Guest Blogger Nancy Cook

Training for the SF marathon in Vermont

I love working for the American Cancer Society, directing the Relay For Life National Corporate Team Program – a job that I have loved since the day I began in the “field” 18 years ago. I am a combination of event planner, strategic director, trainer, volunteer manager, relationship coordinator, fundraiser — a party planner that brings the community together to Celebrate. Remember. & Fight Back. while raising the much needed funds in the fight against cancer with some really great people. We have this saying that “It’s not about the cake” – meaning that a celebration of survivorship should not center around getting a cake for everyone to eat, but there is so much more to planning this celebration and involving cancer survivors in our events.

BUT – In my running world it IS about the cake! When you set goals you also should set rewards for yourself – so you have an incentive, a little added meaning.  Something to really push you out there. Yes! Cake! I love cake, I love champagne! And bonus — this is my birthday month – so it is all even more acceptable to celebrate every day! As a cancer survivor celebrations mean so much more to me now than they ever did and as a planner, I love to envision how that success is going to feel and how I am going to cross the finish

SF Marathon Ambassadors: Michael, Me & Charlie celebrating our finish at the Boston Marathon 2012

line and then CELEBRATE!

Have you seen the VIP treatment that the SF marathon offers?! Nothing is better than elite treatment. Pre and post race goodies & an exclusive sweatshirt. Very cool. :) That is truly a way for you to celebrate the weekend in style. How fun! What are some other ways to celebrate a victory, crossing the finish line? Just to finish a marathon (or a longer mileage race) is cause for celebration! My favorite way to celebrate is meeting my sweet husband at the finish line (He is most likely armed with roses and champagne) and then a little gathering of friends around some ice & Advil wearing my medal and jacket. Post race for me usually includes reservations for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant with a “nice” bottle of red wine. All my favorite things and being surrounded by family & friends.

When asked, my fellow Ambassadors shared their favorite way to celebrate finishing a race.  Courtney of course eats some of her favorite pancakes! :) Charlie responds “I start with an ice bath, beer ( the good stuff, none of that light crap), and pepperoni pizza with extra cheese. & I always wear the shirt of the race afterward and once I take a shower” :)

Celebrate! Me in my Glam Runner Tutu ! :)

Monika heads straight for the burrito stand in her Glam Runner Tutu! Peter Rabover  says “I like to put on my SF Marathon shirt, my armbands, and of course the sweatyband and kick back and relax thinking about next years race.” Always ready to represent and share the SF marathon love!

Michael, our North Carolina boy shares “I usually seek out the most unhealthy food possible. Preferably some hot wings. Then I begin writing myself an emailed race recap for a later blog post while running the play by play in my head.” Nurse on the Run Susan also takes a healthy view on celebrating… “Beer and a burger! And if I have enough salt on my face, tequila shots all around. (er…maybe not.)” And Wesley will be definitely be joining them both eating beer and pizza.:)

Luis will be writing his race recap & listening to the playlist of music back just to revel in the accomplishment of the race just a little bit more. :) That and trying to walk normal again!

Here’s are a couple SF recommendations… From Laura - “After I run SF I ALWAYS get a bread bowl of clam chowder from Boudin Bakery by Fisherman’s Wharf. YUMMMMERS! :)” and from Emily “More than likely you will find me at Shake Shack after any race… or any run for that matter…”

Back East, 2 of my friends that have taken on the challenge of their first marathon share their celebrations with me.  My friend Sarah recommends a good massage and Sasha, a friend who I coached years ago, says there is nothing better than a microbrew on the deck of a VT brewery after the marathon where all the runners are mingling.  And then don’t forget to have that pedicure! :)

It's my birthday month & I love cake!

Whatever you decide is the best way to reward your efforts of the day – it will be special fun and memorable. Cake is always memorable. You can be sure that my post race will include cake! I truly can remember the finish of all my almost 30 marathons! Can’t wait to cross that line & celebrate on July 29th in San Francisco! It will be a time to Celebrate!