CIM (California International Marathon)

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CIM (California International Marathon)

What a challenging race!  A marathon is difficult enough for me, but Mother Nature threw in a storm that made it even more difficult!

A few days before hand, I knew it was going to be stormy.  Even the local news was commenting on the weather’s impact for the upcoming marathon.  There was no getting around the storm.

     “Weather Update: Make sure to bring rain gear to CIM”

What I didn’t know was how bad the wind was going to be and how it was going to affect me.  I think it exhausted me both physically and mentally.

 “Gusts up to 40 miles per hour were so strong it knocked a tree into a power line, forcing organizers to reroute the race.”

The night before, I did my usual race prep.   That way when I wake up in the morning there’s not much to do.


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 All my gadgets laid out.  My watch and ipod charged.

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 Clothes ready

From the moment I got up at 4am Sunday morning, I knew it was going to be an adventure.  But, I’m a determined individual and after all the training (4 months of it!), I didn’t want to “give up.”  So, regardless of the howling wind and the sheets of rain, 9000 (I was later told that 1/3 of the runners wimped out!) of us crazy runners showed up for the 30th California International Marathon (CIM).

2012-12-02 CIM pics 3Photo by SACBEE

By the time I arrived at the starting area, my socks and shoes were already drenched.  I wore a poncho to keep my clothes dry and only took it off minutes before we started.  I also dressed in layers so that I could keep warm and then toss the layer when I needed to.  It was in the 50’s and so it wasn’t that cold.

2012-12-02 CIM pics

Photo by SACBEE

The first 3 miles were very taxing.  Not only was it crowded with people, but there was also a huge amount of debris on the ground.  As people were shedding their ponchos, garbage bags, rain gear, etc, and the wind was picking them up, I had to be extra careful not to trip or slip on anything.

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Photo by SACBEE

In addition to the rain and the wind, there were huge puddles (or small rivers) that were just unavoidable.  I can’t believe that I made it the whole way without a blister!

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Photo by unknown…….taken off the internet

Around mile 8 I came upon my husband, 2 children and a friend.  It was great to hear them cheering me on.  And, I really appreciated them coming out, especially with the stormy conditions.  Since there were less spectators and festivities (bands, music) it meant even more to me to see them.

20121203_093343This is one of the signs they were holding.

The miles were passing by quickly.  And after the ½ way mark, the wind seemed to calm down.  I didn’t have to focus as much on the elements, just the road in front of me.  I had written my gel schedule on my hand so that I didn’t forget when I was to fuel up.  I aligned my fueling with the course’s water stations.

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I was approaching mile 20 and found my family there again.  Such a nice thing to see!

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 Here’s another sign…….

As soon as I passed mile 20, I knew I had “hit the wall.”  I felt depleted and really didn’t know what to do.  I decided that I would jog and then walk through the water station.  I wasn’t going to give up.  After all, I only had 6 miles to go.  Up until this point, I had been able to keep my pace despite the conditions.  I’m guessing that is why I struggled.

2012-12-02 CIM running pic

Soon, I was walking and then off to jog some more.  I kept thinking……”One mile at a time.  I can do this!  I can do this!  I’m prepared, I’m strong and I will do this!”  I was coming to another mile marker and took a break.  1 minute later I was off jogging.  My legs were not happy with me, but my mind was staying strong.  I was determined to finish this marathon even if I had to crawl or roll!

Finally I approached the finish area.  The weather was nice and there were plenty of people cheering everyone on.  “Go 453, you can do it!”  Yes, I could do it and I was going to cross that finish line!

I saw my friend and my 2 children at the finish.  I was over whelmed with emotions!  First, I was so happy to have finished!  And, second, I was happy that I actually improved my time!

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At the same time I was disappointed that I missed my Boston Qualifying Time by 3.5 minutes (They recently changed the times making it harder to qualify).

“Qualifying times are based upon your age on the date of the 2013 Boston Marathon.”

Age Men Women
18-34 3:05 3:35
35-39 3:10 3:40
40-44 3:15 3:45
45-49 3:25 3:55

All in all, I enjoyed myself up until mile 20.  I feel like I challenged myself and am proud that I didn’t give up when it got tough.  After all, if it was easy, everyone would be out there running marathons!  And, despite the storm, I ended up with a PR.  This is definitely one event I won’t forget!

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