I traveled to Sacramento to run the California International Marathon. It was to be my push for a 3:00:00 marathon and 2013 BQ race. My first night in Sacramento would be a sign of how my race would turn out Sunday (karma!). In short I was a whiny little brat who needed help from @cristinaagomez to guide me around the city in my search for an open grocery or convenience store. I had a huge headache and I was hungry. I went to bed cursing the city and the logic of closing stores at 9pm in a tourist area. Yes, folks, Sacramento is actually a pretty cool city to visit (Time Tested Books, La Raza Galerìa, Paesano).
Saturday had me finally getting some ibuprofen and food supplies. A small victory. The expo was very well organized and easy to navigate. I got to see @lauralang3 in action promoting the San Francisco Marathon. She was also very kind to pick me up from the airport the night before. Laura also pointed out where the busses would be lined up and what I can expect race morning. I was glad to hear that runners can stay in the buses up until race time and that porta-potties were plenty and lined up deep so lines would not be too long. Along with the many good reviews about the aid stations and crowd support, CIM was starting to sound like the ultimate marathon for runners.
Met up with Paul (a fellow Marathon Maniac) and his wife at Pyramid Alehouse. Was nice to talk to someone who is passionate about training and has his goals set. He hit his time and comfortably ran a sub 4. After the race he and his wife ate at Paesano after I recommended it over dinner the other night. Word of mouth, yo! Awesome to train for a goal time and achieve it! BTW, he keeps a very insightful and entertaining blog that chronicles his running: http://50-is-the-new-30.blogspot.com/
Race morning was just as Laura had told me. Stayed on the bus until 15 mins. before the start. Ran to use the bathroom and check-in my drop-off bag. All that and I still had 5 mins. to spare! Most organized marathon to date! I ran with gloves, ear warmers, and an old cotton long sleeve tee that I was going to throw-away around mile 3 (my last memento from my time working at Blue Planet Surf Shop on Kapahulu). Goal was sub 3:05:00. Course was lined with very supportive and loud people. In each little town there was some kind of block party atmosphere. The aid stations were fully stocked and well-manned. I ran with 4 GUs. Pretty much stayed on pace until mile 20 when my stomach was giving me some major problems. I won’t go into details, but it wasn’t pretty. Soon after, started to cramp. I think it was a combination of poor nutrition and not being fit. Was on sub 3:05:00 pace at mile 20. Legs felt good and breathing was relaxed. Worked through initial stomach troubles just past mile 19. Finished 3:31:00. You can see on my Garmin profile where things fell apart. Oh well, there’s always next year! Looking forward to running this race yearly. The Sacramento Running Association puts on a great race that really caters to the runner’s needs. After reading about the RnR Las Vegas race the same day, those runners would be better served running in races that are put on by local running clubs who know how to treat runners.
I’ll know better next time not to expect so much specially after not putting in the work to run a fast time. I won’t be racing a marathon again until October 2013. Just glad the racing season is over and I can go back to running some trails. Thanks to everyone that sent out the good vibes.
Garmin Profile – California International Marathon: