Monday, December 5, 2011

CIM Race Report

I ran the California International Marathon (CIM) this past Sunday.

My time was: 3:10:51 - which was slower than I was hoping (3:03 - 3:07), but still a PR of about 8 minutes over my 2010 Boston Marathon time - so I'll take it :-)

Everything also went absolutely perfectly leading up the race - with the exception of getting a bad bout of food poisoning on Monday night / Tuesday this past week. However - by race day, those after effects were long gone and I don't think it was a factor.

My taper went really well, no lingering injuries or tweaks. My nutrition was really good and on Friday morning I weighed in about 167 (had lost a couple pounds over the past few months).

Race day prep went flawlessly and the racing weather was perfect for me. Probably about 38-40 degrees at the start and stayed cool throughout the race. The only time I felt cold was when I shed my sweats at the check-in, but then I walked right into the corral and the warmth of other racers around. Once the gun went off, I felt perfect body temp the whole way.

They call this course the 'fastest course in the west' - due to it's overall elevation loss. But I was warned by everyone that had run it that it's deceptive and not necessarily a 'fast' course due to the rollers - especially in the first 15miles.

That's my assessment as well. It doesn't ever really feel 'overall downhill'. There are enough tough little climbs that it keeps you thinking about pace and form throughout. And those early hills came back to haunt me later in the race miles (in the way of having every muscle group in my lower body sore and spent).

I followed my coach's advice (and everyone else's) and stuck to my pacing early on - avoiding going out too fast. I really focused on running with good, smooth form to minimize any pounding or bad form soreness. I hydrated well and even ate well (although I can never take in enough calories - a marathon at my weight burns about 3,100 kCal. I'd hurl if I tried to even come close to that before or during. I may have hit about 1/2 that. I still had the usual blood sugar / stare off into space feeling at the end.

At mile 23 though, my pace started to degrade. I went from an average of 7:03 pace in the first 16 to losing a couple seconds overall by mile 20 - which is what I figured would happen. But then at mile 23 I was hanging on to a 7:50 pace, just trying to get in under 3:10 (or at least not see the clock tick over that).

After 6 marathons now I feel like I'm still working on being able to 'race' the distance. Today was the furthest I felt I was in 'race' mode - about 23 miles. If I can get that to 25, then I think I'll be able to finish stronger - next year's goal.

On another note - it's a very well run and beautiful course. There were a few times I got to glance out at the scenery. And the crowds were great - lots of fast racers. And finish line pancakes / strawberries and syrup - yeah!

Now it's time for recovery and the holidays. And just having some fun running with no structure for a few months.

1 comment:

runlongkatie.com said...

Nice work, Kevin! You're really getting speedy. Run Chicago. I bet you could go 3:00 there. I enjoy following your running. :)