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Note from Editor: Cynci coordinates the CIM Pace Team Leaders for the CIM. If you're planning to participate in the CIM and you're shooting for a specific time goal, this group can help. Check out runcim.org for additional information and training programs.

Running Background:

I consider myself an advanced runner and I primarily run for fitness. I decided to run a marathon because having a goal keeps me on a regular running schedule in order to improve and maintain my overall fitness. I love the CIM because it is in early December, and after all the fall training I can recover from the marathon during the holidays and enjoy them guilt-free!

Training:

This was my 50th marathon so over the years I have developed my own training program - one that works well for me. It is comprised of a mix of speed intervals, tempo runs, long training runs and easy day shorter runs. I do a gradual build-up of overall mileage to a high mileage week of 55, I have an easy week after two "build-up weeks," and a three week taper.

Race Day:

The 2006 California International Marathon (CIM) was better than expected. This was my 16th CIM so I know the drill and have never been disappointed by the efficiency of the race management. I considered driving to Sacramento (only 35 minutes from Auburn during non-commute hours) to take the bus to the start because runners are allowed to stay in the bus and keep warm right up until 10-15 minutes before the actual start. Then I would have my car at the finish, too. But opted to have my husband take me, mostly to be sure he would be at the finish to cheer me in.

We arrived at the start at 6:15 - and was amazed at the number of runners already there. It was predicted to be a record year with 4,500 signed up and it showed. I dressed with a garbage bag over a "give-away" old shirt. Tossed the garbage bag at the start (off to the side! - those things are trippers) and tossed the "give-away" shirt at an aid station at about mile 2. It was about 35 degrees at the start but with all the people didn't feel that cold. No wind and the sun was rising - gorgeous morning. Under the "give-away" shirt I wore shorts, a lightweight polypro long sleeved turtleneck, a runner's baseball hat, and gloves. Once warmed up, this worked just fine (as it has before) the entire race.

The race was it's usual awesome self, pulling you along on gently rolling hills, with spirited entertainment, crowds jingling cow bells, bull-horn dudes, boom boxes, trees ablaze with fall colors, and plenty of well-stocked aid stations. I was hoping to go under 4:15 and was thrilled with my 4:09.

This is a course to run according to the terrain - don't go out too fast, don't overdue it on the gradual uphills, pick it up on the easy downhills and maintain a consistent effort. You will be rewarded by being able to feel strong in the final miles and will thoroughly enjoy the spectacular site of the California State Capitol at the finish.

Recovery:

I didn't have any recovery problems. I did some walking and very easy jogging following the race.

Running Gear Recommendations:

Mizuno Running Shoes
I ran in Nike, then Asics for years. I was put in Mizunos after Dan Moores at the Auburn Running Company analyzed my running style he recommended these and I have run basically blister-free and injury free ever since.
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Balega Socks
I use Balega Racing Socks.
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Long Sleeve Running Shirt
I run in the REI lightweight polypro long sleeved turtleneck.
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

Be consistent in your training. Set up a steady mileage build-up schedule with no more than 10% per week mileage increase. Do your longest run 3 weeks before the marathon (although when I was younger I did it 2 weeks out). You can add speed work and tempo runs for variety and for improving your times, but to finish the most important piece is to build up to and run two long runs of around 20-miles.

Plans to Run Another:

I'm planning to continue to run marathons for the exact same reason I ran my first marathon - as an incentive to lace up my shoes and run for improving and maintaining my fitness. I will run my 13th Boston Marathon in April '07. Then rest up a bit and plan to run the 25th Anniversary CIM in December.

For my next marathon, I am adding a bit more speed work to improve my leg turnover in the hopes of achieving a sub-4 hour marathon, maybe at the 25th Anniversary CIM.

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