In partnership with USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance.
I’m going to start this post off with some context: I kind of didn’t train for this marathon. In the last 4 months, my longest run was the RnR Vegas Half Marathon in November. Prior to that it was a lot of short-distance runs, but nothing that was going to get me anywhere near ready for my 34th Marathon. This race wasn’t going to be pretty, but I was going to approach it as best/smart as I could given the circumstances.
Saturday morning, I joined the Sacramento Running Association for their annual shakeout run. #WeRunSocial was going to be a part of it (flag and all) and host a coffee get together afterwards. It was a full crowd complete with elite athletes, first-time marathoners, and local running groups. We did a couple of laps around the Capitol, snapped some pics, and had great conversation with new and familiar faces.
After that a few of us went to the expo then met up for coffee afterwards. Everyone was in pretty good spirits for the following day and it was a great to hang and chat with friends.
At the Expo
I was fortunate enough to be working with USA TODAY Sports Active Alliance—network of full and half marathons across America—and Mazda for this weekend. They sent me a box of hats that I was happy to giveaway at the expo. I handed some out to friends, families, and gave some to the MC at the Mazda lounge.
At the Mazda lounge inside the expo, they featured the 2016 CX-5 and CX-9. They also had a mock finish line where you could take/share photos. Outside, they were also giving away a Starbucks gift card if you did a Ride & Drive around the expo. But one of the cool things they had inside the expo was engraved shoe tags. You could customize it to say anything or choose from pre-selected phrases. They came in several colors and I had one made for my daughter.
This was my 4th time running CIM, so I kind of knew what to expect going into it. I met up with @FitFam6 before the start and we rode the shuttle over together. We stayed on the bus for a bit to keep warm and eventually made it outside to meetup with friends prior to the start. We chatted, wished each other luck, snapped a pic of course, and everyone was on their way.
Considering my training—or lack of—the best I would do was probably going to be around 4:30. @blingwhore and I decided we would start together with the 4:30 pacer and just take it from there. The 4:30 pacer did a great job. Every once and awhile she would ask “how’s everyone doing?” and everyone would say “good” or “wooooo” to let them know the energy was up. I would then yell “terrible” and everyone would laugh (including me). I was simply doing it to make people laugh, and it worked. I had the biggest smile on my face and I like to think it brought some smiles to the miles. Later on, I let Jen (the pace leader) know that I was doing absolutely fine and just trying to lighten up the spirits. We stayed on pace through the first half and then slowed from then on.
Around mile 17, my left hamstring cramped up. At this point we had already been slowing down significantly since mile 14 and it was just a matter of time before my legs started to show the effects of not training. We walked a bit, I stretched it out, and we kept moving forward. After all, donuts were waiting at mile 20-ish. No joke, that was the motivation for Richard and I to get to mile 20 where @fueledbyfrosting and the Oiselle team was going to be cheering.
Over the course of the 26.2 miles, we saw a lot of familiar faces. Some were running, some were cheering, and having the PRO socks (use code PRO16 for 40% off) on definitely helped us spot each other on the course. Several people commented that it was incredibly easy to spot friends wearing the colorful socks.
We finished around 5:11, which is not my longest marathon time, but it’s up there. All things considered, I was expecting to be in worse shape. Apart from my hamstring cramping at mile 17, there were no other issues or signs of potentially injuring myself. We did a lot of walking the last 8-9 miles, but we had a lot of fun. We had donuts, orange juice, brownies, cookies, all the things to make the miles more enjoyable.
After we crossed the finish line @pinkcupcakegirl was volunteering and she placed the medals around our necks, gave big hugs, and of course, snapped selfies—it was amazing. @ivieanne crossed the finish line a few minutes later (her 12th marathon of the year) and had shiny new PR. It was a great ending to an amazing weekend.
Pssst. I already signed up for CIM 2017 (it will be my 5th) and registration is only $99.
I’m grateful for the weekend and the company—this community inspires me and is alway showing me what a privilege it is to be a part of it. Not all races can be the fastest, and every single one is an experience on it’s own, and there is alway something to learn. Forever the student.
All of That Being Said
I have been running for many years and know what my body can handle. I knew that the race was not going to be pretty, but I wasn’t going to do anything if the potential risk injury became too great. If it meant I had to walk, then I had to walk. If it mean DNF’ing, then it meant DNF’ing. But I was going to show up to the start line and take one mile at a time. If you have a marathon coming up, please train properly.
Final Race for 2016
And just like that, my 2016 racing season is complete.
How was your 2016 season?