"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Race Report: California International Marathon - December 7, 2008

Today I ran my last marathon of the season. All I can say is...


Yep, again. After a string of lack luster performances, I have PR'd the last three races I have done. A 1/2 marathon, a 10k, and now a marathon. Hell yeah!

Time: 5:00:23

Yeah, yeah. So close to my goal of sub-5.

I snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in miles 23-25. No regrets though. I did my best and got a 20 minute PR over Napa.

The day before

I met up with Julianne and her hubby at the Expo. Super cool. She is just as bubbly and friendly as her blog. She was going for a sub-4 marathon and she rocked it! We took pictures, but mine didn't come out very good. I will steal hers when she posts it :o)

I went up by myself to this one, but I have an old friend who is in law school in Sacramento and we met up for a pre race dinner.

Cool to see an old buddy!

The Pre-race

It started with a sleepless night and the horror of waking up to realize that my dirt cheap hotel room did not include a coffee maker.

Are you fucking kidding me?! No coffee maker?!

I am certain that approximately 33% of my total blood volume at any given time of day is made up of coffee. How the hell am I supposed to function without coffee? I ended up reheating the 1/2 a cup of leftovers from yesterday's thermos of coffee.


Whatever. At least it it kept me from a B & E charge for knocking over a Starbuck's at 3:30 am.

I hopped on the early bus to the start and then proceeded to wander around the start by myself for and hour and half freezing my ass off and feeling somewhat like a big loser. I did capture a picture of the Vaseline Angels. One guy went up to the Angels took some vaseline and proceeded to lube up the family jewels.

Right. There.

He didn't even step three feet way. God, I wish I had caught a picture of that Angel's face. It was like, " I did NOT sign up for this shit!"

Come on that shit is funny!

The Vaseline Angels of the California International Marathon.
I know at least one set of balls that was grateful they were there

The Race

The start was foggy and cold. The middle was foggy and cold. And the end was, you guessed it, foggy and cold.

There are tiny horses somewhere in that fog. No, the horses weren't actually tiny,
it is just a shitty picture.

Half way mark and a balloon arch. Pretty cool!

The runners were really friendly and talkative. There was a large group of us that ran at steady paces and we were together for many miles. This was both good and bad.

Here is an example of the bad:

In our unofficial pace group, there was one gal that was doing her first marathon with her husband. Now, some of you may think that sounds like a sweet and romantic picture. I adore my hubby, but it sounds like a little slice of hell to me and this guy validated my position by running about 10-15 feet in front of his wife and continually barking "Come on babe, keep the pace!"

What was mildly irritating at Mile 4, had me trying to figure out what I had on me that I could use to kill the mother fucker by Mile 12. (FYI: I decided I would use my car key to open his carotid artery. Yeah, I had a lot of time to think about this. Sorry for the scary window into the fragmented psyche that is RBR)

Yeah, so I decided I needed to get away from them, so I picked up the pace a little. Maybe I should thank Mr. Control Freak for the PR.

I was feeling pretty good at the half, but the asphalt was getting to me. I was ecstatic to see that I was at 2:29 at the half.

There were so many locals that came out to cheer and support the race. This race had the best crowd of any I have been at so far. There were several homespun aid stations with local businesses handing out oranges and water.

It took everything in my will power to not pick up this sweatshirt. I kept thinking about running into its owner like at the Bizz Johnson Marathon, except this time it wouldn't be about being cold it would have been because I wanted it and that seemed wrong and loser-ish.

Nothing says Christmas like a pit bull in a Santa hat!

Here is about Mile 22 where Mr. Control Freak and his betrothed passed me. Yep, there was lots of internal swearing. I didn't have it left in me to catch them. Should have killed the bastard when I had a chance.

I would love to tell you that marathon number 5 was effortless. It wasn't. The big lesson I learned is that while trail running makes any type of hill in a road marathon seem like a joke (lots of whining on the course over the very small rollers), it does NOT prepare you for the pounding of a road marathon. I am definitely comfortable with the distance, but my feet, knees, and hips were complaining by 11 miles in and killing me by 21 miles.

The course is really fast and better than I expected. I expected pancake flat and it is not. It is really rolling. Very easy ups and long gentle downs. It is a really a fast course. If you are looking to PR or qualify for Boston I recommend this course.

This smile belies the mile and a half walk back to my car AFTER the marathon. I was told it was 4 blocks. That lying son of a bitch better hope I don't see him again. Certainly not if I have my car keys.


Klassenator said...

CONGRATS! Look at you, rockstar;)

You could have had a lot criminal charges against you on this trip... breaking and entering and homicide, glad you behaved! Although I would have wanted to kill that guy as well just from hearing your story. I probably would have proceeded to take action/say something had I been there.

I can't believe that guy started rubbin' vaseline on his junk... but it sure made for an exciting story, right?

Calyx Meredith said...

Look at that PR!!! (The 23 seconds over goal, though - that must have been a teeny bit aggravating.) As always - thank you for the fantastic race report. I love the way you chronicle the humanity and the adventure! Hope your caffeine system has rebalanced itself and that your achy legs recover quickly. Yay RBR!!

Diana said...

Awesome report! I love your blog! I totally would have scraped the jerk's caratid! With snow coming down hard, I have bought screws for my hubby to screw onto my shoes so I can actually get off the damn dreaded treadmill and run outside-I would suggest getting those so when you run into those jerks-you can briefly take off your shoe and slice a caratid easily!
Congrats on the PR!

Carolina John said...

Sweet PR! congrats. sounds like a fun race.

Formulaic said...

Freaking Awesome!

I have to admit, I am very jealous!

But don't worry. I would have killed the guy too. And the keys would have worked great! A little messy but I am sure that you'd have the local support from everybody, they'd help you hide the body!

Also, I say go for the clothes. Once you toss it off your body it belongs to the running gods.

Besides, I bet it would look a lot cuter on you than the original owner!

Aileen said...

Nice work!!! Glad you rocked it out. AND I'm sooooooo very excited to see your pictures of the horses!!!

Stef0115 said...

RBR you ROCK. You a ma-chine baby! So happy for you what a great race to end the year with! All of your training is paying off and showing up in PR after PR!

Hell I am so freakin' proud of you! When I run my first marathon I want to run it with you so you can show me how it's done! Maybe 2010.

ShirleyPerly said...

Ha, I've had similar dastardly thoughts about annoying people during races and airplane rides. Seriously, who needs a real weapon to shut someone up?

HUGE CONGRATS to you on your PR. You were certainly due some good races. Great way to wrap up your year!!

E said...

Yay! Congrats to you on an excellent race and a PR!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good job on the PR - bugger about those few seconds, but 20mins is much better in my book too.

Unknown said...

What an AWESOME way to end your year. A marathon PR?!?! WooooHooo!!!!!

You've had a great season and have given me a lot to think about as I watch your season unfold.

I wish you all the best next year. It's gonna' be rockin' :-)

Go Mom Go said...

I love reading your blog. You always make anything that you are doing a great story.

Congratulations on the PR! What a great feeling that has to be to finish out your year with a PR! Most people cannot say that.

Looking forward to your future stories.


JenZen said...

WAY TO GO with the PR!!!! AWESOME!!! Yeeehaaww!!!

Ugh - I would have SMACKED my husband if he did that the whole race.

Kevin Westbrook said...

Congrats on the PR! You'll be breaking in the 4's next time! I pr'd this weekend too but it was my first so not nearly as impressive!


Angela said...

Hey you! Great job on the PR.

Question....could some of us here borrow the RBR thing? I'm doing a 5k (for real this time) with a couple of the EP girls in February. We want to make t-shirts. But I'm not sure what a catchy title would be. We could be the Memphis Chapter of the RBR group. I don't know if they'll go for it, though. Only because I know one isn't going to run any of it. And I'm not sure how either of them feel about using profanity. LOL! Just wondering, though.

Also....can you get to Memphis next December 5th? I think several EPers are going to try to come. I am most likely going to do the St. Jude Half Marathon. (Gotta do some SERIOUS training)

Tina Mickelson said...

Good Job on the PR! That was a fun race, especially the ups and down the first half. phew.... You did a great job documenting the race, a lot better than I did. I hope you're feeling better. I'm *almost* back to the out of shape me and hoping to be at the in shape me soon.

Julianne said...

Your photos are great, what are you talking about? And can you teach me how to write funny posts like you do? Seriously! I loooooved reading your race report. I couldn't have said it better. (Waitaminute, you did say it better!)

Photos are up. You look really cute!!

Julianne said...

OH and congrats on your PR! You were SOOOO close. Ok, next time fo sho. Right???

Rose Young said...

NSFW=not safe for work.
Meaning if your boss sees you looking at it or reading it you might get in trouble.

ps congrats on running a marathon!

Aka Alice said...

If my husband ever shouted at me to "keep up the pace" nobody running around us would need a key...I'd take care of it right then and there.

I wish I had a witty comment for Vaseline Dude...what a dork, but I will LOL at his douchiness.

Congrats on the PR.

PS. My semester has sucked too...I should be grading papers right now, but I'm blogging instead. I'll pay for THAT later.

The Original MAJ said...


I literally LOL'd.

You've got to teach me your secret to looking cute in race photos, by the way.

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and wanted to say that I love it! I was laughing the entire time I was reading.

Aron said...

CONGRATS!!! i am new to your blog - but i ran CIM too! awesome job on the PR and great race... awesome report too! love all the pics!