Yesterday’s CIM (California International Marathon) was my fourth run of this race. I will always love this race because it was the first marathon I ran to cap off my first year of running back in 2008. Each year it’s a toss up with the weather but historically it’s a safe bet.
Not this year.
Weather predictions were right on for the beginning of this race with 100% chance of rain. It rained 100% of the time for the first four hours or so with some gusty winds just to spice it up.
On the bus ride to the start in Folsom I met a first time marathoner who had lost 50 lbs over the course of the year. We talked about training and shared our experiences of how and why we started running. My favorite story was when he told me about his young son taking his bike out to ride along with him on some of his shorter runs so they could share some time during his training. Awesome! Parking at the start line most of us chose to stay on the bus as long as possible to avoid the wind and rain.
My goal for this race was 4:50 which would give me a 15 minute PR. Having never run under five hours 4:59xx was my fall back but I really felt I could do better despite some training setbacks that seemed well behind me.
I lined up with the 4:40 pacer who happens to be a friend from a local running club. It was not my intention to stay with her for long as she is an awesome pacer and I knew she would run be running even splits.
Wet and windy but I held pace easily with the 4:40 group and chatted with another runner I had trained with a few years ago. His goal was 4:30 so after this he decided to pick it up a bit with his running partner for this race and we parted ways.
More of the same weather with some nice puddles building up. At this point it was impossible to worry about it so I just ploughed through. I met up with another friend that was running his leg of the relay and we stayed together for 3 miles or so. I had settled back into my goal pace during these miles and managed to make this split right on schedule.
Yep…still raining. During these miles I held a steady pace but decided to shed my poncho (yes I wore it for almost 20 miles), waterlogged arm warmers and gloves. My split here was a minute or so off goal pace so I knew I had some ground to make up but I was feeling good.
These miles were by far the toughest of the race for me. A combination of nausea and some slight cramping slowed my pace here and it was during this stretch I made the decision to shoot for 4:55 or better as I was not gaining the time I had lost earlier. The good news was the skies were clearing and when the sun started shining there were a lot of cheers from the runners.
Miles 24 to FINISH
Biggest mental test for me every time. Even with good training I have taken some long walks in these miles during prior marathons. I was determined not to repeat that now. I had done a few things different for this race. I carried my ipod in a pocket but had run the entire race without it. I wore my Garmin but instead of obsessing over pace as I have done in the past I put the display on race time and concentrated on mile splits. I think this was something that helped me mentally as I took the approach of just not walking at all in these last few miles. I was not concerned with my pace at all. Just continuing to run at an even pace all the way to the finish. The result was I covered these final miles much faster than the previous three. Turning the corner at the 26 mile marker I was surprised by a very special friend who had been waiting for me to finish. I was honestly so overwhelmed with her support that the last bit of the race I cruised in effortlessly.
Chip time was 4:54:15. Not fast for some of you but a PR by 11 minutes for me. The weather was indeed awful for most of the race but I have to say I loved every minute of it.
I have to mention my friend Barbara who completed her 100th marathon at this CIM. Several friends from the area had made the trip up to cheer her in over the last half mile. I was so glad to be able to get back on the course and join them. I am very proud to know her and to be able to train with her. I should mention that ultras are her first love and she has completed 381 of these. Including Western States 100 and Badwater.
My first RR. Hopefully not too long. Thanks for reading.
Congratulations for not only finishing, but strong, with a PR! 4:54 is nothing to sneeze at. I live in the Bay Area, so I know the kind of weather you experienced. Anyone who ran CIM this year deserves major kudos. It was bad.
I chose to run later...after the sun came out....
Congrats on the shiny new PR. Enjoy it!
Feel sick and dirty, more dead than alive.
Squidward Bike Rider
Wow, congrats on a new PR in the lousy weather, and congrats to your friend on #100 too!
Great job, Loco! The weather was awful, but not only did you persevere, you rocked out a new PR! HUGE Congrats!!
But The Smile That I Sent Out Returned With You.
I just asked you about this in the dailies, locomote! I didn't realize you had written the RR already! A guy in a group I'm in ran it and shared a pic of the conditions where runners were literally wading through inches of water on the course and I saw another pic of the conditions at the start line. Craziness! I can't IMAGINE running in conditions like that!
Despite all of that, you freaking PRd by 11 minutes?!?!?! HOLY SMOKES!!! How awesome is that?!?!?! What a race!!! I liked that tidbit about you just focusing strictly on the mile you were at during that very moment at the bitter end of the race. I was very disappointed in my own race, my first marathon in Oct., that I was falling off pace and mentally it was hard for me to rally. This is a good way to handle it. I'm so proud of you for not walking at the end at all; you stuck to your guns and followed your plan to a "T." Your race was well executed, for sure! I know how excited you were to see Barbara finish her 100th marathon and I'm so glad you were there to celebrate with her. That's huge!!
Congratulations again on your PR and thanks for the RR!
I saw some picture of the race and ouch. Felt for you. Great job and in those conditions, you did amazing!
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
Great job and big congrats to you! and an 11 minute PR in those conditions is huge!
Good work on staying tough in those last few miles.
I totally sympathize as I ran the Maine Marathon in late Sept, I was wearing only a tshirt and shorts (not gloves
or hat) and it started raining at the gun, @ 52F and never stopped so I totally understand how you felt during
this race. I begged a poncho from an aide station at the 15 mile mark and wore it until a few hundred feet
before the finish. Although I was soaked It helped keep in some body warm I didn't want my finish line photo
to show me in a big plastic bag.
Wow you friend is downright awesome! Congrats to her too!
WTG, I think we've seen the pictures of how crazy-wet that run was, you guys who sloshed on through are awesome!!
2014 Goals and PRs:
5k - 17:59 (18:17); 10k - 37:00 (36:42); HM - 1:21:59 (1:24:21); FM - whatever (3:05:46)
Congrats on the PR and thanks for the awesome RR!
"Address the process rather than the outcome. Then, the outcome becomes more likely." - Robert Fripp
Interesting report. I cannot imagine running four hours with the rain coming down the whole time. That takes grit. Congratulations on getting your sub-5 and a PR! It sounds like you have very cool, supportive friends.
"We do not become the people who this world needs simply by turning our backs on anyone we don’t like, trust, or deem healthy enough to be in our presence. " ---- Shasta Nelson
Ball of Fury
What an amazing race you ran! To PR by 11 minutes in those conditions is just fantastic...congratulations!!
PRs: 5K 22:59, 10K 46:54,HM: 1:51:15
I saw some pictures of the race a PR in that rain is awesome.
Never run, if you want to never run, don't start because you'll never stop.
Congratulations on a great PR in yucky conditions!