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Carlsbad Marathon 2011

Last Sunday, January 23rd, I ran the 2011 Carlsbad Marathon.  This was my 2nd marathon in 2 months and my 3rd marathon since I started running in Sept. of 2008.  This was also my 3rd event with Insulindependence and an amazing vacation with my super-support wife and our beautiful 5 year old daughter.  The goal for this marathon was a little different than my first 2.  #1 Chicago:  Finish (check!).  #2 Memphis: Sub 4 (so close! 4:01).  The goal for Carlsbad was to help my good friend and my diabetic sister, Emily, finish her first (check!).

Our trip began on Thursday, Jan 20th by leaving home at 4:00 AM and driving a very stressful 40 miles on snow packed roads to the airport.  We were schedule to depart at 7:10 and things were looking amazing well when we backed away from the gate on time.  Flash forward 2 hours and 45 minutes later (!) and our plane is finally de-iced and we take off.  So much for making our connecting flight in Phoenix.  Fortunately we were able to get the next available flight out of PHX and only lost a few hours of our trip due to the weather.

Welcome to San Diego!  68* and simply amazing.  Wow.  What a wonderful part of the country! We stayed about 20 minutes north of San Diego in Cardiff by the Sea.  Yeah, we’ve pretty much decided we want to live there… someday.  Just unbelievable.

Friday we took Belle to Legoland and then spent time driving around Cardiff and La Jolla.  Took in the incredible sights and even got to see the Sea Lions (seals, whatever) in La Jolla.  Legoland was a lot of fun and perfect for a 5 year old.  Belle had a great time and was really enjoying her time alone with Mom and Dad.  Our son (3 years old) had to stay back home, but was getting plenty of attention from his Grandparents.  He had a good time too.    Friday evening we went to dinner with a bunch of my Insulindependence/Glucomotive friends, many of which I ran the Great River Ragnar Relay with last year.  I can’t even begin to describe what a great group of people this is.  I love these folks.

Next up on Saturday morning was the kids marathon mile race back at Legoland.  Mindy and I trotted along with Belle for her first race!  Woohoo!  She did AWESOME.  I still can’t believe how much of the mile she ran and how well she did.  We told her that if you *ran* across the finish line you would get a medal.  Somehow this one thing we told her stuck and the rest of the weekend she told everybody see met about the race and how she earned her medal.  Dad is proud.

Following the kids race we headed down to the beach in Carlsbad to meet up with the iD gang for breakfast and some surfing.  Yeah, that’s right surfing.  Day before a marathon, never surfed?  Sure!  Give it a try!  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to strap on a wetsuit (backwards of course) and head out in the surf.  The waves were 6 feet or so and I enjoyed sitting out there on a HUGE board and taking in the scene.  I managed to get up on my knees once and then later let a wave take me back to shore.  I didn’t want to spend to much energy here, but I’m sure glad I got out there and did it.  Terrific experience with 75 or so fellow type 1 diabetics!

Saturday afternoon we hit the race expo and then attended the awards dinner and get together with Insulindependence.  We had 83 runners doing the race (7, I believe, did the full) and raised over $30,000 for iD.  Awesome.  I’m going to leave it at that.  I could go on and on, but this is getting long already!  Had a terrific dinner and headed back to hotel to get ready for… oh, yeah… a marathon.

As I stated waaaaay back in the opening paragraph, my goal for this race was to get Emily across the finish line.  Emily and I met last summer during the Ragnar Relay, and after one relay member after another started signing up for the Carlsbad Half, we decided to sign up for the full and I made the commitment to run with her and help her along the way.  This was her first and she was definitely concerned with the distance and the thought of tackling her first marathon.  I was concerned with holding her back. 

I had convinced her that we should start off fairly slow and then see what happens later.  After about 10 miles at a 9:30-ish pace and one downhill mile at 8:10, we caught up to the 4:00 pace group and settled in there.  I was feeling pretty good and knew from my Garmin that we were right on pace for a sub 4.  At about mile 21, Emily asked “are we going to do sub 4?!”  I replied with “sssshhh!”  I was starting to feel it a bit and knew that we had some tough, hilly miles coming up, but I could tell Emily was feeling good and I told her that I didn’t want to hold her back.  At mile 23, right at the point that our awesome iD support crew (including Mindy and Belle) was set up, I hit the wall.  “I have to walk”.  Thankfully, Emily didn’t stop.  She went on to finish in 3:59.  Gary is proud.

This is the photo of the race.  As I stopped and went over to Mindy and Belle, Emily stayed to the left and pressed on, but they didn’t see her.  “WHERE’S EMILY?!”  The photo speaks for itself.

I finished the race with a few walking/running interval miles and came in at 4:05.  My super-secret secondary goal was a 4:15, so even though I had to cash in the last 3 miles, I’m very happy with my race.  But my time doesn’t really matter.  I’m just so happy and in awe of Emily’s race.  She’s awesome.

Thanks to Triabetes Captain Jenny Crandell for this pic!!

We had such a great time on this trip and we’re already talking about doing it again next year.  Next time, Brady will get to go!


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