Tuesday, December 6, 2016

"Holy crap marathon, I hate and love you so much" CIM Recap

Thanks Sheena for these pictures!
Marathons suck. They hurt. I hate marathons. I don't know why I keep registering for them. I love marathons. I love them for the challenge, I love them for the sense of accomplishment and for the community and spectacle.  And I DO know why I keep registering for them: I want to get better. I want to learn from my mistakes.

And, boy, did I make mistakes with CIM. My first mistake was not sticking with my plan to make CIM my one-and-only fall marathon. It has been my goal race for 2016 when I had to defer last year and build up my strength this year. I got distracted by another marathon. I joined others from one of my local running groups to form a team to register for the St. George Marathon. I interrupted my training for CIM to taper for St. George, run it and then recover from it. This left maybe 4 weeks to get marathon ready for CIM. 

At 23.6 miles, Oiselle Cowbell Corner was amazing!!

My second mistake happened in the 2nd mile of CIM. My plan for the race was to stick with the 3:53 pace group until 20 mile or so. When the race started, it was crowded around the pace leaders and at times almost dangerous as people were running into each other. Around 2 miles, I decided to go slightly in front of the pace group to get some space. In retrospect, I should have slowed down and gone behind the pace group. Lesson learned. 

The first half of CIM is all rolling hills and rolling hills are my strength because it is all I train on. I spent the whole first half telling myself to slow down. It felt super easy and actually, it was the easiest 13.1 miles I have ever run. My splits for the first half are pretty even. The next few miles I slowed down, but not too much. It wasn't until mile 18 (that seems to be my nemesis mile mark!) that my wheels fell off and the marathon became a sufferfest. Oiselle Cowbell Corner was at 23.6 miles and knowing that kept me moving forward. Finish time-- 3:57:03

After beating myself up over my mistakes, I came to the realization that prior to this year I was unable or capable of running a sub-4 hour marathon and I did that twice! One of which was a 2018 Boston Marathon qualifying time!

Now it's time to rest and recover; to start prepping for the 2017 Los Angeles Marathon training cycle which starts December 26...

My title quote comes from a tweet by Stephanie Rothstein Bruce, pro runner for Oiselle, making her return to 26.2 after 3 years and 2 babies. She ran a strong race, coming in second and only a couple minutes off her PR!

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