|Race Report - The California International Marathon
||[Dec. 7th, 2016|09:20 am]
Jeffrey, Jeff, or Jeffy
Last Sunday I ran the California International Marathon. It was my 7th ever CIM and my 20th Marathon overall.|
The main reason I chose to run this December Marathon is because I'm working on my legacy status. It was my sixth CIM in a row, and I want to keep the streak going. Also it's a fairly easy course. I've PR'd twice on this course!
This year myself and ten thousand of my closest running friends totally lucked out because the weather was so good. Not very cold and a nice, cool temperature the entire way. I was one of the waterlogged runners who experienced the monsoon-like conditions of 2012, and nearly froze to death during the cold, cold snap of 2013.
I had not trained too strenuously for this marathon since I had run the Chicago Marathon a mere two months prior. I was curious as to how I would handle this marathon since I had held back on training very hard.
I took the first part of the course easy. I had not decided if I was going to try and make this run a PR attempt until after I warmed up and had run for a few miles to see how I was doing. During the first eight miles I kept pacing myself ahead of a five hour pace group, partially because I wanted to keep a good pace, but mostly because I felt they were running too slowly.
I eventually found myself trying to stay ahead of the 5:23 pace group, since I was forced to take a porta-potty stop with a reeeeally long line, and the runners in front of me were apparently washing their hair or doing their nails or something really time-consuming inside those plastic bathrooms. (Seriously, what was taking them so long?) I kept running at an even yet decent pace.
That's when I started hitting the wall. Shortly before the halfway point I started running out of gas. Physically I felt fine. No stress or strain on my joints, but my energy was starting to wane. I hoped it was just a temporary lull.
After the halfway point I was really starting to drag. I downed a few electrolytes at the aid stations and started chugging my gel shots, trying to get my energy up. But it was no use. Between mile 17 and 18 I was so wrung out I momentarily thought about dropping out of the race. I simply felt like collapsing onto the ground.
Only once before have I hit the wall early in a marathon, and that was years ago at the Oakland Marathon. (Almost dropped out at mile 18 because I was so woozy.) Usually when a marathon performance of mine gets hampered it's because of a blister, or a tightening or suddenly sore joint. Note this time. I was outta gas.
At the next aid station they had bananas and pretzels and butter cookies. Throwing caution to the wind I downed a couple of butter cookies and I perked up significantly. I was still running ragged, but I felt that I could finish the marathon. I accepted many snacks along the way: Twizzlers, crackers, oranges, and more cookies. Food was really picking me up, even though I still had to run/walk the last eight miles of the race.
My time was terrible, but I managed to finish. I really don't know why I hit the wall so early and so hard. At Chicago just a few months before I never hit the wall, not even once for the entire race! Clearly I had not fueled myself properly. But then again, I had to wonder: Too many marathons too close together? Training too hard? Not training hard enough? Should I have devoured a pizza the night before instead of a bowl of pasta?
In any case, I felt like hell and I felt like just laying down on the road between miles 17 and 18, but instead I powered through and finished yet another marathon. Number 20. Hopefully I can get twenty more in over the next few years!
When I checked into Facebook while I was in the pre-race warming tent, one of the check-in options was Folsom State Prison, so I chose that one and wrote "It's true! Several thousand lunatics have escaped, and are all running towards Sacramento!"
Thee medal for this race. It is way cool!