Thursday, October 31, 2013

Marathon #3 is in the Books!

On October 20th I lined up with 30,000 like minded women to run the 10th Anniversary of the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. I have been looking forward to this race since the 2012 race ended last year. One of the best parts of the Nike Women's Marathon is the camaraderie of all the women involved and all the friends I get to see while I am there. I loved meeting up with Tiara and Elizabeth from last year's Sisters In Nike Crew and meeting new friends I have been talking with on Instagram and Twitter. 

The expo was amazing as always and had a lot going on. With previews of the new Nike winter collection, photo opportunities, a social media wall showcasing photos and tweets from women running the race, Nike+ member benefits booth and various fun booths from sponsors like Paul Mitchell, Nuun Hydration, Team in Training, and Whole Foods, the expo was the place to be. One of my favorite parts were the live #NTC workouts - free commemorative towel ladies! - and meeting Olympic athletes and celebrities. 

I also had an amazing time meeting some awesome girls I have been interacting with on social media! We got together for lunch on Friday and hung out at different times throughout the weekend. Fun times!

As always, I found my name on the wall at NikeTown San Francisco listing all the names of the participants in the Nike Women's Marathon. And of course, I did some shopping! Everything was so fun in the store and the Tiffany Blue gear was definitely a hot item! 

I finally got to meet Asheton, aka - Smasheton! She was super fun to hang out with and I know she has big things in her future with running and triathlon. She was kind enough to show me the wonders of KT Tape and help keep my IT Band flare ups at bay. Wish this girl was closer so we could train together and pursue our dreams of working with Nike and in events together. Big things...that's all I'm saying!

Met more awesome friends each day at the expo. Samantha was working the expo for some fun new kicks and Becca and Sabrina hung out with me Saturday at the expo. They helped keep my pre race jitters at bay! Thanks ladies!

Saturday I had the privilege of meeting Joan Benoit Samuelson at Panera Bread. Guess we like the same foods. Yum! Pre race fueling with an Olympic champ, can't argue with that!

At the expo it was fun to hear from celebrities and professional surfer Lakey Peterson on their journey to running the Nike Women's Half Marathon. Inspiration came from all these athletes and stars throughout the weekend. 

I also got to see Marie Purvis, the mastermind behind the #NTC workouts, at the expo and my trainer for last year's Nike Women's Marathon. She coached me to a personal best. She has the best training plan for running 26.2 and gives great advice. Always a pleasure to see her at Nike events. 

The highlight of the weekend was meeting Kara Goucher! She is my favorite long distance runner and my motivation for running 26.2. miles. She was so sweet to have her photo taken with me and wish me luck on the race! 

Tiara and I got a photo near the WE RUN sign at the expo the day before the race. Yes, we do run! She and I had an awesome time chilling the day before the race and keeping each others nerves in check.

We also snuck a photo with Jay Blahnik, international trainer and the host of the expo. He kept the event running smoothly and interviewed athletes during the expo. 

Sunday morning race time came early and Tiara and I were at the start line at 5:45am! I haven't purchased my race photos yet, but I'll do another post as soon as they come! We were ready to rock the race in style! 

My race didn't go as planned, as I had to pace myself slower because of my IT Band flare-up and the final 13 miles were freezing cold. However, even though I ran my slowest race in my third attempt (5:04 in comparison to a 4:29 last year, I had a great time and met a lot of great friends who I hope to see again soon. 

I'm looking forward to some time away from training for 26.2 miles and focusing on speed. I can't wait for next year in SF and hopefully I can find a way to get to Washington, DC in April for the second straight year. I need to find a way to JUST DO IT!