CIM MaraFUNrun 2018

Deterding’s principal is an avid runner. Tripp’s teacher definitely encourages the kids to get out and run. So ahead of CIM, a group of students all decided to do the 5k fun run, and I decided to join them. Tripp did great, and stayed a corner or two ahead of me the entire run. That’s what happens when he runs regularly and I don’t. For me, it was no PR, with a 26:34, but it was a FUN run anyway, right?

California International Marathon – CIM 2012

Div PlacePlaceTimePace
331/4454088/649604:45:1210:56 min/m

The Race – A Timeline View

I’ve decided to try something a little different with my blog this time. Instead of a long, textual experience, I figured a timeline with what was happening and going through my head would be a bit more fun, as well as give a better view of what my pace and everything was like.

Wakeup, morning breakfast of a bagel and some PowerAde, followed by a Clif bar later. Get the morning prep done, and off to Harry’s at 4:45.
Arrive at Harry’s, have a chance for some discussion on last-minute plans, get ready for the morning, and head off by 5:20 to the bus stop.
Bus stop at the Convention Center, grab the second to last bus, with only 6 people on board. Didn’t realize until I checked later that the busses were only supposed to run 5-5:30. The walk to the stop was pleasant; light rain, moderate temperature. The bus drive to Folsom was insane, the bus was being blown across lanes by the intense wind, rain made visibility tough, and we could hear chatter from other drivers getting lost.
Getting ready to race. Final stop at the zillions of port-o-johns (they stretched for over a hundred yards), and to get the sweats bag dropped off. It’s so windy and rainy, people are hanging out in the busses. I’m so frazzled by the insane weather, I forget to finish tying my shoes, and forget to take off one layer under my jacket. Oh, and I left my garbage bags (make-shift rain gear) at home, so I guess I’m wearing my actual rain jacket.
Race start! Over seven thousand runners, ready to go. Seems like very few people dropped out due to rain. (6496 official finishers)
Mile 1
Dodge bags all mile long. Seems like half the runners decided to ditch the rain gear for the run.
Eek! Shoe untied. That’s what I get for being out in the rain not 100% prepared. Ditch Harry, tie it, then try and find him as I catch up.
Mile 2
Shoe number two goes out, shoe one is too loose. Ditch Harry again, tie both, then lose Harry for over a mile. Our plan to find him doesn’t work, as I pass him apparently, then slow down on hill to find him again.
Mile 3
Mile 4
Left shoe’s too tight. Stop one last time, this time at a water stop and adjust. The top of my left foot feels like it’s bruising, and I can’t go on with it like it is. Ow!
Mile 5
Definitely not running my best. Race times are usually 8s, I’m closer to 9s. A bit tired through the hills, but it could be the rain and wind doing it, too. Ah well, no PR definitely (but I didn’t expect it due to the weather and training).
Mile 6
Mile 7
Into old Fair Oaks, Harry is definitely doing better than I am, a bit more energy, and bit better performance. I guess training well pays off, eh? My knee has been hurting me for a mile now, enough that dropping out is at front of mind if it doesn’t take more than a mile or two to go away. Foot still hurts too.
Mile 8
Mile 9
Mile 10
Mile 11
See you Harry. Good luck on your run. Glad we could run this far together, and I’m happy to see you feeling confident enough to take off.
Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Thanks for braving the weather to come out and see me. Nice job weather-proofing the SLR, I hope it survived okay.
Mile 12
Mile 13
And hello to the rest of my family. Stop and walk to give hugs to everyone, even though I’m soaked. Still too cold and wet to give up any clothes, so it’s just a quick hug and hello, then back off to the run. The kids have already seen me DNF once. Now that the foot and knee pain are tolerable, I’m not backing down. Estimated finish: 4:15-4:30
1:58:46 – my second worst half marathon time. Definitely not doing great this run. As long as I’m not doing well, might as well stop at the port-o-john to make this more comfortable.
Mile 14
Mile 15
Mile 16
Time to start kicking in to a walk/jog. Things are starting to hurt, and I feel the same cramping coming on that I had at mile 15 on my training. Guess it wasn’t just electrolyte issues, just a matter of under-training.
Mile 17
Mile 18
Definitely getting very slow. Run till I feel the cramps come on, walk till I feel them go away. Watching pace groups go by, and estimate about a best-case 4:30 finish.
Mile 19
Mile 20
At least I have lots of company. Loads of runners are now in the same walk/jog boat I’m in.
Mile 21
Thanks for the beer!
Mile 22
Nothing will change from this point on. Just keep up the miles, track the mini goals (Watt/Fulton/Howe, check!) and find my way to the finish… eventually. I hurt, but not enough to stop.
Mile 23
Mile 24
Quarter pint of Guinness? Don’t mind if I do! Bonn Lair always has a group of supporters there to keep runners content. Harry even had a full pint when he realized he wouldn’t hit four hours.
Mile 25
Mile 26
Official Finish: 4:45:12
Official Pace: 10:56 … ugh!

CIM 2008 – A Personal Worst, and then some…

Div Place Place Time Pace
376/400 4434/5198 04:53:21 11:13 min/mi

The Race

One problem with doing your second race, is that it’s either a PR or a PW, there’s no in between. Well, the first half of this race went well, 01:47:16, or about 8:10s, a conservative pace by 10-20 seconds for me. And considering my training has been lacking, and really only gone up to 13 miles, doing well for the first 13 makes sense. Last year, I began to fall behind at this same point, for this same reason. The difference, though, is that this year, I cramped up badly… very badly. Like, walking for the whole last ten miles.

So, at about mile 19, I decided to hit my lap button, just to see how bad the pacing was. By then, my average pace on the front 19 had dropped from the low 8s to 9:08. The last 7 miles? 16:37, or 3.6mph. Not even a brisk walk (4mph), but at least better than a slow stroll, and that includes having to stop and try stretching several times.

So what have I learned? Obviously, training is important, and while I can skate by on a half (and have several times), there’s no easy route for me on a marathon. Also, that when it comes down to the mental game of “This sucks, I hurt, I should quit!” I can make it past the mind battle… or at least could this time. And lastly, my friends and family still love and support me, no matter how badly I do.

California International Marathon

The Best Part

I have to start this with the most amazing part of the race. Diane, Brandon, Mason, Damon, Mom, Kristi, Vincent, Dave, Amanda, Josh, Harry, and Sarah. You were all so amazing. I can’t believe how inspiring, supportive, caring, and wonderful you all were. Diane, you and your family, seeing me so many times on the race, and planning out such an amazing amount of support, I have never felt so honored in my life.

Josh and Harry, for making such a creative way of coming out and finding me, and for your impeccable timing. Amanda, for helping me see the finish line, and helping me forget my pain for that last half mile. Kristi, for coming out even when you hadn’t planned to, and to Mom, for giving up one of your favorite church days of the year to come support me. Vincent, for supporting all of the runners with water and GU2O, and for supporting me through my gear delivery. Dave, you’ve done this every year, and your unending support is awesome, thank you for the smile and the cheer. And Sarah, for fighting the traffic to celebrate with us afterwards. Thank you all. This has been a truly awesome experience, and so much of it is thanks to you.


My half marathon paces have been ~1:45, and I knew I needed to be a bit more conservative, so at the packet pickup, I picked up the 3:45 pacer bracelet, and expected to run with that group. I figured, if I slowed down, from 3:45, I could still beat my goal of sub 4:00, but I wasn’t going to be so arrogant to think that my half pace would be my full pace.

Then comes Sunday morning, and I don’t see the 3:45 pace team sign. The only one I spot are the 3:20 and the 3:30. Well, with my half pace being the 3:30, I figure I’ll run with that team and as I drop back, I’ll get passed by the 3:45 and hold on to that pace through the race.

Well, that didn’t work so well. Race day excitement kicked in, and I paced the 3:30 folk for the entire front half, and then slowed down to my own pace for the second half. So, long story short (since I’ll get into the details next), my goal was sub 4, my stretch goal 3:45, my half pace as a full was 3:30, and I finished with 3:43 and change! Below my stretch goal, and well below my goal. I’m thrilled, excited, and utterly flabbergasted by the time. I’m on such a high right now, I can’t even explain it.

Div Place Place 13.1 Time Pace
112/220 1494/4743 01:45:14 03:43:39 8:33 min/mi

The race

It’s not surprising that the wisdom of those who’ve gone before you can be so spot on. I have had so many people tell me about marathons, and describing the wall that most runners hit somewhere between mile 18 and 22, that when I found my pace dropping from the low 8s to all over the 9s, I wasn’t shocked. However, I never realized what a struggle, both physically and mentally, those last eight miles would be.

Somewhere around mile 13, my pace dropped from 8:00 to 8:30s. Not surprising to me at all, since the majority of my training peaks out at 13 miles. In fact, I’ve only done two runs exceeding that distance, a 15 mile run in August, and the Clarksburg 20 three weeks ago. So when my joints and muscles, at 13 miles, let themselves be known, it came as no surprise. I expected some of that, and I started out with a slightly aggressive pace, knowing that it was risky, but taking the chance at making my marathon pace the same as my half marathon pace.

At mile 18, as I said, that slight penalty became tremendous. It was like trying to run through water, my breathing hadn’t changed, my heartrate stayed steady, but my muscles were no longer cooperating. Every step was an effort. By mile 23, both of my calves and both hamstrings were cramped up. I spent every amount of effort I had trying to keep my muscles relaxed, or at least to prevent them from locking up completely. I was sure I was going to have to walk, but I knew that from the second I did, I would be struggling to make it forward, so I persisted, and never once walked the entire marathon. So I made my first half in ~1:45, and the second half in ~2:00, and I’m very pleased with the results.

The course

I have to say, I loved it. The net downhill, well, who can feel 300 feet in 26 miles? However, the relative flatness, the wide streets, running through areas I grew up in, areas I socialize in, and areas I’ve lived in, made the course amazing. I hate driving that far, and to think, I ran it. The day was beautiful, slightly windy, and slightly chilled, but I’ll take that any day over hot or rainy. The fact that two lanes of every road were given solely to the runners, and that a main artery of Sacramento is shut down to support the race is fantastic. Going through so many cities, supported by people yelling “Welcome to Carmichael!,” the local high school bands playing, local cheerleaders serving you water… it was great. I’ve never felt happier being here, nor more at home in my home town.

Post race

One of the biggest learnings from this, so far, is how impactful a full marathon is to my body. I’m sore. I don’t mean my muscles hurt a bit, but sore like I can barely walk up stairs, and hobble for the first fifty steps every time I stand up. Sore like my muscles still have tenseness in them any time I touch them. Sore like I haven’t been sore before. The only consolation is that every person at work who ran it is walking the same way I am, so I know I’m not alone.

I also have had a hard time eating. I’d think, after running 26.2 miles, I’d be famished. Instead, I could barely finish half a gardenburger, a few onion rings, and a few chips. I ate six or eight 200 Calorie meals Sunday, trying starches, fruits, veggies, juices… anything after the race. I had the same issue Monday. It wasn’t until Monday lunch that I really ate anything substantial, and that was only because I forced myself to eat a calorie dense meal at Panda Express. Nothing I really wanted to do, but I could tell I was at a calorie deficit, and needed something in my body. Even now, I still don’t seem to want to take in calories, even though I know I’m still short. I haven’t lost any weight, and I’ve been a drinking a lot of water, but I’m just struggling to get in enough calories.

Anyway, this is more than long enough. But I have to say once again, I loved the race, and look forward to doing it with my friends next year.