done with marathons? I mean I get it. I ran one and it was U-gly! Trained perfectly and finished in just over 5 excruciating hours. Like, if my husband hadn’t been running with me I’d have crawled of the course crying. But for you to have had such a great time, what happened? No judgement, just curious.

    • says

      My immediate reaction when reading you ask, “Why are you done with marathons?” was – “because I feel wrecked.”

      I feel like I LOVE running and I LOVE training but right around mile 20 the love isn’t as strong. And I kinda feel like marathons do more damage to my body than good. So, it’s a great accomplishment but running a half marathon makes me want to smile, eat, tell jokes and go to the mall while running a full makes me want to sit on the curb and stare off in the distance… Doesn’t that even make sense? Bah. I’m tired :)

  4. Jayne says

    Totally did that with the shoes on Tuesday. Grabbed two different gold coloured Nikes, unfortunately they were the same foot and didn’t realize until I was at the gym. fail

  5. says

    Congrats on number 6 and your retirement 😉 I will need to check out D’Angelos next time we’re in SB. How did you like your Picky Bar? I like Smooth Caffeinator and All-in Almond best.

  6. Karoline says

    Hey so question about post-run food. I’ve been experimenting in the last few weeks with eating different foods during the day before my runs and then post run/work out meals and I’ve been trying to feel how my body is with different foods. I’ve noticed significant differences when I eat proteins that aren’t from animals, lots of veggies, and some grainier or oat carbs.. i’ve heard the whole “clean eating” shpiel and I think it’s all great but for me I really have to notice a difference in energy levels, running ability, and body changes. My question for you is, have you noticed differences in your body with having a different daily diet when it comes to your running? Especially after a marathon? I’ve never run a marathon but what foods do you feel best eating after 4 hours of running? Can anyone else speak to this??

    • says

      I have never really changed up my diet enough to be able to gauge this. You mean – eating super clean versus how I eat now, right?

      Before the race:
      I have actually been trying to avoid soy for a few months now because of my thyroid, but always eat a lot of veggies – so that’s all the same. I ate a little less sweets this week (but didn’t start that until Tuesday) so I did not feel a difference during the race.

      I always eat salty carbs before a race – that’s key for my body, but everyone is different.

      After the race:
      After running for 4 hours my body feels wrecked. I’m usually not very hungry and just kinda thirsty and nauseous. I try to eat something with protein and carbs because it’s important for recovery, but that could be a veggie omelet with toast OR chocolate milk OR a bagel and a yogurt. I don’t ‘eat clean’ after a race because it’s party time and because I have never noticed a big difference. Plus, after running 4 hours I refuse to make myself eat something just for recovery.

      Hope that helps – let me know if you have more questions :)

  7. Karoline says

    (I ask because of your meal after being pretty normal – omelet/toast/cookie.. so I’m wondering if you just eat whatever and don’t notice a difference whether you’ve just run a marathon or haven’t run in a week)

  8. says

    Awesome race!! A PR is a great way to retire from marathons!!
    I had a lame supper at work. A Santa Fe Black Beans and Rice Smart Ones and some Pumpkin Cheesecake cookies <— these weren't lame, they were delish.

  9. says

    You are so inspiring. And good for you for retiring! 6 marathons is no joke!! If it isn’t fun anymore, it’s time to move on. You’re a champ!

    • says

      I don’t think they were the best choice, but they worked. My knee started to feel it earlier than usual in the race and I think the lighter shoe might have been part of the reason.

  10. says

    I am no, no, no, expert on shoes but IF I had shoes that were that worn down I think I may use them ONLY for mowing the lawn…..ha!

    (However, glad to see that even passionate runners like your self do have worn out shoes like myself) Keeping it real once again! Nice PR!

    Are you really done with marathons? Sticking to Half Marathons then? Just curious…

  11. Sarah G says

    I definitely feel ya on the retiring from full marathons! I ran my 5th about a month ago and walked away feeling accomplished, but tired. I am a full time teacher and some days I just don’t have the motivation it takes to get up at 4 AM or run 10 miles after school. The half is a much more manageable distance. I am signed up for Grandma’s Marathon in June. I told myself that if by March I am not feeling it, I would switch races.

    Congrats on your PR!

  12. kate says

    Oh sweetie…is your stuff REALLY touching a kicked-in-door Motel 6 bedspread???????

    “We’ll leave the black light on for you.”

  13. Jessica says

    Congrats on the PR!
    A husband who brings you pumpkin bread? Swoon.
    For supper I had leftover Famous Daves BBQ beef and BBQ baked beans mixed into a salad. It.was.awesome.

  14. says

    Congrats! I can’t remember how I feel during each mile either. I was worried about your hotel room when I first saw your pic of tea nuun. I once stayed at a hotel where the water was that color straight out of the faucet.

    • says

      I think I just had a good day. I never know how I’m going to feel on race day and I’ve been 100% prepared for races and totally tanked just because my body wasn’t feeling it. But, I felt good and made sure to fuel. I think the fueling every 5 kept me from hitting the wall again.

  15. says

    Great job!! Can’t blame you too much for wanting a retirement. Marathons are hard, and running them fast is even harder! The half marathon is definitely more enjoyable, though it sure does feel good to tell people you’re a marathoner, right?

  16. says

    Congrats! I loved the race!! The support was great (I loved the guy dressed as the chicken…and the accordian players )!

    That hill was a jerk, but I felt so close at that point that I just kept telling myself “make it to the top!! It will be over soon!!!” and thankfully it was!!!

    See, I think I got the bug running this marathon…I can’t wait to do another :) But they ARE exhausting. Recovery from halfs goes by way faster.

  17. says

    Congratulations on the PR!!!
    Half marathons are my all-time favorite distance!!
    Enjoy retirement (even if it ends up being one of those temporary ones!)!!

  18. says

    Awesome! I saw you at the start but I didnt want to bug you! You looked like you meant business- and you did! Hello PR! Congrats! Beautiful day wasnt it! I went slow and enjoyed myself and really it was a new experience. Slow time (4:13) but the most fun Ive had and Im not wrecked today! Im begining to see that racing a marathon and running one are 2 diffrent things…so dont retire just yet (<;

    • says

      Awww! You should have said “Hi!” I was all alone :) I agree, after LB I felt a lot better this year versus last year. I might run a fun one with a friend, but I need a break for now. Great job! 4:13 is NOT slow in my world so I think that rocks!

  19. Susan says

    Congrats on your #6 Marathon…AND on your PR…AND for being awesome! I completely agree with you; full marathons are just too far (in my opinion and I’ve only done two) thus I’d prefer to participate in a half marathon any day.

    And when you DO the NYC marathon, it will be #7. Finishing on Lucky #7, I think that would be fantastic.

  20. says

    Sounds like a great race! How are ur feet/knees feeling? Dude u gotta check your shoes mama! What do u do with all ur old shoes? Donate or just trash?

    Way to go on #6! I just wanna do 1!

  21. Phebe says

    Congrats on your PR Monica! That’s awesome :) I’m glad you were able to finish your last marathon with a bang. Happy recovering – you’ll have to let us know if the compression socks make a difference!

  22. Heidi says

    Awesome job! I 100% feel you with your issue with the shoes. When I get ready for a race, a lot of it is mental: right outfit, snacks, socks and shoes all ready to go! I swear sometines a cute new shirt for a race and make all the difference because you feel confident :) Great job pushing through it!

  23. says

    Nice work, Monica. I’m all about the half-marathons. I’ve never attempted a full, but worried if I never do one I’ll never feel like a “real” runner. Sigh.

    • says

      It’s a super small place and I could see into the kitchen – the chef used a little cup thingy to make them like that. I told Ben, “He’s cheating! But they’re perfect…”

  24. says

    Amazing time!!!! a) There is no way you r retiring. b) Carpenteria is so stinking cute. My brother got married there. Congrats on finishing with an amazing time.

  25. says

    Thick chocolate chip cookies are definitely better than thin! Congrats on completing your 6th marathon that is awesome! And what better way to end a race than a walk on the beach/dip in the water? I bet the views were awesomely scenic which must have made for some beautiful running. Definitely don’t blame you for retiring after #6 though!

  26. says

    Congrats on the PR! Glad you were able to find another marathon to run since NYM didn’t happen. I am training for my first marathon, and I already agree that the marathon is so much harder on the body! Not sure if I will run too many of them either, but I thought it was worth at least one try, right?!?

  27. says

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