I just did Big Sur on Sunday, and while I'm no writer, I'll sum it up as short as I can.
I went with my hubby and we got there on Friday. I read somewhere that since the night before a marathon you don't sleep at all, I planned on sleeping well on Friday night, which I did. We stayed in Monterey which aparently is one the top 10 places to visit before you turn 10. So bring the kids if you do it. The expo was great, and I met Sarah Bowen Shea who wrote "Run like a Mother" which I was pretty tickled about.
We were bussed to the start so I left my hotel at 4:15, with the kick off at 6:45. We rode South on Highway 1 in the dark and I was able to see the light in front and behind of the other busses and I watched the mile markers counting down. It was pretty intimidating riding the course backward and thinking, yes we are still going downhill. Yikes.
The start was very well organized, with potties for everyone, we lined up by time and all the sudden 4,500 became silent listening to the national anthem. I got goosebumps. I lined up with the 5:30 pace group and followed the balloons almost all the way to the end. I made a friend with 66-year old Nick who was running his last marathon, we ran together miles 2-17. The worst hill was mile 10-12 but the view was so spectacular I enjoyed it. I had done my hill training and didn't have to stop to walk (whoot, whoot).
I had knee issues at mile 21 but did a run/walk combo and got through...AND had 3 people drafting off me, and one even said I was a good Pacer! Me! Ha. I had to laugh. Someone drafted off me. Must have been channeling my inner Lance Armstrong.
So I knew there were 3 hills between miles 22-26.2, and I'm not kidding the last one begins at 25.2. What kind of sick individual does this. But I did it, and finished in 5:37. My only goal was to be done in 6 hours to earn my medal. Yay, me.
This is a great mommy marathon, and Monterey Aquarium is great for the kids. Sign up early, since it sold out in January, but do it and you'll never regret it. Now I am going to ride this wave of optimism and pick a marathon to PR.