09 December 2015

Race Recap: California International Marathon - Relay 2015

Same name, different team.
Obsessed with this sign this year.
I think the California International Marathon is magical. I may be slightly biased because it resides in my backyard, but nonetheless, there is something that it does to this city, year after year.

If you aren't pissed that you cannot drive anywhere in Sacramento because of the road closures, then you are on the course cheering your heart out. There is no in between, unless you're running. You either admire the feat or you detest it for causing you delays to and fro.

If you've been around awhile, then you know this was the race I ran as my first marathon, but that I've been running it years prior to that. There are so many feels about this race, I probably shouldn't really get into it (all over again). Since I've sworn off the marathon distance, I instantly jump at the opportunity to relay this race. I will every year!

Half of my normal team decided to have a kid this year. She's the cutest little thing ever, so I'm not mad at all. But that left me a little lost when the cheap registration was available. I decided to ask around again and didn't get any takers. Then J's friend said he and his CF friend wanted to do the run, so J and I said we were in!
#1 – 5.9 miles -
#2 – 7.6 miles - Mo

#3 – 7.0 miles -  Lucio

#4 – 5.7 miles - Me

Since at times I lack creativity AND because I actually love the name, I kept my normal team name. Team Hot Mess, just with some new faces! Other than a new team, nothing was different with the race this year!

We did all meet up the Wednesday night prior to the race to talk logistics, but I think the fellas really just wanted to enjoy pint night! So we ate, we talked, and we planned to meet at the Expo on Saturday.

This Expo is my absolute favorite, because it's like Christmas came early for runners. Everything is discounted at the multiple Fleet Feet booths and my beloved Balega socks are on sale (which doesn't happen too often). I never leave empty handed, it's a problem I've become accustomed to having!
Deja vu - same pose as yesterday!
Closed fist, poor technique.
2015 loot
We all met at the Expo, where we grabbed our bibs, then our tees. Then I dragged everyone straight to the FF booth so I could swoop up my Balega's and whatever else I felt like buying. J got into the spirit and even swooped up some gear for the potential rain that predicted for the race. Saw some familiar faces and tried some interesting Clif pouch stuff -- salty and weird.
I had a crazy busy day ahead of me, so after we snapped a team pic we all headed our separate ways. We wouldn't see each other until our respective transition spots at the race.
Team Hot Mess - J // Me // Lucio // Mo
It never fails, I could run a 5k and I'll still never sleep well the evening before a race. I think a huge part is the fear of not waking up on time or sleeping through my alarm. J and I both agreed our sleep was shitty and that the 4:45AM wake-up alarm didn't seem to phase us. Up and ready, well before we needed to be, we took our time. I wasn't really worried since I had the last leg, but J was a little different. This was his first time doing the relay, so he was excited and a little antsy about the weather.
So much time, I was able to relax and drink coffee!
A little before 6AM we left to drive up to Folsom to drop him off at the shuttle buses. Originally I was going to try to drive him to the start and watch him start, but we thought that would be cutting it too close to me picking him up at the transition. In the dark, we walked to the shuttle buses and a quick kiss and he was off. Let's just say I had an adventure of my own in trying to find where to pick J up. It took me through most of the course in reverse, a stop at Starbucks, and an semi-emergency phone call to my teammate to verify exactly where I needed to be. Damn iphone and Sacramento for having multiple Oak Avenues!
As I was waiting I saw my good friend Haley. This is her last Sacramento race before she leaves for SD. She shed her gloves and I kept them for her.
I didn't see J until he came around the corner of Oak Avenue and Fair Oaks Boulevard, as he finished his leg of the race. This transition was crowded and their transition didn't go as smoothly as they would have liked. J was done and Mo was off. We walked back to the car, J stretched, and then we headed to grab something for J to eat. We ended up grabbing him an OJ at Jamba Juice and a breakfast sandwich at Starbucks. We took our time, since there was 14.7 miles that needed to be run before it was my turn.
Leg 1 done!
Then we headed to my transition point super early. Instead of going home, we just went straight there. We killed some time in the car, then I used Noah's bagels bathroom, then I decided to get ready for my leg.

Get ready is used loosely, I took off my layers and put on my running shoes. I am always an eager beaver when it comes to races, but not much else. We ended up waiting around for awhile, but I wore my coat. I made approximately four trips to the port-o-potty, I think my nerves were getting the best of me at that point. T-monies was also running the same leg, so she found me. We hugged, snapped a pic, then she went close to the front of the area, whereas I stayed toward the back.
Finally, Lucio came running in and I took off the ankle timer and put it on my ankle, gave J a quick kiss (gross, I know), started my Garmin, then I was off. For three fourths of the first mile I was running an 8min mile, which is way too fast. I dialed it back to a 9 min mile pace. I haven't been running at ALL so I didn't want to gas out too early.

The entire run felt great. No real pains. I did have tons of boogers, which kept choking me up. TMI, sorry. Besides having to spit that out and not gag, the run went smoothly. I feel like I have a duty to cheer everyone on as they are in their final stage of a marathon and I'm just starting my little part of the larger ordeal. I try to cheer everyone on, I don't mind if I get passed, and I take it all in. I read the signs, smiled, thanked the spectators, and tried to encourage anyone walking or struggling. I had kills and I got killed, but I wasn't worried about it. I tried not to count down the miles once the street signs became numbers, but its impossible not too. I grabbed a few sips of electrolytes at one aid station, then water at the last one. I never stopped running and only had the ability to get a few sips in.

As I came toward the final half mile I was taking in all the spectators and craziness that is CIM. This last part is awesome, I can't describe the feeling. You just have to run it for yourself. I again, misjudged which street we'd turn left on and realized I underestimated the distance. I took the quick left turn and looked for my team. I didn't see them so I took the last left turn for the women's shoot and saw the end. Then I heard my name and saw my team. I smiled gave them two cheesy peace signs. Then I realized there was a girl right on my back and she was trying to pass me. Oh, HELL NO!
Obviously I didn't let her pass me! But afterwards we laughed and gave each other a high five. Love the competitive spirit, but even more so the good nature this race brings out!
Unofficial time!
They let the team in the finisher area so we could snag a legit group photo. We also took one ourselves, but when one of the team members (not mentioning any names) messes up the photo, it does for the whole team :/ He'll probably be annoyed I posted this, but oh well!
My left leg was crazy sore and my arch was killing me. Probably due to my shoes not being fully broken in. We stopped at a spot nearby to get food for me and booze for the fellas. We ate, drank, watched football, and chatted about the race. Perfect way to end our CIM 2015 experience.
This will always be a special race, no matter the distance I am completing. Each year is a little different and brings new memories and perspective. I'm grateful to live in a city that loves and supports it's running community as much as Sacramento does!

This hasn't been my running year, but I still keep trying...

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