I love nice weather!
Gail and I flew down Saturday to Sacramento then drove 2 hours up to Redding. It was perfect timing. No frickin' expo you have to go to the day before the race. I absolutely hate those things. They are such a scam to make you have to spend the night before the race. We got to our hotel about 10 p.m.
The next morning we were a 5 minute drive from the start line (SWEET!). They bus you out to Shasta Lake Dam which takes about 30 minutes. We stayed inside the visitors center which was great because the wind was howling off the lake! The gave a little pre-race talk and then we headed out to edge of the Dam. Bang, off we went. We ran all the way across the Dam to a road on the other side. It was blue sky and windy with nice views of the lake and Mt. Shasta.
The first 4 miles are pretty good downhill road. I just coasted along not trying any crazy speed. We then flattened out for about 6 miles as we followed the Sacramento River. This was mostly old road and trail which was easy on the feet. Mile 10 through 12 had some pretty good climbs, more than I expected but were runnable. We ran on county roads for just a few miles then back on some rocky wide dirt roads.
We then hit the bike paths around the Sacramento river around mile 14. Most of this was gentle climbs or descents but they did throw in a few really steep sections which were pretty tough to run. This area was an out and back so you got to see lots of runners which is always fun. Around mile 16 I started getting warm. It was a gorgeous day with temps in the mid 60's by the finish. I had a long sleeve dri fit on then my Maniac shirt over that. So I got too hot and took off the long sleeve. So all I had on was running singlet. Yeah I know, my trucker tan, thin arms and all I got on was that Maniac singlet. This is when I ran into Gail and she was laughing at me so hard she almost fell over. (Later she told me I need to get my arms to the gym.) Was good to see her and we chatted for a bit then off we went.
I was "gellin" every 30 minutes and E caps every hour. The dope I am, I forgot my water bottle at the hotel! I had never done a long race without a bottle so it was new experience, but I just drank 2 to 3 cups per aid station and had no problems. My energy level stayed really high this race until about mile 24 where I started to get tired. Once again I never walked on this race, which is pretty rare for me. I think its that I am running slower. I really think this increase in Gel consumption is really keeping me going. Especially this race since I have done so little training the last month.
The finish is pretty cool. You cross over the Sac river on this modern pedestrian bridge made of steel and glass. I finished in 4:29:13 without really trying. I just sort of cruised like I have been doing at races lately. Funny think is my time at the Christmas marathon was only 1 second faster! Talk about constancy, consistantly slow that is!
The finish food was OK, they had chicken noodle soup, coffee, APPLE PIE!!!, and the usual fruits. Gail came in about a half hour after me. We hopped in the car, jetted back to the hotel, showered, changed and drove to Sacramento to catch our flight back. I upgraded us to First Class on the way home which was so nice. Had a few adult beverages and we were in Portland by 8:45 p.m.
This is a great run. Nice size of only 120 marathoners, some 50 teams doing a 3 person relay. I really like this size race, I am not into crowds. I want great views and a varied course, and this is what Redding gives you. This is one of the best marathons I have done and will probably do it again.
So whats next? Not sure. Guess I will just play it by ear. Hagg Lake for sure but between now and then? Oh maybe I will run once or twice!
I know this is boring without pictures but I will try and post some from the website later this week. I never remember to bring my camera.