The San Diego Trail Marathon Race Report


it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted and I’d like to get back to posting once a week. It’s not so I can update folks that occasionally read this but more so that I can have a log/journal of everything going on. Life has obviously been, and will continue to be, filled with excitement and change on every level. Our little baby is growing away and it’s hard to believe that Maggie is already 21 weeks pregnant… it blows my mind everyday. We’ve started, slowly, preparing for the daunting task of moving. We are taking very little with us to Colorado. The plan is continue simplifying our lives and only take the essentials and just kind of start from scratch. that move day is going to be here before we know it.


my incredible cheering section


with everything going on outside of running and training it’s been great to have Mario coaching me. I really don’t think about anything… I just do what he puts on the schedule. It’s been fun, challenging, and easy on my mind. It’s nice to not think and just do. the first race of 2015 is in the books and it was definitely a confidence building day on the trails of lake hodges.

I didn’t rest going into the race… quite the opposite. Last tuesday (week of the race) i did the hardest workout that i have done in recent memory. 5 x 5 min Vo2ish internals.  Mario laid out a goal of 5:35-5:45 pace if I was running on flat terrain. I did this workout on the “hood trails” which are rolling with some good pace killing hills. to make the workout even harder I couldn’t find my ipod shuffle so the workout was done sans music (i typically listen to music during hard workouts and solo long runs). I made all the intervals but really had to work for it. the 4th one left me doubled over wondering if a 5th was in the cards. thankfully it was.


pre race beer


i wrote back in december that my goal for the trail marathon was go sub 3 hours. on wednesday night i was telling maggie that I didn’t know if that was going to happen. I was definitely feeling the workout on tuesday and the past 2.5 weeks of solid work. Maggie immediately, in the awesome way I can always count on her to do, called me on my bullshit and asked if I was already making excuses. I love her. She was right. So with less than awesome legs, and after warming up with ruby, I toed the line Saturday morning ready to let it rip and try to go sub 3.


My goal was to run 630-45 pace and try to sneak in just under 3 hours. I had a good feeling that nobody would want to go out that fast and I was right. it was cold (upper 30s/low 40s) so i had that weird i can’t feel my body or have any idea how fast i am running feeling. First mile passed in 5:53. i settled in and low 6 minute pace (6:00-6:15) was coming pretty easy so I went with it.


the course is slightly downhill on way out with the exception of going over raptor ridge and then gradually uphill on the way back. so i knew it was a good idea to bank some time on the way out as i was sure to go slower back. With no one is sight behind me I was now a slave to my garmin.


I hit 10 miles in 1:01:17 feeling great. Hit 13.1 in 1:20:33 (turnaround was at 13.2). Flipped it as was still feeling good and finding low 6 pace. around mile 18 my stomach started to turn and holding 6:15s was becoming quite a bit more work. mile 20.5 finally hit the bushes and left feeling much lighter (slowest mile of the day 7:44). Mile 20.7 was the start of the climb back over raptor ridge… i was moving well but not very fast. I rolled the descent and then it was time for the hardest part of the course for me. the last 4 miles are single and double track, a lot of false flat and short digger climbs. nowhere to find any rhythm. I was suffering for sure and my pace slipped a bit. I was still able to keep between 6:20-45 and I was motivated by the fact that Maggie and Ruby were at the finish line.


I can’t explain how much I love this dog.


I crossed the line in 2:46:55 and was pretty shocked and stoked by that… a good day at the office on tired legs for sure and I exceeded my own expectations….

running for a time goal is tough. I’d rather race the guys around me and not worry about the time or pace than be a slave to my Garmin… but mentally I can do it. After the first couple of miles I just made it my goal to try and run as many miles under 6:15 for a long as I could… and it worked out.  For me it was more of a mental battle than physical. running a 2:46 definitely makes me curious to see how fast i could run a flat, fast road marathon, but that will have to wait. Next up will be the San Dieguito Half Marathon on 2/8. It’s a killer local, hilly half that I haven’t run since 2007 when I went 1:15:45. I’m really curious to see what I can do there now since I am a completely different athlete than I was back then. Not sure if that means and I can faster or will be slower.




  7 comments for “The San Diego Trail Marathon Race Report

  1. Dave Jewell
    January 22, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Loved the report and the mind set. Nice job on your race.

  2. John Fraher
    January 22, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    I’m glad you aren’t the only one that gets that numb, can’t feel my body feeling. In my portion of the Denk Run Ride, I felt that way for the first half of the race.

  3. January 26, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Love That Cheering Section!!! Good On You & Stay Strong

  4. jamie
    February 3, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Always an enjoyable motivating read

  5. The Bruised Banana Endurance Sports Website
    February 8, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Awesome race report and congrats on the blazing finish time! My name is Kenrick Smith – I started a website called The Bruised Banana as a platform for endurance athletes to contribute their race reports to and also check out race reports from fellow athletes from all over the country. My wife and I work together on the site and our site was featured in Triathlete Magazine as one of the most talked about topics in multisport in their Nov. 2014 issue. We have a trail running section and we were wondering if you’d like to contribute this race report for that section. We just started that section on the site. If you want to check out our site and are interested in contributing please drop us a line. Hope your half went well today and best of luck on the rest of your season!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *