Yes, I purpsely bought the shorts so that I would stick out amongst the crowd. And yes, there are some no so flattering photos. But hey, I ran 26.2 miles, obviously I’m not going for glam here!
The micro picture of me at the finish line! Compliments of Nike. You can see the full size images available for purchase (at quite a ridiculous price) HERE
So… the marathon. The Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. My first marathon. It was an incredible weekend.
I had trained for over 18 weeks with Team in Training, logging the miles week in and week out and fundraising $4,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The people I met through my training were the most incredible, encouraging folks I have ever met. The longest I had ever run was 7 miles prior to commencing my training and I was pretty lax in the exercise department since graduating from college. Every Saturday I had a new personal record- 8 miles, 10 miles, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20.
We boarded our plane at 6 am on Friday, October 20th and arrived in San Francisco. We walked over to Niketown to pick up my race packet.
On Saturday, we met up with some of my relatives who live a short commute from San Francisco and hit up Chinatown. We found an awesome tea bar where we sampled various teas and were educated about tea drinking. I think I may no longer use tea bags! ha!
I got to bed fairly early Saturday evening and woke up race day at 4 am! I was so excited and nervous, I couldn’t sleep anymore. I got up, got dressed, drank my coffee and spent some time praying for strength to get through the next several hours of running I was about to embark upon.
The race started in Union Square at 7 am. I went out WAY to fast, with my first 5 miles all being under 10 minute pace. THEN came mile 6, a hill so steep that there was an “Oxygen Station” at the top! Mile 6 was all uphill. Then it seemed like everything until mile 12 was uphill as well. I think there was one section running downhill, but my legs were shot by the time I made it to the halfway point. My mile times were sginificatly slower in the second half of the race.
The scenery was breathtaking as we ran along the Pacific shoreline, through Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, and down to Lake Merced. By the time I reached mile 20, it seemed like the miles were getting longer. My husband hopped in at mile 23 and ran the rest of the way with me. I was so thankful for him. His encouragement was incredible and very much needed at that point.
Mile 26- My coach came out to run the last mile with me. I was almost there. I couldn’t believe that I was actually going to complete the marathon.
.2 to go- I started to kick it in. I couldn’t believe that I actually had any kick left in me after running for 5 hours, but I did! As I approached the finish line with a lump in my throat, I high-fived my coach and raised my arms into the air in victory as I crossed the finish line.
I was immediately swarmed with finish line attendees. Men in tuxedos handed me a blue Tiffany’s box with my finishers necklace. Somebody clipped my timing chip off of my shoe. I was handed a space blanket to keep warm and my finishers t-shirt. Then I finally got to see my husband at the other end of the chute.
He hugged me and told me how proud he was of me. I couldn’t believe that the race was over.
I did it. I ran a marathon. 26.2 miles. Amen!