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California International Marathon - RunMarathon


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Sacramento, California
United States
Sacramento Long Distance Running Organization
40F / 4C
Overcast
Total Time = 3h 59m 3s
Overall Rank = 2585/6000
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 280/466
Pre-race routine:

Headed to Sacramento on Saturday, stopped at Granzella's Deli in Williams for lunch. Had a great pastrami sandwich and french fries, then continued on our journey. Made it into Sacramento, found the expo no problems. Sign in and packet pickup was a breeze, virtually no waiting in line!!! CIM really knows how to treat the runners well...

Wandered around the expo for a bit, didn't really find much that interested us so we headed off to our friends house in Placerville. Had a great evening there, my wife cooked us a nice pasta dinner, we had a quiet evening watching the "Unit", then hit the sack about 9:00 PM.

At 4:00 AM, no less than 4 alarm clocks went off (my blackberry, a backup, and our host set the microwave as a back up to the back up). Got up, showered, had my allotted cup of coffee and gatorade, a bagel with peanut butter, and got dressed. We were on the road by 5:00 AM, and pulled up to the drop off point at about 5:45 AM.


Event warmup:

From the drop off point, just a short hike up to the shuttle bus, that took us the rest of the way into Folsom, to the starting line. Once at the start, I scouted out the bathrooms, and made the first of three trips to make sure I was ready to run. I did a couple of short jogs to warm up, but other than that, not really much of a warm up.

The starting line was incredible - you could literally feel the excitement in the air. It was just foggy enough to give the make all the lights have that funny "glow", and they had lots of music playing to keep us jazzed. Met up with the fleet feet group, had a little group "you can do this" thing, and then headed to the start. After my last trip to the porta-potty, I cut it pretty close to the start - so I had to hustle to get up towards the front. Finally was able to muscle in next to the 4.0 hour pacers, then watched as even more people musceled their way into our "space".

When the gun finally went off, it was surreal - there were so many people packed in, that nobody moved. It probably took at least 45 seconds before we could even take the first step. We gradually got up to a slow walk, then a very slow shuffle, and then we were over the timing mat. The pace picked up pretty well after that, and we were off on our 26.2 mile adventure.


Run
  • 3h 59m 3s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 09m 07s  min/mile
Comments:

The run started out really, really well. I had been warned about going out too fast, cause the first couple of miles have a lot of downhill components. Multiple times I reassessed my pace, and decided that it was good, even though it was a little fast. The 4.0 hour pace group seemed a little slow for me, so I just ran by feel - and pretty soon that group was no longer in site. The first 5 miles or so just flew by, it was entertaining just watching all the clothing people were stripping off and tossing to the side of the road. I kept close tabs on my mile splits, and all were "too fast" per my race plan, but the pace felt really good, and I was still breathing through my nose (not breathing hard at all). I even briefly entertained the idea of catching the 3 hour 50 minute pace team, but threw that out as a great idea, for another race - told my self to just "stick to the plan" of breaking 4 hours with this one.

The miles just kept clicking by, for the most part the first half was uneventful. I took a gu every 40 minutes or so, opened the bag of Powerbar cola things, had a few of those every hour or so, and took a shot of cytomax and water every chance I had. For some reason they served the cytomax out of hard plastic cups - which meant you had to stop and walk to drink.... Not sure what the reasoning was, but those cups didn't work very well.

At the 13 mile point, they had an awesome crowd of spectators and fans, really got the runners pumped up. A block later, when the crowds were all gone, is when I think most of us realized the first half was the easy half - now the real work would begin. I had planned to meet up with my support team at the 1/2 way point - somehow we missed each other. That was a little disappointing, but I tried to "feed" off the other fans, and use their energy to help support me.

Up until about mile 22, every thing was going perfect. I knew I was doing OK pace wise, and was still feeling OK. My quads were started to talk to me a little bit, so I took one of my salt tabs, hoping that would prevent any cramping issues. Just about then, as I passed a group of spectators, they yelled "GO 4 hours, you guys Rock" and I thought - what the hell are they yelling about??? Just about then the 4 hour pace group overtook me, and swarmed around me with the 50 or so runners following that group. Now, I found myself back in a huge pack of runners, jostling for position, and trying to get on the right side of the street to hit the water stops, etc.

About mile 23, the pace group pulled about 50 feet in front of me - and I thought - this is it - this is where you make a decision, do you pull out all the stops and catch these people, or do you let them go, and let your dream of a sub 4 hour finish be destroyed???

I gritted my teeth, put on the meanest look I have in my arsenal of mean looks, and started trying to catch them. If you had asked me at that point, I would have sworn they were running an 8 minute mile pace, cause I was running just as hard as I could, and was just barely catching them. Finally, about mile 25 I caught the pace runner in the back of the pack, overheard him say that they had "gone a little fast", and that he was going to slow down so that they crossed right at 4.0 hours. My new goal then was just to stay in front of him, and bring it in to the finish.
My quads were really starting to yell at me at this point, so took my last salt tab, a 1/2 dozen sport beans, and drained the last of my water bottle. I figured "this is all I have to keep cramping at bay, it will either work or it won't", but I'll be done with this race one way or the other in 15 minutes.


Finally, we turned off "L" street, onto the finish leg. A crazy group of three females took the wrong chute, then turned around and came back at me - I almost collided with one of the women about 100 yards from the finish!! Finally in the chute, just concentrated on running fast, cause I did not want to somehow miss that magical 4 hour window.

My wife got an excellent photo of me crossing the finish line, only trouble is it shows "gun time", so it doesn't look like I actually beat the 4 hour goal. Maybe I can get my son to do a little photo shop magic for me.
What would you do differently?:

I feel like I executed this race flawlessly. Training wise, we should have been a little more aggressive with hill training, lots of our long runs were in the flatlands around Chico. I dawned on me this morning that this was the first marathon that I really "raced". My previous two marathons were not really races - I would call them more a "survival test". This one I actually raced, and tried to make every second on the race course count.
Post race
Warm down:

Oh man, the warm down was painfull. Once I stopped, I really could not walk - my knees were killing me, my quads were cramping, my calves were screaming... I got my medal, a bottle of water and a space blanket, and started shuffling over to the food area. Met up with my wife and Faith (her good friend from college) and gave them both sweaty hugs and kisses.
By that time I was freezing - it was still about 40 degrees, and I said let's skip the food and hanging out, and we just headed back to the car. Walked about 4 blocks to the car, had my crew help me take off my shoes and wet clothes, put on some dry sweats, and stretched out in the back seat for the ride home.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

My "20 year old olympic caliber runner" mind is trapped in a well worn, 48 year old body that is better suited for working at a desk than running. With that being said, I really can not complain - I PR'd this race, by cutting around 24 minutes off my Napa Valley Marathon time in March of 2008.

Event comments:

Awesome race - from sign in to the finish, CIM took care of the runners, and did a great job.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2008-08-17 12:00 AM
Running
03:59:03 | 26.2 miles | 09m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 280/466
Overall: 2585/6000
Performance: Good
Splits: 1 8'51" 2 8'57" 3 8'46" 4 8'40" 5 8'55" 6 8'52" 7 8'48" 8 8'58" 9 9'06" 10 9'04" 11 9'12" 12 9'10" 13 9'05" 14 9'05" 15 9'21" 16 9'21" 17 9'26" 18 9'29" 19 9'17" 20 9'42" 21 9'08" 22 9'00" 23 9'00" 24 9'12" 25 9'08" 26 9'20" 26.2 2'03"
Course: From Folsom, westbound to the steps of the State Capital in Sacramento.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Not enough
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2008-12-08 1:08 PM

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Expert
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500100100
Durham, CA
Subject: California International Marathon


2008-12-08 1:43 PM
in reply to: #1843918

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Expert
892
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Subject: RE: California International Marathon
Congratulations on a job well done!

Interesting weather yesterday, for sure, but good for running. Hope your legs feel better than mine.
2008-12-08 1:47 PM
in reply to: #1843918

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Elite
3519
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San Jose, CA
Subject: RE: California International Marathon
congrats on a well run race!!!
2008-12-08 2:07 PM
in reply to: #1843918

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Subject: RE: California International Marathon
What a great PR, especially considering how fast Napa was with that tail wind! You're going to have to change your screen name, if you keep coming in sub-4
2008-12-08 2:12 PM
in reply to: #1844002

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Expert
704
500100100
Durham, CA
Subject: RE: California International Marathon

LJR - 2008-12-08 10:43 AM Congratulations on a job well done! Interesting weather yesterday, for sure, but good for running. Hope your legs feel better than mine.

Thanks, you did pretty well yourself!!!  Yesterday my legs felt great, with a couple of Harvest Sierra Nevada's parked in front of them.....

Not so good today, however.

Dennis

2008-12-08 2:16 PM
in reply to: #1844015

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Durham, CA
Subject: RE: California International Marathon

runningwoof - 2008-12-08 10:47 AM congrats on a well run race!!!

 

Thanks!!!!   Great movie intro on your blog, btw....  Good luck with Vineman full next year, that is "on my list" for 2010.

Dennis 

 



2008-12-08 2:34 PM
in reply to: #1844076

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Expert
704
500100100
Durham, CA
Subject: RE: California International Marathon

bhoover10001 - 2008-12-08 11:07 AM What a great PR, especially considering how fast Napa was with that tail wind! You're going to have to change your screen name, if you keep coming in sub-4

Hey Brian,

Long time now see - but I see from your blog you have been busy!!!!  I get the feeling that part of that big time improvement may be the course.... But that's just a hunch....

Dennis

2008-12-08 2:42 PM
in reply to: #1843918

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Champion
5781
5000500100100252525
Northridge, California
Subject: RE: California International Marathon
From one 48-year-old first-time sub-4 to another: Congrats! Great job!
2008-12-08 4:10 PM
in reply to: #1843918

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Expert
973
5001001001001002525
Berkeley, Calif.
Bronze member
Subject: RE: California International Marathon
Wow!! Fantastic job on the sub-4! Major congratulations.

I tried to stick with that 4-hour pace group but couldn't quite hold on. We were probably standing right next to each other at the start. Hee.
2008-12-08 6:09 PM
in reply to: #1844146

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Durham, CA
Subject: RE: California International Marathon

tcovert - 2008-12-08 11:42 AM From one 48-year-old first-time sub-4 to another: Congrats! Great job!

Hey Todd,

48 year olds ROCK!!!!

Awesome job on your 1/2 - that was a smoking hot time!!!!!

Dennis 

 

2008-12-08 6:15 PM
in reply to: #1844336

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704
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Durham, CA
Subject: RE: California International Marathon

Fielding - 2008-12-08 1:10 PM Wow!! Fantastic job on the sub-4! Major congratulations. I tried to stick with that 4-hour pace group but couldn't quite hold on. We were probably standing right next to each other at the start. Hee.

Hi Erin,

Thanks for the congrats - that was a tough group to follow!!!  Congrats back at your for your finish - you did great!

And yes, you and about 6,000 other people were "standing next to me" at the start... That was a little weird having the gun go off, and not be able to move.

Dennis



2008-12-09 8:23 AM
in reply to: #1843918

Subject: ...
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2008-12-09 11:56 PM
in reply to: #1845231

Expert
704
500100100
Durham, CA
Subject: RE: California International Marathon

Spokes - 2008-12-09 5:23 AM Sub 4! Great job!

Hey Scott,

Thanks - and great blog, by the way. 

Dennis

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