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San Diego Marathon : yes, it really happened.

So the long awaited race report. This is long winded and just plain words play by play of the day before and day of (which is still today). Throughout the week as I upload and get some pictures I’ll be posting some of those too. Don’t worry I won’t leave much out in here, though Mr. R said I should stop posting about the bathrooms. :)

It began Friday night with me packing up my stuff and getting ready to go down to San Diego. This was the day where I was the most excited by far. Everything still feels like a dream as I type this. I went to bed at 9:30, and had a great sleep. Woke up at 6:00, showered, curled my hair (much to my dismay it was raining in SD and my hair became a lion’s mane) and went down to meet up with Alisa, and Kristen and their husbands, who were gracious enough to let me get a roll away in their hotel room. I met up with Alisa and we were instantly friends, she is so incredibly sweet and so fun! So is her husband!

We started out with a quick trip around the expo. I’m not made of money so I didn’t buy anything and wasn’t too interested in anything there. It’s a lot of stuff you can find online for cheaper. I swear I saw a jacket that was made out of the gear check bags for $100. Are you crazy? We then went to breakfast at a wonderful place called something along the lines of the ‘pancake house’ but I forget the whole name. It was amazing, and worth the wait, annnnd I taught Alisa and Justin my trick about using sour cream on pancakes instead of butter. Sounds gross but it’s BOMB. We got some race morning snacks at Ralphs after.

We then went back to the hotel room, relaxed and got ready for the blogging/tweeter meet up at the expo at one. We walked over there and the expo was packed, but I met up with ALL my favorite girls and boys! It was incredible, and I felt like we were all long lost friends. I then changed my corral number to be with the some of the girls at the start. I will include all the links to every one’s blogs in my picture post.

Then it was time to go back to the hotel, relax and get ready for dinner. I met up with a huge group at Spagettini’s in Little Italy right down the street and it was great to hang out with everyone and meet even more people. Super fun and I gabbed away with a bunch of amazing, super fast runners.

I got back to the hotel at 7:30 and got ready for bed and watched Will Ferrel in Kicking and Screaming. I was laughing hysterically, and was super relaxed. The only thing about the whole entire day Saturday was I felt like I wasn’t running a marathon the next day. I guess part of me couldn’t believe that it was actually, really here. Alisa came home shortly after and french braided my hair for me, which was amazing for the race.

We went to bed and I was out by 10. I slept great, except for some drunkards wandering the halls that i heard for maybe 5 minute at our hotel. We stayed right across from the “Gaslamp District”, where a lot of partiers go, but I fell back asleep shortly thereafter.

Funny thing happened though, right before I went to bed, Josh Cox, tweeted that he was in SD for the marathon tomorrow and asked if anyone else was around for it. I tweeted that I was and was going to be running my first the next morning. I also was watching one of my favorite female track stars, Allyson Felix, race on TV earlier in the afternoon. I have watched her race in high school and actually went to high school that she raced against. She blows my mind. I tweeted her too that I loved watching her race and would be channeling “her speed” during my marathon. Both are incredibly talented professional, Olympic athletes.

I wake up in the morning, realizing that today is the day, and lay in my bed letting it all sink in. I was warm and didn’t want to get up yet so I checked my tweets, and BOTH JOSH and ALLYSON tweeted me back good luck in my marathon. Talk about amazing motivation. I couldn’t even believe it. I was beyond excited and it made my entire day.

I got ready with my blue tank, spandex and got my gear bag ready. I was still semi-stunned and not nervous at all. I think I felt like whatever was going to happen would happen. I was just ready to get it started. We took a cab to the starting line and I had already gone to the bathroom twice and got in the portapotty line to go once more. I gear checked my bag and went over to the starting line to find corral 6. I still never felt like it was really going to happen.

Saw a few more people I knew, wished them luck and got in my corral. Though I couldn’t find the girls I wanted to start with, I was just ready to get going. The gun finally went off and we slowly started moving forward, FINALLY! I still felt fine but I just wanted to go forward.

There were some rolling hills on the first few miles, and within mile 1 I saw the girls I wanted to meet up with and ran with them. I remember just wanting to get to mile 6 because then it would be 20 more miles which was what I had run before. I ran the first 16ish miles with Aron, who was amazing because she put up with my whining about my bathroom issues.

At mile 6 the balls of my feet were on fire already and I knew I wasn’t going to break 4 hours. I have the issue sometimes that where my toe connects to my feet it just goes numb and burns with every step. I remembered to tell myself that it was okay, and that any pace, a finish was possible. It was somewhat discouraging to be only at mile 6 though. I had considered also already going to the bathroom which I DIDN’T want to have to do. At mile 8, I unfortunately had to stop to go to the bathroom. I thought this was going to be super helpful to me to make me feel better. Wrong. WAY wrong.

Yup, that’s right. I got something that only girls get and it just happened to come at mile 8. WONDERFUL. I wasn’t expecting this for a few more days and in the past 10 years of running this has NEVER happened to me. I came out and was just in disbelief. This and my somewhat upset stomach lead to four more bathroom stops for me! I sure experienced a lot of portapotties at this marathon that’s for sure. Looking back, and even at the time, I laughed and just thought, no way is this happening. Really?! Out of all things that was the least expected! Oh well, it was just one of those things I guess. Nothing I could do about it.

Around mile 10, we ran up a hill that I didn’t know was a hill. This sounds weird but it was a long, gradual hill that lasted a mile. That was incredibly tough for me. I think it was hard for me because some reason I didn’t realize we were running up hill. Aron and I talked about some random stuff and it was seriously so amazing to run with her. I was so glad that she was there, and after the hill, she said something along the lines, “Wow that hill was rough!” and I said, “Ohhhhh that’s why I was feeling like crap! okay, so I can do this!” We got to mile 13 and I realized it was going to be a long day. I’d already had two bathroom stops and knew I would have to stop more. That was the most disappointing thing.

Aron and I parted ways when she met up with Tara and I still needed to make more bathroom breaks. I saw them another time right before a hill and then they passed me again. Around mile 2o my legs were shot. This was when things got a little weird. I saw two people who were racing get engaged at the top of the hill at mile 20, I was going up the hill and started to cry when I saw them. Then for the rest of the race, I was on somewhat of the verge of tears at any given point for no reason at all. At this point, I was tired but I knew I could get it done. I just kept chugging along and tried my hardest not to think of my legs who were screaming at me to stop. Then around mile 22, I began to walk through a water station and drank some Cytomax and that stuff is pretty amazing! After the water station I would run again and then if I wanted to drink water, I would go through the station walking again and actually enjoy the water or Cytomax. I ended up walking through two water stations. I stopped three more times after my two stops with Aron for the bathroom. Awful, my stomach was not happy.

I got to mile 23 and told myself it was only a 5k to go. I knew I could run three miles. I just kept going and watched the ground. Then I saw the 24 mile marker. I kept just counting down the steps in my head and telling myself that I felt good and that I could do this and it was only another 20 minute of running. It was really messing with my mind though, and my legs were very sore. Then, I saw a friend named Emil and he ran with me from mile 24 to mile 25 and it was amazing to run with him too. He told me to keep going and he is a marathon MANIAC. He’s already done 7 this year and 25 overall. I told him he was a crazy person for doing these so often, but he did keep my mind off my legs and told me how much farther to go. At mile 25, I pretty much took off and gave it everything I had left in me.

I am interested to know my last mile time, but I will not have that until I upload Claude, my garmin, but I think it was the fastest mile I ran all day. I was in so much pain but I was so over the race and I just wanted to see the finish line and to stop running. I saw so many cheerers and I was hopeful that Mr. R would be at the finish line. I felt like we were going around the ‘bend’ in the marine base to the finish forever. FOREVER. I was thinking to myself, I can only go this fast for so long!!!! Then finally, it was over. I did some weird movement thinking that it might look good in a picture across the finish line and started walking after I crossed the mat. My legs were killing me but I wasn’t tired at all. My official finish time was 4:28. I made my A goal and finished a full marathon!

I got my medal, which is hideous and disappointing, ha ha, and some water and some of my new favorite Cytomax. Then I found chocolate milk and ditched the water and took a picture at the ‘photostation‘ with my medal and the photographer told me it was “cute.” Which I think in my somewhat dazed state I said, “Good.” I continued to wander and finally saw the girls I was running with for a while. We chatted and then I got a foil blanket. Finally I went to find Mr. R who texted me he was waiting and I saw him right when I walked out of the crowd. I was so surprised to see my roommate and her mom there too! It was an amazing surprise!!

I stood around and told them what ‘happened’ at mile 8, which grossed everyone out, and then I think I proceeded to talk about poop, I am full of class, but honestly, my mind wasn’t working at all. I feel like I was just talking nonsense. My roommate and her mom walked back to their car and I met Ryan Hall and told him that Josh Cox twittered me. I follow both of them. I got a picture (will post soon) and then Mr. R asked me how we were getting back to the hotel. Doy, didn’t even think of that, so we met back up with my roommate who was kind enough to wait for us and then drive us back to our hotel. Walking was slow and steady.

We got back and Mr. R, being the best ATC that he is, got ice for an ice bath and stretched me out a little bit. I was a little nauseous but showered up, and got ready to go. We went to a nearby mall and walked around for a little bit, and he even took me to a wonderful mecca called the Tory Burch Store and in my bewildered state I just took it all in, and it was amazing. We walked around for a bit until I got too tired and then we drove home.

Honestly, I’m not really tired at all, but my legs are very sore. Mostly my ankles hurt to go straight and my quads are very tight. I chafed in a sweet spot on my thighs too so that hurt a lot when I hopped in the ice bath. My hips are sore from my fuel belt and constantly pulling it down but the part of my body that hurts the most by far is my lower back. I am going to stretch a lot and hope for the best but I know I’ll be sore for a little bit. I am going to try to run again on either Wednesday or Thursday.

Well if you read that whole thing, you as well deserve a medal as well because I think I may still be in somewhat of a delusional state. I will give out cute medals though, just wait until you see the blue, yellow and red glittery WINDSURFER on my medal…. yes, I’m serious. I think I still can’t believe that it’s over, and I did do it, and all that crazy/funny/random stuff happened to me, but hey, it happens!

I will be posting the pictures and links and anything else exciting from the weekend soon and I am so thankful to everyone who was tweeting me, and send me such nice messages and commenting. You guys really pulled me through some tough times today, and each and every one of you are so inspiring to me! Seriously it means so much to me. I had a great time this weekend and a great race and I’m proud to say that I ran a marathon. I am going to let it marinade for a while and see how I feel about it before I post my ‘feelings’ and possible new endeavors. I will also be posting a review of the course for any of those interested in running it anytime soon. :) I hope you all enjoyed this long drawn out report. Everything is such, and still is a blur.

Thank you, thank you, thank you though, from the bottom of my sore little heart.


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  • Reply Concepción

    OMG Only girls get. CLASSIC!

    May 31, 2009 at 8:04 pm
  • Reply Angry Julie Monday

    Fantastic race report. I’m glad I’m not the only one who posted a race report with lots of bathroom issues. That is what running is all about.

    You are a ROCK STAR in my book, no matter what happened!

    May 31, 2009 at 8:14 pm
  • Reply Bec

    congrats girl you ran a marathon!

    May 31, 2009 at 8:14 pm
  • Reply Southbay Girl

    You are a marathoner! Congrats! You did it! And you aren’t the first person to have bathroom issues!!!! Nor will you be the last!

    Congrats on a great job!

    May 31, 2009 at 8:18 pm
  • Reply Amber

    Great race report, I read the whole thing and was laughing out loud at some of it!

    CONGRATULATIONS, girl!!! You ran a MARATHON, not very many people can do that, that is SOOOO amazing!!!

    Most of the feelings you described after the race (shaky, slow, a little disoriented) is how I felt after running my HALF-marathon. I honestly cannot even imagine doing a full marathon, but hopefully one day!!!

    That really sucks about your bathroom problem. What are the chances hey! Oh well, you still totally rocked it, that is a great time!! Can’t wait to see some pics :-)

    May 31, 2009 at 8:19 pm
  • Reply Kelly's runner

    Great recap, funny, inspirational, evoked memories that anyone that has run a marathon can understand.


    May 31, 2009 at 8:20 pm
  • Reply The 8-count

    really amazing, D! congrats on running and finishing a marathon. By the way your little episode happened to me on my first 1/2 marathon last month…it totally sucks and i was cramping up the entire time. But clearly it just lets you know how much of a badass you are! congratulations again – can’t wait to see the pics!

    May 31, 2009 at 8:25 pm
  • Reply Glenn Jones

    CONGRATULATIONS Danica! You did it! I am so happy for you!

    Back when we first met and you were toying with the idea, I was sure you could do it. While the physical part is hard, so much of the marathon is mental. Back then I heard a lot of self doubt that I’m no longer hearing (at least in this report) Congratulations!

    Are you ready to tackle Long Beach now?

    May 31, 2009 at 8:29 pm
  • Reply ~Mrs. Guru~

    Yay, awesome job and that sucks that you got you know what at mile 8.

    May 31, 2009 at 8:37 pm
  • Reply J.J.

    Just wanted to stop by and tell you that you kick a$$!!! I am so proud of you…I know you don;t even know me from anybody…but I am….you rock!!!

    May 31, 2009 at 8:37 pm
  • Reply Rop

    Good job on finishing the marathon. Awesome accomplishment!

    May 31, 2009 at 8:40 pm
  • Reply Librarian on the Run

    Congratulations, Chic Runner! I started following your blog last month, right around the time of your first 20-miler, and it’s been really inspiring to see you reach your goal. Congrats!

    May 31, 2009 at 8:54 pm
  • Reply Brown Eyed Girl

    YOU DID IT!!! So proud and excited for you! You are seriously amazing..and omg about your bathroom problems!! I can’t believe that happened to you on race day :( But you still finished awesome and reached your #1 goal!! That’s saying a lot! So, so happy for you :) Can’t wait to see your pics!

    May 31, 2009 at 8:58 pm
  • Reply Carolina Girl

    I am seriously so proud of you! You are SUCH an inspiration to all of us runner-wanna-bes! And please, don’t stop talking about poop or bathroom stops. I’m weird like that and thinks it’s hilarious.

    WHO’S #1 TODAY???? YOU ARE!! =)

    May 31, 2009 at 9:00 pm
  • Reply OhMyLaughter


    -Walking at the water stations is Fiiiine. I’ve volunteered at one in a 10 mile race. Really I would say 2/3 of the runners walked at the station. For me it seems to be easier to take that brief pause, hydrate, and then take off :)

    -Isn’t seeing a proposal at a race one of the most emotional things? I saw a guy actually get down on his knee to the side of a 5k course. It’s still cool to me how timing allowed that to happen. I think that’s the only proposal I’ve witnessed.

    -I’m glad all the emotions were fresh in your mind as you were writing this because many were very similar to my first half in March. I had forgotten about some of it until I read this post. Def. a little dazed right after. Feeling emotional toward the end.

    CONGRATS again on completing a full. You should get a 26.2 bumper sticker for your car. I would ;-)

    May 31, 2009 at 9:04 pm
  • Reply jlc


    Wow wow wow! That’s all I can say….

    May 31, 2009 at 9:06 pm
  • Reply Marci

    Congratulations, you are now a marathoner!! Way to go!

    May 31, 2009 at 9:34 pm
  • Reply shannon

    Rock on Danica!! That is so awesome and you made such good time! Your post cracked me up. I was there too, to watch jocelyn (running with high heels blogger) and our friend lydia run their first marathons too. San diego is a great marathon although I must agree, those medals are hideous (and HEAVY!)
    Rock on and congrats!!

    May 31, 2009 at 9:43 pm
  • Reply Brooke

    Congrats! This was a completely inspiring post, and now I REALLY want to run a marathon! Sucks about the bathroom issues, but wow! Under 4:30!

    May 31, 2009 at 9:46 pm
  • Reply Good Gals Inc

    You rock for finishing that marathon!! Girl problems and all!!!! You rock and are always such an inspiration when I train for my events!

    May 31, 2009 at 9:53 pm
  • Reply Megan and Chris

    Oh Danica! I have been thinking about you all day and praying for you! I have also been totally stalking your blog hoping for a race report! I am beyond impressed and so proud of you! AWESOME!

    May 31, 2009 at 10:19 pm
  • Reply Gina Harris

    Congratulations on running your first marathon. I did mine on Saturday and had a somewhat disappointing run, but I DID finish. You did excellent and persevered to the end, which is all that matters. Way to go!


    May 31, 2009 at 10:22 pm
  • Reply

    Great job today!!! One of these decades I hope to be able to join…


    May 31, 2009 at 10:23 pm
  • Reply joyRuN

    Congratulations, marathoner!!!

    And I remember that post-marathon bewildered state well :) Good times!

    Happy recovery!

    June 1, 2009 at 12:53 am
  • Reply D10

    Wow, way to battle and overcome the stomach issues. Not fun. But, you did it. You finished your first marathon and you had a good time too despite everything that was tossed at you. Hope you are proud of yourself.

    June 1, 2009 at 4:30 am
  • Reply Carlee

    Great job!!! Nice report too. Sorry about the bathroom issues!!!

    June 1, 2009 at 4:40 am
  • Reply Cheetah Girl

    YAY! CONGRATS GIRL!!! You are such an inspiration! Even with the not so good stuff that happened you remain so optimistic, where most people would have gone downhill.
    Under 4:30 for your first marathon is simply amazing!!!!
    Congrats again, marathoner! :)

    June 1, 2009 at 4:46 am
  • Reply Morgan

    Congrats! That is awesome! Bask in the after glow of the race my dear, you deserve it! Great report! Looking forward to the pics!

    June 1, 2009 at 5:05 am
  • Reply Oz Runner

    great job danica….i guess i didn’t know that this was your first marathon…way to go, that is an awesome time, especially considering the “issues”….

    how cool is that tweet from josh cox? he’s one of my favorite runners, awesome…. and meeting ryan hall? seriously? very cool..

    looking forward to your pics…

    June 1, 2009 at 5:08 am
  • Reply The Laminator

    Wow! Classic! Loved every word.
    Congrats, congrats, and more congrats on finishing your first marathon. Don’t worry about your time or your experience. I think a lot of wierd stuff happens in a first marathon that never happens in a previous training run because our bodies are just so shocked and traumatized that we’re running for so long that it just doesn’t function properly. In my first, I cramped so bad in both legs that I had to crawl for a few blocks. It was quite shocking, and I almost gave up the sport.

    You did a great job and should be very proud of yourself. Welcome to the marathoner’s club. Hats off to the new member! Yay!

    Recover well!

    June 1, 2009 at 5:08 am
  • Reply Mark

    A really fantastic job and time, esp considering all the stops, congratulations!

    June 1, 2009 at 5:20 am
  • Reply Marcy

    CONGRATS!! You’re now a marathoner! Excellent job too, especially given the circumstances (OMFG I would have died. I can’t believe you had to deal with “that” You poor thing!)

    June 1, 2009 at 5:23 am
  • Reply Eric

    congratulations and about the girl issues trust me its happend more than you think I know at least 10 girls with that accident at a marathon..
    good you finish

    June 1, 2009 at 5:49 am
  • Reply Amy

    CONGRATS! 4:28 is an AWESOME time. You rocked it!

    June 1, 2009 at 6:19 am
  • Reply Brandi

    Congratulations Girl!! You did it!!! And you met your goal which is fantastic!!!

    I can so relate to all the issues you had. I had the same problems with my first marathon in March. It’s like really mother nature…. can you give us a break…. :)

    Can’t wait to see pictures from the race!!!!


    June 1, 2009 at 6:38 am
  • Reply onelittletrigirl

    YEAH!!! Congrats on your first marathon- and with a unforgettable story to go along with it :)

    Great job :)

    June 1, 2009 at 6:56 am
  • Reply The Shabby Princess

    Congratulations!!!! Finishing is AWESOME! And dang girl, you deserve a billion medals for running that thing with an unexpected girl problem–I’m sure that made things much worse and more painful, but you finished and you finished strong. Kudos to you!!

    June 1, 2009 at 6:57 am
  • Reply The Reality of Happily Ever After

    You ARE amazing! Congrats on your finish, regardless of your monthly friend, burning feet, emotional sniffles and chafing :) B/C of all those things, you deserve a DOUBLE CONGRATS!!!!! Nice to have great friends to support you through this! YAY!!

    June 1, 2009 at 7:08 am
  • Reply The Happy Runner

    Congratulations, marathoner!!! You did great! You made your A goal and that is terrific. Way to go!!!

    Sorry about the bathroom breaks and all that stuff. Ugh. Why then, huh?

    June 1, 2009 at 7:12 am
  • Reply Sasha

    Congrats! So excited for you! Yay!

    June 1, 2009 at 7:15 am
  • Reply RunningLaur

    Congratulations, Miss Marathoner!!!!

    You pushed through some tough stuff and wrote a great report to boot. Can’t wait to see some pictures. Soak it all up – congratulations!!

    June 1, 2009 at 7:28 am
  • Reply k

    I’m delurking to say congratulations! Way to fight through a somewhat hilarious first marathon. Just think- it can only get better! Hoperully in your dazed state you didn’t tell Ryan Hall about your poop :)

    June 1, 2009 at 7:29 am
  • Reply Marathon Maritza

    Yay, great race report! You are a MARATHONER, girl!

    And apparently, the SD RnR port-o-potty expert. :)

    SO GREAT to finally meet you this weekend! We’ll have to go for a run together when I’m down in LA next! :)

    June 1, 2009 at 7:33 am
  • Reply Danielle Runs


    I cannot wait to read more and see your pics!! :)

    June 1, 2009 at 7:37 am
  • Reply Holly

    You are sooooo awesome, that is so hard to pull through something like that and you STILL got a kickass time and made your A goal. You’re amazing. :)

    June 1, 2009 at 7:43 am
  • Reply Rachel J.

    Congratulations on finishing and on making your A goal!

    June 1, 2009 at 7:56 am
  • Reply Tara Gibson

    congrats girl! you motivate me so much!

    June 1, 2009 at 8:13 am
  • Reply kilax

    My goodness, I cannot believe what happened at mile 8! I am mentally noting that for my first marathon!

    Congrats! It sounds like it was a tough race but you kicked it’s butt. I cannot wait to see pics!

    June 1, 2009 at 8:25 am
  • Reply maria k

    congrats!! sounds like an eventful race. now you get to lay around and do NOTHING for a week. at least thats what i did…and it was AWESOME.

    June 1, 2009 at 8:36 am
  • Reply Girl on Top

    Great job. You are motivating me so much!

    June 1, 2009 at 8:38 am
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