Sunday, December 5, 2010

Spirit fingers

Apparently I need to be around runners and races all the time...

As you know, I originally planned on running the California International Marathon as marathon #5 this past weekend. Of course, shortly after signing up and getting everything squared away, my legs decided they had other plans for me.

I couldn't let running buddy (lost count, but let's call her SF running buddy) travel to Sacramento alone...especially after I convinced her to run! So I packed my cheering gear and hopped on a train headed north to Sacramento.

I traded this familiar view (the ride between DC and Metropark)

for this one (the ride between Emeryville and Martinez)

Just a couple notes:
  1. Amtrak here is definitely not the same as Amtrak on the East Coast. This was like riding a double decker NJTransit or MARC train. So weird.
  2. Downtown Sacramento on a Saturday afternoon...DEAD. Interesting.
I walked from the train station over to the expo before walking over to our hotel. Yes, I'm trying to load up on the walking. No, I don't like it.

SF running buddy (will now be referred to as SFRB) got in shortly after I did and we settled on an early dinner at Kru. I stuck with my standard rolls and tried a Spicy Tuna Hand Roll. Not really into it...way too much fish per bite.

Do you get crazy sweet cravings after eating sushi? I sure do. We did a little Yelp search and discovered nearby Mochii Yogurt. In addition to offering tasty (and pretty tart) fro-yo, they also make a ton of flavored mochi! I sampled the Tiger's Blood which was an interesting mix of fruity flavors...I think there was cherry and maybe a hint of berry and citrus?

I couldn't commit to it in my yogurt, so I went with the standard Tang with Yogurt Chips and Strawberries. There were a few too many chips and (I can't believe I'm saying this) the yogurt was a little too tart for me to finish my cup. Still tasty, though!

I also walked away with a little bag of mochi for you know, emergencies.

A bunch of the Yelp reviews said Mochii was pricey, but I was shocked at how much cheaper it was than say, Tuttimelon or any other place I've tried. Clearly I've been living in expensive cities for too long.

We were up SUPER early the next morning so SFRB could catch the shuttle to the start in nearby Folsom. I went back to sleep for an hour or so before beginning my run/walk to my cheering spot at mile 21. See, SFRB is speedy. Did I mention her goal was to qualify for Boston? Yeah, I didn't have a ton of time to get to 21.

I ran/walked a total of 8 miles (to mile 21 and back) and it felt AMAZING to get moving again. Part of me really wanted to run the whole thing, but I knew that even this was pushing it just a tiny bit. Ugh.

I soaked up the perfect weather (very light mist and 50 at the start, warming up to the mid 60s) and scenery...
Palm trees on one side, regular trees on the other and autumn leaves at my feet. So bizarre.
Crossing the bridge as the elite runners pass through (around mile 22)
A serene river photo
Stalking the crowd for SFRB!

After seeing all the lonely patches at the end of the race, part of me was glad I wasn't running. I've really only run big races and the crowd support is what gets me through the last few miles. Then again, another part of me was frustrated that I couldn't run...especially with the perfect conditions. Ah well. At least I was a cheerleader.

Oh, and SFRB...ROCKED the marathon. She knocked THIRTEEN minutes off her PR and BQ'd. O heeeeyy! I'm living vicariously through her :)

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