California International Marathon Race Recap 2017

The California International Marathon (CIM) is a point to point course that starts in Folsom, CA and ends at the Capitol in Sacramento, CA. There is also a relay option with four legs. My sister and I were both running the marathon.

It was great to stay at my sister’s place in Davis. I woke up around 4:30 am, drank some water and had my usual pre race bagel with peanut butter. I got changed and we were out the door by 5:25 am and arrived at 5:30 am for our ride. It was nice to get a ride with one of my sister’s friends (Thanks again Mike!) who was running the relay. We had to wait for a few more people to arrive and then we were off. I think it took about 45 min to get to Folsom. In the car, I ate a Health Warrior Chia bar. By 6:20 am, we parked and headed to the start area.IMG_0457The walk wasn’t too far. In the pic above, you can kind of see the traffic where some cars were dropping off runners. Once we saw the porta potties, we decided to get in line. The lines weren’t too bad and they had plenty of porta potties. I took my pre race fuel, UCAN, while in line.Resized_20171203_064020This is where I first saw Lillian, a fellow Simple Hydration run team member. IMG_1507We also were just in time to go to the #WeRunSocial meetup. It was great meeting up with @embracethejourneys and @ajsmilesrun.95 in real life, as well as meeting new friends from instagram.werunsocialCIMBig group pic. Photo Credit: @WeRunSocial on Twitter.

After the meetup, I headed to bag check since I had to check in my blender bottle and had extra clothes just in case for later. It was quick to just drop it off and was easy to find by the trucks near the Mobil gas station.IMG_0461 2By 6:51 am, I was in the corral area. I took a quick pic with my sis. We still had our throwaway clothes on since it was chilly, in the 40s but perfect running weather. Then I said good luck to her since she headed to a different pace group. I found out later she lined up on the left side start line where there weren’t any pace groups. I didn’t know there were two start lines just like they have two finish lines (one for women and one for men) but you could see in the pic below, that there were two. It explained why she was ahead of me and I caught up to her in the race. IMG_0466IMG_0469 2Look at the massive amount of runners ready to run. I was planning to start with the 3:42 pace group but I didn’t see the sign for it. I saw Shannon and then Lillian at the start and took a selfie. IMG_0470Then I noticed we were in the 3:52 pace group. I wanted to start conservatively for the first two miles so all was good. According to the results, I crossed the start line at 7:02 am. It was crowded but I didn’t have to adjust and weave much. IMG_0473Mile 1 – 8:34 = It starts off going downhill. The whole race was pretty much rolling hills until about mile 20.
Mile 2 – 8:29
Mile 3 – 8:12 = I ran the first two miles conservatively as planned. My goal pace was 8:23 and I was feeling good, so good that I went too fast in this mile.
Mile 4 – 8:21
Mile 5 – 8:20 = It was hard to know how fast I was going especially on the downhills but I felt great.IMG_0475Here’s a pic of Lillian running. It was nice because we ran most of the race together but I lost her when I refilled my bottle at mile 14.4. 
Mile 6 – 8:22IMG_0478Mile 7 – 8:23
Mile 8 – 8:25
Mile 9 – 8:26
Mile 10 – 8:15
Mile 11 – 8:14 = The uphills were always followed by longer downhills. Mile 11 had a big elevation loss. Looks like I went too fast here and in mile 10.
Mile 12 – 8:24IMG_0481Mile 13 – 8:24
Mile 14 – 8:19
Mile 15 – 8:32
Mile 16 – 8:19
Mile 17 – 8:21
Mile 18 – 8:25
Mile 19 – 8:25
Mile 20 – 8:25 = I was feeling good probably until about mile 20, the notorious wall. There is even an actual brick looking Wall at mile 20.5 that you run through. But my legs were getting tired and I could feel my calves were tight. It just wasn’t the same. All those rolling hills seemed to have killed my legs. The plan was to pick it up after mile 20, but it wasn’t going to happen. I was struggling to keep 8:25 pace.

Some point after mile 20, I saw my sister’s hubby who took a video. It helped some to see them on the course. 🙂
Mile 21 – 8:26
Mile 22 – 8:39 = The 3:42 pace group passed me and I thought I could try to hang with them but it wasn’t going to happen. I had started behind them but still felt bad that they caught up to me. My legs were tired, heavy, calves were tight. My hands even went numb, which was weird. I guess it was lactate buildup which could be normal for that pace/distance.
Mile 23 – 8:41
Mile 24 – 8:58 = But it just got worse mile by mile and I was losing the mental battle.
Mile 25 – 9:23 = I kept swearing in my head, or maybe aloud too haha since it was getting so hard to continue at the pace I wanted. My mind and legs kept telling me to walk…I was losing the battle to push on. I didn’t even want to look at my watch. I felt like I was so off pace already, I gave in and walked. 😦 It was so hard to pick it up again after walking…
Mile 26 – 10:30img_0595.jpg     0.2 – 10:21 = I felt defeated…even though I was so close to the finish after reaching mile 26, it was still so hard to continue and I had to walk again. My quad cramped up but I mustered enough strength to run to the finish line. That was so tough but I finished!
Even though I didn’t reach my goal/PR or BQ, I’m still happy I finished. Marathon #4 is in the books. Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 11.29.08 AMMy results above, still a great time.
IMG_0499Congrats to my sister and Mariah who both got PRs! IMG_6403.JPGCongrats to Natalie, @natrunsfar on instagram, for her awesome PR too! It was great to meet her!

Overall, this was a great race that was well organized. It was the 35th Anniversary so they knew what they were doing. The crowd support was awesome. Loved hitting the power up signs and tap for energy signs in the early miles. The volunteers were great and a few times I heard someone cheer my name since our names were on our bibs. It’s always awesome to hear cheers from strangers.

Post race there was water, Clif bars, bananas, chips, and breakfast sandwiches from Whole Foods. There were also Boston creme cupcakes for those that BQ’d.

Looking back, I went too fast on the downhills which took a toll on my legs in the later miles. I guess I consistently hit the 7:30s-7:50s and had 9 total miles faster than goal pace. I need to work on my pacing. I’m thinking about getting one of those pace bands that adjust for elevation from for next time. Also, I was behind on my hydration which could have also factored in my demise in the final miles. I hydrated with nuun every two miles but I guess not enough since I didn’t refill until mile 14.4. For fuel, I took the UCAN gels I made around miles 13 and 19. That seemed to go fine.

On the way back to my sister’s car, we saw 2nd place finisher, Tyler McCandless. It was cool to get a pic with him. It’s cool that he wears Altra shoes too. 🙂IMG_0519I’ve got marathon #5 and #6 planned for next year and now I’m more determined to PR/BQ. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? Time to keep looking ahead and moving forward.

Also, a BIG THANKS to my hubby and kiddos who supported me through my training! Also, THANKS to Coach Dawn, who’s helped make me a faster and stronger runner!

Do you have your races planned for next year?

15 thoughts on “California International Marathon Race Recap 2017

  1. Congratulations on another great race! Even though it wasn’t the outcome you wanted, you had a great finish with those rolling hills! My quads took a beating. What do you have planned for 5 and 6?? I’m not sure which races to sign up.


    1. Thanks Sonia! Yeah, my quads were really sore and going down a bunch of stairs the next day did not help, haha. I’m planning to run the Vernonia Marathon again in April and The Tunnel Marathon in September.


  2. Sherry, you really had a great finish time on a tough course. You should be proud! I know you are disappointed — but we all learn something from each race. You’ll apply what you’ve learned and in 2018, you’ll crush those goals!


  3. Those darn last 6.2 miles — seriously, I can’t even imagine. You ran such a strong race up until then (although who am I kidding, as far as I’m concerned, you ran a strong race the whole race!).

    Hills are so hard to pace.

    But you’re right, you lean something from every race (and seriously, I’d still be out there running, or crawling, so I say good job!).


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