Sunday, December 10, 2017

California International Marathon (CIM) Race Recap 12/3/17

California International Marathon (CIM) Race Recap 12/3/17
What a race! I completed my 2nd marathon at the California International Marathon last weekend! The race was held in the Sacramento area. It's a point to point race starting in Folsom and ending at the State Capitol. It was a tough one with the rolling hills and I struggled especially in the last few miles but I still came out with a great PR! 

PACKET PICKUP: My sister flew in from Oregon and after picking her up from the Sacramento airport along with two other friends that were also doing the race, we grabbed a quick lunch then headed to the expo. The expo was at the Sacramento Convention Center. It's a nice sized expo. Packet pickup was pretty quick and there were a good amount of booths to browse. 
California International Marathon (CIM) Race Expo
It was neat that we got a bag, long sleeve quarter zip shirt, socks, buff, and even a belt pack thing.
California International Marathon (CIM) Race Swag 2017
RACE DAY: I got up around 4:30am and ate my breakfast, a bagel with peanut butter. Luckily we didn't need to be at the pickup location for buses at 5:00am as I was able to get a ride from a friend that was doing the relay (there is a relay option for the marathon). We didn't need to be at his house until 5:30. Once all of his relay team arrived we headed for Folsom where the start of the race was. Thanks Mike for the ride! We got to Folsom with enough time to hit the porta potties and make it to the werunsocial meetup pic at 6:40am. The lines for the porta potties were long but moved fast. There were lots of them so that helped. 
CIM 2017 porta potties pic
As I've said before, one of my favorite things about races is meeting people I've been following on social media in real life. The werunsocial meetup was great because I got to meet new people and see others again that I had not seen in a while. 
werunsocial pic CIM 2017
photo credit: @pavementrunner
Pre race pics CIM 2017
After talking a bit and taking some pics, we headed out to the corrals. It was time to get focused.

My goal for the race was to get sub 4 (9:07 pace). Coach Dawn felt I could go 3:52-55 which would be 8:51-8:58 pace, so if I could do that even better. I was thinking about following a pacing group. I've heard that the pacing groups were awesome for this race but I saw my friend and she wanted to go on the other side (I didn't realize there were two sides until she mentioned it). If you look closely below, there are two start line signs.
California International Marathon start line 2017
There weren't any pacers on the left side and I was ok with that. It was nice because it wasn't as congested as on the right side. Here's a pre race pic with my friend Elizabeth.
Pic with Elizabeth CIM 2017
Before we knew it the star spangled banner was sung, the wheelchair racer then the elites started, and then we were off.
California International Marathon start line 2017
I knew that I needed to start off slower however with the adrenaline and the crowds of people it was hard to do. I did look at my watch to make sure I wasn't going too fast. 
California International Marathon run 2017
I knew there were rolling hills especially in the first half of the course. There were lots of people running but I actually didn't have any problems with congestion. Everyone was running at a good pace. 
California International Marathon run 2017
The hills actually weren't too horrible on the course and I really liked the downhills. However there are just a lot of ups and downs. It was easier to go fast on the downhills  and I didn't push the pace going down. I kinda just went with gravity. 
CIM 2017
My splits for the first half of the race were:
8:50, 8:45, 8:35, 8:43, 8:43, 8:44, 8:43, 8:50, 8:51, 8:31, 8:37, 8:41, 8:46
I was feeling really good the first half and even felt strong as I came into miles 14-20. The only thing that was a bummer was I missed Hubby and the boys at the halfway mark. He said he'd be on the side just after mile 13 but I never saw them. So crazy that I missed them but I kept at it. I knew the next point I would see them would be right around mile 20.
CIM run 2017
Training definitely was paying off because I felt a lot stronger for longer in this race than when I ran the Chicago marathon last year. 
CIM 2017
Here's a pic coming up to mile 19. Here I was thinking another mile or so before I saw Hubby and the boys. This time Hubby called me and let me know where they would be so I wouldn't miss them.
CIM mile 19
I was so happy when I did see them on the side. It meant a lot to me that they came out to support me.
CIM after mile 20
I'm not sure where this pic on the bridge was taken but I'll take that I look happy and seem to be running strong. :)

My paces for the second half were: 
8:48, 8:52,8:41, 8:48, 8:49, 8:54, 8:58, 9:11, 9:14, 9:28, 10:15, 10:03, 10:33, 9:01
As I got to mile 20, I could feel that my legs were getting tired and from my splits you can see it as well. I did see Hubby and the boys, so that was a nice little boost of energy but then I just trudged along. I knew I was doing good for sub 4 and even in the range that Coach said I should be in. However, in the last 3.5 miles I felt my left calf feeling a bit funny and especially in the last 2 miles my left calf did not cooperate. It cramped up and I even had to walk to make sure it didn't ball up. It wasn't just once but it looks like I stopped to walk 4 times according to my Garmin. It hurt pretty bad but I knew that I could not give up. I really wanted that sub 4 marathon. It helped to see Hubby and the boys one more time right after the 26 mile mark. Maybe that is why I picked up the pace. According to my Garmin, I ran the last .3 at 9:01 pace. I was so happy to cross the finish line knowing I completed my goal of getting sub 4 hours!
An interesting thing to mention is there are two finish lines, the left for women and the right for men. I'm not sure why they do that so it was something new for me. As I finished I was handed a blue finisher coat thing, so instead of heat blankets they gave the blue coats which I liked a lot better than blankets. I was handed water and I walked to find my sister (she did not get her goal time but still did great 3:45:32). 
CIM finish
My time ended up being 3:56:45. I was so happy to see this because it meant I had a 12 minute PR! 
The State Capitol and the Christmas tree made for a great backdrop for a pic with my medal.
Pic with my CIM medal by the Capitol
Many thanks to Coach Dawn who trained me for this race. She has definitely helped me with my endurance and speed. I'd also like to thank my husband the boys for supporting me. Training for a marathon takes a lot of time and having a supportive husband helps a lot! 

CIM put on a great race. The rolling hills weren't so bad and I felt good but they can get you at the end if you go faster than intended. It's not an easy race if you aren't prepared for the hills. I think next time I will train better for the hills and work on my hydration. So yes, I would do this race again, it may not be next year but I will do CIM again especially since Sacramento isn't far from me. 
California International Marathon (CIM) medal 12/3/17
I will leave you with a video of my finish.
Happy running!

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