04 December 2012

Because what could be more fun than standing around in a downpour while wearing a Hefty bag?

It would probably be more fun if it were really windy, too. Like a monsoon or some such thing.

And I'm sure it would be even more fun if you were wearing your Hefty bag in that windy-ass downpour and running.

Okay...so they're wearing ponchos not Hefty bags...
but they are definitely having FUN...am I right?

Giraffy from 365 Days of Awesome took this iconic picture...it's gone viral. I am sure because it so perfectly shows what CIM 2012 was like. For the first few hours anyway.

This past Sunday was the 30th running of the California International Marathon in Sacramento. Also this past Sunday was some of the worst weather northern California has seen in a long time. So inconvenient. As I mentioned the other day, I was so glad I wasn't running.

That phrase was repeated over and over and over on the drive up. I had dragged my non-running, non-morning person butt out of bed at 4:30, left the house by 5 to meet up with friends by 6 so we could get to Sacramento by 8...in the worst weather I've driven in in ages. Visibility was crap. I think we hydroplaned more than we didn't. It was pretty exciting. And the whole time, all 4 of us kept repeating ... I'm so glad I'm not running today.

I need to mention that we aren't all a bunch of wusses. Aron (far left in pic below) and Jessica (black jacket) had run in similar conditions the day before...in the North Face Endurance Challenge. The only real difference is that those two ran farther (41 and 31 miles respectively) and in the mud. And Page (glasses) had served as their support person...standing out cheering and handing them food and dry clothing in the muddy pouring rain and on a sprained ankle. Looks like I was the only wuss. Owning it.

We got to Sacramento and decided to aim for the 10-mile mark as our first cheering platform, thinking that we'd be there in time to see RoseRunner (who was gunning for a sub-3) fly by. We ended up parking farther away than we had hoped and walked up a big hill to the course. Woe is us...we had to walk for a couple of minutes in the rain :( Actually we were all laughing and joking around and having a great time...even Aron and Jessica who had really stiff, sore legs...and Page who was wearing a massive ankle brace...oh, and me who was wearing f*cking flipflops (at the time I thought that was a genius move so I wouldn't get my shoes all wet...not so genius...very slippery and cold).

Here is what we saw near the 10-mile mark as we waved and clapped and screamed things like...

Looking strong, runners!!!!!
Way to go, people!
blah, blah, blah...

And yes, I did wear the Hefty bag.

These runners were ahead of the 3:05 pacer and ran past shortly after we got there.
Note orange cone in the background and puddle size adjacent to the curb... 
this comes into play just a few photos down.

RoseRunner (bright pink shirt) ran past right after the 3:05 pacer...
and was so fast (3:11 finish time) that we never saw her again.
Ignore the excited white oblong thing protruding from the right side of the picture.

The Faster Bunny (with wet bunny ears and red shorts) dashed by near the 3:35 pacer.
Around this time we saw a whole bunch of people we knew...
I can't remember everyone...I'm sorry...
blogfriend fail :(

Page was then attacked by a banana!

The rain was off and on crazy heavy and REALLY F*CKING CRAZY heavy. And the wind gusted a lot. Any of the race recaps you might read that say...Oh, conditions weren't all that bad...well, those people were in la-la land or so in their Zone they didn't know reality. More power to them for hanging on to that delusion, but seriously, it was BAD out there.

Note orange cone on curb (left side of photo between first 2 runners). 
Same orange cone seen in a previous photo.
Note how much deeper and more expansive the puddle had gotten.
20 minutes of torrential rain will do that.
And it got worse by the time we left the area 10 minutes later.

Trying to get back to the car was pretty hilarious. So much rain had fallen in the 30 minutes we had spent cheering that the gutters had turned from little trickling rivulets to deep and wide raging rivers! I could easily wade through in flipflops (maybe kind of genius after all?) but my companions were in no shape to ford these massive waterways. It took a little walking around to find the path of least resistance back to the car...but we made it. Now pressed for time, we raced as best we could on side streets filled with puddles lakes to our next staging area...near Mile 19.

Sadly, we missed speedy RoseRunner :(  But we did see some other friends!

The Faster Bunny (still in red shorts and still with soggy ears)
bounds along in close proximity to the 3:35 pace group.

SF Road Warrior (red tank and black knee socks) waved, smiled 
and proclaimed CIM 2012 the 'hardest run of my life!' 

And Kristin!
aka Miss Smiley :)

We hung out at this spot for about 30 minutes and then headed toward the finish. We scored great parking right next to The Cathedral Building (if you're ever going to spectate CIM, remember this) in a cheap lot and high-tailed it to the Capitol Building. We arrived around the same time as the 3:15 pace group and missed RoseRunner again. Girl is just too dang fast.

At around 10:30 the rain stopped and by 11 it was starting to be sunny. Sort of adding insult to injury in a way. Hey, run a marathon in a freaking monsoon and when you're almost done it will suddenly become a beautiful day! Enjoy :)

We saw friends again :) I would have more pictures if the little reset button on my phone actually functioned like the camera shutter button I kept mistaking it for :P 


Courtney (waving) and Average Runner (staying focused).
You can see blue sky in the top right of the photo!

As soon as the 4:35 pace group went past, we collectively felt done and ready to head home. The drive home was way less exciting than the drive up...which was good because by that time the downside of my 4:30 wake-up call was beginning to take effect.

Interestingly, while I was so glad I wasn't running in that mess, I did experience what my friend and I are calling Situational Stockholm Syndrome wherein, despite the adversity...or maybe because of it...I now find myself really wanting to run a marathon.

Kudos to all who even toed the line on Sunday...you are so brave. I wish I'd been able to see all the people I know and know of! I am so proud of you for getting out there. I was pulling for you and cheering for you even if I didn't see your actual body run past me!

Maybe we should all run CIM next year. The weather will probably be perfect.


  1. I think you're amazing for being a spectator out there for all of those runners-- I'm sure they really appreciated it!

  2. You (and everyone who came out to spectate) deserve MAD PROPS for coming out to support all of us runners on Sunday morning. I think it was worse for spectators in some ways, because at least runners were keeping warm by moving. I only wish that I got to see you guys... it would've been awesome.

    p.s. I'll be the first to admit that the weather sucked, but I loved CIM!

  3. i want to try again next year!

    I'm sad I was too slow to see you, but THANKS for being out there! The spectators were amazing!!

  4. I think that CIM deserves another shot, will you be running next year? I might. Thanks for being out there!! It looked tougher than running.

  5. Love hearing about the day from YOUR perspective. This Stockholm thing you mention, it's funny -- my mister NEVER runs farther than 4.5 miles max, but when he comes to support me at a marathon, I can tell he catches the bug. He almost, almost wants to run one.

    And your body can handle a full marathon. If you can handle 3x moeser, or 3x that trail loop, I'm thinking you might be ready for a flatter marathon. Who cares if you need to walk? And maybe you won't!?

    When I'm ACTUALLY ready for sub-3, I'm going to consult with you again. Thanks for all that pre-race advice :)

  6. Thank you for coming out even though I didn't see you! That's a really nce thing to do on a truly crappy day.

    You had probably vacated the 10 mile mark before my sloooooowwwww ass reached it. And I was a zombie (and a grumpy one) by the time I got to the finish line. I hope we can meet under better circumstances at some other close-by race!

  7. You are my favorite. Sad I didn't get to see you... next time in CA (except no rain or wind next time).

  8. CIM 2013 -- you gonna make the t-shirts?!!

    Awesomeness that you guys were there -- I only wish I'd have the ability to scan the crowd at mile 25.5 to actually have seen you!!

  9. Good for you über fan! You need to patent that hefty look!

  10. i LOVE that you were out in that nonsense cheering. you are a fabulous runner friend! yes, marathon! yay! quite the adventure!

  11. Thank you guys so much. It was so awesome to see you cheering TWICE! Definitely made a bad day more bearable!

  12. Gee looks like the rain we've been getting here in Portland for like the last month! Good for you for standing in the downpour and cheering the runners. I'm sure it was appreciated! I would've appreciated it if it was me running.

  13. It IS Stokholm Syndrome! Thanks so much for going out there and cheering. I truly think it had to have been worse to stand out there in it than to run in it. And I was near bunny girl for much of the race, until I bonked like never before.

    Next time let's meet for a beer after!

  14. I enjoy running in the rain and the fun is always better. I agree that being a spectator in the rain is more difficult. Well done to all!

  15. This is so awesome of you guys and to everyone who ran through that..you are my heroes!

  16. Good use of alliteration with Situational Stockholm Syndrome. Who's your friend?

    1. Click on 'situational Stockholm syndrome' to find out. No one ever clicks on 'my friend.'

    2. Not saying this is the reason (I think it is because 99% of the people on the interwebs are lazy), but a lot of your links tend to blend into the text. Maybe try changing font colors, font background colors, font size, font style, etc.

  17. Seriously though, those runners are tough as nails. I hope everyone's feet are OK.

  18. First, thank you for the really sweet comment on my blog! Second, this is my first time reading yours and I'm so happy to have found you! You are hilarious and I'm excited to follow along :) Third, THANK YOU for being out in that crappy weather! The people who stood out there supporting runners were AWESOME and you all got me through some really rough patches. I love that you wore flip flops... I'd probably have done the same. Lol!

  19. Nice job getting out there and cheering them on, looks like they needed it!!!

  20. I missed you out there XL, but I had a great time anyway! Conditions were BAD, but that made it. SO. GOOD. The spectators were full of energy, and I spotted my favorite race sign ever:

    "Watching you run is making me wet"

    Here's my report if you're interested:


  21. That hefty bag is just TOO funny! Only you!! It was so great of you to be out there supporting the runners and being so cheerful. I bet it was a sign of relief after running it that crazy downpour. When I race, I love having spectators out there rooting for me so thanks for being a spectator!

  22. Omg, all that rain sounds awful. Love the picture of you in the garbage bag-hilarious!

  23. Great post. I loved your recap of the most miserable race I ever ran. I wish I had the same fun outlook you did when I wrote my recap. I also wished I would have seen you out there in your hefty bag (I had one on for the beginning of the race) so I could have a good laugh, but I was too slow for the viewing. It's great that you got out there to cheer on your friends. You're not a wuss if you ask me.

  24. Those look like truly hellish conditions. Hopefully anyone that ran in that can submit their race report for jingle bell hell.

    Kudos for going out and cheering! Good mental toughness :)

  25. So awesome that you came out to cheer! I am one of the crazy runners who remember it not being that bad, haha. I think I tucked into a pace group and ignored the rest. :) Thanks for spectating in the crazy weather!

  26. You and your friends did such a sweet thing on Sunday - all the blogs are talking about you! You should feel much appreciated!!! It looks grim. Also glad I didn't run on Sunday!

  27. You are truly awesome for spectating in that mess. And the runners out there are pretty hardcore, too. That 6-inch deep puddle in the first picture makes me wince! 26.2 miles in squishy shoes. Yikes!


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