California International Marathon 2011 Race Recap

Weather: Cold Cold Cold.

I couldn't decide what to wear for days before hand. Rain? No rain. Cold? How cold? 31? 39? 40?

I read on that it was supposed to be 39 degrees at the start, heating up to 59 by 11 a.m. Too hot for long sleeves. Then local news weather said 30 degrees at the start only getting up to 45 by my finish time.

What to wear? I couldn't decide. Long sleeve. Short sleeve. Long sleeve. Short sleeve with arm warmers.

Finally I decided on race morning. Long sleeve with tank underneath. Hubby was to bring a short sleeve shirt/arm warmers with him just in case.

Pre race, Pre dawn pic. No that is not beer in the cup. It's my morning cup o' joe.

Turns out that I planned perfectly. It felt much colder than 39 at the start. Maybe 32 or so. And at about mile 3 or 4 it suddenly felt a lot colder. We went down a hill and the air WAS colder. I could feel it. And see it. I could see my breath suddenly as well as the breath of everyone else around me.

I was well hydrated. I kept drinking because I didn't want to get dehydrated and slow down. I was TOO hydrated. Refilled waterbottle by mile 8.(Thanks FLEET FEET!!!) I used the porta potty at mile 10. Saw my family for the first time at mile 12. Removed my undershirt/tank at mile 12.5.

If you are happy and you know it smile at the camera!!

Stopped to pee again at mile 15. Refilled bottle again at mile 19 or so (THANKS FOLSOM TRAIL RUNNERS!!!)

Busted through the wall at Mile 20. Saw 4 people cheering for me from my Triathlon group--yelling "GO Karen Go Karen!!!" Saw the family again at mile 21.5. Handed my handheld bottle to them.

One last drink from the handheld before the handoff to the family.I'm gonna get'er dun.

I tried to just keep running. No stopping and no walking. Just run and make relentless forward progress.

Saw another friend at mile 22 and then saw my coach at mile 23.

At mile 25, I selected my newest "power song" on my IPOD, "Stayin Alive" by the BeeGees and motored to the finish as fast as I could. I was passing people left and right.

I didn't even see or hear my husband yelling at me in this photo. My IPOD was dying and I had it cranked as loud as it would go so the last mile would go by fast!

As I turned the final corner I saw my family behind the barricades yelling and screaming and jumping up and down.

The clock said 4:20. 20 minutes faster than last year. So very happy. Delirious. Medal. Cut off shoe tag that flapped against my foot for so long. Space blanket. Picture. Hugs and pics with family.

Yes I am on the phone. I'm talking to my mom who was too sick to make it to the race.

5 block walk to the car. Rest.Eat.Sleep.

Later that evening: Roaring fire, Beer, Star Trek Movie on Netflix and husband rubbing my sore calves and feet.

What's next? Register for lottery for Way Too Cool 50k.


  1. Great job! 20 Minute PR Woot Woot!

    I saw you out there but you had your headphones on and I was way across the street with barely a voice left!

    You looked good. Glad you had a great race! Goodluck and I hope you get into WTC. It is an amazing race.


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