I can’t remember what month it was exactly, but it seems like it was just yesterday. Sometime during the end of 2011 on one of our standard morning runs, my friend Sima said out loud to Kristin and myself that she thought she was ready to run a marathon. She was hesitant to say it out loud to us because she knew we would hold her to it, and you know we did!
Way back when in 2010, Kristin and I convinced Sima to sign up for The Relay with our team which was was her first real race experience. After surviving 30 hours in a van, with some tough runs on no sleep, she signed up for her first half marathon. A few half marathons later she decided she was ready for a full. It’s an understatement to say I was excited for her.
Kristin also wanted to run a spring marathon and was ready to take a chunk of time off her PR. After they looked around and considered some options, they picked the inaugural SLO Marathon in San Luis Obispo. I was SO excited that they picked this race since I consider the area home (grew up 30 minutes south) and went to college in SLO. They both registered, made training plans and the rest was history!
I was personally really excited to have another weekend of distractions to help me through AR50 recovery. Plus being their support crew, I could try and return the favor of them being a huge part of AR50 for me. I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else while Kristin ran her 4th marathon and Sima became a marathoner.
We got into SLO Friday, spent Saturday eating, going to the expo, walking around, eating more and just enjoying the sunshine. I was really impressed by the expo and a tad jealous that I wasn’t running too. It was really warm on Saturday and I was a little nervous for my friends, but they hydrated as much as they could and had great attitudes. They set all their race stuff out and we were all in bed early for an early morning the next day.
The race started at 6am so we all got up really early at 4am. I dropped off the girls as close as I could to the start and my spectating partner in crime, Megan, and I made our way to our first cheering spot at mile 5.5… after a coffee run of course. As the sun came up it was very apparent that the fog had rolled in overnight and granted all these runners with perfect running weather.
We hung out at our spot and pretty soon the leaders came through. Our eyes were peeled for our runners and before long we spotted Kristin looking happy and strong!
Not too far behind her was Sima, marathoner in the making!
After we saw them we hurried over to our next spot at mile 18. We parked the car and tried to make it over to mile 8 (this part was a loop) but sadly we didn’t have enough time. This part of the course was running through some of my favorite wineries… too bad they weren’t open yet!
We got extra water bottles and fuel ready for the girls and waited patiently for the runners to start passing us. Like clockwork, Kristin ran by and Sima wasn’t far behind.
One great part of knowing the city where you are spectating is I knew how to get to our next points really easily. I was able to avoid traffic and take the back roads, and we made it to the finish line with time to spare. The finish line was at the Madonna Inn and the parking was really easy and organized. We found a spot next to the fence, .1 from the finish line and kept our eyes peeled for the girls.
Queen consistent, Kristin, showed up at the exact minute I thought she would and looked amazing as she headed into the finish line, demolishing her old marathon PR! I was so incredibly proud of her.
She came and found us at our spot on the fence, giving us some insights to the hilly course she just killed. We all were anxiously awaiting Sima and we spotted her and screamed our heads off. Marathoner!!
I can’t tell you how proud I am of both of these girls and how happy I am that I got to be there to see it happen. We have trained so many miles together over the last few months and it’s been so fun to watch their progress. Sima went from being scared of hills and intimidated by long runs to a strong, happy marathon runner on a hilly course! Kristin turned an incredibly busy spring life into a perfectly executed, textbook negative split marathon PR.
They were both beaming.
This race is definitely on my to do list! I was impressed with how organized everything was, especially for a first time race. Plus being my hometown race, I have to run it one of these years. It looked so fun!
There is something about watching your friends accomplish and surpass their goals that is so motivating. Watching 2 of my best friends on Sunday definitely did that for me. I can’t wait to see what they want to do next and I can’t wait for more runs with my favorite morning run crew. I am very lucky to have them.