Race Report: California International Marathon 2016
California International Marathon 2016
One month after finishing Ironman 70.3 Austin I was ready to run the California International Marathon. It had been 20 months since my last marathon, Boston Marathon 2015. I would be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous. My mother and I decided to do this marathon together. I wanted to walk away knowing I did two things (1) enjoyed my time with my mother and (2) enjoy my time on the course.
I ran away with so much more including new friends, an awesome 7+ minute PR and a Boston Qualification.
Finish Time: 3:21:18
Fall was in the air with a crisp 37 degree start warming up to the 40’s as the sun came up. There was little to no wind and the air was dry, which was rough on my lips but easy on my hair. It was the perfect weather for a marathon.
The week before the race I tapered like crazy, running a 3000 meter at pace on Monday, a 6 mile fartlek on Wednesday and biking in-between the days. I also did some of the following:
- Used cryotherapy at Restore Cryotherapy to reduce inflammation and aches from the taper.
- Dry-needling and cupping on Monday and Massage on Wednesday before the race.
- Took Friday before the race off, but did the Aussie Carb Load on the Saturday before the race.
The morning of the race I woke up just after 4 am, had 1.5 cups of coffee, 2 pieces of bread smothered with banana 1/4 cup of greek yogurt, around 300 calories. I drank about 16 oz of water in the morning and kept a water bottle with me to sip on the drive to Folsom.
We got on the buses around 5:00 am ready to make our way to Folsom State Prison, the start of the race. The buses arrived in Folsom around 6:00 am and a woman boarded the bus to tell us where to go and what to do. Most of the Gazelles’ decided to stay on the bus to stay out of the cold. However, my mother and I needed to use the restroom and wandered over to the 200+ port-a-potties made available for runners. There they were side by side in a never-ending row and we scurried to the end where the lines had not yet formed. We then headed back to the bus to calm our nerves, get a few more carbs and prepare mentally among friends.
At 6:45 we decided to get off the bus and I wanted to make one last pit stop before lining up at the start. Unfortunately, the lines were longer and I wasn’t able to get out until 6:58 and the race was starting at 7:00 on the dot. I ran over, in hopes of seeding myself relatively close to 3:30 but only made it to the 4:30 pace group before I crossed the start line. Just before my time started I threw off my extra layer and was running in my shorts, sleeve-less jersey, socks for arm-warmers, gloves and ear warmers.
The first few miles were downhill and cramped with runners, so I spent that time relaxing and warming up. At mile 6 I hit my MGP of 7:45/mile for the next 4 miles. Then dropped another 5-10 seconds off for miles 10-15. at mile 18 I started to feel the miles catch up to me and I slowed, but I knew if I could get to mile 20 I would be golden.
At mile 20 everything flatten out and I saw the 3:23 marathon pace group up ahead. I decided to chase them down and stick with them as long as I could. At the last 5K I heard the pace leader say, “we are 9 seconds ahead of time, as long as we hold a 7:48 or better we will finish on time”. I was excited, because I knew I could go faster. The last half mile there was a big inflatable that I thought was the finish line (sadly, it was not). I had started to run faster and had to slow down once I realized the finish line was around the corner.
I crossed the finish line and walked to a curb to sit down. After 2 minutes I stood up and my legs started to burn as the blood rushed to my feet. I headed to medical to prop my feet up and rest up before devouring the delicious Vega bars they had at the finish line.
I finished in 3:21:18 with an average pace of 7:41 min/mile. I negative split starting around 8:00 and dropping down to 6:50 for the last mile. That placed me 42nd out of 342 in my age group (there are some super speedy women).
Thank You & Post Race
After the race I felt great and as even able to walk in some heels. On Monday afternoon my ankle started to hurt and I noticed it was swollen. I am still resting, but I plan to workout today (Friday) to get some blood moving.
A big thank you to my mother, Holly. She is an amazing woman who sparked my interest in running and continues to chase down her goals. Another thank you to my friends and training partners at Gilbert’s Gazelles. I couldn’t have run that many miles that early in the morning for weeks without my speedy friends.
Some of you have met my mother, for those of you that have not had that pleasure let me give you a glimpse of who she is. My mom is the kind of person that spends all day taking care of people, as a physical therapist, a mother and a grandmother. My mom is the kind of person who lifts people up physically and literally. My mom is the kind of person that pushes herself one step at a time. My mom is the kind of person that will take a vacation with her eldest daughter to go run a marathon. I love you mom and I had the best time with you in Sacramento. To many more marathons. #runCIM
Official Race Results: Click Here
*My heart rate monitor was at 196, so I restarted my watch which is why it is .75 short.