Have you heard? I ran quite a bit this weekend. It was exciting! Yay me! Okay, enough self congratulations, I think we all understand just how awesome I am.
The race started at something crazy like 5am, but my wave didn't start until 5:55. Woohoo for sleeping in! But sleeping in meant only sleeping until 5, which totally sucked. When the wakeup call came for our room, I rolled over to jparks and asked him if I could just skip the race. He said no and then proceeded to give me a half-assed "You can do it speech!" Had he actually been awake I bet the speech would have been whole-assed. I took a quick bath to warm up my muscles and then forced down a peanut butter bagel. I was gagging between bites because I am not capable of eating that early in the morning and this cracked jparks up. gag dry heave gag bite chew swallow gag dry heave gag The day was not off to a promising start.
As soon as we got to our hotel lobby I started having serious doubts. I considered moving to the wave after mine because there was no way I could finish in the time I had estimated. I considered dropping out of the race because it was scary. And because I am a wuss. And I really wanted to go back to bed. But jparks gave me another "You can do it speech!" and he actually seemed to mean this one, so I took my place in line. But not before telling him to keep his cell phone close by so when the medics call to tell him I've fallen off the Golden Gate he would hear it ring.
The start of the race was uneventful, which is probably good. We ran down The Embarcadero, past Fisherman's Wharf, Fort Mason, through Crissy Field to the Golden Gate Bridge. These were all parts of the city that I had never run past before and, since it was still early, there was a calm around them that actually made the race relaxing. I know, relaxing? Yeah, for reals.
As I made the climb to the Golden Gate Bridge I was hit with a wave of anxiety. People had told me that the bridge would be so crowded that all the runners would be shoulder to shoulder with no room for error. Someone else told me that the joints on the bridge were really slippery and if you fall on them, you'll just get trampled. All I could think about as I made my way towards the bridge was how clumsy I am. I knew for certain I would be slipping and causing a big race backup. As soon as I got to the start of the bridge I could see how wrong my expectations were: we all had plenty of room to run and the joints were fine. In fact, the Golden Gate Bridge was my favorite part of the race. We had a great view of the city, the wind was perfect, and I'd never crossed the Bridge on foot before. It was amazing.
Upon exiting the bridge we moved into a pretty hilly part of the city, and since I was not prepared for hills, I ended up walking up them. I am okay with that. In the future I will run more hills as part of my training, but if I still feel like I need to walk some of the hills during my full marathon, I will be okay with that.
The race ended in Golden Gate Park, which is almost my home terrain as I do my long runs there weekly. At the finish line we were given heat retaining blankets and our finisher medals. I was not expecting a medal so that was really exciting! See, I'm excited:
Jparks and I didn't hang around the finish line very long as I was requesting a doughnut and I knew this was one time that jparks could not deny me it. By the end of the day I was very tired but very proud of myself. Completing the half has renewed my desire to run the full. Being a part of a group of runners felt great. I honestly think that from here on out I will be a runner. So long as my nipples don't start to bleed.