If your goals don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough!!!
If I told you I saw myself holding that flag and reaching that goal of qualiyfying for the Olympic trials would you believe me?!
Truth is I did!!!
I saw that moment and achievement in my head and held onto it every single day until I LIVED it!
YOU HAVE TO SEE IT!!!!
Leading up to this race our family endured the devastation of Harvey and lost our home and everything except the clothes hanging in our closet and the pictures on the wall!
Running was no longer a priority and during the rebuild and move, I did what I could!
Many late runs, split runs, re-runs, and botched runs happened!!
Life is going to happen and things aren’t always going to be easy!!!
The comeback tells a great story!!!
So, going into the California International marathon I was a bit open as to a plan!
I raced a 5K on Thanksgiving which was 2 weeks before the marathon and broke 18 minutes with a 17:48.
I also ran a 10 mile race in a 1:02!
Both of which felt very comfortable!
I hadn’t really raced and tried to see what I could do if I left it all out there!!
I am a mental runner and 99.9% of running to me is based off of this!
I knew what I wanted to run but I just needed to believe it was possible despite how I thought training went!
Enter my coach
He flew in Saturday and knows that I tend to overthink things so he told me he would tell me the “race plan” when we had dinner Saturday
… the night before the race!!!!
He knew I was in 2:50ish shape and that a 2:45 was the “if everything goes right and you have the race of your life”.
At dinner he said I had 2 options:
1) I go with what I know I can do and then wonder what could of happened
2) I go for it and risk blowing up on the back side BUT possibly making it!!!
WHAT DO YOU THINK WE DECIDED?!
EVEN from the very beginning when I wasn’t 100% of what I could do and if that OTQ was a possibility at CIM my husband knew!
That flag that I am wearing minutes after crossing the finish line was packed in my husbands bag!
He believed it and had it
THE ENTIRE TIME!!!
I spent much of Friday and early Saturday meeting running friends!
I also got to see Sara Hall whom 4 years ago encouraged me to go for that very 1st BQ at a retreat she hosted!!
I checked out the race finish line and imagined what that clock would say when I crossed the line!
I imagined everything!!!
What it would feel like, what I would do……
I SAW IT!!!
My original bib was just a regular bib but I was lucky to have a friend that was part of the Sacramento Running club (@runningforninja)
offer to switch my bib to a front start with the elites!!!
The thing about this is I wasn’t an elite or even considered one and had no idea of where their tent or gathering area was!
I was only allowed to start with them in the front corral with my sub 400 number.
On race morning, I stood in the corral alone until about 5 minutes prior to the race start.
Then the announcer called for the elites to line up and they emerged from their heated tent!
I was the only girl in the elite corral before that moment standing there with my husbands oversized jacket and pants which were my ” throw away” clothes and I owned it!!!
I am THAT girl!!!
The one crazy enough to think she belongs there!
Race mornings for me are pretty routine! I am a creature of habit!
I woke up 3 hours before the race start to drink a bottle of water, eat, and take a hot bath!!!
I got dressed, said a prayer, and took that last
let’s do this picture!!!
My husband walked with me to the lobby where I met my coach for those last minute tips!
He told me that 6:18 was the magic number and to try and keep it there BUT most importantly don’t lose sight of the 2:45 pace group!
Good advise because I spent nearly half of the race chasing that 2:45 rabbit but in my mind if I could see the rabbit, I had a chance!!!
Somewhere along the way though the 2:45 pace group became so small that I really wasn’t sure who I was chasing but knew at this point I had a chance and the finish line was close!
IT WAS ALL OR NOTHING!!
On the way to the start I got a good cry from this text my husband sent….
If you saw Shalane Flanagan’s fight to win the NYC marathon you’ll know that the gif. he sent of her finish was what did it!
IT WAS TIME TO FIGHT FOR IT!!
To say I was nervous is an understatement! I had no clue of what that last 10K was going to feel like!
I knew it was going to hurt and take everything I had but I was READY TO ENDURE AND LEAVE IT ALL OUT THERE!!!!
BOY DID IT HURT!!!!
When I hit mile 20 I realized this was it!!! This was the moment of doing whatever I could to get to that next mile!
One foot in front of the other!
I knew I was fighting the clock for every second and couldn’t afford to slow AT ALL!!!
To keep speed and mentally focused I began to “fish”.
Although, todays fish happened to be really big fish and catching one was like hooking a trophy!!
So, I focused on keeping the same distance between myself and whoever I could see in front of me!
The picture below I am pretty proud of!!!
I chased this pack of girls from mile 1 to 10!
Then, when they started to slow I took the lead and they chased me
NEVER caught me!!!
I had a moment of looking at their elite bibs as I passed them and questioning myself!!
Should I stay with them? What if they have a better plan? What if I am going out too fast?
BUT WHAT IF I DOUBT WHAT I CAN DO AND SACRAFICE THE DREAM?!
THIS IS MY STORY!!
I first saw my husband at mile 10 and I felt good! I felt as though I had some control!
I knew I had a long way to go but I also knew I had enough to give!
My husband stayed close pretty much the rest of the race! I saw my coach at mile 16 and again at mile 25ish!
The last few shouts I remember hearing were
- My coach: Screaming “2 min” and frantically moving his arms somewhere close to the finish
- My husband: Yelling “GO!!!!!! and at the end of this street when you turn left that’s the finish”. Although, when he screamed that tip the end of the street seemed like an eternity!
I remember surging or thinking I did anyways : )
Marathon legs those last miles are a funny thing.
You know you are moving but in terms of speed it feels like running with weights!
I made it to the end of the street took that left turn and there it was!!!!
I could see the clock and it read 2:44:33! I had 27 seconds to get across that finish line!!!!
Tears began to fall!
My form went out the window!
I EMPTIED THAT TANK!
I heard the annoucer say as I approached the line “Amanda Cruise congratulations on making the B standard for the Olympic Trials”.
IT WAS OFFICIAL!!
finish line video link above
If you watch closely on the right of the finish line video you can see my husband running with his bike thorough the crowds of people screaming!
I didn’t get to that finish line alone!! It took the support of so many!!
I’ll never truly be able to put the emotions of how this moment felt into words!
It is something though I can see so vividly in my mind and in slow motion!
Something I know
I lived my dream!
The dream I saw 6 years ago when this mom of 3 boys decided to do something different!
Something she knew nothing about!
Something that gave her hope
MOST IMPORTANTLY would inspire her children to one day to try a little harder and go a little further!
I dared to dream and speak things that people laughed at!
TODAY MY NAME IS LISTED AMOUNG OTHER INCREDIBLE ATHLETES AS A 2020 OLYMPIC TRIALS QUALIFIER!
So now what?!
I made top 50 on that race list and its time to start climbing!
Always be a work in progress!!!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support and encouragement on this journey!!!
Love, Love, Love,