Monday, December 5, 2011

Race Report: California International Marathon 2011

Well, hello bloggers!  Yes, yes, haven't been here in a while, but don't worry, I still keep checking in on all of you!
I ran CIM yesterday and had huge plans, but sometimes plans don't go as you, well, planned.  This is the post I put on my Daily Mile account.  Since some of you aren't on there, but probably still want to know how it went, I'll put it up here, too.  So proud of so many of you running and racing this weekend - cannot wait to go and read them all!  Hope you're all well!  Happy Running!

Wasn't sure how I wanted to write about this.  As you can see, I didn't reach my goal.  And I have been pretty beat up about it since yesterday.  The one thing that is keeping me sane is a quote from a friend who read in Brain Training for Runners is that if you're meeting your running goals 50% of the time, then you're not making your goals hard enough.  Running is not easy, and if I had gotten my sub 3 yesterday, that would have put me right at 50% - so I can rest a bit easier knowing that my goal is hard, is going to take a lot of work and is a goal worth fighting for.
So this may get long - sorry in advance!
I felt really good Saturday night, went to be early and slept great!  I woke up rested, went through my usual pre-race routine and felt ok.  Except for one thing, I couldn't go to the bathroom!  I was a bit panicked and hoped that by the time I got to the portta potties that things would be "ready to go," so I relaxed on the drive there.
Thankfully the wind had stopped, and other than the 35 degree temp at the start, I wasn't too worried about the weather for the day.  I was in shorts, a tank top and a light Lululemon shirt over that with gloves.  I felt ok.  But after I did a one mile warm up hoping to get things moving, as I stood in line at the potties I still couldn't go!  I told the hubbs that I wasn't sure if I even wanted to start since I was afraid it would be a suffer fest of running to the bathroom multiple times for 26.2 miles.  But, he reassured me and I bid him ado and went to the start line.
My legs felt good, nothing was hurting and had stayed good all week.  So, other than the cold and fear of potty stops, I was excited to race.  I ran into my friend Caitlin at the start line and we wished each other good luck.  I couldn't get right with the 3 hour pacer, it was packed.  But I wasn't worried.  When the gun went off, I felt great and just started cruising.
The first mile is down hill for about .8 until you make your first turn and hit the first hill passing mile 1.  It didn't faze me at all and I knew I was running a bit fast but thought I would just bank some time and capitalize on feeling good.
The first 4 miles went by easily, lots of ups and downs and my legs felt awesome!  I do remember in this time thinking my ass was literally COLD - numb!  But other than that everything was going to plan.  I was hitting my goal MP pace of 6:45 or faster and just went with hit.
mile 1 - 6:32
mile 2 - 6:43
mile 3 - 6:29
mile 4 - 6:37
The hills weren't bothering me at all, and I was enjoying the cool morning.  I saw the hubbs in here finally and just put on cruise control.  Still in the back of my mind I was sure I was going to have a bathroom stop.  But I was WELL ahead of the 3 hour pace group and I had banked enough time to make sure that if I stopped I would still be in a good place.
At mile 5, right before, you hit a good hill.  Each hill I went up, I attempted not to get out of breath and know that there would be a good downhill to help.  And this proved to be smart.  I wasn't out of breath, I wasn't tired and I felt good.  I also took a Gu in here, continuing each 5 miles.  I also took water from the hubbs on the bike, for some reason, I was really thirsty all day.
mile 5 - 6:44 - big hill
mile 6 - 6:53 - other half of big hill
mile 7 - 6:51
Around mile 7, I could feel the rumble in my tummy and I had to go.  It wasn't awful, but I knew I had to stop soon.  No worries, I asked the hubbs and I was way ahead of the 3 group still so I decided to stop at the next potty.  Right after mile 8, there was a potty and I stopped.
mile 8 - 6:57
When I stopped at the potty, I went in and squatted down.  As SOON as I squatted down, I felt my hammy seize up!!  OUCH!  I screamed!  I felt it run down my leg!  My hubbs even heard me scream and asked if I was ok!  I was panicked.  I finished my business and when I got out my leg was in PAIN!  I asked the hubbs if the 3 hour group passed and he said there were about 25-30 seconds ahead.  Fine, I can catch them.  Only, my leg was in pain.  My whole left leg was cramping.  I was trying to push through and find my stride as I chassed down the 3 hour guy, but my leg wanted nothing to do with that. 
From there on, I knew I was in for a fight.  I tried everything in my head to keep going.  And it worked.  I was loosing time, but the 3 hour group was just ahead of me and I still believed I could catch them.  Before the stop at mile 8, I was on track for a 2:56-2:57, after that, I was just hoping to make 3!
mile 9 - 7:55
mile 10 - 6:48
mile 11 - 6:52
mile 12 - 7:06
By mile 12, I felt so mentally and physically done.  I was fighting so hard but was in so much pain.  I had so many thoughts running through my head, like should I just quit at the half?  Am I doing permanent damage?  How do I keep going with another 14 miles?  I looked at the hubbs after the half and told him I was done.  But he just looked at me and said, find your stride, keep pushing.  You have a 1:29 half in YOU!
I will admit, when I hit the half in 1:30 I was so upset.  I KNEW I didn't have that in me anymore.  At mile 14 I got really low and down on myself.  The hills were pretty much over but my leg was just killing me.  The hubbs said my form was still good, which I guess I never broke, but my I was dragging my left leg.
mile 13 - 7:08 - half 1:30
mile 14 - 7:12 - the beginning of the end
mile 15 - 7:27
mile 16 - 7:21
With 10 miles left, I attempted to math in my head.  Yeah, we all know how well that goes during a marathon.  I thought if I kept 7:30's or better I would still make 3:05, so that became my goal.  I did everything I could to keep it there.  I still don't know how I did it.  I was still Gu'ing and taking in as much fluids I could - I was soooo thirsty!  But mentally I was done.  I saw many friends cheering and pushing me along, but I was so out of it.
When I would think about mile 18 or mile 20 or mile 22, I couldn't do it, so I kept it small, counting down the miles.  I could only think in terms of, "I have, 10 miles left, I have 9 miles left, I have 8 miles left," and so on.  I couldn't think about how long 26.2 was!
mile 17 - 7:13
mile 18 - 7:25
mile 19 - 7:36
mile 20 - 7:41
At mile 20, after I saw my wonderful friends Jana, Beth and Karin cheering, I realized I had done the math wrong.  I actually had needed like 7:15's to get that 3:05.  I was heart broken.  I didn't know how I would keep going - but I was too close to quit now.  That last 10K was some of the hardest miles I have ever run.  I felt a little like an out of body experience.  I thought of my friends, many of YOU, my family and trying to be grateful that despite my pain right now, I was out RUNNING!  A marathon!  And I am lucky!
Like I said, that last 10K was a blur.  I did everything I could to keep moving forward.  I just wanted to be done.  I tried so hard to not think of the loss of my sub 3.  But that was hard when at mile 20, the 3:05 pacer group passed me.  I was now just hoping to break sub 3:10.
mile 21 - 7:40
mile 22 - 7:46 - hill/bridge
mile 23 - 7:41
mile 24 - 7:49 - SHOOT ME NOW!
mile 25 - 7:46 - NO REALLY, SHOOT ME NOW!
mile 26 - 7:48 - GET THIS OVER WITH
Offical stat: 3:10:37 - 7:14/mi - this still amazes me.  I lost over a mile/min that second half!  I really had a lot of time banked in that first half!!  Argh!
AG - (30-34) 29/393
Women overall - 121/2484
Overall - 581/5755
When I crossed the finish line and stopped, my left leg gave out and I fell over.  Yes, I collapsed at the finish line - I was one of those people!  The hubbs has a good video of it! I couldn't move anymore.  My whole body just shut down.  Thankfully, medics were right there and my GOOD friend Layla who was on medal duty caught me.  I was so out of it.  I hurt sooo bad.  They took me over to the med tent where they tried to stretch me and get me some relief.  I don't remember much, but I do remember at one point they were stripping my wet clothes off of me and I screamed, "Don’t cut them!  It's Lululemon!!" LOL!  I still knew what was important. :O
Apparently, I was hypothermic.  My temp went down to 90.1 - even with 3 cups of hot soup in me!  I was shaking uncontrollably and my legs hurt soooo bad.  They wrapped me up and put me in front of a heater for an hour.  The whole time my hubbs was outside so worried - they wouldn't let him in.
After an hour, and my temp climbing to 96, they finally let me go.  And I felt better!  I could walk; I could talk with out chattering teeth!  But the reality of what happened hit me and I was a little overwhelmed.
I know I fought hard yesterday.  Am I disappointed?  Hell YES!!  Do I know that I still ran an incredible race despite all my odds?  Hell YES!  I found my friends and we all rehashed the day - thankfully all of them had HUGE PR's and that took my mind off my own race.
I am a day out and still a bit sad, but I know I ran a race and a time that some only will ever dream about.  I think the cold is what did me in.  I know that my legs were cold and that is what made my hammy cramp.  I probably should have gone with capri’s, but live and learn.  AND, I have a new FIRE lit.  I am MORE than determined now to do what it takes to get my sub 3.  It is a goal worth fighting for.  And like the Brain Quote says, it is a good goal – one that I can keep fighting for!
Thank you to all of YOU for the continued support.  Like I said, I thought of many of YOU yesterday and it brought me a lot of strength.
Thanks for reading ;)
CONGRATS to so many of you that raced yesterday and kicked ass!!! <3