I ran the Santa Rosa Marathon in 3:37:23!
Well. I don’t know where to go with this one because I’m really happy and really confused at the same time.
I considered myself a 4 hour marathoner until today. So, every PR that I’ve gotten this year has been a genuine surprise to me more than anyone else.
(Today’s race is not a PR, I ran faster at the OC Marathon in May which was 3:36:23.)
Now I’m questioning everything in the world. But, we’ll chat about that later.
Let me recap the race in my usual peanut shell style.
Pre-race – I stayed up way too late trying to figure out how to switch my ipod playlist. I’m obviously very smart.
4:30am wake-up call because the race started at 6am. I stayed a mile from the start so it was very easy to get there.
Ready to do this!
Santa Rosa Marathon Course: It started near the Santa Rosa trail path and from there went out toward the vineyards. The sunrise over the vineyards was gorgeous. I didn’t take my phone or I would have stopped to take pictures.
The trail bike path was okay. You had to go under a few streets so this added some small hills early and late in the race.
My race results:
I always say I just have to wait and see if I’m having a good day before I set a goal for any race (not a ‘real’ goal, but a goal pace/time aim) because I don’t know how I’m going to feel. Today I didn’t feel like I was having a good day in particular, but I wanted to try and push it so I could see where I am before I get into my Fall marathons (I have three races back to back).
I started out on goal pace and stayed about 10 seconds within GP until about mile 18. I had a bad mile but brought it back for about 3 miles.
Then, at Mile 22 I lost it and couldn’t get it back. I stopped looking at my watch because it was just discouraging. I started to run on effort instead of pace as a tool and it helped me keep going.
I also felt nauseous for a while and that scared me. I need to get better about being able to tell the difference between discomfort and looming death.
Ben came to the race and we had a small mix-up with our plans. He was going to refill my water, but couldn’t so I ran with a plastic water bottle that started to tweak my shoulder a bit. But I’m so glad I had it because I was very thirsty the whole race!
Thank you to reader Sonia who saw me two times on the course and cheered for me. I really needed that!
Thoughts on my performance: I need to review tomorrow with a clear head.
Santa Rosa Marathon Race Review:
Great race! It was well organized. Expo was at a winery. Had enough porta-potties at the start. Started right on time. Decent weather (got a little hot toward the end). Fairly flat course (NOT pancake flat like their reputation is though). There are rolling hills around mile 10 and a few up and overs on the bike path out and back (so you hit them in the high 20s).
Plus, they have watermelon at the end!!!
Bonus: You get a jacket and a bottle of wine as swag! I love that! I have so many race tees this is awesome!
And then you get to celebrate or drown your sorrows with a whole bottle of wine! (Sadly, I had to give my bottle to someone at the airport because I wasn’t checking a bag.)
And this is the BIGGEST race medal I have ever received!
Now I am headed home to collect my thoughts and eat a lot of pizza and fro-yo. See you there!
Question: What did you do this weekend?
Tom W. says
Congratulations on a fabulous marathon effort. 🙂 I like how you persevered through the trouble-spots. I ran the marathon as well, and really enjoyed the course and the expo. I am so sorry that you couldn’t keep the wine. And that medal…it’s almost a dinner plate, isn’t it? 🙂
I noticed that your Garmin showed 26.38 miles for the total distance. Mine was very similar (it read 26.40 miles), even though I was deliberately trying to take as many tangents on the course as I could. Do you wonder if the course might have been a tad long?
Lois H. Hancock says
One of Phil Hann’s favorite lines is “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Whether it’s finishing a marathon, qualifying for Boston, running a 50K or 100 mile race, at some point it’s going to feel hard, maybe impossible. But you have to break it down, “one bite at a time”. You could see this at Big Sur. At mile 20, the pack starts to thin. You can hear some on the edge, their breathing heavy, the salt stains forming down the sides of their faces. Now they are trying to eat an elephant and they just need to take one bite at a time. Just get to the next mile. Pick an object off in the distance and run toward it. Then pick another one. Simplify the task. Small goals. Manageable targets. Keep moving.
Ugh, hate getting nauseous. Happened to me the first time in a half marathon last November. I think it was mostly nerves (I was really gunning for a PR!) but I got a side stitch and wasn’t able to calm my breathing to take deeper breaths and I got sick somewhere around mile 9-10. Good news is I felt better after, and managed to still finish in 2 hours. It’s happened on a couple long runs since then (just the nausea) but I hydrate/refuel pretty consistently so I can’t figure out why it’s a problem some times and not others.
I know what you mean about mentally considering yourself a certain kind of runner. My HM pace has dipped into the mid 8’s, and I’ve done many double digit runs at a 9 or faster pace, but mentally anything <9min miles for long runs still SOUNDS faster than I can run. I need to get over that.
Meg G. says
Congrats on a great time!!! I ran Santa Rosa too! I had many of the same feelings (including losing it at mile 22 too… I had been so good at staying on pace until then! err!). I also wished I had a way to take photos while running because there were some spectacular views! Too bad you couldn’t take the wine with you because it is yummy!
Tummy Tuck Belt says
It sounds like you really enjoyed this marathon. Congratulations on your time! Nice medal.
Kailin @ Logs and Thoughts says
Congrats on a great race! 3:30 marathoner 🙂
Ironman Louisville for me. I am a 4-hour marathoner and ran a 6-hour marathon 🙁
Julie @ RDelicious Kitchen says
you are such an amazing runner.. you inspire me to get out there everyday
Thank you Julie!
CONGRATS Monica on a great race chica!!! 🙂 🙂 “Si se puede!!!!” xo
greaaaaat job!!!! congratulations!
Super duper results Monica!!!
[email protected] La Chanson de Ma Vie says
Great job!! I’ve done a few long runs on the Santa Rosa course and always wondered how it felt to race it. Around these parts, it is considered pancake flat, but maybe not as much as where you’re from. Do you think it is worth traveling for?
Dan Reisner says
I forgot to say congrats to you on finishing this race strong! Way to go and way to inspire!
Thank you Dan!
Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run. says
Great job! Very inspiring!
And that medal is bigger than my cat’s head!
I was almost a half hour behind you…Saw you at the expo and was too star struck to come say hi! LOL My husband made fun of me for that….anyhow, Great job on the time! It was my first full + had a sprained ankle and was not able to run most of July… so I was happy with my 4:04 time. 🙂
PS. Sorry you had to give away your wine…there’s a number on the back (707-526-9111) you can call and purchase another bottle.
Hello Samantha! You should have said “hi!”, I was already super drunk anyway. Kidding 😉
Great job on the first full! Isn’t it the most awesome accomplishment?!
You are a freaking rock star. Amazing!
And PS: that is an AWESOME medal. They know how to do it in Santa Rosa! Medals and wine!
Dan Reisner says
I remember seeing you there. I was a bystander at the race as my wife was running the full. I paced her 15 miles and actually liked the path. Wasn’t too bad. My only complaint was that they didn’t have enough medical staff on the trail. I work in cardiology and I am a medic. I saw a guy go down under the bridge on mile 25 so I assisted with helping out until the paramedics arrived. Right after that a lady almost went down and Myself along with an off duty nurse picked her up, assessed her and walked 1.5 miles to the finish arm on arm and got her through. All in all a great day of racing just wished more “Paid medic staff” was on course.
Good point! Thanks for chiming in and I’m sure that guy was very very grateful you were there.
Dan Reisner says
Im not sure if it was a blessing or a curse lol. 2 people in the same spot wow! At any rate It was so nice to meet and see new faces at this race. I love the running community! Such amazing people.
I was happy to cheer you on, Monica! It’s always fun to root for familiar faces 🙂
Awesome super speedy time! Well done! And that medal is truely massive. I can barely see your hand!!!
Dr Jeffery Elmer says
Congrats on the race and I don’t believe you did all that bad finishing very close to your personal best. Keep up the good work.
Congrats on making a new time, Its really inspiring to see your progression with running half marathons, I someday wish to run a full marathon without stopping to rest every 5 miles. I did a lot of relaxing during the weekend, just so that I can push myself hard throughout this week.
[email protected] says
Awesome job on the marathon!!! Love the crazy big medal too!
TartanJogger tartanjogger.wordpress.com says
Woo Hoo! Congratulations; great time! 😀
Sounds like a good course, with a fab goody bag!
This weekend, I had a girls’ day out, and a family birthday party. Back on track with my training today, though.
Kim @ BusyBod says
“I need to get better about being able to tell the difference between discomfort and looming death.” <—- YES!!! My husband is an athletic trainer and I am constantly pestering him with anxiety-ridden questions about every abnormal sensation. I think he prays for the day I finally sort out the difference.
Ja @Ja on the RUN says
That is awesome! Congratulations! So inspiring! I want to register for a full soon! 🙂
Congratulations! I am hoping to find our your tips to being so speedy. I was looking out. I ran the full as well yesterday and did not do was well as I hoped to. It would have been great to meet one of my favorite bloggers – maybe next time.
I agree on the jacket, wine and huge medal. And as for the course, it was not flat and fast as I thought it would be…
Looking forward to the race recap!
Oops. I meant to say looking forward to your race thoughts on why you were confused and as to why you did so well. I guess I am curious on how fast you are getting…
karen @tradingheels.com says
You truly inspire me. Congratulations on a AWESOME race.
michelle kim says
Awesome job! A bunch of my running group friends ran that one (I think it’s one of the last races before Boston Marathon sign-ups). Glad you could get such an amazing time, considering that you didn’t expect much for this race 🙂
Good job Monica! I really enjoy all of your post, and I’m so happy for you and Ben. I was reading some of the 08 09 post. I’m not sure when I started following you. I think it was around 2010. It’s nice to watch your progress with your miles and the weight that you have lost.
Thank you for sharing with us:)
Sarah G. says
Awesome time! Bummer about losing your wine, though.
Taylor @ Single-tracked Mind says
Congrats! I love how you accidentally ran so fast…haha
Wow way to go on the marathon! Nice swag, I’ve contemplated doing that race but the time of year seems like it would be hot, I guess it was okay? Congrats again!
[email protected] says
CONGRATS!!! You did an amazing job!!! I heard good things about this marathon… plus, free wine at the end? I’m so in!
I ran a metric marathon (26.2 KM/16M) on Saturday morning with my team and had a blast!
Stephanie @ The Academic Triathlete says
Nice run lady, you are seriously killing it this summer, so impressive.
I had a new PDR this weekend, 16 miles. Gearing up for the Chicago Marathon, getting nervous and excited.
Anna @ Fitness à la Anna says
Congrats on the amazing time! I am interested in hearing your thoughts about this change in your perspective on not being a ‘4 hour marathon’ kind of gal anymore. I find that the mental aspect of running is so important!!
Congrats on the time! is that a PR for you?!
btw i LOVE Deloach wine! Their zinfandel is awesome
No, it’s one minute behind my PR. Close!
Running Rosa says
Congratulations on such an awesome time/run!
I can only hope to accomplish a similar time when I run M2B next May (to BQ). You’re an inspiration!
If you have any advice on getting faster, I’d listen!
Congrats on your time! I am working on the Couch to 5K program at our rec center and we’re about half way through. Can you tell me what kind of shorts you are wearing for the race? I need some like that since all running shorts do is ride up and annoy me!
I’ve read that it’s really hard to run a marathon on feel especially in the later miles because your legs WILL feel heavy. I’ve been debating getting a heart rate monitor. For now I just try to keep a certain pace but don’t beat myself up too much if I don’t get it every mile.
Fabulous job! And – DANG, I have medal envy big time for that sucker! (But alas, I’m not a marathon kind of girl)
We had to give up a bottle of wine at the airport that was given to us in NYC by the hotel we stayed at during our anniversary trip. But we don’t drink wine so it didn’t matter that much to us.
We went to the Little Big Town / Keith Urban concert Saturday night. It was sooooooo good!
Melissa- threredheadedrunner.blogspot.com says
Country girl tried to run on the beach. I thought I was going to look all Baywatch but instead kept sinking in the sand… fail. But still fun.
Nikki @ grabyourkicks says
I love your jacket! That’s awesome they give something other than a t-shirt. And wine?! Perfect way to celebrate your race time! I got in a 10 mile training run last Friday in preparation for my half marathon next month.
Good luck on your half!
Steph F. says
Congrats on your fabulous marathon time! So did you take gels during the marathon for fuel? I’m training for my first full and have used them on runs over 10 miles, but on my 16 and 18 miler runs I noticed that they made me a little queasy. Not quite sure what else to try since I tend towards GI troubles and don’t think I could stomach solids on a run. Who knew race fueling could be so tricky! Anyhow, you obviously did something right with this one – great job!
I took chomps and one gel. I pretty much always take the same every 5 miles. Not sure why I was nauseous this time! Race fueling is very difficult and everyone is different, so it’s hard to figure out.
Coach [email protected] says
Great job and it shows your training is working. The next 5 minutes may be the difficult ones to cut-off. You are a marathoner. It may be your best distance. It must be the Tarahumara in you. I hope I can catch you but I am more of a trail racer. Congrats!
Thanks Steve! I am going to hit you up for thoughts on my splits 🙂
I will never be able to catch you on a trail. Keep on keepin on.
Eugenia Byrne says
GREAT job! I love reading your blog…I have run so many half marathons (I seem to do one every weekend). I usually run it in around 1:40. For some reason, I have convinced myself that I can’t do a marathon. (I think it is the fueling thing, because I can easily run a half without taking in much or any fuel, but a full is a whole different beast!). Anyway, I finally bit the bullet and signed up for the Portland Marathon in October. I hope I follow through! Your posts are so informative and inspirational! Again, outstanding job 🙂
congrats on another great mary! that is definitely the biggest race medal i’ve ever seen. i love the finisher’s bottle of wine, but it sucks that you couldn’t keep it, though. maybe you should have chugged it before going through security – i hear that red wine is good for post-run recovery 😉
I ran my first ever double digit distance race! I did the Crim Festival of Races 10 miler and did it in under 2 hours! I was figuring more than 2 easy! It wasn’t all that bad except the last few miles my legs were kind of hard to move! I hadn’t ever run more than 7 miles so I’m kind of impressed with myself! Everything else should be cake now! 🙂
That jacket is awesome! I’m jealous!
I love reading posts like this, it’s so motivational. Spent the weekend training for my first half marathon. At the moment I can’t imagine running a full marathon in 3 and a half hours! Baby steps…
Tom T. says
I’m very disappointed that you gave wine away. Just chug that sucker right in front of the TSA agent and then had them the bottle. Really, where is your dedication? I guess you can learn from your mistake this time and do better next.
Jack Sh*t says
Did you even CONSIDER running a little faster and clocking in at 3:33:33? Don’t you realize how much cooler that would have been? All those 3’s lined up like that! Sometimes I don’t think you’re listening to me at all. AT ALL!!!
What?! I didn’t even consider running faster. I should have called you during the race for these tips!
Krissy @ Shiawase Life says
Haha! Love this comment and reply, reminds me of what my hubs says when I don’t hit a pace goal… “You should have just ran faster.” Hah. As if I chose not to or something…. 😉
Also had to comment because 3:33:33 is my secret (not so secret anymore??) marathon goal.
Get it Krissy!!!
Kailin @ Logs and Thoughts says
Love it Krissy! My time from my weekend’s race was 13:13:14…if only I could have run 1 second faster 🙂
Krissy @ Shiawase Life says
😀 Nice work! As my hubs would say, WHY DIDN’T YOU RUN FASTER 😉 ?!?
Melissa @TryingtoHeal says
Oh, I just realized a friend of mine ran his first marathon there this weekend! He was only a minute behind you! Great job lady!
your times just keep getting better and better! awesome job. i’m curious, what pace do you do your long runs at?
Most of my long runs are on effort not pace. I just run how I’m feeling for longer runs since they’re a lot harder and my distances are so high at this point. If you want a ballpark, I’d say around 9 minute miles.
Becky @ The Dirt Road Runner says
A jacket and wine? Never seen anything that awesome!! Great race!! You are so close to a Boston Q time!
Becky @ The Dirt Road Runner says
AND I totally saw a tweet comment from you in my Health magazine this month. Holla!
I thought I saw you before the race but wasn’t sure and didn’t want to be all stalker-y, then I saw my friend Sonja said she saw you and was cheering you on 🙂 So, hi Monica, a day late!
Awesome finish! So happy to hear you had a good race, minus the nausea. I ran the full, too, gunning for a BQ but ended up having a very bad day. Oh well, the views were definitely fantastic! Happy recovery 🙂
Aww! Too bad we didn’t get to meet. Next time!
For sure 🙂 Dis you see this about the winner confusion?
Sara @ LovingOnTheRun says
Great job!! This really does look like a great race! Expo at a winery!?!??! You can’t get much better than that!!!
Jessica @ Running the Miles says
Way to go on another great race! I look forward to reading more about it. I am wondering what your goal pace was?
That is one heck of a medal!
Seriously it’s the biggest medal I have now!
Jojo @ RunFastEatLots says
Congrats! That’s awesome! 😀
Ashley @ Eat Run Live Happy says
Great job! So close to Boston! 😉
Thank you Ashley!
Heather @ Run Eat Play says
Thanks Heather! How’s your injury recovery coming along?
Heather @ Run Eat Play says
It’s coming along slowly – I’m training to get certified to teach BodyPump so there have been a few setbacks. Thanks for asking! 🙂
Jessica @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad says
Congrats! I’ve only ran one marathon and definitely want to run more. I love hearing about the zillions of races you run! Nice job!
Wine at the finish is my kind of race!
I hope your fact finding mission was successful. Congrats on finishing your race and that huge medal. And I agree the jacket is awesome!
And of course, I ran a race this weekend!
Congrats on your race! How’d it go?
It went well. It was a local 5K. It’s always great to run the local races because you know everyone. It was a great atmosphere. Plus, I ran from Texas to Louisiana and back…twice!
Amy @ The Little Honey Bee says
Congrats! I love hearing about your races. I ran my first race this weekend. I am really happy with how I did and actually like running! Who would have thought?! Not this girl… happy Monday!
Congrats on your first race!
Wow, congrats! You are awesome! Thanks for being and inspiration for my upcoming very first marathon!
Good luck on your first marathon!
You are speedy! I am hoping to finish my 12 miler in the same amount of time you finished your marathon.
You can do it!
Tammy R. says
Congratulations Monica!! You truly inspire me. I’ve watched your progress and it makes me want to push myself harder. 🙂
Thank you Tammy!
Great job on the time!!!! I’m totally digging that jacket you got. AND a bottle of wine?!? How fancy! I can’t wait ’til I’m a marathoner and can get fancy swag too!
This weekend I continued training for the Healthy Living Summit 5k. I’m up to 1.8 miles, with 1 minute jogging intervals! Farrrr from a marathon, I know, but I’m happy with my progress. 🙂
Thanks! Sounds like you’re doing great with your training – keep it up!
Awesome run! I’m a 4 hour marathoner hoping to break 3:40 this fall. Maybe I need to look back and see what you’ve been doing 🙂
You can do it! Have you figured out your fueling?
Jodea @ chillichocolatelove says
Wow, you look great and you did so well. Enjoy your post-race treats!
We went to a music festival yesterday which was okay but very busy. My boyfriend an I shared a delicious coconut and banana brownie and a nut-packed oatmeal cookie. Yum. Sadly I also came home with some hearing loss in my ear after a very loud set. Hoping it goes away!
That cookie sounds epic!
Karien @ Running the Race says
LOVE the medal and the jacket…!
Lauren @ Sugar Coated Sisters says
I was looking forward to your race recap… I ran the half and found the creek trail to be a little boring, so it was interesting to read about the full. Sucks that you had to give your wine away!! Great finish!
I agree it was boring and coming back as others are going out (or vice versa) is a little discouraging.
How did your race go?