Santa Rosa Marathon (#1)

There was very little social media lead up to this event because I had my doubts about finishing. That a DNF was entirely possible given the training the past month and my injury status. So it’s understandable that my friends didn’t know it was my first full marathon!

It’s a pretty phenomenal feat. I am still pinching myself because it feels like it was a dream. It is definitely not something to take lightly and think you can finish without training. Deep respect for the 26.2.

The race started a little below 60 degrees. I started in the back of the pack (at the finish line) and chatted to a couple people as we left the streets of Santa Rosa and entered a park.

I’m delirious when I have to get up at 3am to make it to a 6am start. I started in the back near the finish line.

Along the course, I started talking to a woman who kept leap frogging with me. She was doing intervals too. So I made a new friend, switched to her intervals around mile 6 (90 seconds run/45 seconds walk) and we ran to mile 25 together. It was great to have a distraction from the miles. I bet my mood would have gone south had she not been there to talk to.

The weather was overcast until about mile 24 when the sun started to peak out and it started to feel a little more like 70 degrees.

During the run, my right foot swelled and I had to loosen my shoe. I loosened it 3 or 4 more times and even at its loosest the top big toe joint was still pushing on shoe. My left Achilles starting hurting around mile 14. My back was tight during the run and I stretched it a couple times at aid stations. I did my usual high knee kicks every once in a while to keep things loose.

The course was pretty with all the vineyards around that were pumped full of grapes. It made me very excited to run the Healdsburg Half with my sisters next year when the fall leaves will be turning.
 I had a 1/2 banana on the route, along with my two packs of chews and I drank Gatorade plus a cup of water after mile 20. There was an aid station every 2 miles, which was awesome! I drank water at every aid station except the last one. I started drinking two glasses because I could feel the thirst. In previous races, I never drink at every station and rarely stop at stations to drink for halves. I ate two chews every 2 miles after mile 4. I didn’t use the porta potty along the course.

We slowed at mile 17 then by mile 24 I was pushing the pace again – I was ready for the race to be over! With a blessing from Carla, I took off. Luckily, we had just caught up to her husband so she had company for the last couple miles.

At mile 25, after I had given up hope that I’d see the NP tribe along the course… thinking that they had gone off to brunch with the other finishers. I was on a walk break and fairly tired then I heard someone calling out my name. It took a decent amount of coaxing and two tribe leaders flanking me on both sides to get me to run again. We ran to the finish together and I found my last and final wind.

The photographer at the finish wanted me to raise my hands. It wasn’t going to happen. I was spent.


There was no food at the end. No bagel. No banana. No milk. No foil wrap (not that it was needed). It was all gone except for watermelon and bottled water.

Never try anything new on race day. Except I did.

  • I had oatmeal breakfast cookies, which were similar ingredients to my typical morning meal before a race (additional egg whites and banana).
  • I also wore two pair of socks, the outside layer being compression socks. I’ve never run in compression socks and never doubled up my socks.
  • Also, I pinned snack baggies to the front of my skirt, put my chews inside them and flipped the baggie inside between my underwear and the skirt. This worked out well for grabbing my chews on the go.

Post Race Assessment:

  • I have some sore spots. Some new spots creeped up during the run, but nothing that kept me from completing it.
  • After the race, the right foot, left Achilles and knees received brief ice.
  • My back and groin received ice on the 20 min drive to breakfast.
  • My right knee hurt the most on the drive home – the one stretched out for the gas and brake.

Retrospective:

  • I would change my morning caffeine to decaf. My pee was bright yellow after race and was thirsty half way through the race.
  • Otherwise, I think fueling was decent.
  • Definitely liked the baggies pinned on the front of my skirt. There was one point where it started to chafe my leg but adjusting the baggy fixed it.
  • Having someone to talk to while running the race definitely made it feel like a breeze.

Outfit Report

Fuel Report

  • Morning Of: Oatmeal Breakfast Bars: ½ c oats, 1 banana, 1 tbsp honey, ¼ c blueberries, 2 tbsp slivered almonds, 1/8 tsp cinnamon, 2 egg whites. 1 cup cold caffeinated tea
  • During: 2 packages Pro Bar Bolt one with and one without caffeine; water; Gatorade after mile 20 aid stations; 1/2 banana.
  • Right After: Muscle Milk; black grapes.
  • Later after race: gf waffles with peanut butter, almonds, bananas, blueberries and syrup; water.
  • Tried eating but body said NO!: I looked at the picky bar in my bag and decided to forgo it.

Soreness/Injury Report

  • Pre-race Injury: The weekend prior my right calf seized which kept me from running the full mileage the last week.
  • Taped: Both knees, groin, hamstrings, calves, shins with KT tape. The PT put arch supporting tape on both my feet.
  • During: Left achilles, right top of foot, twinges of pain here and there in my right calf and right shin. My back was tight. Toward the end of the race my glutes were burnt out.
  • Post Race: Did not stretch after race.
  • Day after full: Calves were fine and so were shins. Top of right foot was achy and stiff. Left Achilles hurt when wearing shoes. Groin is a little sore. Iced knees and Achilies and top of foot.
  • Two days after race: Bottom of right foot stiff. Left lower IT Band sore. Top of right foot was achy and stiff. Left Groin is a little sore. Achilles and knees were slightly sore. I was feeling phenomenal otherwise, and wanted to go run a couple miles. Iced knees and Achilies and top of foot.
  • Three days after race: My right foot felt like it was being pinched of circulation and that it would go numb at any moment. The PT said my right leg was entirely swollen and did electrodes + ice. I also ice massaged that even and the next day.

Course Elevation

The race directors said it was a flat course; Nike plus said the elevation was 524ft.

Santa Rosa Full Marathon Elevation Map

Santa Rosa Full Marathon Elevation Map