The California International Marathon, CIM for short, is always one that I look forward to. It’s obvious that it is my hometown marathon, since it is in Sacramento. It is also the marathon which I have ran in the most, yesterday being my 10th running of the CIM. This marathon also signified my 30th marathon overall. CIM has brought so many positive memories, running it for my godson’s charity group which supports him, running it with my cousin for his first marathon, throwing down 2 BQ’s, and running a personal best (3:04:06).
Over the last year, I have been focused on this one since I decided that this was the time I was going to dedicate a full 18 week training cycle to breaking the 3-hour mark. I felt I put the work in, the time, and had a ton of support from my wife, my training partners, the companies that I am fortunate to represent (Skechers Performance, Zensah, Nuun , Inside Tracker and Science in Sport), and my running crew 9RUN6.
SATURDAY DECEMBER 2 – SHAKEOUT and EXPO
So lets start with the marathon weekend on Saturday morning. At 9:16am 9RUN6 put together a meet-up / shakeout run, which we labeled as a special edition meet-up because the crew typically meets up only on Wednesday and Friday mornings. We decided to have a 9:16 start up time because we are the 916 (Sacramento’s area code). The regular faces and a ton of new faces gathered at the corner of 10th & N street in downtown Sacramento, located on the south west corner of the State Capitol Building.
After a very easy and welcoming 2-mile run around downtown finishing up through the marathon finish line area. With the shakeout run complete we took a group photo and enjoyed some raffle giveaways from Skechers Performance, Zensah and Wicked Audio. The awesome thing, everyone walked away with something! Before people left, they got their swag tagged with the 9RUN6 logo to help us represent.
With the legs shaken out, a majority of the peeps headed over to the marathon expo just a couple of blocks over to grab all of their goodies.
Along with the normal race swag (bib, shirt, bag check), I was able to pick up my loyal runner pin and beanie for my 10th CIM celebration. Then I did the typical let’s browse around the expo with the homie RUN BMC (the dude that has probably logged the most training miles with me during this cycle). Saw some friends and family grabbing their marathon bibs and relay bibs.
With the goodies in hand, my cousin and his kids and I made our way a couple of blocks to grab some food at Pizza Rock on K Street. From there it was time to call it a fairly early night to get some rest of Sunday.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 3 – RACE DAY
The morning came quick. I woke up just before 3:20AM, got my coffee brewing and tossed down some over night oats in the belly. Got my gear on and made my way to the corner of 10th & N Street near the finish line, where the Buffalo Chips Running Club bus awaited us before taking us to the start line in Folsom.
During the bus ride, I threw on my earbuds, listened to a podcast and took a nap while heading up to Folsom. Once we got to the start line area, it was all focus from there on out, some final good lucks to one another a warm-up and then this is where the race got sticky for me.
While the National Anthem was playing, I was making my 3rd stop to the port-a-potties. I still had to drop my gear bag to the trucks then make my way to the start line. While maneuvering my way to the crowd, I found myself behind the 3:22 pace group as the front of the group took off past the start.
The first few miles I was feeling good. Hitting under and around my paces that I needed to run, though around mile 4 start falling behind a few more seconds, but nothing I was too concerned with. Then around the 10k mark, which I look at as my first clump of miles to judge my progress in the race, I wasn’t feeling it in my stomach. This stomach issue didn’t allow me to feel comfortable in my run. I knew at this point it wasn’t going to be my day, and the goal of sub 3-hour was out of the window. Here I decided rather that trying to push everything and feel miserable with my stomach problems, it was matter of finishing.
Yes, I know the 10k mark is pretty early in the race to make this decision, but the stomach was not having it on race day, and it was literally that feeling in my gut that race day just wasn’t my day.
3 hours 36 minutes 2 seconds after starting the marathon, I crossed the finish completing my 10th CIM and 30th marathon. Even though the day wasn’t my day, it was great to see so many people along the side of the course cheering people on. I have a lot of respect for the volunteers that get out there to work aid stations early in the morning until the final runner crosses their station, as well as all those people cheering on random strangers who are running that day. The marathon isn’t just about the 26.2-mile run it has so much more to it, like the hundreds of miles of training, the support and the joys. Unfortunately, for me the “icing” on the cake wasn’t there for me come race day.
MONDAY DECEMBER 4 – RACE AFTER MATH
So going into my final workouts and taper time, I told myself and a few of my friends, this would be my last go at sub 3 hours, the amount of time training was brutal. However, after waking up this morning and reflecting on yesterday and thinking about my previous marathons and the joys I had in training for this marathon, I realized like every marathon I have started, I have completed, that goes the same with my goal. I might be getting older with each marathon, but F@#K IT I didn’t go into this training cycle and set this goal to not hit it. Yes, I will take some time off to recover, then it is about fine tuning a training plan make a few changes and getting after it again. DID NOT FINISH, ACCOMPLISH MY GOAL, IS NOT AN OPTION!
Until next time, have a great rest of 2017.