Every year, I think a bit about what I want to focus on in the upcoming year. It’s a bit like New Year’s Resolutions. My theme for 2018 was “community.”I chose it because I wanted to build one this year. In December, I really feel like the efforts of this focus came to fruition, in a number of ways, and this particular weekend felt like one of them.
CIM – California International Marathon, in Sacramento – is a theoretically fast course, although I think it’s deceptively difficult due to the early downhill. Because it’s considered fast, it’s also very popular. So I knew a lot of folks who would be there this year, including Andrew and Patti (from Antarctica), Mike (of Badwater fame), and Eric (a friend I met while his company was a client of mine).
The race was fun (3:38, which is my 3rd fastest time). The rest of the weekend was even better. Here are some highlights, in chronological order:
- Sharing a weirdly luxurious motel suite with Patti (who drove all the way up from San Diego) and Andrew (who flew in from Nashville to hang out, despite his broken arm) in a medium-sketchy neighborhood in Sacramento
- At the race expo, meeting Scott Jurek,who is famous for setting the Appalachian Trail speed record and winning a bunch of hard ultras, like Badwater, Hardrock, and Western States. He signed my bib, and we got copies of his book!
- Thrift store shopping for throw-away pre-race sweaters
- Wandering around Old Town Sacramento and buying matching knee-high socks
- Meeting Mike for coffee and discussing insanely difficult races, most of which he’s done
- Having drinks and snacks on an old riverboat with Eric and his running buddy
- Seeing all the holiday decorations in downtown Sacramento, including the huge tree, light shows, and great Christmas stores
- Returning to a favorite Safeway of mine (I used to live in Sacramento, and we got up to some shenanigans at this Safeway)
- Watching Indiana Jones with Patti, who had never seen it before, and Andrew, who had definitely seen it before
- Running with Tim Twietmeyer in the 3:35 pace group. Tim has won Western States 100 five times, and has finished in under 24 hours … 25 times.
- Seeing Mike as he headed towards the finish of the race (and running like … four steps with him)
- After the race, touring the capitol building
- Going back to the finish line – long after everything had been taken down – and seeing a couple of the final runners finishing. Patti somehow involved herself in handing out medals to these super dedicated folks. We think she also may have handed out a medal to some random jogger who was unaffiliated with the race.
- Eating dinner at some hole-in-the-wall bar and people-watching aggressively
- Visiting The Diplomat bar for a drink, because we’d heard that a senator had gotten drunk and punched someone there, although none of the staff could verify this.
- Accidentally staying at The Diplomat long enough to be included in an election celebration event for one of California’s elected officials, and running into a woman who knew my mom
Overall – super super fun weekend. Running has transformed from something I do just to do it, to something that keeps me connected with people who I care about. I’m looking forward to more of the same next year.
Here are some photos: