3 weeks ago, my parents, Joe and I headed out to California to watch my sister Meghan run her first marathon. We stayed in Palo Alto, but the marathon was in Morgan Hill, which is located about 40 minutes south. The morning started off cool and in the 50s. Meghan was cold when she took off her jacket, so it was good we brought a trash bag to keep her warm until the 7:30am start.
We left Meghan at the start and drove out to Mile 3 to cheer her on as she passed. Our company included a dead deer on the side of the road and some very loud turkeys. I couldn't believe how desolate it was and that was the moment I realized it was going to be a quiet, lonely marathon for all the runners.
|When we cheered, the turkeys squabbled loudly!|
|Meghan is in the purple tank top (for lululemon fans- Run:Swiftly in Royalty). Note the dead deer!|
It was a great on the go breakfast, but it would be perfect for a recovery snack after a long ride or run. The pumpkin butter is a great seasonal treat that comes out in the fall. To be honest, I really bought it since I can't seem to get enough pumpkin in the fall and I was reminded by Averie's post at Love Veggies and Yoga that pumpkin butter was back. Any other time of year, you can leave it out or substitute with jam or raw honey.
Why I love Sunflower Seed Butter:
One of the main reasons I love sunflower seed butter is that I can digest it much better than nut butters. It is also full of nutritional benefits.
-Excellent source of Vitamin E - anti-inflammatory antioxidant that protects the body against free radicals
-Great source of Phytosterols- you know those labels on fake butter/margarine that claim to "lower cholesterol"? That is because the food manufacturers extract these phytosterols and insert in the processed foods. Sunflower seeds contain phytosterols in their natural state, which is more powerful since the whole food is working synergistically to provide your body with the cholesterol lowering benefits.
-Good source of Magnesium- lowers severity of asthma, migraine headaches. Magnesium counterbalances calcium and relaxes nerves and muscles. It is important to get a healthy balance of the both. Deficiency in magnesium can lead to muscle spasms, high blood pressure, muscle soreness and fatigue.
And of course, I had to get my greens in, so I found Trader Joe's Essential Greens Juice which consisted of celery, spinach, parsley, kale, romaine and sprouts. It was a great convenient on the go green juice.
After the power breakfast, we parked ourselves between mile 18 and 19 and cheered for all the runners. It was so much fun cheering since we could see it in the runners' faces that they truly appreciated it especially since we were some of the only people out on the course supporting the runners. Meghan came by and Joe and I jumped in to run with her.
She was looking strong and ready at a steady pace. We were running with the 4:00 pacer for a while who didn't have any runners with him. We chatted with him for a bit and then at mile 23 he stopped running all together! We kept going at a steady pace, the sun was beating down, the temperature was now in the 80s and Meghan was doing a great job battling the hills that kept coming up on us.
It was weird to be the one not running the full distance. I have never jumped in as support for anyone and it was hard to know just what to do to be the best companion possible as you battle through the most grueling miles of your life. Even though she continued to look strong and run strong, I could just feel her pain as we ran miles 24-26.
|Mile 26! Meghan finishing strong as I amp up the crowd and get them cheering!|
Meghan crossed the line with a time of 4:03. I am so happy for her and proud of her for finishing with not only a great time, but doing it on a desolate, lonely, hot and hilly course. I'm impressed she made it through the training which she did all by herself and while in college with all the studying (and partying!) pressures. To top things off, we found out a couple of days ago that she placed 2nd in her age group. Congratulations Meghan! We love you!