Marathon #16 (Wow. I had no idea I'd done this many)
California Marathon #2
Weather - Monsoon/Windy
Starting about a week before the race, I start seeing panicky tweets about the weather. It's supposed to rain like crazy, flood watches, etc. I mean, I've had pretty good luck with no truly terrible weather during a race, so I headed to Sacramento assuming everything would work itself out.
My flight out of Denver was not delayed. I flew Frontier and paid the $6 to watch tv, watching the newest Batman movie. Which, unfortunately, was longer than the flight, so I have no idea how it ended. Landed on time. Sacramento's airport is GREAT. Outlets EVERYWHERE. I found Heather's gate, and only had to wait about 45 minutes for her to land. Grabbed a salted caramel latte from Sbux, then headed outside. Apparently, Heather had booked the BEST HOTEL EVER. We paid practically nothing, and we were able to get picked up and shuttled to the hotel. They also shuttled us downtown for the expo. WHAT?? (A++ to the Hawthorn Suites).
We checked in and sat around until 1, when we were taken to the convention center. EASIEST EXPO EVER. No lines for ANYTHING. Nothing too exciting at the expo, and we were STARVING, so we walked a few block to the Firestone Pub and got something to eat. And by something, I mean, the giantest pretzel ever in the universe.
In addition to being giant, it was the best tasting thing ever. While we were eating, it started raining. I'm not sure if I can call it a "downpour" yet, but it was substantial. We had some time to kill and didn't think heading back to the hotel was worth the time, so we braved the elements and wandered around Sacramento:
|This water is mid/upper calf deep|
We found a weird "mall" and wandered in and out of stores trying to find festive holiday knee socks for Heather. I'm guessing California has boycotted these, as we checked a dozen or so stores and found NOTHING. Well, except for Nutcracker socks, but Heather finds them DISTURBING and refused to get them.
|Random Sacramento Alley Art|
|Heather, Reneigh, Me|
|The girls of the bloggy meet up (Pic from cisforcourtney)|
Turns out the forecast was NO JOKE. First thing I did after my alarm went off (at 4:26) was to look out the window. I believe the adjective I used was "marshy" to describe the parking lot.
It wasn't raining THAT badly when we headed to the lobby to catch the shuttle. Grabbed a cheese danish and got on the bus at 5:15. We got about halfway to Folsom when the monsoon began. And the howling winds picked up. Thankfully, we were allowed to stay on the bus as long as we wanted. Which, turned out to be... about 10 minutes before the gun went off. I'll admit that there was some talk about maybe NOT getting off the bus. It did NOT look pleasant outside.
Obviously, we are not quitters and eventually got off the bus. Pretty sure my feet were soaked within 60 seconds. Since it was about 6 minutes before the race started, there was no line at the bathrooms. (Which, by the way, there were a JILLION of). Bag drop was easy, and we followed the herd. I vaguely remember hearing the Star Spangled Banner, but did not hear a gun.
Neither of us was wearing a watch, but I started mapmyrun on my phone (in it's Ziploc bag) and off we went. Um. It was rainy. And windy. The raindrops felt like bullets and HURT. Within about a minute, one got in my eye and I swear it knocked my contact lens RIGHT OUT OF MY EYE (Related: 24+ hours later, I still have no idea if my contact is in my brain or not). Solution to the rain bullets in the eye? Not looking up.
Mile 3, the insoles of my Newtons start scrunching up. I have to keep stopping them to flatten so they don't bunch up under my feet. Finally, after a few miles, I just take them out altogether. Um. Something happened, we ran, and then, early on, my brain broke.
Around the first relay checkpoint (mile 5.9), the rain kicks into high gear. I have never experienced anything like it. It was the rainiest rain ever. The end. The intersections were flooded:
|Heather's Famous Picture|
So. More "running" happened. But also, lots of complaining. My feet hurt. So I put the insoles back in around the halfway point. Heather stopped to use the bathroom, and since I was going slower than slow, I told her to catch up to me. The second half went on FOREVER. We had a 24 mile split around mile 18. That might have been when I stopped to use the bathroom and the line was the slowest moving EVER.
Then, something funny happened around mile 20. THE SUN CAME OUT. I didn't feel like taking any pictures, but Heather got some good ones off a bridge if you want to check out her recap here. When we finally got to LOOK at the course, it was really pretty. I took this around mile 23(?).
I'll spare everyone the whining and complaining. I'll just say my feet hurt. A lot. And there was a lot of walking.
We were going slow enough that we had to worry about sweepers. WTF :(
Anyway, we finished, and the medal is pretty glorious:
Official Time - 5:57:52 (yes, slower than MCM)
Pace - 13:48 (ouch)
Overall - 5886/6496
Division - 452/502
|Phone died before we finished, so I guess course measured long for me|
We were hoping to eat downtown, but since it took us SO long to finish, everywhere was packed. Instead, we got a Sbux and got picked up by our shuttle. Changed in the bathroom of the hotel lobby, where I discovered that I did, indeed, get crotch chafing again. Owie.
Lunch at Denny's on the corner, and then shuttle to the airport. I had a beer and Heather and I split the tastiest Nutella cheesecake:
We managed to run into Faster Bunny while we were people watching, then I had to catch my flight. Thankfully, it was on time. Landed EARLY, and got home at 10:45.
Yet another crazy race weekend, complete.
- We were pretty apprehensive about the logistics of the race. Turns out, no big deal. Everything was really well organized and smooth. (I heard later that because of the rain/wind some tree branches downed some power lines and some of the busses had to be re-routed, causing some people to miss the start.
- Running in the rain, while not the most fun ever, was also not nearly as traumatic as I expected. Even with all my dumb shoe issues and inches and inches of standing water and bullet rain, I got ZERO blisters on my feet. Hurrah! However, my jacket is NOT waterproof/water resistant. It is, however, absorbent. It weighed about 8 pounds when I took it off when the sun came out.
- Related: My phone and camera were both fine. Even in a monsoon, apparently a Ziploc bag will keep them dry and secure.
- My ankles HURT. Like REALLY hurt. Bad. I am concerned I really injured myself by running insole-less. It felt "ok" at the time, but this morning it hurts to even touch. Inside, both ankles, below the bone, both feet. Ouchie.
- Our costumes were the best. I have never HAD so many comments about them. Maybe there is a picture of us on the Internet Machine, neither of us thought to get a picture.
- Running with Heather is fun.
- Related: Heather is the best. I feel like the crappiest friend ever for jacking up this race. She really didn't need to stick with me, but I'm glad she did. I'm a bit sad she wasted her awesome marathon training.
- My mental game is gone. My IT Band injury July/August caused me to become a more cautious runner. I've been running WAY less and WAY slower, and it shows. My training is suffering, and I haven't been enjoying racing. ESPECIALLY not the marathon distance.
- I have ZERO plans to register for another marathon. (Of course, I'm currently registered for a few, and I'll give them a go).