2012 May

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My run for Denali- Pasadena May 20, 2012. Number 6 of 52!

Here we are, Marathon number 6 already? We made it this far, and there is no stopping us now. Having no soreness from my marathon in Colorado last week, I was ready.I think my body has finally settled into the weekly pounding of 26.2 miles. However this is not the case for little 11 year old Denali Botolino. I just found out today is his birthday. He is fighting to hang on to his life, battleing Pancreatic Cancer. Denali, my heart is with you and we are sending you so much love today. I hope you can hang on. This run was for you xo           In every marathon, we as runners fight to hang on, whether it’s to a PR or just to finish. When you set your heart on something, you can do anything. Sunday I did just that! I completed marathon #6 on another hot day, about 80 degrees with hills to boot! I was grateful to have been welcomed by the Pasadena Marathon so graciously . The day started off in style,VIP access and all. The announcer shouts out Marathon Goddess, where are you? OMG me? Yes You! I was asleep on the couch. But I got up and it was time to go!   I ran with my friend Alex from the group that I pace lead, (The LA Roadrunners “G6”). He pace lead me on Sunday. It was awesome. We ran together to Mile 8. We had a blast. It was so good to be running with him again, even if he did forget to train since March (sorry Alex). It was a blessing in disguise though because we walked , we ran, we sang and had fun. Thank you Alex, you saved my race! It was a slow first half, but perfect thanks to Alex, it kept me injury free and I had tons of energy left for a faster second half. Yay!   I saw a lot of friends on the course. I even did an interview with the Marathon Show and Steve Mackel( head coach of the Sole Runners). Two interviews, one marathon, very efficient if you ask me. The more awareness we can spread the better. That is half the battle. I ran into Marathon Mitch, or shall I say he ran into me. Such a great guy. He was running his 100th Marathon that day. I was honored to cheer him on. I also had the pleasure of meeting up with the beautiful Yolanda Holder. She is known as the “Walking Diva” Guinness World Record holder of most marathons in a year by a woman. I think she completed 106 in one year, Wow! I only hope to do half of what she has done. What an inspiration!   I ran the second half 18 minutes faster than the first. Talk about a negative split. My Mom, David and Alex were at was at the finish line. It was my Mom’s first time coming out to the finish line. She was so proud she almost cried. We are not finished yet, oh no, not even close. It’s time for Zumba. Yes, you read that right. An amazing group of friends got together to put on a special Zumba class to raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. They are known as TEAM 52.They worked night and day for weeks, putting together this event together. Banners, flyers, DJ, food, T-shirts, venue, flowers and more. They got together with their hearts, their friends, family and so much LOVE words can not describe. We raised over $1,000 this weekend. Amazing! I ran, I danced, yes I did join in the Zumba after the marathon. May not have been the brightest idea as the tops of my feet were really hurting the next day. But I had fun and after a few days rest and recovery, I am almost ready for Number 7 : Coeur d’Alene, Idaho here we come   We Got this!!! xoxo
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Marathon #5, Palisade, Colorado, God’s Country!

      Well it didn’t quite start in God’s country infact it was quite the opposite. I got off work at 4, pack and I’m ready to go, but where’s David? Our plane leaves at 6:15, it is now 5:00 on Friday in rush hour and still no David. I was practically in tears, already looking for another flight or another marathon, but nothing is available. Uh oh, what are we going to do now? We miraculously made our flight with not one minute to spare. They almost didn’t let us on the plane. Thank you God and thank you United! We fly into Denver, of course our plane was delayed so we had to sprint to our connecting flight to Grand Junction, Colorado. Good thing we are runners. We get to the plane and realize David left his cell phone and keys at the TSA security check point. Go David! The plane waits and we are off. We made it in at midnight and need to get up at 4:45, this is my life?! WOW. Well at least I had 4 hours of sleep this time, better than last weekend. So I am thinking the race starts at 7, so we have a nice leisurely breakfast, get to the starting line and realize the marathon started at 6:30. I took a deep breath and thankfully the kind race director says I can still run, so off I go without a bib number. I am all alone somewhere in the middle of nowhere, but it was beautiful and I had my road ID in case I took a wrong turn so I was good to go. I was running along the Colorado River. Even though I was all alone, the race course was well marked and I knew which way to turn. I am at a mile 2 and I see some guy running in the wrong direction towards me. Oh, it’s David. Aww he has my bib number for me and he even brought me safety pins. Yeah!! Thank you David. Bib #1000, I like it. There were less than 50 people in the marathon, 350 total in the 5k, 10K, half marathon and full. This marathon did not have timing chips. Too bad I didn’t start on time, I may have won my age group, not for my time, but because I was the only one in it. A big giant hill greets me at mile 4 and with my stomach acting up, the thin air and the fact that I had 22 miles and 47 marathons to go I decided to walk the hill. I finally caught up with a nice lady named Ingrid. She was awesome, probably about mid 60’s and run/walking the marathon and doing an ultra next weekend. She rocks. She told me to go ahead so I did and “Yay” I wasn’t last anymore, not that it matters but Thank you Ingrid! So I am running along in God’s Country amazing views, finally running free and happy. Then I see the signs: Winery this way….> Marathon…> that way. Why? Decisions decisions. That was such a tease. I continued on and passed a few more people, turn around at 13.1 and head back. I finished over 5 hours today, but I didn’t care. I dedicated this race to a friend of a friend who lost his battle to Pancreatic Cancer last week. It was all about Spirit. After I finished, we ran right into the Colorado River. Me and David sat on a rock and he told his story about the Grand Canyon, it was a long story and we sat in the river for over 40 minutes. My body thanked me for that. We didn’t have time for the wineries, but while waiting for our taxi we met Skip. Skip is about 67 years old with a straw hat on his head and straggly beard but some serious runner legs. Very athletic looking. Come to find out this is Skip Hamilton, a legend. He won Leadville 100 in the 80’s , not once but four times. He told us war stories of him and Prefontane, Frank Shorter and test shoes from Bill Bowerman. His title was passed to a Tarahumara runner and Skip couldn’t have been more pleased to pass it on to him. It’s time to go home. Grand Junction Airport is like night and day compared to rush hour traffic at LAX. It was the most laid back airport I had ever seen. David and I stretched on the floor in the carpeted lobby with funny looks from people but we didn’t’ care. We arrive into Phoenix, have dinner, play on facebook and take off for L.A. Touch down in Los Angeles at 10pm Saturday night. We are home, we pick up Jessie (my dog) and life is good. I am turning off all alarm clocks. What a gift. That was the most intense 24 hours ever. Wait did that really just happen? I think it did, I have the medal to show for it, new friends and have now made a decision to dedicate each marathon to someone who has been affected by Pancreatic Cancer. If you know someone, let me know. I will run for them. I will run for you.
52 for You. We got this!
Happy Mother’s Day.
xo
Julie