Big Sur / Carmel Weekend

A week ago, I traveled to Northern California to complete my 22nd marathon. There were a lot of changes going in to the weekend, as the landslide on Highway 1 had affected the route of The Big Sur Marathon, and also impacted our hotel stay. After many bumps and turns, the marathon ended up happening and it was truly a great weekend — the run, the company, and the nature.


I landed on Friday at SFO and was picked up by my bestie, sister from another mister, who is truly the best caretaker and friend in the world. She took care of me by rubbing my feet, making me electrolyte water, and cooking up these delicious pancakes for breakfast. She is truly Martha Stewart 2.0.

On Saturday am, I had to do a 20 minute shake out run, so I went to my favorite trail in the Bay Area — Sawyer Lake Trail. Nothing makes me happier than running on this path and seeing these views.

This is a great quote — it made me happy.

Me and my sister from another mister eating some more (we ate a lot in the 24 hours I was with her). This was taken from Zott’s, one of my favorite places that reminds me of my former life when I lived in the area.

Carbo loading of nachos and pretzels — so delicious.

Then, I was dropped off to a different friend, Michelle. Due to the closing of our hotel, we stayed at a crappy hotel on Saturday night (pre marathon night) in Carmel, close to the start of the race. When I say this hotel was crappy, it was CRAPPY. But all I needed was a bed for one night, so it worked out.

The map to the start. I ended up running to the start (over 2 miles). Easiest way.

My outfit for race day.

I woke up at 3:30 am to eat, and watch Suits, and then I realized that I matched the bed.

The race started at 6:15 am — kinda loved the early start, because that meant I was done earlier than normal.

This was the hardest hardest course I have ever ever run. Yes, lots of double words, because it was that hard. IMPOSSIBLE almost. So many hills. So many.

Gorgeous views. And lots of hills.

I did it. Marathon 22 in the books.

I hate professional running photos — they look like I am barely running. I promise you, I ran.

Incredible scenery.


The sunset that night — which Michelle and I then moved to a different hotel — and then drove the entirety of the marathon. I loved doing that, because I told her stories about each part.

The next morning, we went on a hike — which actually helped my legs.

And boy, was the hike insanely beautiful.

I am not sure I love anything more than California Poppies.

More hills.

Flowers, hills, and THE OCEAN.

I love California. I loved this marathon. I loved this weekend.


It was not a fast marathon time (3;19), but I was very happy with the end result, because I felt strong and fast with all the hills and incline. So, I was happy. And thankful.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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