All odds against us (per chance Friday the 13th weekend)

This year we decided to repeat pace the Carlsbad Marathon 26.2, upping the challenge from 3:25 to 3:15. All the training and prep for this was set in the books, till 2 days before the race:

  • A/C in our car shatters metal pieces into the timing belt. Not a quick fix.
  • SANDAG decides to shutdown the rail services for the weekend to work on the track.
  • Work week was tough, I (Roger) had to bike in cold rain that I got sick with mild bronchitis.

I notice in pre-race day shake out routine, that my weight on the scale is 5lb under… dangerously low. I am severely dehydrated. I scramble to look for a pacer last-minute that possible can handle 7:20 min-miles. No luck, looks like I will have to tough this out and at least get to 13.1 (since Me and Bessy do each a half, I was planning the entire full). I go online night before to RSVP a car rental via Enterprise. The next day we show up to pick up the car, to be told without warning via the website that our credit cards are not valid to use (I checked back and it says our cards are valid). I will never use Enterprise again. Both of us frantically searched for another car rental, biking from location to location downtown, until we finally lucked out with Pacific Car Rental in Little Italy.


Fit a 56″ and 48″ road bikes into a compact sedan thanks to the rear seats folding down & trash bags to protect the upholstery! Success!

We get to the expo just in time, grab our packets and head to Jimbo’s for a good pre-race dinner. Off to a home stay we thankfully arranged with triathlete buddy. We slept so well, we woke up feeling of 8 hour rest, at midnight, with 4 more hours to sleep! Yes – 2 days worth of sleep into 1!
Come race day I am laser focused I forget to take off my cold weather throw away shirt for the group pacer social photo.


The race starts and goes as planned banking time the first few miles so we can take it easy on the hills.  As I hit mile 5 that is where the effects of sickness and dehydration hit me. I really thought I was going to fail, worst is that somehow we had an extra quarter mile added to the distance that I had to make up time.  From there I decided to conserve energy by not talking or cheering anyone, even though I wanted to so bad as many others who passed by cheered me on.

I finally make it to the halfway exchange point with the right timing thankfully, but Bessy went off a bit too fast for me to pass the stick.  I did my best whimpering to get her to slow down and take it, as I was drained.   Originally I planned to negative split here and go for AG 35-39 Boston Qualifier of sub 3:10.  This was out of the picture as it was questionable if I could finish.  Then I thought how many others I trained with put in the time and effort for this race (and other races the same day), I might as well continue as much as I can.  Surprisingly, I capture my B goal which is to be dead on pace, coming in with 12 seconds to spare under 3:15, Bessy finishing 2 minute ahead, on a course ending up .25 longer than last year.  We were both successful in this accomplishment – bringing in 2 people who acknowledge this was their goal at the start.  The first was a guy who flew in all the way from Poland to get this goal.  We got to talking in Polish before and after the race.  The second, was a guy in blue shirt and long black hair (running with no working watch), which you can see was with us as caught in these race photos:


Photo Credits: Fu Pang


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