I Survived CIM 2012

Super-sized blog recaps are for races that deserve it, but yesterday I was in a "just get this over with" mindset from the moment I woke up....and with that attitude (among other things), I ran 26.2 as comfortably as I could given the weather, without whipping out the appropriate drive, intensity, or pain that would be necessary for a PR.

Unofficial results posted: 3:11:47, 63rd place woman, 24th in age group (compare to 101st place woman last year with a 3:05:08!), 7:19 pace.

I went to bed Saturday night dreaming that the storm, which was forecasted to bring 25 mph headwinds promptly at the 7:00 a.m. start time and then seize around noon (seriously, do weather gods HATE marathons this year?), would finish early and become gentler.  Instead, I woke up, checked the weather, to find that 7:00 a.m. was now scheduled to have 35 mph winds.  WHAT the what?  Look outside window: oh yes.  I do not want to be outside.

Got it done, went outside, took the shuttle to the start after happily bumping into Beth, Katie, Jana, and Cate.  We were all kind of giggly with excitement and denial about how the wind was howling at the rain (which was pouring) outside the bus window.

I stood fort in the VIP tent, which I got into for being a very famous running blogger.  That doesn't exist, stupid, it was a VIP tent for Folsom hotel stayers.  I watched the tent slap us and knock chairs over as we all tried to pretend it was protecting us from the elements until 7:00 a.m. came.  Ran into Joseph, wished upon a star that the VIP port-o-potty didn't get blown over from the wind (I swear this was a REAL possibility!), and headed to the start in my poncho.

Mindset: PR city is out of the question.  May drop out halfway if I feel terrible or like I am risking my health.  But as I mentioned before, somewhat relieved at the prospect of running a marathon without a goal.  It is a freeing feeling!

Body: feeling fine so far.  Stretched the buttcrease out that morning, and it was a little tight, but I hoped it would hold off on causing the leg-lock/numb-leg feeling (which, I am beginning to realize may be a problem that originates with my calf or IT band....this leg lock thing kind of takes over the whole leg.)

Weather: hahaha.

Gear:  despite the rain it was already 60 degrees with 100% humidity, so I stuck with shorts.  Even though I had just purchased capris to run in.  I ran with the new Garmin 410, and it was a success, I like the thing!

Liz and I found each other at 6:58 a.m. for a session of nervous excitement and bewilderment with how to handle nature.  Meeting her was a huge highlight of the day, check out her recap once it's up cause girl was on FIRE in the midst of this storm.  (read: she ran amazingly).

First mile is fast and downhill, but everyone was running in tight little steps to be careful of wet manhole covers, deep puddles, and because of, yeah, the wind.  I hit mile 1 in 7:05, a good 20 seconds slower than one year ago.

Within the first half mile, I saw two runners wipe out, big time.  One of the wipeouts was so, so disturbing, I wish I could remove the mental image from my mind.  Because it was so dark at 7:00 a.m. from the heavy clouds and difficult to see because of the whipping rain, someone ran straight into a street divider and flew into a small signpost.  I really hope he is okay.

Traumatized, truly, by that sight, I pulled it back.  At mile 0.5, I finally knew for sure, no matter how much I wanted to play hard, that I was going to be gentle today.  Drop out if I had to.  Stop and stretch if I had to.

The combination of this mindset, the headwinds, the leg-lock feeling which piped up at mile 5.5 and stayed through the finish line (waaah, the feeling started at mile 13 last year), and my messy training with a two week break 5 weeks ago, led to a time almost 7 minutes slower than last year.

This is to say: I did not run "a great time given the circumstances!"  It was possible to run a PR, even with the headwinds and the rain.  It happened to several people I know! You just had to really want it enough.  And not have a buttcrease/leg-lock issue.  It was not the weather alone that made me 7 minutes slower yesterday; it was the combination of mind, body, training, and weather.

Not a single mile under 7:00 minutes--BUT, I never fell, I stopped long and hard to give my leg-lock/buttcrease/calves a good stretch, and I finished with blissfully fresh legs.  I think this is the first time I can ever say I think I could go for a run the day after a marathon!  I can walk down stairs like a normal person! It's so great!

My only battle wounds are CHAFING, and the side of one of my feet feels bruised.  I had this problem once before, I think it is the Nike Air Pegasus 29's, so I am retiring those from my racing rotation.  Those shoes also felt too cushiony in the heel by mile 20, which caused me some calf pain.

Oh the horror.  I've been making this face every time I look at it.
And yesterday I was walking like I just got off of a horse because the upper inner thigh area is so chafed.  Vaseline and Sports Glide did not work, because these areas were all slathered very well.

The red in the bottom of the pic is the closest you will get to seeing the business on my inner thigh

However, I did finish with nary a blister, so vaseline on the feet does work! (I put some on before bed, no fresh coat in the morning.  That sounds slippery).

Three more thoughts:

1) drafting does not work.  Not a cent.  Are you kidding? The skinny men all around me were like toothpicks blocking a fire-hydrant spray.

2) Page, Aron, Jessica and XLMIC -- they weathered the storm with huge smiles on their faces and screaming cheers, with a bad ankle, an ultra-marathon ran the day prior (Aron & Jessica), and four kids at home, respectively.  It has been a LONG time since I have gone to a race to cheer or volunteer, and I know I need to change this--my turn is due.  It's a wonderful feeling to be on the receiving end.

3) Music earbuds hate staying in your ears when it is wet and windy.  I listened to music from miles 14-26, and had to push the buds back in every minute.


Miles 1-10:  7:05, 7:11, 7:00, 7:01, 7:04, (7:14, 7:27, 7:28, 7:31, 7:16) = wind in face miles,
Miles 11-20: 7:12, 7:15, 7:09, 7:08, 7:21, 7:31, 7:20, 7:16, 7:14, 7:15,
Miles 21-26:  7:21, 7:20, 7:30, 7:53 (30 second stretch break), 7:27, 7:18,
0.26 = 1:54.

Passing the crew of friends at mile 10 -- thanks for the pic XLMIC!

Not much to see here

only a blur, mile 26

After finishing, I walked up to the Gentleman with a big smile, happy to be done.

Thanks for standing in the rain and handing me Gu, love

While heading out of the gates to meet him, a friendly newscaster decided to interview me and apparently I made it on the local news -- I am relieved I don't have to see it.

According to Liz (sorry to quote you my dear!) my 11 seconds of fame was as follows: They started off the broadcast showing trees blowing sideways, and wind pelting the runners. Fun to see from a different angle (i.e.:not the one being pelted!)...and they talked about the weather slowing runners down significantly. You were so drenched, but super cute, they sound bited you: "It was my first marathon in the rain. Very tough. About 10-minutes slower than where I wanted to be"

I swigged some chocolate milk (I know, and nobody even paid me to!), picked my jaw up off the floor after hearing how well Liz did, and headed to a pub for lunch to erase the memory of Gu and Gatorade (ew ew sugar sounds SO gross after marathons) with some salt and beer.

Chicken pot pie, fish & (sweet potato) chips, carrot & ginger soup, 18oz. porter

Tell me your story of surviving CIM 2012!