My Big Bro’s Santa Barbara Marathon Race Recap

I have a treat for all you lucky readers today!  My big brother recently ran his second marathon and he agreed to guest post with his race recap. Take it away Jared.

I spent the last 4 months training for the Santa Barbara Marathon.


This is the 2nd marathon I’ve participated in with the first being the OC marathon last year in May. Both times I signed up for the marathon as way to lose weight. I like to yo-yo with my weight, as my wife would say, and once again I found my weight well into the Clydesdale division (190+) this summer. Last year I hadn’t run at all and had to start from square 1 but I made it my new year’s resolution to complete a marathon. Before I started training this time I was at least running about 10 miles a week, not much but at least I had a decent place to start from.

As I started training, my only goal was to lose 20 pounds before the marathon. However, as I really started training I began to wonder if I could complete the marathon in less than 4 hours. The first few weeks of training, my long runs were at around a 9:10 pace. As I continued to add miles each week (and drop weight) my pace started to creep below 9 minutes so I decided I would shoot for the sub 4. I had no clue if I could do it but it seemed exciting to try.

The morning of the race was nice and cold but they let the runners hang out in the high school gym until 15 minutes before the race. This was nice as it gave me a chance to sit and stay off my feet while still keeping warm. Looking back I should have been drinking more pre-race but I was so concerned about losing time for a bathroom break that it didn’t hydrate enough. This would come back to bite me that last few miles. The gun went off and the herd took off.


I told myself over and over and over not to go out to fast. It’s the classic rookie mistake and I made that mistake my first marathon. I bought a running watch 2 months ago to check my pace and heart rate. I knew if I kept my heart rate below 153 I would be okay and stay away from the lactate threshold. As you will see from my splits below I started out too fast. I don’t know what it is but I just felt so comfortable and thought I was REALLY holding back. I remember even looking at my watch repeatedly and thinking “that can’t be right” and “maybe the watch just needs a mile to calibrate.” Somehow with all my mental preparation and the constant monitoring of my watch I still managed to go out to fast. Looking back it was just bravado and stupidity thinking that I would run at that pace for the full 26.


I finally wised up at mile 3 and got my heart rate to a decent level. It’s funny how the first 10 miles or so you wave to all those cheering you on, high five all the little kids and really enjoy the nice views. That would not be the case later on.

Split Time HR (avg)

1 00:08:18 158 bpm

2 00:08:28 154 bpm

3 00:08:32 149 bpm

4 00:08:37 150 bpm

5 00:08:37 150 bpm

6 00:08:48 152 bpm

7 00:08:38 153 bpm

8 00:08:48 155 bpm

9 00:08:32 152 bpm

10 00:08:36 153 bpm

11 00:08:42 153 bpm

12 00:08:39 152 bpm

13 00:08:49 154 bpm


Me in the last quarter mile and my one fan (my wife Paige).

I got to the half-way point in around 1:54 minutes which I was really excited about. I felt just okay at this point but could tell I was starting to feel weak. I slowed down my pace a bit hoping it would allow me enough energy to finish. Soon though my pace got slower and my heart rate started creeping up (not a good combination). Another stupid mistake was realizing at mile 19 that my heart rate was to high but still thinking “Dang I’m red lining here. Who cares, I’ll just gut this race out.” You can do that for a mile or two at the end but you can’t red line the last 7 miles! Something happens to your brain between mile 18-20 and you have a lot of irrational thoughts.

So I ran hard for a few more miles but soon I ran out of energy and got my first ever quad cramp. Once you start cramping there isn’t a whole lot you can do. I had to do a walk/run routine and by mile 23 I saw the 4 hour pacer catch up to me. I wanted so bad to come in under 4 that I pushed hard to keep up with her. At mile 24 though my legs decided they had enough and I couldn’t run more than a minute at a time.


The View at Mile 25!

I tried to run the last quarter mile and right as I crossed the finish line my legs gave out and I stumbled into the barriers. I was happy that I finished the race giving it my all but bummed I didn’t finish under 4. I officially finished in 4:07 which was way better than the 4:40 I ran my first marathon in. I was happy with the vast improvement and I was able to lose the 20 pounds I originally desired.

14 00:08:51 156 bpm

15 00:08:50 155 bpm

16 00:08:54 155 bpm

17 00:09:05 154 bpm

18 00:09:02 156 bpm

19 00:09:03 161 bpm

20 00:09:50 159 bpm

21 00:09:32 159 bpm

22 00:10:34 150 bpm

23 00:10:10 149 bpm

24 00:12:28 148 bpm

25 00:10:54 144 bpm

26 00:13:50 130 bpm

27 00:13:14 137 bpm

At least I keep learning more about running with each race. Maybe someday I’ll run the race in a way to optimize my before. In the meantime at least I still have the sub 4 goal to work at!

What race mistakes have you made?

I am so proud of my brother for completing his second marathon. Thanks for sharing with us big bro!

3 thoughts on “My Big Bro’s Santa Barbara Marathon Race Recap

  1. Jared and Brittany Thanks for sharing your experience. Sure brings back memories. Your Grandpa would be very proud of you and excited also.

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