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California International Marathon - Run

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Sacramento, California
United States
California International Marathon
40F / 4C
Total Time = 3h 19m 8s
Overall Rank = 461/3500
Age Group = F20-24
Age Group Rank = 5/88
Pre-race routine:

This report is a couple weeks late, but during those 2 weeks I didn't find time to sleep sometimes because of my finals, nevermind writing a good report.

Saturday flew in, checked in, went to the expo. Richard and I split 1/2 a tuna sandwich for lunch. Ted showed us directions to the start, so we drove the course. This was the first time we ever did this, and it was a great call. No surprizes the next day. It seemed to be more hilly than we expected, in fact seemed to be more uphill than down. That was just an illusion because of driving it in the car. It turned out to be very pleasant come tomorrow. But I guess we prepared ourselves for the worst which helped us both do great. We drove around looking for a place to eat. Sacramento needs some better restaurants! Or maybe we weren't looking in the right place. We ended up eating in our hotel, which had great food actually. Delicious fried calamari and pasta with tomato sauce, tasty as well. Drank lots of water and some gatorade and went to bed early - at 7 or so.
I woke up at 4am after about 8-9 hours of sleep. Felt great! Had about an hour go get ready. Put everything together, put my running clothes on. Had to wear a couple more layers on top of it, because it was near freezing temprature. Had muffin, coffee, oj, tons of water and gatorade. Chatted with the other runners in the lobby waiting for our ride. Bus picked us up at about 5:15am.
As always the way to the start seemed too long - like it was more than 26 miles. Got there with an hour to spare. Didn't want to get out of the bus at all. It was freezing!!
Event warmup:

Walked around the starting area, waited in line for the bathroom, took "before" picture. 6:45 took off my extra layers, found a spot in the crowd, waited for the pacer to show up, did a few jumps in place, stretched, etc., not too big on the warm up as usual. It barely got lighter and it sure didn't get warmer before the gun went off. But I am glad I didn't wear an extra layer, as I warmed up very soon.
  • 3h 19m 8s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 07m 36s  min/mile

I just stayed right on my pacer's heels the whole time. One time a couple years ago I went with a pace group and was running 100ft ahead of the group for the 1st 1/2 and I ended up finishing about a minute later. So this time I figured I don't want to have to break any wind and just stayed in the second row behind the pacer and a couple other guys. It paid off! I felt really great for most of the race. His plan was to go out for the first 6 or 7 miles a little faster than pace, then 7-9 a little slower just because the course was slower, then the rest @ pace. It worried me, as I prefer to go out slower in the 1st 5 miles. But I figured it's better to go with the pace group even if it doesn't correlate exactly with my own strategy. A couple sub 7:20 miles didn't feel too fast at all, I was just worried if I'd feel it after mile 20. At 1/2 marathon point I was at 1:39:27 - perfect! I didn't feel like I just ran a 1/2 marathon either. I was using my 10-10-10 mental game (for the 1st 10 miles run a warm up), next 10 miles - a workout, last 10K - a race. It always works great for me! Even at 20 miles I still felt awesome. I was planning if I break away to run a sub 3:18 that's where I'd do it. Till the very moment I though I might do it, but as soon as I took a few steps of my 10K race, i.e. beginning of mile 21, I started feeling it for some reason. I didn't bonk, but just my legs started getting tired and for a little there I was even worried whether I'd be able to hang with the pace group. I did that just fine, but I couldn't break away that's for sure. In fact, they slowed down just a bit, because we had some "time in the bank", so I figured just run with them and make a sub 3:20. I ended up breaking away a little bit in the last mile, so I crossed the finish at 3:19:08, they finished about 1/2 a minute later. I am happy to do so great! - almost 7 minutes better than my last PR (3:25:52). I didn't qualify for NY - oh well, just leave something to look forward to for next time.
What would you do differently?:

Part of me wishes I pulled ahead earlier in the race - mile 17 or so. This one girl who ran with our group did that and she came in at 3:17. I kind of pussed out on that, thought I would do it at mile 20, and didn't have the energy then, I only needed a little bit, just a touch over a minute. But who knows, what if I'd bonk then? I had a great race and felt great after, that's what matters!
Post race
Warm down:

I wanted to get a massage, but the line was too long (as always!). Food wasn't that great, so I grabbed a couple bites and drank a tons of water. Post race activities weren't all that great, but it didn't matter, Richard and I were just happy to both have run such great races. (He smoked 3 hours - 2:54!) So we took showers, checked out of our hotel, and went to have a big tasty lunch at a cute mexican grill.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being conservative when I should have pulled ahead, and not being able to do it later in the race.

Event comments:

I would love to run this race again next year! It's just got a perfect vertical profile for me. I think on a purely flat race I would get more tired faster. Rolling hills work different mussles, and legs stay fresh longer.
I am happy with the training I did for this - 5-6 consistent long runs really helped as well as speedwork. Even though I didn't log too many miles (a few sub 40 miles weeks even) truely it's the quality workouts that matter!
Most importantly, I think I realized that I can do better! Sub 3:20 used to seem like something impossile, now I feel like 3:15 is somewhere close! Next time, if we pick a good course, especially with pacers, I might try for that. If I log a little more miles in training it's definitely possible!

Last updated: 2005-12-07 12:00 AM
03:19:08 | 26.2 miles | 07m 36s  min/mile
Age Group: 5/88
Overall: 461/3500
Performance: Good
7:57-7:16-7:27-7:19-7:19-7:35-7:37-7:32-7:46-7:35-7:40-7:53- 8:28(for1.1mile)-6:51(for0.9mile)-7:42-7:31-7:22-7:27-7:21- 7:30-7:37-7:42-7:41-7:44-7:39-9:27(for 1.2miles) 1/2 MARATHON 1:39:27 AHR 178 MHR 190
Course: The course looses about 300 ft in elevation over its course, but it is far from being downhill. Instead it's rolling hills for 13 miles and then very slightly downhill, more like flat. The first half has some considerable uphills as well but they never seem to last too long, and a downhill always follows. Mostly the course stays on the same street, however it winds and turns back and forth. The course goes through 3 or 4 small towns before it gets to Sacramento to finish at the Capitol. It sort of reminded me of Boston that way. Not the most scenic one, but sort of pretty.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
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

2005-12-19 2:40 PM

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Subject: California International Marathon

2005-12-19 4:22 PM
in reply to: #308307

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: California International Marathon
Nice race Lilia!  You did awesome! 
2005-12-22 12:52 AM
in reply to: #308307

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Subject: RE: California International Marathon

Loved the report. The word "Bonk" means something totally different in Australia and to read it in your report was quite funny. For us "Bonking" is not normally something you would do while running in a marathon.

Also, 5th in your group is very impressive, well done!!

2006-01-07 8:05 AM
in reply to: #308307

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Conifer, Colorado
Subject: RE: California International Marathon
Lilia, what a report! I loved re-living that race through your experience. I wish I had read it sooner... but I am lame (as you know)... 3:15 is a for real thing in your future. You are amazing in every way; not to mention a darn fast runner too! Anything is possible in '06 and I'm sure your PR's will continue to come down... LIVE, LOVE, RUN... REPEAT!
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