Marrakech Marathon ’18

I picked this race on a whim after I came across it searching for something else (I can’t even remember what it was that I was searching for). It was never on my “bucket list” but I love a new place to visit. And run a marathon. So I registered and found an inexpensive flight very quickly and everything was booked.

My last training run was the Tuesday before the race. I never got up to 16 miles like I had planned in the few weeks prior to leaving. I had a weird work schedule and I was busy the couple weeks before leaving. But I had just run my fastest marathon about a month and a half prior at the CIM, so I just said I’d not stress about it all and have fun. No goals – just run and enjoy.

8263B5D4-D4C0-4078-B6FE-83EFBED996A5I went to the “expo” on Friday and picked up my bib and shirt. They told me where the start of the race was so on Saturday I walked over to find it so I wouldn’t be lost on race morning. The expo didn’t have much. I wouldn’t even call it an expo. Just the booths to pick up bibs and get information and a couple mint tea vendors to get free tea while you were hanging out. There was music and, maybe, a couple vendors. But that was it.


Vendor at the start of the race selling breakfast items

Since arriving in Marrakech, I had been drinking mint tea everyday, beers each night and almost no water. So I was totally ready for a race. Haha! I jest. I also didn’t eat pizza the night before. I had Moroccan food for breakfast and lunch, then beer, and hot chocolate and fries for a late night snack. Fantastic carb loading! I also didn’t go to bed til like 1am. Basically everything wrong before a race.

It was pretty chilly in the 30′s when the race started. I layered up more than I normally do because they told me there wasn’t a gear check and I wasn’t sure how long it would be before I’d find my friend Johnna at the end. So I wore a long sleeve over my short sleeve and arm warmers but took off the outer layer a few miles in and tied it around my waste. I also wore my gloves for a few miles as well. However, I did wear shorts even though it’s not customary for women to wear short clothing items in this country. But I am used to wearing shorts for races, so I just went with it.


It was a little chilly on race morning

The start of the race came quickly and I ran fast and comfortable. Probably too fast but I felt great. I talked to an American that lives in Zurich and talked to a couple of British fellows who have run quite a few marathons. The one guy said he’s run like 320 and 200 of them have been in the States. A local man and I ran together for a large portion of the race. We never spoke to each other, but just ran the same pace for a long time. Toward the end maybe around mile 22, I passed him and gave him a smile and pat on the back as he drifted behind me.

The race is extremely flat, which is nice. It’s fast. There was a slight incline starting around the 20 or 21 mile but it wasn’t really a hill or anything. You also run through all sorts of areas of Marrakech. Even the ritzy area with nice hotels. We saw camels, palm trees, orange trees, olive trees, sheep, donkeys, industrial areas, residential areas, malls, and everything in between.


Delicious dates!

Aid stations were about every 3 miles and most just had water, but later in the miles they would have mandarins and dates. Oh so good! None had electrolytes so you would either have to carry your own or just use the fruits for sugar. It didn’t seem like I was sweating a lot, so I was ok without electrolytes. I just ate my shot bloks every 4 miles, and that worked well.

Police had intersections stopped and would let us run through, although some cars and scooters would sneak through. I almost got hit once because drivers in Marrakech are impatient. Doh!

I didn’t use a restroom at the beginning of the race, partially because I had already gone at IMG_3149my hostel, but also because I didn’t see any at the start. So, of course, I had to go to the bathroom during the race (which is not normal for me) and only saw two porta potties at mile 13 but decided not to stop for some reason. Then I realized after that I really needed to go and the miles passed by with no restrooms. So around mile 18, I finally stopped at a really nice hotel and asked the security guard at the gate if there was a “toilette” (they speak French). He pointed to the guard station and let me go there. The fun part was it was a hole in the ground with a bucket and faucet to clean it when you were finished. I probably spent 4-5 mins in there. Most of the time was spent filling the bucket to clean the toilet. But at that point I desperately knew I should use a restroom and not care that it was a hole in the ground, or else I’d poop my pants while I was running and I know that wouldn’t go over very well.

I was surprised at how many spectators there were along the course including so many IMG_3222kids. I thought I may get weird looks since I was wearing shorts, but I didn’t. I decided to stop and give some kids ‘Live A Great Story’ stickers and they were so happy. I only had two on me and wished I had packed more in my fuel pouch. I also saw belly dancers and tourists who cheered us on.


I didn’t see very many female runners. But many runners were from all over the world and I just love it. Listening to different languages being spoken while we are running is so cool to me. I talked to a Polish man, German man, British, Italian, American and, of course, Moroccan, and I know there were plenty from other countries.

I thought the race was pretty well organized. Lots of aid stations with plenty of water and IMG_3226food items. Police were out along the course to help make sure traffic was stopped when we crossed main intersections. There were blue arrows painted on the pavement to follow the route. We got tshirts and medals. And it wasn’t that expensive either. Keep in mind there is a 5.5 hour cutoff though.

My final time was 3:51 on my watch (I haven’t even looked up my official time). I can’t complain at all. I had a lot of fun and had a smile on my face the entire time. I made several quick stops to say hi to kids and take pictures so I guess I could have had a faster time if I hadn’t made those stops, but it wasn’t about time for me. I easily could have qualified for Boston again if I didn’t stop to use the restroom. But my motivation was just to not sweat it and enjoy the experience. Races in other countries are to enjoy and see other parts of the world. To see the people, the culture, chat up other runners, live in the moment, and live my story.


My 28th marathon

You know you’re a crazy runner when…

  • You go on a vacation and get in a few short runs on the beach in hot and humid temps, even though you probably don’t need to
  • You buy another pair of running shorts because they are on super sale, even though you have PLENTY already
  • You buy new Oiselle leggings at the beginning of summer because “Why not? I’ll need them in the winter!”
  • Your last several apparel purchases have all been running related
  • You go to get a cool 40th anniversary Fleet Feet hat and end up with two more pairs of running shoes because they were $20 each (duh!)
  • You log every mile you run for every pair of running shoes you rotate through in the notes section of your phone
  • You buy pickle juice shots because you can always use something else new and interesting to help hydrate
  • You take feet selfies of your running shoes after your runs (#shoeselfie)
  • You add lots of hashtags to your IG posts so other runners will find your posts (#this, #that…)
  • You enter drawings for free marathons trips, like Uganda and Nepal, because why not?
  • You buy another trucker hat (not pictured below), because it’s a cool Timex Factory Team hat, even though you really don’t look that great in trucker hats

trucker hats are kind of big on me

 **If you’re reading this, you’re probably a crazy runner too! **

Brush yo’ teeth!

Clint, my other half, recently started a pharmaceutical job and while in a doctor’s office saw a bit on the TV in the office about runners having bad teeth. So, of course, he came home and told me about it. He told me about it because while I have good hygiene overall I have a bad habit of going to bed without brushing my teeth. He hates this. I’m tired, I get in bed and that’s it…I’m out. And we have a tiny bathroom which makes it hard for two people to share the sink at the same time (yeah, yeah…excuses!). He, on the other hand, is super OCD and does not ever forget to brush his teeth at night. He made a big deal about this topic, and it actually kind of freaked me out a little.

imagesWell, I did a little research. If you are an avid runner, just brushing your teeth in the morning and at night is not going to cut it. It’s actually very interesting and makes a lot of sense. You may want to consider brushing more often if you run a lot, eat carbs a lot, use sports drinks a lot, and eat those “Gu” type gels a lot.

Here are a few articles with more detail:

Now, get to the dentist!

Is this an addiction?

Last night, we had some friends over and the topic of addiction came up. There are many different types and forms of addiction. The question came up as to whether my running was an addiction. Now, I have been running a long time. Since elementary school, as a matter of fact. Obviously when I was younger, this running was definitely not an addiction. It was a sport that I was interested in and I enjoyed the competition aspect of it. But now that I am running marathons, and multiple marathons a year, does this mean I am addicted? As in REALLY addicted?

Some may firmly say yes. Some may joke and say yes. And others may say no. Can exercise become addictive to some people? Sure! Do I like to exercise every day (or almost every day)? Well, yes! I love it! It makes my mind feel good, it makes my body feel good and overall, I just feel GOOD! Notice, I didn’t use the word need. I don’t actually NEED exercise, but I really like and want it.

Screen Shot 2013-02-09 at 8.13.07 AMSo, now I bet you are saying this is really an addiction. “An exercise addiction can have harmful consequences although it is not listed as a disorder…This type of addiction can be classified under a behavioral addiction in which a person’s behavior becomes obsessive, compulsive, and/or causes dysfunction in a person’s life.”

Are running marathons becoming an obsessive thing for me? Are they starting to cause a dysfunction in my life? I don’t believe so. So I asked my boyfriend. He said, “It’s a good thing, because it keeps you sane and level.” He says that I drive myself crazy with other things in my life, so this is good for me. (At first, he did try to say it is an addiction, but he was joking.)

Honestly, I love the direction of where my life has gone and is going and marathons are just part of it. Without this challenge, structure of training, goals, and events to look forward to, what would I be doing in my life? I really don’t know. For now, I am happy and content with what this “addiction” has brought me. I really feel it’s healthy and it really allows me opportunities to travel more. Would I have gone to Germany if it hadn’t been for the Berlin Marathon? Would I have gone to Trinidad & Tobago if it hadn’t been for their T&T International Marathon? Probably not. I also have the Dublin Marathon coming in a couple months. I’m sure at some point I would have gone to Ireland, but having a reason such as running a marathon in this country only makes this adventure happen sooner. I also have many other marathons in different countries on my bucket list. It’s all purely to see the world and a great way to do it.

I still find running a great sport and love the competition of it.

So, if it is an addiction, I’m sure my family and friends will have an intervention down the road. But I think I can say with confidence that’s it’s not hurting me or anyone else, so we’re all good…for now. (I joke!)

What do you think?

So I’ve been writing this blog for almost a year now. I write my blog posts with excitement and from the heart. I don’t write them expecting comments or to inspire people. I don’t write them to brag or boast. They are more explanational (is this a word?) than anything. And I have found them to be a great journal of my adventures. But somehow they do inspire. And they do motivate people. And people enjoy them, I think.

But after all this time, I wonder if I should be doing something different. I notice other “running blogs” talk about what their daily routines are or what their daily exercises are or what apparel or shoes they buy or wear. I just blog about my races or what is on my mind in between, but I try to stay true to what my blog is – running to see the world.

So, I ask you, my readers, what do you like about my posts? What don’t you like? What can I improve? What do you want to read more about? Any suggestions?

That’s my post for today!



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?

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!

Bart who?

bart yasso 2009

Brian, Bart, and Me – 2009 CIM Expo

To most people, the name Bart Yasso may sound like a cartoon character. Or to my boyfriend, it’s Bart Lasso. But to the running community, this guy is well-known, and even called the “Mayor of Running.”

Bart Yasso is a prominent figure in the sport of running and is also a columnist for Runner’s World, created the Yasso 800′s marathon training plan, and has also run races on every continent. Pretty impressive!

Brian and I were lucky enough to meet him in 2009 at the CIM Expo. Brian was way more excited to meet him than I was. I really didn’t know who he was then. But as I continued with my running adventures, I started to hear more and learn more about him.

So a couple of weeks ago, we found out Bart was coming to our local Fleet Feet store to do a short run and a small presentation. We jumped on it and RSVP’d!

photo (2)

Brian, Bart and Me – 2013

Today we were lucky enough to meet him again. I asked if he would take a photo with Brian and I, just like he did in 2009. He was laid back and happily obliged. He also was very approachable and talked one-on-one with anyone that came up to him. After a short mingle period, he took a group photo with all of us (about 30 runners?) and then we took off on a 3 mile run. Brian and I left with the others in the front of the group while Bart was bringing up the rear of our run through Midtown, around McKinley Park, and back to the store.

It was a fairly warm 84 degrees out this evening, but it was totally worth it. We got to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s not too often that you get to run with one of the best. It was actually kind of cool. It made my Wednesday.

LA Marathon 2013

I ran the 2013 LA Marathon today. I was inspired by the LA Olympics in ’84 and remember watching the marathon on TV when I was a kid. Now this course is not the same as the LA Olympic Marathon, but I thought running this race would make it just as special being in the same city.

For me the experience started as something pretty special when I got an autographed poster from Olympic Marathoner Deena Kastor at the Expo. The words read: “Amy – Believe and Achieve!” I love it!IMG_2719

I didn’t get the best sleep Saturday night (well actually Weds-Saturday I was sick with a minor cold as well and had some crappy nights).

I woke up at 4:09am, 1 minute before my alarm, and got dressed and everything prepared to head out the door at 4:40 to get to the shuttle to be taken to the Dodgers Stadium.

After arriving at the Stadium, I immediately got in a porta pottie line. I ended up using the bathrooms two more times before getting into my corral. While rushing to my corral, I barely squeaked in as they were closing the gate.

And we started at 7:28! Here we go!

It was congested in the beginning, making it difficult to get around people and my pace was not as fast as usual so that worried me a bit but I wasn’t too stressed.

As we climbed several gradual hills in the beginning of the race, we benefited by the downhills. These are always nice, but you still need to be careful with your speed.

I wasn’t all that impressed by the course. However there were a few spots that were pretty neat to see like the Pantages Theater, Capitol Records, Chinese Theater, Sunset Blvd, Rodeo Dr (which was almost a blur for me as I ended up focusing on a beautiful ruffled dress in a window of the BCBG/Max Azria store). We went through West Hollywood and there were lovely drag queens dressed in cheerleader outfits and then down the way there was a section of 600 cheerleaders from local schools. Pretty fun!

As I continued through the course, I wasn’t stressed about a specific goal necessarily. But early on I thought that my pace was slower than normal because of the hills we encountered, so I just accepted that I was going to come in after 4 hours but was ok with that. But as I kept a steady pace, I realized that I could run this under 4 hours, even if I did get tired and had to run it slower at 10 min miles. As I got to mile 20, I texted Clint to tell him “6 more”. He knew what this meant (get your butt to the finish if you aren’t there already!) and said “Awesome!!!” It was 10:24 when I texted him so he knew I was coming in before 4 hours.

I got kind of excited and frequently looked at my watch to check my pace and the time I had to get in before the 4 hour mark.

6 miles left, 4 miles, 2 miles…I’m home free! I kicked it up a notch. Don’t fail me now legs!

As we turned the last corner toward the Finish, I could barely see the orange arch ahead. I wasn’t sure if it was the 26 mile maker arch before the finish or the actual Finish arch. It still seemed so far away. It was a long run to that Finish line, but I sprinted it and was happy with my 3:50:18 finish!IMG_2767

My 3rd best time (by seconds) and came in the top 10% of all runners (2,015 out of approx 20,000). I also placed 49th out of about 1,000 in my age division.

And I got to pick up a special second medal for completing the LA/SF challenge.

Overall, it wasn’t my favorite courses as far as beautiful sights, but I’m glad I got to do it and experience it.

Oh, and Deena came in 3rd place in the women’s division. She’s 40 years old and runs a 5:49 pace. I can’t even imagine what that feels like. I’ll never know, but she’s inspiring.

*written 3/17/13

Hello world!

Welcome to my blog! With the inspiration and pestering of my friend Jenny Cox (and a few others who encouraged it as well…yes, that’s you Clint!), I finally started a blog. I should have started this long ago so I could look back and read about all my race experiences. It’s amazing what details you forget if you don’t write it down right away after a

Here you will find out about my running life, marathons, my travels, AND my marathon travels all over the world. You may find some other weird and random tidbits as well about my dogs or an inspiring quote or maybe even what’s on my playlist at the moment.

I hope to help people or maybe even inspire.

If there’s something you want to hear about, let me know. If there’s something you don’t want to hear about, let me know that too. Enjoy!