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Sacramento Cowtown Marathon - RunMarathon

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Sacramento, California
United States
Captial Road Race Management
Total Time = 4h 45m 33s
Overall Rank = 200/283
Age Group = F30-34
Age Group Rank = 10/20
Pre-race routine:

Having finally kicked the cold that had been threatening all week, flew into Sacramento Friday evening, where I was met by the fabulous Winston Welcoming Committee (aka my mom and niece). Enjoyed sushi dinner with the WWC, by brother and sister-in-law that night before crashing at Mom's. The next morning, had bagels with the family, then got my easy "jog" in running around the soccer field cheering on my niece's team. Had lunch near Fleet Feet after exchanging my race shirt for a smaller size (Mom had already picked up our packets), then took a short nap to try to shake the headache that had started. Back to my brother's house for ziti dinner with my cousin and her family. Headache still screaming. Went to bed about 9:30, but at 11:00 finally gave in and took some sudafed in an attempt to remove the ice pick from my eye.

Woke up at 5:30 feeling good. Ate my bagel w/ pb & honey, drank a cup of tea, filled 2 fuel belt bottles, and fixed a bike bottle of Gu20 to sip before the race. Made sure Mom had all of her stuff, and we headed to the race site. Hit the potty.

Mom has been training with the group from Fleet Feet, so we found their tent and she introduced me to her coach and fellow trainees. Chatted with a few folks until about 1/2 hour before the race start. Mom's training group was going to do their warm-up, so I headed off to do mine.
Event warmup:

About a 10 minute run with a few pick-ups and high knees. Then checked my gear bag in and went to find Mom to wish her luck, but she was in the potty, so I asked the woman she walks with to tell her I said good luck. Worked my way about half-way into the crowd, and chatted with the 2 other ladies standing near me who were doing the full mary--we were REALLY in the minority!
  • 4h 45m 33s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 10m 54s  min/mile

At the start, I tried not to do too much weaving through the throng of runners/walkers. I figured if the crowd held me back a bit, that was probably better than me embracing my enthusiasm and taking off too fast. I settled into a comfortable pace, which I was happy to find was close to my goal time. There was a fair number of spectators, given that this is a smaller event, and many of them kept with the race theme, ringing cowbells and blowing horns that were supposed to sound like cows mooing. One lady even rang the mission bell at the top of her house!

First few miles went great. They had aid stations every 2 miles with water and cytomax, and I my plan was to alternate cytomax and water & gel at the stations. By the second aid station (first gel), I was ready to ditch my long-sleeve top, and was comfortably trucking away. There was a couple-block long hill leading up to some railroad tracks and the levee, and I was able to pass a few people on this incline.

Got to the third aid station, and the volunteers didn't have any cytomax ready. I don't know whether they were still mixing it, or what, but I wasn't about to wait around for them, so I drank some water and kept going.

The rest of this lap seemed pretty uneventful. I popped an endurolyte tablet at one point, wanting to make sure I wasn't low on electrolites from the missed cytomax. Headed back into the park feeling alright, and passed under the start/finish banner at 2:03 and change--a new half-mary PR!

The trip back out of the park felt pretty lonely. There were over 3000 people doing the half mary, and not even 300 doing the full. The route had me running in the opposite direction of the crowd headed for the finish line. I cheered them on and got a few cheered back.

Everything had been going fairly well up to this point, and I thought the big challenge for the rest of the race would be the solitude. Then, about mile 15, I felt my ITB seize up in my hip. Crap. I've had things tighen up on long runs before, but usually its my calves--something I can stretch relatively easily. My ITB had never given me real trouble. I start looking for kids with tennis balls, or anything I could use to roll out my leg--no luck. Not too long after this, my knees start to ache.

There were a couple of points when I thought I should just quit. Get to the next aid station and quit. There were two things that kept me moving forward. First, my mom was up there, somewhere ahead of me waiting to cross the finish line with me. I had talked her into getting back up and training after a bike accident and 2 broken wrists last February derailed her progress by promising to do the full marathon if she did the half. I wasn't going to break my promise. Second, our friend Chuck has been fighting leukemia, and this marathon was an LLS fundraiser. Chuck is presently in the ICU fighting for his life after he got an infection following a bone marrow transplant. Chuck is fighting to breathe--I sure as hell could keep jogging.

Running along the levee again, I came up on a young girl who told me she was turning eleven next week. Her dad had run the half, and was now riding his bike along side her. She was hurting pretty badly, and said she knew she would be able to make it to the finish, but it would take everything she had. I'm still not quite sure what to think of this dad letting his young daughter do a marathon. Running is a great, healthy activity to be able to share as a family, but is it good for a young, still growing girl to run for close to 5 hours?

Somewhere around mile 23, I tried to disconnect my lower body from my brain. I told myself I couldn't feel anything below the waist--kinda like an epidural. Maybe if I had ever had an epidural, this would have been more effective! Then I decided to focus on what felt good. Anything below the waist was out--everything ached, my hip was screaming at me, and my timing chip strap was chafing my ankle. My obliques were getting sore, my under arms were chafing, and my heart rate monitor was rubbing a hole in both my chest and my back. But my shoulders--now they felt fine! Yes, that's it! My shoulders are in good shape! I'll just keep my mind on how good my shoulders feel, and not let it drift to what hurts! It's all about the mental games. Interestingly, you can actually see my pace improve here!

With just over a mile to go, I passed a guy I had followed briefly during the first lap. Then he had been moving and looking strong. Now, he made me feel like I was in fine form. As I passed him, I told him "I hear there's massage and beer up this way!" That got a good laugh!

Coming back into the park, I saw a middle-aged woman limping along. As I passed her, I realized she had on a half marathon bib, and was humbled by her determination.

Nearing the finish line, I hear a few cheers/screams come up from the side, and find my mom, niece, nephew, brother and SIL hollering for me! My mom and niece come out into the course, and Mom grabs my left hand while my niece hangs onto my right. Together, we ran the remaining 100 yards to the finish.
What would you do differently?:

1. Run on the sidewalk or adjacent dirt path more. The course had us running in the gutter a fair amount with a pretty significant slant, and the bike path wasn't exactly flat either. After talking to my ART guy, I think it was running on the angle that ticked off my ITB.
2. Take advil or tylenol before and during the race. I remember reading that one of these is not good to take during an endurance event, but I couldn't remember which one it was. So I decided to skip them altogether. Bad choice.
Post race
Warm down:

Hobbled over to the food area, then to the massage tent. Begged to massage folks to work on me, even though they were past their scheduled time. This is something I don't get--those who finish at the back of the pack are usually the ones who need the massage services and food the most. So why do races so often not have these things available any longer when the BOP'ers are coming in?

Mom and I shuffled back to the car, drove home, and I took an ice bath. :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

ITB issue.

Event comments:

This is a fun, small event. Except for the camber of the surface on the road and path, the course is really nice. The coordinators had a bouncy house at the finish area, which was great for the kids waiting on competitors, and the food at the finish line was good. Oh, and the finishers medals are great--MORE COWBELL!!

Last updated: 2007-07-16 12:00 AM
04:45:33 | 26.2 miles | 10m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 10/20
Overall: 200/283
Performance: Below average
Miles 1&2 (marked): 18:20.5, 9:25/mi, 1.946 mi, ahr 169 Mile 3: 9:01.25, 9:02/mi, .997 mi, ahr 176 Mile 4: 9:13.06, 9:06/mi, 1.011 mi, ahr 178 Mile 5: 9:14.98, 7:53/mi (??), 1.171 mi, ahr 178 Mile 6: 9:07.44, 9:13/mi, .989 mi, ahr 179 Mile 7: 9:29.96, 9:18/mi, 1.020 mi, ahr 178 Mile 8: 9:14.69, 9:10/mi, 1.007 mi, ahr 180 Mile 9: 9:33.11, 9:29/mi, 1.006 mi, ahr 177 Mile 10: 9:35.25, 9:40/mi, .991 mi, ahr 178 Mile 11: 9:32.49, 9:27/mi, 1.008 mi, ahr 178 Miles 12 & 13: 19:56.15, 9:46/mi, 2.037 ahr 177--half-mary time was ~ 2:03 Mile 14: 10:05.02, 9:58/mi, 1.010 mi, ahr 177 Mile 15: 10.18.32, 10:16/mi, 1.002 mi, ahr 176 Mile 16: 11:07.78, 11:02/mi, 1.008 mi, ahr 171 Mile 17: 11:20.13, 11:16/mi, 1.005 mi, ahr 169 Mile 18: 12:33.36, 12:22/mi, 1.014 mi, ahr 163 Mile 19: 12:29.19, 12:31/mi, .997 mi, ahr 162 Mile 20: 12:49.69, 12:47/mi, 1.002 mi, ahr 158 Mile 21: 13:05.59, 12:55/mi, 1.013 mi, ahr 157 Mile 22: 13:52.8, 13:46/mi, 1.008 mi, ahr 155 Mile 23: 13:34.74, 14:13/mi, .955 mi, ahr 154 Mile 24: 13:32.61, 12:50/mi, 1.054 mi, ahr 155 Mile 25: 12:44.87, 12:28/mi, 1.021 mi, ahr 159 Mile 26: 12:49.68, 12:36/mi, 1.017 mi, ahr 160 GPS avg pace: 10:48/mi, event distance: 26.55 mi, AHR 168
Course: 2 loops on mostly flat course starting in William Land park, weaving through a neighborhood before cutting through an industrial area to the bike path on the levee along the river. Just a couple of hills.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 2
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] 4

2007-10-10 3:19 PM

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Littleton, Colorado
Subject: Sacramento Cowtown Marathon

2007-10-10 3:30 PM
in reply to: #1001423

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Subject: RE: Sacramento Cowtown Marathon
Way to PR girlie! Loved your RR as always. Isn't it freaky that our half Mary times were exactly the same! I'm with you about the 11 girl. My daughter is 11 and I'd be thrilled if she runs a 5K. So, when's the next one?? Congrats again for a great job!
2007-10-11 3:18 PM
in reply to: #1001423

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Broomfield, Colorado
Subject: RE: Sacramento Cowtown Marathon
YEAH Shannon!  Nice to have had the pain issues, but you prevailed as usual!  Congrats!
2007-10-17 4:49 PM
in reply to: #1001423

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