The California International Marathon celebrates its 35th year this year. It will be my 5th attempt on this course trying to get a Boston qualifying time. On my first attempt, I missed the qualifying time by :04 seconds. I was devastated. Since that time, I’ve only managed to run slower and get further and further away from that elusive qualifying time.
Last year I thought I had it in the bag because my
qualifying time would be for 2018 and I would be in the 50-59 age group. I had
an extra 5-minute cushion that I should have made given my times from the three
previous years. Unfortunately, in my exuberance, I went out way too fast and
crashed and burned at the end. Once again I made the trip home licking my
wounds and thinking “if only I had done this” thoughts.
|Post race with HS|
Immediately following the race, I doubted whether I would go back and try again. Obviously, it is not meant to be. I followed a marathon training plan. I gave up swimming and most cycling to strengthen my running. The day before the race, I made sure I didn’t spend a lot of time at expo. I made arrangements to stay with my daughter and son-in-law in Folsom just like I did the first year. I tried to do everything right so I would be ready on race day.
Virtual Goodie Bag
A couple of days after the race, my virtual goodie bag showed up in my email. I knew what was in there. It was the “re-run” special that allows you to sign up for next year’s CIM at a much-reduced price. I knew I needed to decide. I kicked the idea around for a while and missed the first signup period, but I made the second one and only had to pay a little extra. My sister, who also ran CIM in 2016, signed up again too. I asked HS if he wanted to run it again and he said “No” so I got my oldest daughter, +Ashley to sign up.
My Plan for 2017
My first year running CIM, I programmed my desired pace into my Garmin. This kept me from running too fast or too slow. I will be using this feature again this year. However, I also plan on starting off with the pace group for my qualifying time. If I’m lucky, Karyn Hoffman will be leading this group again and she will keep me on track.
- Weight Management
I'm not sure what I weighed last year at CIM. I'm pretty sure it was more than I wanted to be. After my annual Halloween candy binge, I never seemed to get back on track. Thanksgiving only made things worse. Lets just say that I continued on my weight gain path all the way up to IRONMAN Santa Rosa 70.3 in May 2017. When I weighed myself after that race, it was obvious that things needed to change.
It took a few months (and a dismal race performance at the Tri for Real #1) before I was able to get my nutrition on track. I have managed to lose 10 pounds since Santa Rosa and am now back at my normal starting point for wanting to drop 5 pounds. With three months to go before CIM, I think I should be able to lose the last few pounds in a safe and reasonable manner. So far, just cutting out weekday wine has made a big improvement.
- Training Plan
Once again I am looking to Hal Higdon for my training plan. I have opted for the Advanced 1 plan. I thought about doing the Personal Best plan, but that was a 30 week plan and I only had an 18 week window. This nice thing about this year is that I am not coming off a full iron-distance race. I feel pretty fresh and not completely beat up.
I have also started reading Hal's book titled "Run Fast". Of course fast running is in the eye of the beholder, but I feel like I have room for some improvement. One nice thing about reading the book is that I am starting to understand the science behind his training plans. Now that I know what an interval is for and how to do it correctly, I'm hoping that I will see some improvement in speed.
For the past few years, I've avoided extra, "unnecessary" (in my opinion) races that wouldn't give me the training miles on my calendar and that would only pose a chance at an injury. Unfortunately, I think I got out of the practice of racing. This year I am not going to worry about injury. If it happens it happens. I am not going to let the fear of getting hurt stop me from doing what I enjoy.
A Pleasant Surprise
Much to my delight, HS changed his mind and signed up for the race. Although we typically don't run together, its nice knowing that we are both working towards the same goal. When I come home and see a note from him that he is out on his run, it motivates me to get on with my workout.