Tuesday, December 9, 2014

CIM 2014 - Race Report

I heard a great line in a commercial last week..."I am not a control freak, I am a control enthusiast."

I'm sticking with "enthusiast"

One thing that racing teaches you is that you really aren't in as much control as you think or would like. You can have a pacing plan, a nutrition strategy, a goal time. You can control what you wear, what music you will listen to, what you are going to eat before the race. Unfortunately, there are certain things you have absolutely NO CONTROL over and you learn to just deal with them (which has been a very difficult lesson for me).

Needless to say, I didn't make my goal time. Not really sure what happened...it just wasn't in the cards for me on Dec. 7th.


A week before the race I got a message from my new triathlon coach (more about that in another post) asking me if I was fired up for race week. For some reason, I don't have the same level of anticipation for a marathon that I do for a triathlon...perhaps its because I know I can't drown or crash in a marathon ;-)

Instead of looking forward to the race, I found myself focusing on logistics. What if I over sleep? What if we don't get to Lindsey and Max's place on time? What if roads are closed around the convention center and we can't get to the bus? What if? What if? What if? I knew I wasn't going to relax until my butt was in a seat on the bus. (Minor control issues LOL)

I went to bed at 7pm the night before the race. Unfortunately, I was awake at 10:30 tossing and turning for the next 5 hours. I managed to doze off right before my alarm went off at 2:50am. UGH! Breakfast was a bagel with lox and cream cheese. I also had one cup of coffee and 1/2 a banana. On the bus ride to Folsom, I drank my chia fresca.



This year I decided to follow the 3:55 pace group (turning over control of my pace was a scary thought!). Last year my chip time was 3:55:04, so I didn't think it was going to be a problem sticking with the pack. However, when I run, I like to start slow and speed up as I go. Last year I had my Garmin programmed for a progressively faster pace.

Last Year's Plan (me in control)...worked until mile 20
The goal of the CIM pace team is to take a more steady approach.
"A Pace Team Leader is an experienced distance runner whose primary objective is to evenly pace runners to their set time goal. They achieve this by setting an even pace (min/mile) from start to finish (with slight variations for terrain)."~ CIM Website
When the gun went off this year it took me approximately 2-1/2 minutes to get across the starting line. These 2-1/2 minutes were going to have to be made up somewhere...unfortunately, I think most of them were in the first mile! In fact, I heard one of the pacers talking to a runner in the group telling him that we were a second over in the first mile and a second under in the 2nd mile.

Even HS, who ran with my group for a bit, commented that it seemed pretty fast in the beginning. It may have just been the long down hill, but it did seem quicker than I would have liked to have started. I should have listened to myself then, but I didn't want to give up on the group that quick.

First 12 miles

Actually, when I look at my splits, they don't seem as bad (fast) as I thought they were. However, mile 3 at 8:46 is much too quick for me that early in the race. In last year's plan, I wouldn't hit an 8:46 pace until about 1/2 way through the race. 

Last Half

Around mile 22-23, both of my calf muscles started to cramp a bit (no way to control this). The pain/injury I inflicted on myself at Avenue of the Vines flashed through my mind. The last thing I wanted to do was mess up my pending Vineman training which starts in 3 weeks. I made the difficult choice and walked out the cramps (three times!!!)


During the first six miles I nibbled on watermelon Chomps and drank my Nuun electrolyte drink. This year I opted to carry a water bottle instead of having to make frequent stops at the aid stations. I carried the bottle on all of my long training runs, and knew it wasn't going to be an issue. Every 5-6 miles I ate a GU (I don't want to see another GU for a while).

When I eventually drained my bottle, I stopped at and aid station and refilled it with 3 cups of electrolyte drink, I repeated this exercise again about an hour later but this time filled the bottle with water. The weather was much warmer than last year and I was sweating much more than usual. I felt like I was drinking enough, but maybe a little more would have prevented the cramping at the end of the race.

Heart Rate and Other Stuff

This year I decided to wear all of my tracking gear. This was going to be a data collection mission. Not only was I wearing my heart rate monitor, but I also clipped on my cadence sensor just for giggles.

More data than I know what to do with
Actually, I look at this stuff and really don't know what it means. LOL Was my heart rate too high? Too low? Should I be taking longer strides? Less strides? Actually, I do know that my running form needs some work. If you can have your stroke corrected in swimming, why can't someone do that for running? There has to be something I can do to improve my running form.

Post Race

After the race, HS remarked that I was walking much better than I did last year after the race. Well, there's one positive.

This is me two days after the race ;-)

Another positive was a message I got from my coach telling me that if I pulled everything out of myself then that is all I can expect. When I look back on the race, I have no regrets about my level of effort. I feel like a ran a good race and did what I needed to do to finish and not injure myself (one of the few things I could control).

Post race photo op
It was great getting together with the team! Can't wait until our next event!!!

Goals for 2015 
  • Learn to listen to myself
  • Enjoy the marathon during Vineman
  • Convince HS, Lindsey, Max, and Ashley to run CIM with me!

Happy B-day (early) to me!

Since I  know that I'm going to give this another shot, I went ahead and took advantage of the $89 re-run special. 2015 CIM here I come!!!