Surprise! I’m running the California International Marathon (CIM)

By the time you read this, depending on when you stumble upon my post, I will be running CIM or will have run CIM. And if you’re a long time follower of my blog, you’re probably going, “Huh???!!!! Elle never said anything about marathon training.”

In fact, if you’re my IRL friends, you might accuse me of lying to you about not marathon training. I never told a lie of commission. They were always lies of omission. Whenever running friends asked me what was next, I would either mention a race was that immediate upcoming or a race that was *after* CIM.

After a disappointing race at last year’s Steamtown and after I had several months to get back into the right mindset, I thought that I might have another marathon in me. A marathon to redeem myself. But I never said anything about training to anyone, not even Ben. I quietly started training without saying a word to anyone. In fact, I got far enough to the point where I made plans to go to Sacramento without Ben figuring out why. Of course, Ben eventually guessed, but I begged him not to tell anyone.

I was secretive about marathon training for a couple of reasons. Two years ago, I wrote on Salty Running how announcing your goals on social media is detrimental to actually achieving your goal because the praise you receive for the attempt fulfills your achievement needs. The other reason is that I discovered that I loved being left alone with my training. I went out, did my training runs, and that was the end of it. There was no endless discussion from know-it-alls about how I was doing it all wrong. It was way less stressful for me.

Why CIM?

  • Downhill course: If you know me, you know I love me point-to-point downhill courses. CIM has a net decline. Yes, there are rolling hills, but those hills are nothing compared to Zoo Hill and the other hilly races that I’ve trained on. I’ve got this.
  • Late in the year: I wanted to avoid doing an early fall race because I didn’t want to do long training runs during the hot, muggy summer dark o’clock hours. The long runs came during the fall with cooler weather. The bad part is that by the time I was doing the long runs, people were tapering or done with their marathons.
  • Pace groups: I love pace groups because a good pace group takes the mental energy of keeping pace off of you. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve only had good pacers.
  • Historical good weather: CIM is known for having nice cool race weather and tomorrow is no exception. Mid-40s and no wind.
  • Race sherpa and free accommodation: CIM, for me, comes with a race sherpa and free accommodation. A good friend from college lives in Sacramento, so I have a place to stay. She was so excited for me running this and she’s been wonderful about driving me everywhere and even doing a reconnaissance mission so I could see the last six miles of the course from a car

If you’re interested in tracking me, you can do it here: CIM athlete tracker. My race results (good or bad) will be posted on Insta before I get around to doing it here.

Fingers crossed! Light feet and quick strides!


19 thoughts on “Surprise! I’m running the California International Marathon (CIM)

  1. Woohoo and CONGRATS!!! You know I came straight from your surprise facebook post to here to see what I missed. What an accomplishment! I like your reasons for not sharing and getting the training done alone without a lot of fanfare on social media. And to all of those nay-sayers who would have told you you were doing it all wrong… you clearly did it just right for you!! Great job. Looking forward to meeting you a few weeks!

  2. Oh my gosh that’s amazing! I have no idea how you kept that secret for so long. Congrats on the marathon and I hope it went well!

  3. I love this surprise and I totally get it. When I post about my training it makes me nervous and actually causes me to stress out a bit. I feel like if the race doesn’t go as planned, I will look like a huge failure as a runner and a coach. I have just recently started to get the marathon itch back and this race seems so perfect in so many ways. I love the time of the year the most! I am just so super excited for you. Congrats a million times!

    • Thank you, Sarah! I didn’t know coaches also stressed out having bad races. I liked having a late in the year race in terms of training in cooler weather, but I was always out of sync with my friends’ long runs because their races were earlier. Still, I made the right decision for me.

  4. OMG! I had no idea you were training for a marathon and actually felt bad for not keeping track of your blog posts better when I saw your IG post! Well done, the keeping this whole marathon thing quiet (that couldn’t have been easy)! And super well done on your race! I can’t wait for the recap! I’m so stoked for you!!!! Congratulations!!!

    • Thank you! I’m so happy that I accomplished what I set out to do. I kept saying yesterday after the race, “I had a plan and I executed it.” Plain and simple. It was such a great feeling.

  5. Okay, this actually makes me SO relieved because I of course read your blog but when I saw your IG post I was like, “Wait?!? How did I miss she was running CIM?!!” Dude, you have no idea how freaking happy I am for you. I know you’ve wanted a good marathon for a long time and you did it. YOU FREAKING DID IT. On your own terms. I love it. Omg, I love it!!!!!! And, I absolutely love the pressure it puts on me to get the BQ so I can run Boston with you (but am soooo happy I see you here first!!!) Congrats again!! I can’t stop smiling for you!!!!!!

    • I trained very solidly and I knew going in that I could do it. I kept whispering to myself, “Follow the plan. Follow the plan.” I was so scared that I was going to lose it all in the last few miles (they were sooo hard!), but I told myself, “I didn’t work this hard for all those weeks and in the miles leading up to this, to lose it all in the last three.” It was incredible. I’m going to be doing a mind dump of posts about training, etc that I’ve wanted to do, but couldn’t. Sooo relieved that I can let it all out now!!!!

      HELLY, YOU GIVE THEM HELL AT THE PHOENIX MARATHON!!!! I’ll be waiting for you at the finish line to celebrate with you.

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