As I am getting ready to plan my race calendar for the first half of the year, I am reflecting on this past year. The last big event I participated in was the CIM (California International Marathon) in early December, and boy was it exciting! Lara and I were fortunate enough to find two people I work with who were looking for two people to complete their all girl relay team. I didn't know what to expect from the event, but it definitely exceeded all my expectations.
For those of you not familiar with the CIM, it is an annual marathon in Sacramento that occurs the first Sunday of each December. It is a fairly flat, fast route from Folsom (near the prison) to the State Capitol in Sacramento. Of course this year, we had record low temperatures. I need to check but I am pretty sure it was in the 20's (which is COLD for us here) when Lara showed up at my house at 6AM in the morning for me to drive her to the starting line as she was doing the first leg. After dropping her off, I met the rest of our relay team at a local (and fortunately warm) Starbucks so we could drive to the relay point where our second runner would take over the timing chip from Lara. It actually was a blast piling in and out of the car and having out own race to each relay point to trade off runners. By the time it was my turn (as the walker I went last) my legs were numb and I never had been so excited to see Claudia our third leg runner. As the anchor, I felt the responsibility of getting us a good finish time. It took several miles for my legs to warm up but I couldn't help but get the adrenaline going with all of the spectators cheering us on and all the loud, crazy music blasting along the course.
In the excitement of the race, I forgot to start my watch exactly when I started and forgot to stop it when I jetted across the finish line, so I have no idea what my actual pace was. We finished with an overall time of 5:11, which we were pleased with since we were all different speed, ability, and experience levels! Maybe next year we can do it 4:59! Although that would be nice the race really was all about the experience of being part of such an amazing event. I admit I felt guilty that I was just starting my 6 miles while many runners were struggling to complete their last 6 miles of 26. I couldn't help but wonder what their stories were. Was this their first marathon? Their hundredth? Were they walking for a purpose? A person? A charity? Maybe someday I can capture some of those stories. While our stories may be different they are all interesting and important!
As I look ahead to 2010, I am excited at the prospect of participating in new races while also walking in a few annual favorites. I look forward to increasing both my pace and even my enjoyment level as I continue my quest to be the healthiest, happiest me I can be. I know that sounds cliche but it is true. Without happiness and good health what do we really have?? I wish you the best of luck whatever your 2010 goals may be. Most importantly, we are out there running our own races and creating our own stories whatever they may be.