Run 26.2 miles, it will be fun they said. I can honestly say it was one of the best races I’ve had in a while. Don’t get me wrong, there were times when it hurt like heck and I wanted to stop. Every mile taught me something new and I am so grateful to end my 2017 season on a high note.
Packet pickup was a breeze, there were so many volunteers on site to make sure the process went smoothly. I spent a few minutes walking around checking out vendors, there were so many, including one of my favorites Health-ade. Have you tried their beet flavor, it’s so different and surprisingly sweet. Clif bar was also on hand, have you tried the nut butter filled flavors?! I’m obsessed. I spent a few hours working the nuun booth and love that I have such a fun job. I get to talk others about running and a product I truly love and use every day. They say a nuun tab a day keeps the doctor away.
Race morning started very early, as I decided sleeping in my own bed was more beneficial than a few extra minutes of sleep. I drove to Sacramento, a little more than an hour away and arrived a few minutes after the last shuttle left the finish line. CRAP!!! I ended up having to drive to Folsom to catch another shuttle to the start line. Not how I wanted the day to start, but at least I made it on time. A quick stop at the portos, pausing for the national anthem and it was go time! I didn’t do much research on the course route or elevation so I really had no idea what to expect. Luckily the majority of this course is fast and flat which worked well for me.
I started a bit too fast, but felt ok so I just went with it. CIM has a 6 hour cutoff time, and my best half marathon is 2:53 (over 3 years ago) the chances were slim that I would make the cutoff but I gave it my best effort. If you don’t know cutoffs are put in place because of road closure restrictions and runner safety. Occasionally finish lines and courses will remain open a bit longer than the cutoff, but this is not the case with all races. I lucked out with CIM as the finish line stayed open well past the 6 hour cutoff this year.
Turns out I ran my fastest 10k ever at the start and just missed my half marathon PR by a few seconds, proof that I went out way to fast. The middle miles are where things started to fall apart and my pace slowed considerably. I felt really strong until mile 15 and then it was struggle city. It’s possible I didn’t eat or drink enough or the heat got to me but really I think I just undertrained. Although I was able to do a lot of short runs, my long runs really suffered because of a hip impingement that flared up in October.
Miles 16-20 were not the best, but the volunteers and people out cheering were seriously the best! When I got to the wall, aka mile 20, I told myself just a 10k to go, you can do this. No matter how slowly 6.2 miles is nothing, suck it up and finish. So that’s exactly what I did. Coming down the finishers chute at any race is one of my most favorite things. Even though I didn’t have a time goal I managed to beat my Ironman Santa Rosa time by almost 50 minutes!! If I had been able to get in more long training runs I know I could have done better, all the more motivation to keep training hard. Running is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one. Mind over matter.
If you’ve always wanted to make the jump from a 5k to a 10k or are considering a half or full marathon, I can help. I have training programs available for all fitness levels to help you make the jump in distance or get started with your first race. I started this journey barely able to run a mile just 6 years ago, no goal is too big or too small if you set your mind to it.