#2015bestsix

With the year coming to a close, we all tend to look back on the year; what we’ve been through and what we’ve accomplished. My year started off a little shaky and stressful but quickly turned into one amazing and epic year full of great adventures and a lot was crossed off my bucket list.

Clint and I bought a house together (crazy!), I ran a marathon in Tokyo, Japan(!), ran the Boston Marathon a second time (such a great time!), then ran the Boston to Big Sur Challenge six days later (I’m one of those crazies)…then started training for an ultra…then ran the Athens and Istanbul Marathons within a week of each other, and finished off with running the California International Marathon for the 8th year in a row. That was six marathons this year! Ummmm, crazy!

I met new running friends this year, became a USATF official, worked as an expo coordinator for the CIM (that local, hometown marathon of ours), and also helped coach the Runnin’ For Rhett organization’s half marathon training program in the fall. Yeah…a lot of running stuff. But as I get older, I realize more and more that passion is the key to happiness. Do the things you really love!

Aside from running, I got to hot air balloon twice(!) and see the Grand Canyon finally. BIG checks off the good ‘ol bucket list.

I wish for you all to do the things you love so you can find your happiness. I hope your 2016 is as great as my 2015 was. I really don’t know how I will ever be able to top it, but I do know there’s still lots out there for me to learn, discover and see in the world. I have plenty of other countries on my list of where I hope to run all over the world. I’m hoping to get more in next year. Peace!

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Tokyo, Boston, Big Sur, Athens, Istanbul and CIM #2015bestsix

 

 

#8 CIM: My hometown – 2015

This year’s CIM brought no expectations. I had just run two marathons back-to-back three weeks prior (Athens & Istanbul) and had long work days leading up to the race so I had no idea how my body was going to feel running my last 26.2 of the year. I was feeling positive though so I knew no matter what I was going to have fun. This is my hometown race and I get to see my friends cheering on the sidelines, fellow runners on the course, and I know the course like the back of my hand. This is something I miss when I run out of the country.

I did my usual routine and prepped all my running gear the night before. I ate my pizza immediately after I got home from work about 7:30pm. I ate the same pre-race breakfast, except forgot to eat some banana. I even hydrated a ton the day before while I was working because the Nuun rep suggested I bring a water bottle and fill up on their free electrolytes all day at the expo. I was so glad he had suggested that!

When we got to the start, Jen and I met up with her friend LaDawn and my friend Scott, who was running his first marathon. We got into the pack and took off at 7! Jen was feeling good and was going a little faster than I wanted to run, but I stuck with her for about 4.5 miles then I dropped back to run with Scott. I had told him I’d help him get to the finish line under 4 hours, which usually isn’t that hard for me to do. We were running a steady pace that felt very comfortable but around mile 13 my quads started to feel pretty heavy. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to keep this pace the rest of the way. So about mile 14.5 or so I told Scott to go ahead and try and keep up with my friend Brian. Brian just passed us and was slightly in front of the 3:55 pacer so I knew he could bring Scott home so he could reach his goal. I felt bad I had to drop back but I had to be smart and I knew my legs weren’t going to be able to take a harder beating of going faster. It just wasn’t going to happen.

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You feel better when you’re having fun!

After Scott left me, I saw Deirdre Fitzpatrick from KCRA running and I said Hi to her. Then about mile 16 I thought it would be fun to take a pic of myself at the mile marker and posted to Instagram. At this point I totally didn’t care about my time and was just going to have fun. Not too long after, a fellow SRA ambassador, Leo, came up and we started running together (I ran with him earlier, as well, around mile 10). We were pretty much in the same boat and just wanted to have fun and finish, no matter how that happened. Around mile 18, I think, I was so hungry so I grabbed a handful of a brownie bite, orange slice, red licorice, and ate one of my chia surge gels. I have only been hungry during a race once before and that was in Paris, so this was weird.

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Nuria’s husband and their adorable pooch

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Drinking about half a Guinness

I saw Nuria (from Buffalo Chips and my Boston 365 group) and her husband and took a picture with them, then saw Katie and her crew from Team in Training, I fist pumped to a few bands as I ran by, then I came upon my friend Manny who was walking around the 21 mile marker. He was having a hard time, so I stuck with him. Then I saw Leo again and he joined us. It just became a party! As we were crossing the bridge, Tiffany, another SRA ambassador, joined us for a bit and we all chatted about our struggles, but none of us were negative or feeling let down. We were all smiling! We just sucked it up and made the most of it.  We had to keep stopping to tend to Manny’s inner quad that kept knotting up. We rolled it out periodically with a small water bottle and he stretched on the railings. At this point we were in East Sac and this is where I get a little excited each year. My friends and Clint are always waiting at Bonn Lair at 37th and J with beers for runners and I get so pumped when I see them. It gives me some energy to get to the finish. We stopped this year and drank some Guinness as they videotaped the madness. They were calling it #guinnessmile which makes me laugh! We now have an official hashtag for this stop on the CIM course. Manny downed the beer; I couldn’t finish it. But it was fun to see them for a few and then we took off. We turned onto Alhambra, saw my friend Katy and took pics with her. We were getting so close but it was still tough.

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Me and Manny – we’re smiling!

As we approached the finish, Manny was still having a tough time with his quad, but I made sure he was okay and then I took off to the finish line. I was really happy to finish, although I never doubted I would make it, I just knew it was going to take a while. My time didn’t matter at all, having finished three marathons in a month (dumb! don’t do this!). If you really want to know, it was officially my worst marathon time. BUT! I was smiling the entire way, I LOVED how many friends I saw along the course and on the course, I got to chat with new SRA amabassador friends that I met this year, I ate lots of food on the course, I drank more beer at Bonn Lair this year than I ever had in the past (PR!), and I’m just happy to continue my tradition of running the CIM each year. This is the only race I run every year. It makes me happy to continue my streak.

It really was one of my favorite races that I’ve completed. Time is definitely not everything. While I love running abroad and seeing new countries, there is nothing like running in your hometown and having so  many people supporting and cheering you on. I don’t get this when I run international races. I’m alone, can’t understand what people are saying as they chat to their friends while they’re running, it can sometimes get boring, and I have to stay super motivated. But, all of these experiences, whether abroad or in town, are what making marathoning (is this a word?) so magical for me. Every race is different and that’s what makes it an adventure and experience for me. These are the best experiences!

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Manny, Katy, me and Michelle in front of Limelight

My friend Scott and I chatted the next day after the race and he mentioned that he didn’t get to have as much fun as I did because he was so focused on his goal. I told him that’s what happens…you kind of have blinders on and don’t see what’s around you or get to laugh, smile and enjoy what’s going on. That’s why I mix up my races so I can have both experiences.

Cheers to all my fellow runner friends! You are all amazing! Keep chasing your dreams!

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Dear Legs – A letter of inspiration

Dear Legs,

You’ve had a full year of running and races. You’ve been to great cities and have been successful and strong. You have just one thing left to accomplish before 2013 ends. Your 6th CIM, California International Marathon, and 13th marathon, is in a couple days and your mission, should you choose it, is to finish this race for 11 people. These 11 people are counting on you to finish 26.2 miles to honor them and spread the word about cancer. This is an important mission. No matter how you run this race, you will complete this race and will celebrate these 11 lives. They will be in your heart, spirit, soul and in everything you can give on Sunday. Each one of these people has a story and you, my dear legs, are going to tell their stories through those seconds, minutes and hours to the finish line. You will fight to the finish and it will be a beautiful fight. This may be the hardest race you run, but you can do it. Be strong, bundle up and good luck!

With much love,

Your friend Amyphoto-5

Priorities

Yes, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. I’ve been slacking. Really, it’s more like I haven’t had anything interesting to say. I try to stay true to what my blog is – running all over the world. But since Berlin, I haven’t had anything exciting going on in relation to this.

As I arrived home from Berlin, I basically had to dive into our zombie run planning with just a few weeks until the event date. We were really busy getting last minute things planned and dealt with. The run was on October 26th and everything went fairly well, except we had a much smaller attendance than last year. We really were stressed whether we were going to be in the “red” or break even. Luckily, we did barely break even and everyone had a good time. I’m no Race Director, but I guess I am a rookie event planner and we are still finding our way and learning things as we go. We worked our butts asses off promoting our event this year and we just couldn’t get the same numbers as last year, which meant we couldn’t give nearly as much back to our beneficiary, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, this year. I felt bad about this. We realized we were up against so many things: 1) Sacramento has been inundated with so many “fun runs” in 2013 that people can’t do them every single weekend. They have to pick and choose and spend their money wisely. 2) There were like five other runs or events on the same day as our event! But I had to remember, as long as people had a good time, then we did a good job.

After we were able to take a moment and breathe the day after the zombie run, Clint was back to the cancer center for round three of his chemotherapy treatment. Going through this with him has been hard for me too, but I am still getting in the time to run and go to the gym. I feel selfish about it at times but I know I feel better physically and mentally if I put in the small amount of time each day.

I am training for the CIM, California International Marathon, coming Sunday December 8th. This will be my sixth consecutive year running this race and I am excited about it. I kind of don’t want to break my streak of running it each year (we’ll see how many years I can keep this up). It’s in my backyard and it’s a special race to me. As of today, I am 2.5 weeks away from the race. It’s funny, because I probably shouldn’t run another marathon this year, but I won this entry (I like freebies and it’s my first paid entry!) and it’s great to have friends supporting me throughout the race and at the finish, which rarely happens when I go out of town for races.

1381780_10152578526483484_626913000_nIn the last couple weeks, Clint and I have been catching up on odds and ends and wrapping up things from the zombie run. He brought up “priorities” when we were talking about getting an oil change for my truck that was overdue. I kept forgetting to do it because of all the other little things we had going on. He made a comment about maybe not running my long run in the morning and getting the oil change done and then running later in the day. We kind of got in an argument about it. I got a little mad and defensive.

It’s not that I wasn’t making my oil change a priority, it’s just there are other important things going on and since I really don’t drive my truck that often, I wasn’t THAT worried about it. And really, running IS more of a priority to me! Ha! I’d rather run in the cooler weather in the morning that when it’s warmer in the afternoon or evening. And I’d rather start my day with exercise and feel good than stress about oil changes. Yeah, this argument probably sounds silly, and it is, but it just made me realize how much I do love running.

Everyday we have lists of things that need to be done – bills, calling so-and-so, going grocery shopping, researching something, taking dogs to the vet, doctor’s appointments, taking kids to school (if you have them), and the list goes on and on. But sometimes, there photo-1are certain things that are set priorities or that we MAKE a priority over other things. It doesn’t mean you push the other things to the side and don’t get them done. But if you want me to be happy, healthy, stay positive, laugh often, and just live a fun life, running is my outlet to maintaining this. It’s become a passion of mine. I’ve always exercised and have been active, but running continues to brighten my world in a lot of ways. Not only can I see the beautiful fall colors in the trees as I run by them, or smile as I run in the warm sun while listening to a song that touches my soul, but I can see other parts of the world that I have never seen before. I can create goals and come up with a new list of cities and countries I want to visit. This is also a priority…traveling the world. I can’t wait to see what happens in 2014.

Is running one of your priorities?