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Every second counts. This is going to be my new mantra in running races. This year I’ve run seconds away from milestones.

Oakland half marathon @1:44:57

See Jane Run half marathon @ 1:49:01

CIM with a mere 23-second PR

And yesterday (I went against the textbook rule of refraining from racing right after marathon) …. I ran a trail half marathon @ 1:46:01.  Five seconds behind 3rd place woman in my age group.

I’m not trying to win an Olympic or any race for that matter. Still…. Every. Second. MATTERS!

So I wanna recap about the trail race yesterday in Fremont. It’s called ZombieRunner Quarry Lake Run and they have distances from 5K to Marathon. It’s a “trail race” but very flat. And for half marathon, about 1/3 of the race is on asphalt.

I did not prepare for this race.

I didn’t carbload (had a pesto sandwich and ice cream sandwich for lunch and Chinese banquet meal for dinner with 12 courses but only one of them contained rice/carbs)

I drank a lot of wine at the banquet that I was woken up by thirst two times the night before race. I was horribly dehydrated.

I had a pop tart before race (who still eats pop tarts?) instead of my proper pre-race breakfast (bagel usually).


I also did not plan the race outfit well and was peeling off layers and repinning my bib a few minutes before the start of the race. It was a frigid drizzly morning in Fremont, I decided to go with a light layer of long sleeves with gloves.

 

  

Since I just ran a marathon two weeks ago, my body was still in repairing mode.  I planned to go easy and run around 2 hour mark (9 minute pace or so.) But once the gun went off, the race got to my head.  I did try to hold back my pace and was happy to be maintaining around 8:07 pace comfortably for majority of the race.  It didn’t feel slow and easy, but it was not a hard all-out effort either.

I threw away my gloves around mile 3 because I thought it was getting warm.  But it got colder in later miles with some head wind and it became drizzly.  My fingers were freezing! I brought only one gel with me and took it around mile 7.  By mile 10, I felt my energy dipping lower and I started to feel fatigue.  But the race was almost over by then.  I love half marathons!  It’s so quick but not too quick!

Saying hello to my lover at finish line.  I passed so many people in the second half of the race, and that felt GOOOOOD!  The Man finished first in his age group for 10K so it’s a good day for him too!

When I crossed the finish, all I could think about was DARN IT, I did it again… I missed the minute mark by one second.  But it was neither a PR nor a PR-attempt.  I gave myself a good race and I was happy.

 

 

This race concluded the 2015 racing year for me.  I will not be able to run long in the next few weeks due to travelling.  But running will always be here for me when I’m ready next year.

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Time for a summary of how things went down!!!  I have read so many race reports on the internet but had never published one of my own, so here goes šŸ˜€

California International Marathon 2015

Finish time = 3:43:19.  Chip pace = 8:32 average

My previous PR = 3:43:42.

So I did PR but it was extremely close. I did not know I would PR until a few seconds before crossing the finish line.   Some pictures and then random thoughts of the race in bullet points:


Race expo and then dinner at Cheesecake Factory. I’m sure Sacramento has so many great restaurants but I wanted to eat something predictable.


Pre-race dinner of shrimp pasta + 2 bread rolls + some cheesecake.


About 6000 marathoners and the rest were relay runners.

How the race went for me:

  • The rain was not as bad as expected.  We started at Folsom Lake and the rain came down a few minutes before start and people started cheering.  The light rain came down off and on for about the first 6 miles.  Then the temps were in low 50’s and felt very comfortable for running.
  • I started out slow as planned. I trained to start slow and finish fast.  My training proved that it worked on my long runs….up to mile 20.  The last 6 miles would be a gamble and I took it.
  • I warmed up with 8:45 pace for a few miles and then ran the middle miles in 8:25-8:35 pace. I dropped down the pace to 8:10-8:20 pace from mile 13 to about 20.
  • I averaged around 8:35 pace for the last 6 miles but it was all guts.  It was mentally the HARDEST I have ever had to fight for in a race.  Mental games!
  • My legs started to feel major fatigue (stiffness and numbness) at mile 17. Usually I don’t feel it until mile 22.
  • People were dropping like flies around me since mile 18, and I was extremely tempted to stop and walk.  You know when you’re working out in a group fitness class and someone drop the weights to rest and it affects the flow of the class?  Similar in the marathon… At least to me. I had to look away from the people stopping, stretching, and starting to walk.
  • Filled my head with happy thoughts.
  • Sacramento is really really beautiful in the fall!

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Ah yes, finished!

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I cannot wait to run another marathon! There is something magical and spiritual about digging deep into myself during marathons. I always finish learning a thing or two more about my mind and body connection after each marathon.

Til next time!  And hopefully a BIGGER PR!