Sunday, December 3, 2023



December 3, 2023 - Sacramento, Ca


13. (Leg #2 of the Marathon Relay. CIM relay races started in 1995)


(13.4 mi. 8:22 pace. 3:35:48 total relay team time)


21st out of 29 Female Masters

Relay Teammates:

Anna Tortosa

Other Teammates:


*FCA Endurance:  Myself & Anna Tortosa

*Placer Speedsters: Grace Mueller & Anna Soares


Emily Donlevy, John Justus, Luis Vidal, Michelle Nall, Steph Jamis

Jim Kepfer (pacer), Tim Twietmeyer (pacer)


Today I get to do the first half of the CIM marathon, Grace Mueller is my partner for the second half, she's on my Cross Country team. I'm excited to run, but I have been having a knee problem recently so I'm praying that, Lord willing, it won't bother me during the run.

I do an easy warm-up run to the start with my teammate Cooper who is doing CIM with his dad. I'm amazed at the thousands of people at the race. It's a sea of people for as far as you can see. The time till the start ticks down quickly and soon I'm rushing to get to the start line. I am in a good position and then watch Cooper's group head off for the start. I'm next and soon I'm running over the starting line. I'm excited to be running out here today, but I'm trying to conserve my energy and run with great form for my knee. I plan to start out at around 8:30 minute pace. I’m really excited and have tons of energy and so do a lot of people around me. I start to run up a short hill which doesn't feel too bad compared to my canyon hills. So far my knee isn't bothering me and thank God.

I hit about 8:20 pace at the first mile. I'm going under 8:30, but I'm feeling great thanks to God. I'm keeping the pace steady and not too fast for my knee. There are crowds of people cheering everyone on and it’s very encouraging, especially the groups of bands. Up ahead I see a bunch of people running sideways through the crowd of runners. Soon I find out as I get closer, that there's an aid station on the right so runners are trying to get to the aid. I skipped this one in order to pass the crowds.

I run by the school and there's a beautiful Christmas tree out in front. It's really pretty and is glowing brightly in the early morning. The second aid station comes up at about 3 mi. I use this aid station to quickly stop at the porta-potty and then continue on. Only two more miles till I get to take my energy squeeze! This year instead of having a gel I'm doing a Chia Seed Strawberry Squeeze. I thought it would be great nutrition (I found out later it had very low calories, so next time I'll get a real gel). As I'm running I see someone playing the trumpet on the side of the road and give them a thumbs up. It’s always fun to see a fellow trumpet player. Later I see somebody playing a handheld keyboard that you have to blow into to make noise. It is quite a strange instrument, but it is pretty cool to hear this guy on a lone hill playing his instrument for the runners.

231203_cim_relay_annaMy pace is steadily getting faster but I'm keeping it around 8 minute pace so I don't injure myself. I get to the 5-mile mark and celebrate! I eat my Chia Squeeze and accidentally squirt it all over myself, whoops. At least it’s tasty.

In the next 5 miles, I can take my second Chia Squeeze. I can't wait! I'm also getting a good amount of water from the aid stations, but not too much that might give me a side cramp.

At mile six, basically halfway, I take a quick stop to stretch out my knee. It's slowly been getting tender, but it hasn't gotten painful yet. I just want to be careful, so I give it a good stretch. I get going again and since it's halfway, and I'm feeling good I start to drop my pace a little under 8 minute pace. I only have about six and a half miles to go, and I don't want to finish with extra energy. I'm also noticing that I'm not taking the tangents, or cutting the corners efficiently, I’m just following the crowd.

I don't want to take extra time to get to Grace, so I start to take the tangents better. As I'm running down this long stretch of road, I go by this band that can only say two things, “you're looking strong”, and “You're doing great”. They repeat this about 10-20 times by the time I get out of earshot. At least they're lifting the energy of the crowd, but I wish they could add a few other things to say.

As I’m running, a guy in the race comes up to me and asks if I'm doing a triathlon. I tell him I do triathlons in the summertime. He then asks if I'm a pro runner because I’m wearing a timing chip around my ankle. I tell him that I'm wearing the timing chip because I'm in the relay and I'm handing off to my teammate. It's funny he asked though because the timing chip looks like the exact same one they use for triathlons. I talk to him about the triathlons I do and ask which ones he does. He’s done a lot of coastal triathlons. It was nice to talk to him for a few minutes. I say “Good job” and continue on running.

I finally get to mile 10 and take my Chia Squeeze! It's delicious. Up ahead the course turns and goes through a small little town. It's so cute and there's a high school band playing for all the runners. I cheer on my fellow bandmates. I know I must be getting closer to the end of the first half. I've also noticed that I've missed every photographer. Every photographer I see, I'm always directly behind someone or across the road from them. The one time that I am in the viewpoint of a photographer they stop to change the camera. I'm not upset about it, I'll just have a lot of 1/10 pictures of me. As long as Grace gets the good photos that's all that matters.

I'm thanking God for helping my knee right now. I'm almost done with the half marathon and it's been doing great. A week ago I could barely run because of my knee, but now I'm doing a half marathon thanks to God! I get to 1 mi to go and can almost see the exchange point I run through the halfway point arch, and then continue to run the half mile more to the relay handoff. I sprint into the relay handoff looking for Grace. I see her smiling and can't wait to hand off to her. I point to God thanking him for holding my body up and then I stop to give Grace my chip. She takes a chip and takes off. I tell her “You got this” and pray that God will give her the energy to finish strong.

Grace and I ended up getting first in the high school girls category, or as you can say first and last. We had a great team and it was really fun to do this race after our Cross Country season. My mom did very well as well and God gave her the strength to get through it. Thank you God for a great race!

Praise The Lord For He Is Good, His Love Endures Forever.