Sacramento Marathon (CIM): Saturday

Tomorrow morning is marathon day. The alarm is set for 4:00, the bus leaves at 5:00, and the race starts at 7:00. We had some very tasty meals, did a bit of Christmas shopping, and generally hung out and prepared for tomorrow morning.

Our bunch got together this morning and went for a run. Everyone even ran slow enough that I could hang out. I thought that was nice. After we ran about two miles, I was confident that I could have run a third or perhaps even four miles. That's more than I can say for most of my runs in the last couple weeks.

When we got back to the room, my first serious challenge was shaving. I knew there would be pictures today and I wanted to appear well-groomed and fancy. Unfortunately, I left my electro-shaver at home. This was not a problem for my favorite hotel.

Now all I need is a bottle of scotch.

This hotel is great. You can buy wine in the lobby. My new shaving kit only cost $5 - which was a nice surprise since I was expecting to get extorted for at least $10. I hadn't shaved with a razor for a long time, but it turns out not to be that hard.

Freshly shorn and bloodied, I accompanied Julie to a different hotel where we dropped off her water bottles. The place we went was a penthouse suite in the top of an imposing Sheraton hotel. They had lots of snacks laid out and there were elite runners milling about (e.g. Olympic trials qualifier types). The guy that seemed to be responsible for the care and feeding of the elite athletes told us some stories. He looked to be trying to diffuse an immense sense of anxiety that hung over the area. I had my party crasher smile and nod going and Julie coped pretty well with some anxiety-induced paralysis until we managed to break free and escape back to the land of less intense and scary. It was a rough crowd though. Lots of sizing-up going on.

After we re-joined our friends, we heading out for a bit of shopping and lunch. I had a magnificent sandwich!

That's it in the foreground. Turkey and cranberry. I was proud.

This lunch place seemed to be mostly a bakery that tacked on a soup/salad/sandwich operation. My sandwich was excellent. I also though it was cool that Julie's salad came it what appears to be a steel mixing bowl. That's hard core. Here's another picture with the whole group.

Mmm, sandwich...

Shortly after lunch we all returned to our rooms for a carb-induced afternoon crash. I should have probably gone to sleep at 2:00 and tried to make it through to tomorrow morning, but then I would have missed dinner.

Various pastas were consumed.

The food was tasty, the company was nice. Good times.

Looming over Julie's right ear, you can see one of our dinner companions who was hesitant to be in the picture. She was feeling a bit not-one-of-the-group because she wasn't running tomorrow. It was exactly how I felt two years ago when Julie did CIM. In my case, I was a bit on the pudgy side, too. It's tough. Wanting to avoid that feeling is basically why I decided to start running these things. I wish my social skills were good enough that I could offer up a proper "solidarity", but evidently they're not, so on we move.

After we returned to the room, we arranged our piles-o-stuff for tomorrow morning. Here's my pile.

Number, vaseline, toilet paper... Each more critical than the last.

My experiment this time has been pretty minor. I'm drinking ginger tea. I've had about three cups today. The last one is going down right now. Supposedly, it helps with your digestion. That sounded like a good angle to me.

Tea + Yoga = Marketing Win

My concern is that if I drink too much of it, it'll act as a powerful, slow-acting laxative. I suppose we'll find out tomorrow. If I didn't do something weird I might get nervous. Yuck.

We'll finish off with a shot of the weather. The horrible advisory has gone away and the situation seems much milder now.

If all goes well, I should finish around 11:00.

It's gone from gusty rain to a mild breeze along with some fog or maybe light rain. Looks pretty agreeable to me.

Time for sleeps. Good luck everybody!

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