Ok, SO I DID IT. That is the first most important thing in this blog! Everyone who has been reading about my journey to this point knows how much anxiety I’ve had leading up to this! I decided that this preview course run was going to more beneficial to me mentally even if I am not up to the 12 miles in my training plan, yet. It turned out there were others not at 12 miles either! Winning!
I left early, as I knew parking would be an issue. And it was. Some company bought/rented out half of the parking lot at the Sports Basement in the Presidio (the meeting place for the run) so that made an already hard to park situation, even worse. Luckily, I left early enough I got one of the last available spots. Unfortunately, I missed the first exit and in turning around made a right at a red light that had a sign saying, “no right turn on red light.” I made a mental note NOT to turn right on red. But, within seconds my natural instinct that its OK to turn right on a red light kicked in (as there were no cars at 7 am) and I MADE THE RIGHT! Too late. I am sure I have ticket coming in the damn mail. SO, that is an expensive training run. Why the hell do they not allow the right turn in some places anymore? It wasn’t dangerous. Its a money scam. Its Ok in some places, but not in others. I am sure people mess that up all the time.
I made it. Everyone was super nice. I met a few older women who’ve run this marathon a few times. They asked if I had Gu to take on the run. I didn’t. They made sure I took a few packets and told me when I should take them. Then they asked me if I had electrolytes in my water. I didn’t. So, they shared a tablet of Nuun to put into my water. I told them, what other sport can you meet people who are not in competition with you, but want to help you? I have said it before, runners are the nicest, most supportive people!
I met my pacer Liz. She was running the Galloway method, which by the way, MOST people were! YES!!! She was using the 5 minute run 1 minute walk ratio. She said it was for 12:25-13:30 minute mile. I thought perfect! Three miles into the run I thought.. she is pacing faster than 12-13 minute mile it feels like. I had to slow it down. I knew I can’t keep up at this pace, and the furthest I’ve run to this point is 7.5 miles. I wanted to make 8 or 9 miles today. I looked at my app and it was registering around 11-12 minute miles. So, I slowed it down. There was a sweet girl by the name of Jennifer running next to me. She said, “I will stay with you. I have run the first half last year and running the second half this year to get the complete medal. And I don’t care about my time. It’s just about the long run for me, too.” I thought, O.M.G. It’s a miracle.
I could tell she was very fit, and she was not struggling at all.. she more or less just wanted to hang back with me. So, that was awesome. Then we met a nice guy, who for the life of me I cant remember his name, but his wife’s name was Pia. They ran with us too. We were averaging 13-14 minute miles and that was with more walking breaks, selfies, chatting, pausing to take snaps of the escape from Alcatraz swim that was going on and the swimmers were just heading out of the water as we passed! We were having so much fun! We enjoyed running through the Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf, The Ferry Building and up to the Bay Bridge. The 6 mile turn around was just past the Bay Bridge. I knew I was going to turn around at the Bay Bridge which was the 5 mile point. I have learned not to be over zealous. Pia and her husband decided to keep going. Jennifer and I turned around, and at mile 8 I was glad I decided to do that. I was now at the furthest I have ever run, and I was beginning to feel it. The Gu did help a lot. I knew I would make it back, but I was going to be just borderline of almost pushing it too far. We ran/walked, at this point I really slowed down to 15 minute miles, to the mile 9 mark. When I ended the app it said we averaged 14:34 min miles. Which in the big scheme of things is perfect for me. I was suppose to run my long run at an easier pace than my race day pace. Which I did. I did is easy enough I was able to get my distance. And I walked the last mile for a cool down giving me a total of 10 miles! Yes, I DID 10 MILES!
I was able to still chat afterwards, and have a half of bagel. At the bagel table we met up with another guy, J.D. who had stayed with our pace group, and he confirmed they did finish quicker than 2:45 so, it was paced a bit faster, so I was right. It felt like it. But, that’s Ok.
I drank about a half gallon of water afterwards. I was feeling super stoked I just finished my longest distance. But, I wasn’t wrecked. I wasn’t falling over exhausted like I have in the past! I am definitely getting stronger, and more fit. Will I ever be a fast pace runner? No, I don’t think so. And, that is OK. I am totally OK if one day I am able to run 10 miles with a consistent 12 minute pace. I am golden. It’s about a lifestyle change for me. I am in it for my health, and enjoyment. If I can finish a half marathon in under 3 hours, even maybe 2:30 one day, that’s fine.
The course is a gorgeous run. The hill leading up to the Golden Gate bridge will be a doozy and then the bridge itself, of course. Then the Fort Mason hill, otherwise the rest of the course is pretty flat, and its all so scenic. I am going to work on my hills a little more, as most of the hill work will happen about 5 miles into the race and your legs will feel pretty tired out if they aren’t strong and ready for it.
I am feeling more confident that if I keep up my training in 7 weeks I will ready to do the distance and handle it. I also think I have a good shot at getting it done in under 3 hours. If its 2:59 I will take it. I also feel like something is working in my favor (hey, maybe its ME) but, the fact I got the last parking space, and met Jennifer who clearly didn’t need to stay with me, but it was almost like she was a guardian angel to me yesterday. She made it so enjoyable, and the others that were so kind and fun. I have a positive feeling now, instead of anxiety and doom. The only thing that could make it just perfect…. the camera at the red light mysteriously wasn’t working that day and I don’t get a ticket. Do you hear that Universe? 🙂 xo
I AM SO GLAD I WENT! AND 10 MILES FOR ME! WOOOO HOOOOO!
San Francisco Marathon did a group photo of all of us for social media. When I find it, I will post it. Here are a few pics of my buds from yesterday