#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

Zombies are coming!

So I am sure most of you know that I organized a zombie run last year. Maybe you don’t. Well, we’re at it again for 2013.

Last year when I started the planning of the run, I had no experience and no idea what I was getting myself into. We honestly thought if we got 300 people to participate, that would be amazing and it would be a success. Well, it turned out that 3,000(!!) people participated and a total of about 4,000-4,500 people showed up on the day of the event. This was much bigger than we ever anticipated and as the event got closer we had to order more bibs, more shirts, more medals, more brains, more of everything to make sure we were covered. We had about 2,400 runners and 600 zombies. It was wild!

Logistically, we were not prepared though. We got through it all, but I was literally a zombie during and after the event. No really, you should see a picture of me. I was pale, skinny (I lost like 3 pounds that week), and looked horrific. But, everyone seemed to love the event, hiccups and all. And we were able to give the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society about $10,000 from partial proceeds and donations from the event.

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Our new logo

So, now that we have that one under our belt, we had to make a few changes. I split from my partner and dissolved the partnership and we started a new business. With this, we had to rename the run: Capitol Apocalypse 5k Zombie Run. I really love our new look, logo, website, and everything we’ve done so far. And we’ve done it all in a short timeframe.

My friends have been amazing, last year and this year. They have participated in our photoshoots and video shoots and have stepped up to help a lot.

Our event is on Halloween weekend, Saturday October 26th. The only thing about this event that sucks for me personally is that Halloween is my favorite “holiday” of the whole year and last year I didn’t get to dress up and go to a party or have fun like I normally do each year. The run falls on the Saturday that most Halloween parties happen, but we were exhausted and there was no way we were going anywhere that night. And it will be the same this year and probably for years to follow. I’m hoping with some of the changes we are implementing, it will help in alleviating some of the stress and work load and I may be able to go out for Halloween. We’ll see…

Anyway, if you are in Sacramento or live in California (we had many participants from all over California), you should check out our event. This won’t be the last time you’ll hear about it. Sorry! The next five months I will be marketing and promoting the heck out of this. It’s my job. We’d love it if you could “like” our Facebook page. It really helps spread the word virus. And we are on Instagram too – @capitolapocalypse (we love social media!).

We hope you can participate or come out to support!

www.capitolapocalypse5k.com

www.facebook.com/capitolapocalypse5kzombierun

Scared, aren't you?

Scared, aren’t you?

I wish I was in Paris

If you didn’t know, I love Paris. I mean, I may be a little obsessed. Or just call me a Francophile. (Is that a creepy word??)

picstitchToday was the 2013 Paris Marathon. I always wish I was in Paris sipping coffees and eating macarons, but after looking at the race pictures on Facebook, I really wish I was there today among all those participants in such a beautiful city. The weather looked perfect and the finisher medal looks a lot prettier than mine from last year. (I’m a little jealous.)

I guess, for now, I’ll have to live vicariously through Facebook. But thank you Facebook for reminding me that I need to go back and run this again someday!

You ran 50 miles, girl!

That's Heather on the right with her finisher medal

That’s Heather, on the right, with her finisher medal

On a side note, yesterday was the AR50. It’s the American River 50 Mile Endurance Run, that starts at the Guy West Bridge in Sacramento and ends in Auburn. An amazing gal, Heather Monahan, ran it and finished it! I have only met Heather once by chance in the porta pottie lines (it was like finding a needle in a haystack) at the LA Marathon a few weeks ago, but we’ve kept in touch on Facebook for a while now after finding each other through a mutual friend, Manny. I guess you could say we’re virtual running buddies.

I followed her training for weeks before the race and peeked at her progress all day yesterday. She had so many supporters and friends rooting for her then entire way. She ran this in memory of her father that passed away last year. She also raised money for charity. The training and fundraising are both huge tasks. But she did it!

50 miles is quite a distance and she accomplished an incredible feat. Pretty inspiring if you ask me. Congratulations Heather, you inspire me!

Here’s her blog if you’d like to check it out: www.runfordad.tumblr.com