Boston Marathon 2015

How did it sneak up on me so quickly? April crept up on us and it was time to start packing for the Boston Marathon. It had been 494 days since I qualified and now it was time to fly to Boston!

The week leading up to the marathon I had a beerfest to organize and manage. I had to wrap up the event and take care of returning equipment and calculate number of participants and figure out expenses. I had to get a check sent out to our beneficiary. So, I was pretty busy in those days before leaving. But, I still managed to have relaxing runs and all I could think about was being on the Boston Marathon course. There’s just something about it that can bring me to tears.

As I boarded my flight from Phoenix to Boston, I saw fellow runners. Some wearing Boston marathon jackets or sweatshirts or other items that signified they were on their way to Boston to run this great race. I ended up talking to a gal in line who was heading back to Boston where she lives. She was so excited for me to run the race on Monday and said they, meaning the city of Boston, had already started putting up signs like “Boston Strong” and other meaningful items to get ready for this amazing weekend. Turns out the bombing happened right in front of her office. She said she has kept close tabs on the trial of the bomber and how emotional it’s been. I couldn’t helped but get choked up. She also told the boarding agent that I was running the marathon after I was asked to assist in the Exit row, which was pretty funny. She made it sound like I was a superhero and if anything happened I could help everyone with my magical superhero powers. As we boarded the plane she wished me luck.

Being in Boston is just so magical. It really is! I’ve said that before and I mean it. The energy of the people, the energy of what’s going on all weekend, and being around all those amazing athletes from all over the world is just so awesome.

We stopped in a small dog boutique near our hostel and ended up chatting with the owner for a while. She was really happy for me and thanked me for coming all the way from California. She said that a lot of people are afraid to come back. I told her I wasn’t afraid at all and was very happy to be there. We had a great conversation with her and it made our trip to Boston even more special. We love talking to the locals and hearing their stories.

Marathon Monday came very quickly…and the weather went from sunny and beautiful to rainy and cold. But, there’s not much you can do about the elements so we had to just suck it up and do the best we could. As I got on the bus with my friend Jen, I knew this was it. I was heading to the start of my second Boston Marathon. How did this happen? It was so surreal!

We waited in the Athlete’s Village for our turn to line up behind the start line. It was pretty cold but we huddled up under a large tent after using the port o’ johns (as they call them there). As 10:50am approached it literally started raining as the gun went off. And we were off! It was speedy and so cool! I didn’t wear my headphones this time so I could hear everything along the course. I heard screaming, chanting, a lot of “Go Jen!” and “Boston loves Jen!” because Jen wore a shirt that said “Jen Heavy black heart️ Boston”, I high-fived so many spectators, and just enjoyed as much of it as I could. Since I was wearing my Timex shirt several people said “Go Timex!” or “It takes a licking but keeps on ticking” and even an older runner ran by me and showed me his Timex watch that he’s had for 30 years.

So many spectators lined the sides of the street, even in the rain. Spectators had beers, water, licorice, oranges, and Swedish fish, which I took a few cuz I love those little candies. The spectators are what it’s all about. These amazing people from town to town have such a great time cheering all us runners on and getting us to the finish line. The Wellesley girls were “wicked” loud! We could hear them wayyyy before we ran by them. Jen even got a kiss from a British fellow (I think it was a guy). Those girls did not stop screaming! It was pretty insane!

I had a moment between miles 15-16 where I felt a bit of fatigue come on, but I was able to snap out of it. The “hills” came about mile 17 and I just busted through those! I literally chewed ‘em up and spit ‘em out! They actually gave me a ton of energy and adrenalin.

Soon, we saw the Citgo sign and I knew we were getting close. Then I saw the Prudential Tower and knew this was it! As I turned onto Hereford, I was pretty darn excited and popped in another Shot Blok and started sprinting. I looked for Jen and said “Let’s go!!” I saw Boylston ahead and started to tear up. It was then time to turn left down to the finish. I just couldn’t slow down. I looked around trying to find Clint and Katy but couldn’t spot them. I then just focused on the finish line and heard my name called and it was just such a special moment. The whole day was so extraordinary. I felt so lucky to be there again. I also felt so lucky to run with Jen who is just an inspiring and fast runner.

I do have to say, I had a moment while running down Boylston where I thought about the bombings. I looked left to the spot where the first bombing happened. I couldn’t help but not think of that moment in time two years ago. I finished this race for this wonderful city. And even though I wanted to thank everyone along the course for helping me, the volunteers all thanked ME for running! Every single volunteer was genuine and so sincere and they all appreciated what every runner did on Monday. We weren’t afraid to be there.

In 2008, I had no idea what the Boston Marathon was. I qualified a year later and went to my first Boston Marathon in 2011. I was so happy with that accomplishment and never thought about going back because I was satisfied and loved the experience. I qualified at the 2013 California International Marathon because Clint’s cancer battle gave me the motivation to get to Boston again. To be able to go back this year was just more than I could have ever dreamed of. Having Clint and Katy there, to run with Jen, and to know so many people from my training group and other runners from Sacramento made it so memorable. This was my 19th marathon at the 119th Boston Marathon.

I don’t know what the future holds and if I’ll go back, but I know without a doubt that this race was so incredibly special and I’ll never forget it. I came back to chase those unicorns and now have two hanging in my house. It’s just such a great feeling and almost indescribable.

Thank you to everyone for all your support and love!


Leavin’ on a jet plane

Well, the time has come once again to get packed and ready to leave the USA and head to another country. Sometimes, I can’t even believe how fast time flies. It’s been 4.5 months since I found out I got into the Tokyo Marathon and a lot has happened in these past months.


Official Tokyo Marathon packet

It’s taken me until about NOW to get excited about this trip because I have had some other things preoccupying my mind. It makes it hard to look forward to a vacation racecation. But, now that I am leaving in 5 days from now, I am getting a little anxious and have a lot to take care of before I leave. Mostly I have to make sure I am prepared with everything I need to bring (running gear – especially the shoes!) and I’m leaving Clint behind to take care of the last bit of paperwork and chaos going on with our house in escrow (!!!). This wasn’t the original plan. He wasn’t able to go because of work, but I guess it’s worked out that he couldn’t go to Tokyo so he can handle house stuff while I am away, although I am bummed he won’t be on this journey with me. So, I’m not only packing my luggage but packing our house at the same time. Ha!

10407854_10153632341708484_4778113372603688523_nA couple weeks ago, Clint and I were lucky to have Kaori visiting and got to show her around Sacramento. Kaori is our friend Shin’s daughter and both are from Japan. We met Shin at the Trinidad and Tobago Int’l Marathon last year and were totally happy to accommodate her on her first trip the U.S. Shin sent Kaori with a care package for me filled with Tokyo maps and items that may be helpful on my first trip to Japan. I was very excited! Shin has been amazing in helping plan out our trip in Tokyo via email, so I know we will have a great time seeing the sites along with getting me ready for the marathon.


Kaori was a trooper and got up at 6am with me to run part of my 13 mile run

I’ve been simultaneously training for the Tokyo Marathon (Feb) and the Boston Marathon (Apr) so it’s been interesting. I am mostly following the Boston 365 plan and joining the training group for workouts, but I have had to adjust recently to taper slightly for Tokyo and also got a bad cold last Friday that lasted about 5 days. I feel much better now, but I missed out on a long 16 mile run (I got in 8), which I really needed or I felt I needed.

10432999_10153631941683484_4384499054668087628_nAt this point, my body does feel great. It does feel strong and I feel like the extra speedwork and training workouts will be beneficial. I’m not trying to go super fast or PR in Tokyo, I really just want to have a good race and have fun. Boston is a little more important to me as far as getting to the start line healthy and strong and fast. Don’t get me wrong, I want to do well in Tokyo, but I am not going to beat myself up over my time or whatever happens.


I’m going to TOKYO! It’s going to be an amazing experience!

Don’t fret – I’ll post a race recap when I return!th

Oh Boston

Today is the 2014 Boston Marathon! It’s also been just over a year since the Boston Marathon bombings. While we don’t want to think about what happened last year, it’s inevitable. We will always think about the tragedy. But, as I sit here typing, I am overwhelmed by all the joy, love and support that is out there across the world for such a great city, this race, and for the running community. This awful tragedy has brought everyone closer.

I so wish I could be back in Boston today, cheering on runners and having so much fun! There’s a lot of excitement surrounding this event, especially this year! 36,000 runners and about 5,000 of those who didn’t get to cross the finish line last year are back to get it done!

I had originally said I committed to running 26.2 miles today, on Marathon Monday in support of the Boston Marathon, but I ended up deciding not to and opted to watch the live feed instead. I really didn’t want to miss it. I don’t need to be a superstar or anything. There are lots of other superstars out there running the race today! I just want to support and watch what’s going on back on the East Coast.

The Boston Marathon is such a high energy, magical experience. Seeing Shalane run such a strong and great race and then to see Meb get FIRST in the men’s race was just spectacular! His emotion made me tear up…just so excited for him! This is the first time an American man has won the Boston Marathon since 1983! Just amazing! His whole heart was in this race!

I am so happy for ALL the runners who were able to participate this year. For some, crossing that finish line will help them have a little bit of closure. But for everyone, this is a dream come true and a day they won’t forget.


Last race, I promise

Ok, so I lied when I said the CIM was my last race of 2013! I had kept it a secret that I was registered for a half marathon in Scottsdale, AZ. I had registered for this race in November, but pending my outcome of CIM. As long as my body felt good, then I would run it. If for some reason I felt like crap or got injured, I wouldn’t.

Just four days after CIM, we flew to Phoenix. My body was feeling a lot better but my quads were a little tight still. I had been icing, stretching, cycling, more icing, stretching…and I cycled when I got to my dad’s resort. By Friday, I said “Let’s do this!”

photo 2-2I signed up for this race because my dad and stepmom have never seen me cross a finish line of a road race in all the years I have been running half marathons and marathons. I thought it would be a cool experience for them to see this and I selfishly also wanted to run a race in another state while I was visiting. A half marathon was do-able – I did not want to run another marathon this soon after the CIM. So this was perfect timing while I was there.

I ran the Runner’s Den Fiesta Bowl Half Marathon in Scottsdale. The race location was about 45 mins away from where we were staying, but not too bad of a drive at 6:15am. I got to the start with very little time to spare. I wasn’t worried too much since it was a small race. I got in a porta pottie line immediately but as we inched forward I realized I didn’t have enough time. So I darted out of line and ran to the start. 30 seconds later the race started!

It was a very flat course in the town of Scottsdale. It was also fairly warm compared to the marathon last weekend. The temp was in the mid to high 40′s and I didn’t even need gloves. Nice and sunny! The race also had only about 3,000 runners combined with both the 5k and half marathon.

The race had a good amount of water and electrolyte stations and even porta potties along the route. I actually had to stop about Mile 3. I did not want to hold it for another 10 miles! But I was fairly quick about it.

The last few miles of the course were along a bike trail. I saw what I thought was a large dog with a toy in his mouth. I looked for an owner thinking they were playing fetch. But there was no “owner” in sight because it turned out to be a coyote with a duck in his mouth from the pond he was walking away from! Then I saw a second coyote walking the opposite direction. This little grassy area and pond were right next to homes! I was surprised these coyotes were so close to the houses. It was pretty interesting to watch as I ran by.

As I finished the race I saw Clint and my dad and Jackie (stepmom) along the railings. It’s pretty rare that I can spot my supporters at the end of a race this easily. It was fun to see them at the end and hear my name called as I crossed the finish line.

I got my medal which looks like a sun catcher, picked up some things to eat at the booths, we snapped a few photos and then headed back home.

That’s really it! 13.1 miles in Arizona. A great morning run (and race)!

photo 1-3When I picked up my bib on last Friday, the man that helped me asked if it was my first half marathon and I said no. I mentioned that I was from Sacramento and just ran the CIM last weekend and he said he ran the first three CIM races many years ago and we chatted for a few about how there’s only 12 runners left that have run all 31 years. It’s always great to have conversations like this with fellow runners. However, the best part of packet pickup was seeing the Boston Marathon finish line painted on the outside of their shop. I knew it was meant to be.

CIM #6

After running marathons since 2008, I am not big on running the same ones multiple times. I want to experience new races, new cities, new environments. But when it comes to our local California International Marathon, I feel like I have to run this one each year for my friends. I also run each year to continue the streak with this being number six. My friends have also made it their tradition to go out to a local pub, Bonn Lair, and buy beers for runners that pass by. It’s about 2.5 miles to the finish, so it’s a good spot to get fatigued runners to have a sip of beer (or entire beer) before finishing. They try to see if they can beat the previous year’s number of beers bought, so it’s become a challenge. I love it! Apparently, Guinness sponsored them and got them a keg for this year’s race.

For me, it’s a great motivator to see them and get a little energy for the last couple miles. This race is in my “backyard” so it’s a fun one to look forward to. It’s also known as one of the fastest races in the US, so a lot of people come to Sacramento to qualify for Boston here. And I was attempting this again this year.

I ran three other marathons this year with this forth one on the radar. This is not a typical year for me. I have been running about two marathons each year with some half marathons or other events in between. But it’s been an interesting year and I won this entry so I figured “why not?”.


Rock Tape

Going into this race I had just finished Berlin missing a Boston Qualifying time by 35 seconds (correction: by 1:34). I was super bummed. I then had about two months to train for CIM. I actually took it easy and didn’t train nearly as hard as usual because I had trained so much this year. And I also had been going to my PT for regular maintenance for a slight injury, if you want to call it that, for the last six weeks. My knee was feeling bruised on the kneecap before I left for Berlin, but I didn’t think anything of it. I thought I just hit it on something. I then ran Berlin with no injuries or pain. But about a week and a half after that race, I started running again and felt that little bruised feeling again on my knee. I thought I had Runner’s Knee, which is usually from overuse or over training. So I went to the Iron Thumb again to see what was going on. My left knee had popped out again! It’s not something where your knee buckles or you have any serious pain. I didn’t even know it popped out. So, he popped it back in (which was extremely painful) and then we did regular taping using Rock Tape (or KT Tap) to keep everything tight and strong. We retaped it once a week and I continued to run and train. It was really worth the time and money to make sure everything was in place. I also added in additional inner thigh exercises and more lunges and squats.

As it got closer to the race, the muscles in my leg were getting stronger and everything was looking good. What’s funny is, I never had any pain when I walked or ran, but would have a little soreness on the side of my knee after longer runs. Nothing major though. I just continued to ice religiously and hoped for the best. I actually became a little obsessed with making sure it got better as quickly as possible.

As the CIM got closer, I was getting excited. I had made a special jersey in honor of several people (friends and family) who have cancer, survived cancer, or even passed on from cancer. I wanted to run this race in honor of all of them, including Clint. It just seemed fitting. It was my last race of the year and Clint was finishing his last chemotherapy treatment two days before the race. We’ve been through a lot this year and I wanted to do this for them!

The day before the race, I prepared all my race items, as usual (they were laid out all nicely on the living room floor), and then watched funny movies like Big Top Pee Wee to take my mind off the race. I ordered my pepperoni and mushroom pizza and actually went to bed early. I can’t believe this happened, but I went to bed at 9:30pm! This is a record time. I normally go to bed at like 11pm or so (midnight even) on race nights because I am thinking about everything. So, I got lots of sleep, which was truly amazing.

I woke up at 4:43am and got everything together and my ride was at my house at 5:15am. I got a ride with a friend, Jennifer, who I have never raced with before but have been training with a little the last month or so. She offered and it turned out to be a great offer. This was the first time I was dropped off on the other side of the porta potties at the start area and we got to sit inside a warm car for a long time before heading out the start. Kind of awesome!

This year’s race was the coldest race I have ever run. Everyone was actually freaking out about the weather because it went from Fall (warmish) weather to Winter in like a week and we were not expecting it. We’re talking mid-20′s. Freakin’ cold! We didn’t know what to wear to protect ourselves from the bitter cold during the race. It became a little stressful. But I opted for my normal shorts and shirt with arm warmers and gloves.


A really cool photo taken near the beginning of the race. See all the frost?

As usual, I didn’t really have a solid strategy or plan. I had a basic goal time but I wasn’t stressing about it. I wanted to BQ if at all possible. The gun went off at 7am and it was soooooooooo cold! You could see all the puffs of breath in the air while we ran. It was kind of cool to see. The ground was frozen in many places along the course, so we had to be cautious. We also had to watch out for water freezing in front of the water stations. When runners would grab for water or powerade, the liquid would fall out all over the place and would freeze on the ground almost instantly, so people were slipping on ice as they would run in to grab a cup. It made me a little nervous. It was so cold that sweat was literally freezing on clothing. I could see it sparkling on runner’s backs as I ran by.

I started out slow but gained speed and thought I would catch up with Jennifer. She’s a fast runner and even though she said she was going for a 3:40-3:45, I knew she would run faster. I caught up with her and we ran behind the 3:35 pacer for a while. I lost her for a bit and ended up running by myself for a while ahead of the 3:35 pacer. I just had a lot of energy and thought I could just run it out until I lost momentum. I wanted to pad my time as much as possible. I know this is the total wrong strategy, but I did it anyway. My goal was to get a 3:35-3:38, if at all possible, to have a cushion for the Boston Qualifying time. I ran really well for the majority of the race, but of course, fatigue sets in a little and I started to slow down.

About Mile 11, I saw guys dressed in chicken suits and one had a sign that said “Touch this for Power” so I did! I mean, why not, right? Another guy had a sign that said “I just farted”…that one made me laugh!

photo 4

Mile 23.7. I’m in the white shirt and Kimio is on the far right.

I felt my legs getting colder and colder and my gloves were getting wet from grabbing water cups so my hands were getting wetter and colder throughout the race. For several miles I couldn’t feel my bottom half and it felt like I wasn’t wearing anything. I seriously thought my shorts fell off and people could see my butt. I would look down from time to time to make sure my shorts were still there. But I just kept running. My Shot Bloks and chews were frozen as well, so they were incredibly hard to chew when I popped them in my mouth. My friend Kimio met me around mile 20.5 to help pace me to the end. I felt bad because I was starting to get tired and I hoped I wouldn’t let him down. I know that sounds weird, but that’s what I was thinking. By this time, I couldn’t feel my lips and I barely spoke to him because I didn’t even want to open my mouth. He said I was “in the zone” but I just listened to him encourage me and try to get me to pick up my pace.

At this point I was struggling a little because my quads were getting tight and were so cold. I just kept trying to dig in when I could. I knew I had the time but I was trying to get a little more of a cushion if I could. When I saw Clint standing outside Bonn Lair it made me smile and so happy that I was almost to the finish line. I wasn’t sure if he would make it out to watch because he was still recovering from chemo and was tired. I didn’t have time to stop so I just ran by with a big smile and peace sign held high above my head. And all my buds on the patio chanted my name as I ran by!

I was so excited to reach the last few blocks of the race. I saw my time as I finished and knew I had the PR and BQ. I leaned over the railing and cried for a minute. But my calves tightened up a little and I saw a chair next to a table by the finish and just sat down. I needed to get off my feet for a moment. A runner wrapped up in a silver wrap was sitting in the other chair next to me and he looked like he had fallen asleep, so I asked if he was ok. We chatted for a moment. We both tried drinking the Cokes that were given to us as we finished. I was trying to find Clint but I was having trouble using my fingers to text. After I pulled my gloves off, my hands were frozen and swollen. I also wanted to confirm my time and Jenny (another Jennifer in my life) had just text me so I responded and the only thing I could say was “Shit. What does my time say on the tracker?” She replied with “3:38:52!!!!!!” I did it!

I really didn’t think about the food or beer at the finish line. I just wanted out of the cold. And Clint was having trouble finding parking to walk into the finish line area. So I made my way to gear check so I could get my pants on (which was hard to do being so cold) and then walked a few blocks to the car.

photo 1.1

I’m still cold. Can you tell?

Getting in the warm car was like heaven! I was shaking so bad and my teeth were chattering so it took a while to warm up. But off to lunch we went! We met up with some friends and had Mexican food and beers and just enjoyed being warm. I continued to make my rounds with other friends and went to a few other bars to celebrate and didn’t get home til about 9pm. Yeah, I know, I’m crazy. I actually didn’t even go to bed til 1am. I was amped up.

While I was running, I thought of my “friends” frequently. By friends, I mean the 11 people that I was running for. There were a few times when I was getting tired that I had to talk to myself and repeat some of their names to keep me going.

They helped me get to the finish line. I’m sure of it. This was a great way to end 2013.

One Run For Boston

How do I even begin. I could write a book or at least a large chapter on this incredible experience…

I was a little anxious about this One Run For Boston relay. Mostly because of the logisitics (you needed to be self sufficient, at least that’s what they told us ahead of time) and not knowing anyone. And that I had no support going out there with me. Before heading out to Boston, I had my last long run of 11 miles on the Monday prior and had a little chaffing from my sports bra the week before on a 13 mile run. Since it was going to be warm and humid, I had a feeling Body Glide wasn’t going to cut it, so I brought my green KT tape with me to put a piece across the area to prevent it from chaffing anymore. I knew a bandaid would fall off, so I needed something more secure. I am not sure why I was concerned with this, but I guess runners think about this stuff. I really didn’t need to bring much with me other than my running gear. I was basically flying in and flying out.



After a red-eye flight and arriving to Boston, I found out the relay was four hours behind, which meant we would be starting about 7pm instead of 3pm. It was pretty darn hot and humid out too. I met up with Suzanne, a gal I connected with to get a ride to Hopkinton, at about 12:30-1pm. We waited at Starbucks drinking water to hydrate and got to know each other. Suzanne was stopped at mile 25.2 when the bombings happened. So that’s why she was doing this. We waited for two more people, Mary and her husband. I didn’t know who Mary was, but as it turned out she was a huge part of the relay in helping organize things along the way and helping to contact media. She also ran previous legs in Missouri and came out to run the last leg from Newton to Boston. When they showed up we decided to have lunch which of course was pizza! We needed to carb up a little. Then Suzanne and I went back to Starbucks after they left and waited once again. Now we were waiting for Gary and Sarah, driving in from Maine. And the relay was turning into five hours behind…

After those two arrived, we hopped in the car to drive towards Hopkinton and stopped for “dinner” along the way. Carb load #2: pizza and beer. I was hesitant about the beer, but Gary assured me I would be fine. It’s hops, right? That’s carbs! We chatted about running and their reasons for participating and here’s when I found out that Gary had already run 33 miles of the relay by himself, overnight, in Texas. Pretty awesome. And, he’s run 21 Boston Marathons!

IMG_4674So we drove the rest of the way to Hopkinton, the official start of the Boston Marathon course. We probably waited about 45 minutes before the baton arrived. It was pretty exciting to finally see it! I came all this way to run this part of the relay, the last 26.2 miles, and it was about to begin. After an exchange, pictures, and some speeches, including one from Dave McGillivray, the BAA (Boston Athletic Association) Race Director, we were on our way! I was just hoping my body was going to be able to do this. I wasn’t sure about this humidty as I have never trained in this kind of climate.


Gary and Sarah leading the pack in the first leg to Hopkinton, leg #316

It was about 8pm when we started and I fell right in line behind Gary and Sarah who were keeping the pace with the baton. We passed around the baton so everyone got a chance to hold it. That was really cool! It felt like I was holding the Olympic Torch. Both Gary and Sarah were also running the last 26.2 miles and a badass chick, Maddy, was running the last 50 miles, so she was running alongside them as well, having already run like 24 miles. Dave McGillivray ran that leg with us to Framingham. It was very cool to be able to run behind him. This man has also run 41 Boston Marathons. During that first leg, we had a police escort in front of us and someone holding an American flag. Talk about feeling very special and patriotic.

As it got dark, it was still pretty warm out. I was sweating my ass off. I had to keep remembering to drink fluids. Luckily at each leg, there were folks with coolers with cold waters and Gatorades to refuel. These people really helped a lot! I brought my own hydration belt, but I was so focused on the road ahead and trying not to twist an ankle on uneven road or sidewalk, I was forgetting to drink out of my own bottles. Not only do I not train in humid weather, I don’t train in the dark. So this was all a big challenge for me. I also was forgetting to eat my Shot Bloks. My GPS went out early on a couple times (or I may have hit it off by accident), so I just turned my watch off. I knew I was running 26.2+ miles. I was more concerned with my pace. Either way, now I was left with periodically asking people how many miles were left.

Running this course at night is obviously much different than running it during the day. Since we were not being assisted by water booths or medical tents or hundreds of thousands of spectators, there was a much different feel. But it was very special running out there with a small group in the middle of the street in the dark. I really only remembered a few landmarks along the course from my first Boston Marathon experience, because of how dark it was. And surprisingly, there would be random strangers and spectators cheering us on along the way. Not that many, but it was really nice to have people out there in the middle of the night.

We would stop for a few minutes in between each leg to get the next group of runners, drink water and pass the baton. But I think this was worse for me to stop in between rather than continue on like I normally would when running a race. I was getting frustrated about 3/4 of the way there. I was mentally exhausted and tired. I was asking myself what the heck I was doing. Why did I choose to do this. Why didn’t I just run one leg. I wanted to get in a support car and have them take me to the finish. “Amy! What are you thinking?!” I guess I was being selfish and not doing a very good job of blocking it out. I had to snap out of this and remember why I was there and why I was doing this. I had to keep moving foward for Boston and for those who didn’t get to finish the marathon on April 15, 2013 and for the victims. I had to somehow block out the temporary pain and misery I was feeling in those moments. I had texted Clint a couple times. I needed something familiar. He text back “You’ve done this a billion times” and “You got this babe”. Well, I haven’t done this a billion times, but I got the point.

As I was struggling towards the end, a gal named Lisa asked me if I was doing ok. I explained that I was coming from Hopkinton and she said she would help get me to the finish. There were only a few people doing the last 26.2 miles, so most people had “fresh” legs as they ran their legs of the relay. I wanted to walk at this point, but she was encouraging me to get to the finish. It’s funny, because usually I am helping other people, and now here’s someone helping me.

It started to rain lightly during the last few miles or so, which felt good. I thought of the rain as tears upon us – happy tears. We finally saw the Citgo sign and then a policeman said, “Right on Hereford, left on Boylston” in a thick Boston accent. If you’ve run the Boston Marathon you know what this means. It’s the best part of the race! You are almost there! A few people started running to the left off the course and we yelled at them. They seemed to be going the wrong way. But I found out later that one of those runners, a guy that I had been running with  for a while early on, got stopped there at this year’s marathon when the bombings happened and wanted to go through the tunnel. He needed to do it.

IMG_4704Lisa ran the rest of the way with me and was being so positive and encouraging. We turned onto Boylston and we could see all the lights in the street. There it is – the famous finish line! We ran together through the finish. I was able to get some energy and I could have sprinted during those last minutes, but I didn’t need to. People were cheering loudly for us. It was like we were the only two people on that course during that moment in time. It was about 12:45-12:50am now.

As soon as we finished, my legs and feet were sore and tired. I feel like that 26.2 miles was probably the hardest marathon I have run, mentally and physically. But I wanted to soak in the last moments of the finish. There were still people behind us finishing. But so many wanted to take pictures of themselves at that finish line. It was a large crowd of about 600 runners. People got down on the ground and kissed it. Hugs everywhere. Everyone was so happy and emotional. For some, this was finally their finish. They got to finish the 117th Boston Marathon at that moment. I also ran into a gal, Neni, we met earlier in the day at Starbucks, who ran the last leg. She has been a Finish Line volunteer for the last five years and wanted to run this last leg into Boston. “Miles”, the baton, was presented to the city and BAA and there was a short speech of thanks and gratitude for all that was accomplished and what the relay did for Boston.

After the last leg, the plan was to go down the street to a local bar, The Rattlesnake. They were expecting 600 of us to show up – a private party for all these amazing people who participated. At first, I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it. My legs were tired and I just did not want to use them anymore. But my bag was at the bar with items I needed after my run. So Suzanne and I attempted to get a cab with no luck. So we started walking. My legs started to loosen up again. We arrived and it was a celebration! I was so freakin’ thirsty I ordered a pink lemonade and destroyed it in seconds! I had the bartender fill it up a second time and then we ordered beers to cheers our new friends.

By about 2:30am, it was time to head back to my hostel, except I cabbed it this time. I was not walking. I was staying in dorm-like room with three bunks. Of course, my bed was on the top of the first bunk. When I arrived, I didn’t want to wake anyone so I had already prepared by leaving my keys on top of my luggage so I could use the light on it to see what I was doing. Well, I couldn’t see much so I just put my running stuff on the ground next to the wall and just got in bed. I had realized I had forgotten my pj’s. I didn’t want to disrupt them by going in and out of the room to take a shower, so I just crawled into bed with all my disgustingly sweaty running clothes on. It’s kind of gross, but I really had no choice, unless I wanted to wake up all the girls. But then the girl under my bunk woke up at 6am when her alarm went off. So I didn’t get much sleep that night.


The extraordinary Danny Bent

Danny Bent was one of the organizers of this extraordinary and historical event. And he’s from the UK, no less. I thanked him at the end (at the bar) and he hugged me tight, especially after I told him I came out from California. I wanted him to know what it meant to me and how he’s changed all these people. What a huge endeavor and accomplishment to be able to pull this off. He organized a relay from California to Boston, 3000 miles, in 23 days, and raised over $75,000. He’s truly a pioneer. He’s changed the lives of so many.

So, I am sleep deprived and dehydrated, but it was so worth it! This was unlike anything I have ever done and I’m sure unlike anything I will ever do. My life has been changed by this. I have made new friends and I have gained more compassion. While flying home, I was looking at the beautiful sky and clouds wishing and hoping for more amazing moments like what Danny Bent created.


Gary, me, Suzanne, Sarah


The unknown

I leave in a few days for the One Run For Boston relay. I am flying from Sacramento to Boston to run the last 4 legs = 26.5 27 miles of this relay across the U.S. that started on June 7th. This will be the longest I will run at one time, although there may be small breaks in between each leg. I am going out there by myself, with no friends or family to accompany me on this trip. I am actually really nervous.

This trip and run wasn’t on my agenda for the year. I already had set plans for my next half marathon and marathons the rest of 2013. It is a whirlwind of a trip, but my heart led me to this. However, it does come at a great time early on in my training for Berlin, so I have time to recover.

12153-i-run-because-i-can-when-i-get-tired-i-remember-those-who-cant_247x200_widthI think the fact that I am flying by myself, having to make my way to Hopkinton by myself, and even staying overnight by myself (in a hostel, no less) after what I think will be a great celebration when the relay is over, is hard for me. It’s not that I am afraid to be alone or anything, it’s just I am used to having friends or my boyfriend there for support along the way. Having someone familiar greet you and celebrate with you after completing a race or run is always a great feeling. So this will be very different for me.

I won’t know anyone there, so I hope to meet some incredible people who are there for the same reasons I am. We all have a reason and a story as to why we chose to do this.

I think I will learn a lot from this experience. I will learn about myself and my capabilities. I will learn about solidarity. I will learn about inspiration, dedication, selflessness, bonding, and much more. I do know I am going into the unknown though. This might be up there with the AIDS Ride I did twice in ’97 and ’99…500+ miles from SF to LA on my bike. You learn a lot when going on a journey as an individual AND when on a journey with like-minded individuals. But, I am up for the challenge and adventure. I will have a story to tell. I am sure of that.

It will be a great story.

You can donate toward my trip by going to this link:

We’ve got Spirit, yes we do

We’ve got Spirit, how ’bout you? The Spirit of the Marathon II movie premiered on Wednesday at our local theater. A group of eight of us got together to see the film. The film was very touching and reminds me of all the reasons why I run and why the running community is so bonded. Set in Rome, and around several different runners of all abilities and ages, it really shows the beauty of what runners go through to get to their goals and dreams and in completing this 26.2 mile journey. It’s very inspiring.

Which leads me to my next story…

Three days ago I found out about a relay from California to Boston, 3,000 miles, to raise money for The run actually started last Friday June 7th and is set to end on June 30th. I’m not sure why, but when I read about this event, I got a little antsy and wondered how I could be a part of this. It was too late to run the California legs. I spread the word to my virtual running group on Facebook, told my boyfriend, and pondered over the idea of going out to Boston. And I kept thinking about it. I realized that if I could make this happen, I didn’t have to run just one leg, I could run the last four legs to complete 26.2 miles and run a marathon in honor of those who couldn’t finish the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 and for those who may never be able to again.

photo(22)I wondered if I could get miles or vouchers donated to help fund my trip and I spread the word out to some folks to see if they could help. Nothing panned out. But, when I arrived at the theater to see the movie on Wednesday night, Brian gave me a pin he got at the Big Sur Marathon in April and almost instantly I knew I had to make this happen. So many things were pointing in the direction of “JUST GO”.

Yesterday morning I booked my flight. $526 later and an email from one of the organizers who secured my spots and it was all done. I’m going to Boston! It’s going to be a whirlwind of a trip, but I think it will be so worth it.

During the SOTM film, there was a piece that resonated with me. A Ukraine professional runner, who is trying to qualify for the Olympics, mentions how WE create our own personal history. And he is right. I don’t know why I am here and what I am on this planet for, but I enjoy running and I want to help inspire and help others if I can.

Boston 2

At the start of the Boston Marathon, 2011

In two weeks, I will see you again Hopkinton!

If you are interested in supporting my journey to Boston, I set up a fundraising page to make it easy for folks. I’m hoping I can get my flight paid for. My entry fees are going to the One Fund Boston charity, but my flight and accommodations are out of my pocket. If you or anyone you know is able to support and help donate, that would be truly amazing. Anything helps! Thank you!


This week has been interesting.

Boston Strong

Wednesday was May 15th and one month since the Boston Marathon and bombings. It’s strange how time flies. It was also announced on Thursday May 16th that the B.A.A. will allow all participants of the 2013 Boston Marathon that did not get to finish a spot in the 2014 race. This is really good news for all those folks and I am glad the B.A.A. chose to do this.

Here’s a video of the announcement:

A lot of people are still waiting to hear if the B.A.A. will open the race to more participants in 2014; opening the field to all runners and not just qualifiers. We will find out more in the months to come.

Stomach Pains

My running and workouts have been going well, until Thursday. I woke up Thursday morning sweating and with a fever. Then to chills, then to sweats, then to chills…and slept a lot of the day. This carried on into Friday, but then I had pains in my stomach. I, of course, woke up on Friday morning and thought, “Maybe I can go for a run.” And my boyfriend told me not to do it. Grrr. But I forced myself to get work done since my Thursday was wasted doing nothing. Which leads me to my next “tidbit”. (As I type this, I still don’t feel good and it’s now three days of no exercise…I’m going crazy.)


Remember, I told you that I was going to help promote the Spirit of the Marathon II movie to get free tickets? So I received the posters last weekend and had been waiting for the postcards to arrive as well to hit up the stores to drop off all the items at once. Well, the postcards never arrived for whatever reason. On Friday, I got myself together (stomach pains and all) and made my rounds, with my dogs as my passengers, and dropped off posters to several local sporting goods and running stores. I had to also take pictures as proof of where I posted them and had to email them back to the producers. I got 10 stores done yesterday. Not bad! I am on my way to getting at least two free tickets to see the movie and a t-shirt. I have still have 9-10 left to post and that will get me an autographed DVD of the movie. I really only did this to help promote the movie and to get free tickets to see it, but the other goodies are cool bonuses.

photo(27)For those of you that live locally in Sacramento, this movie is only showing at three eight theaters on June 12 at 7pm. It’s just one night, one showing. Go to to find the theater closest to you and to buy tickets.

Zombies, Oh My!

Oh, and one last thing. Some of you may already know this, but last year I organized a Zombie 5k Run in Sacramento. It turned out to be somewhat of a success. So, we are doing it again this year. We had to make some changes because my partner and I split up, but all looks good so far. I have a pretty good team working with me and we have been able to get a lot done in a short amount of time. Our Facebook page is up as of yesterday and our website will be live in a couple weeks. It’s called Capitol Apocalypse 5k Zombie Run and here’s our Facebook page for now with some details: “Like” our page to get updates and more information about the event on Saturday October 26, 2013.


Have a good weekend!

It’s electric!

photo(5)Yesterday evening I got together with friends to run in the Electric Run! It was great to get together and forget about all that’s happened this week and just enjoy the crazy glow party and run a 5k fun run. It was pretty massive and it took a while for our group to start as they only let a couple hundred participants go in each wave. But while we waited, we listened to the music and cheers from the crowd, and took pictures as the sun went down. We could see our glowing selves even better as it turned into night. And of course, it was great people watching – lots of people with very creative outfits.

I wore a bib on my back in support of Boston and I saw others who did the same. For me, it was the first organized run since Monday’s tragic events so I wanted to show my love and support. It was nice to see others doing the same. Our friend Liz made stickers for us to wear as well.

boston strong

The course was a wild, looping route all through Cal Expo. We came upon big, colorful arches, graphics projected onto walls, a large fountain lit up with colorful lights, glowing water cups, interesting trash receptacles for the empty cups, umbrellas and
white beach balls hanging from the sky, glowing bubbles, and just an excited crowd of people wearing as much glow-in-the dark paraphernalia as possible. The after-party was like a big rave with a laser show and great house music. (There was house music bumping the entire time on the course as well.) I could have stayed longer to dance, but we left a short time later.

photo(9)Even though this wasn’t a serious timed run, it felt good to be apart of a large group of people running and having a good time. I always like themed events so it was even more fun getting ready and getting excited about our evening 3.1 mile run. And I burned some calories and sweated a little too even though it was hard to actually run the course (too many people to run fast).

If you ever get a chance to participate in an Electric Run, I’d recommend it! Definitely a fun time!