It’s Always Sunny in Sacramento?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

Actually, before we go any further, can we just pause for a moment to revisit this gem that I think about every single time I read or hear the “Fool me once” thing? I mean, it is just SO GOOD.

Oh, that guy. “Fool me can’t get fooled again.” Really?!

Anyway, Sacramento. Who remembers what happened last year when I ran the California International Marathon? Here’s the short version.

It rained. A LOT.

It rained. A LOT.

In the spirit of not getting fooled again, you’d think I might want to steer clear of this race. Nope. Not a chance. In fact, I’ve been signed up for it since early March, within days of registration opening.

There are a couple of things pulling me back to Sacramento this weekend for my seventh dance with 26.2. Mostly it’s a lightning won’t strike twice mentality that refuses to believe last year’s torrential downpour and 35 mph headwinds could happen again. CIM is known for generally good running weather – dry and cool temps – on a dream of a fast, flat(ish), net downhill course. Last year’s weather situation was a capital “O” outlier. I have to believe that.

And if it turns out that this beauty of a forecast is wrong?

Screenshot_2013-12-02-14-56-30

Well, that brings me to the second reason I’m itching to get back there. CIM 2012 stands as my current marathon PR. In all of that mess, I ran my fastest marathon before or since and loved every second of it. And as much as I’ve adored that 4:09:48 for a year and carried it with me through some rough stuff (injury in Eugene and illness in Portland) as motivation and proof of what I can do, I’m ready to retire it. I’m ready to make friends with anything at or below 3:59:xx. And if I could PR on a soggy CIM course, what might I be capable of on a dry one? And if the heavens open again? I’ve done it once before so who’s to say it wouldn’t be awesome a second time?

The time since I ran the Portland Marathon two months ago has gone really well. I didn’t ramp back up to mileage that would have approximated a normal, full training cycle, but the running I have done has been awesome. My 17 Ragnar Vegas miles were faster and more fun that I could have expected and about two weeks out from race day I ran 16 miles at a pace that would put me squarely below 4 hours, assuming I could sustain it for another ten miles. I went all out during that 16 and am not sure I could have kept it up for another ten that night, but properly fueled and rested and thinking about pacing myself and negative splitting, I just might be able to.

So Saturday I get on a plane and Sunday I’ll run and at the end of it I’ll know if the magic was in the rain last year and if I’ve just been fooling myself. I really hope not.

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