Guess what? I’m running my first marathon in 2 days!! Well, in less than 45 hours, to be precise. One of the main reasons I chose to run CIM as my first marathon was because it’s semi-local — Sacramento is only 1.5 hours away by car. However, that blessing can also be a curse, in that I’m allowed to procrastinate and not plan as well as I usually would for a trip or adventure such as this. I haven’t been sitting on my butt doing nothing, though. Here are some of my pre-marathon preparations:
- Stalking the weather forecast. Currently, they are showing the 3rd of 3 storms hitting Sacramento right at 7am (start time) on Sunday. However, this morning’s storm (the 2nd one) passed through a few hours earlier than expected… so I’m hopeful that this means the heaviest of rain will be done just as the horn sounds. Keeping my fingers crossed!
- Stalking the CIM website. They have not posted any information about changes to the course or start area due to the inclement weather. Which means runners who failed to buy a bus ticket (e.g., me) will probably not be able to get into a VIP tent or whatever. That’s OK, I’ve got a “VIP poncho” that I purchased from the Dollar Tree. The good news is that they’ve set up the infamous, miles-long string of porta-potties. Maybe I’ll just hide out in one until the race starts.
- Making a playlist. This has been mostly theoretical, since I’m not sure that the weather will allow me to use my iPhone. I’m not a big music listener anyway, but I thought a 1-hour playlist would be useful to get me through any rough patches.
- Making a packing list. This I have definitely started. The most important items are body glide and Vaseline. I have only experienced chafing twice, and I hope not to repeat those experiences. The only upside of chafing is that I don’t usually feel it until after the run, when I’m in the shower. So, at least my race won’t be affected!
- Watch Spirit of the Marathon. The Gypsy Runner was a good sport last night as I made us watch this documentary again. It really got me in the marathon spirit (duh).
- Run in the rain. This was not part of my original plan, but I had a short 1-2 mile run on the schedule for this morning. Since it was coming down steadily, I thought it would be a good chance to get over any anxieties related to running in the rain. The verdict? It wasn’t bad. At all. If temperatures are similar on Sunday, I think I will be just fine. I did have this song stuck in my head the whole time:
As for the itinerary, here’s what’s in store for the weekend:
- Go to our favorite bagel shop in Berkeley and chow-down. Carb loading!!!
- Drive to Sacramento, go to the expo to pick up my bib.
- Eat early dinner and catch a movie.
- Check-in at our hotel in Folsom. Get to bed by 10:00 p.m.
- Wake up at 4:30 a.m., eat 1/2 PB&J and drink a little water.
- ~6:15 a.m., the Gypsy Runner will drive me to the shuttle pick-up near the start line.
- 7:00 a.m. RUN!
My current race day strategy is to start between the 4:25 and 4:40 pace groups. I was going to start with the 4:40 group, but I have a feeling that a 10:45 pace will be way too slow for my comfort. If it’s windy, I’m also planning on finding a sizable person to draft behind. 😉
One idea I’ve been toying with is putting my name on my shirt because I’ve heard that spectators will cheer for you personally. I was thinking about using electrical tape or something. What do you guys think?
FYI, CIM said that they will be posting runner tracking info on their website. There’s no detailed info on how they’re actually going to do so, but I’ll post my bib number on Saturday night on the blog in case any of you want to
stalk track me. I’ll also try to post my results ASAP here, on my Twitter page, and on dailymile.
Finally, thanks to all of you who have given me words of encouragement and advice over the last 4 months. I can’t wait to run this marathon on Sunday!!