California International Marathon

Back in August I had this misguided goal that I would train for the Califronia International Marathon (CIM) and proceeded to sign-up. Of course this training would over lap with the Double Century I had in October. Cycling or Running? Well of course, it was cycling that won in the training stakes. After not running for a couple months while riding every weekend, I finally start back with my Marathon training with just a month to go before the big event. I built up to 13 miles and declared, it was time for taper. With that said my expectations were low, very low. However this would not stop me trying to beat my last marathon time, from Big Sur earlier this year. The CIM course had a net downhill so it is known as a fast course, with it being early December, it is also known as a cold one. The day before the race I was frantically looking for some cold weather running gear to keep me warm, for the 32F starting temperatue.

The morning of the race we were all up early to catch the shuttle bus to the race start. The temperature predictions were acurate it was in the low thirties and I had three layers on top plus, running tights and gloves to keep me warm. With several thousand people at the start line it was packed. I started with the 4hr pace group and after weaving my way the crowd within the first mile I was managed to keep ahead of them. Along the road people were discarding there excess layers, by mile 2 I starting to think I was going to be to hot, but aired on the side of caution. Although a net downhill there are rollers throughout the course, when I turned a corner to see my first uphill in front of me, I decided it was best to focus my mind on the downhills. I had my iPod blaring some upbeat music for commpany. I saw a couple people I knew along the way and said hi to them. My pace was constient and I was feeling good at the 13 mile mark. Just another 13 miles to go I thought to myself, somewhat unreassuraningly. I had been carrying a bottle of Gatorade and been eating glue along the way so hadn't need to slow down at any of the waterstops.

At mile 19 I was now starting to feel the true effects of my lack of training, but I was now right alongside the 3hr 45min pace group. Mile 20 the pace group were escaping and my heart rate was rising. Things appeared to be turning bad quickily my legs were rebelling and I knew if I stopped it would be the end. The last few miles got longer and longer, but there I was on the final straight still running as fast as I could, that just happened to be a lot slower than at the start. Finally there it was the turn for the finish and right in towards the State Capital building. I could see the finish line at last, it truly is the best feeling. I had beaten my previous time by a few minutes and was just pleased to be done. The ending tempurate was 40F, it was one hell of cold race :-)

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