When I was training for the marathon, I didn’t want to sign up for a race. I was worried that I would be too exhausted. Then I won an entry to the Hollywood Half and then someone talked me into San Francisco.San Francisco was a race I really wanted to do for a variety of reasons.
1. I was born there.
2. You can run the full marathon, the first half of the marathon or the second half of the marathon.
3. If you run the first half you get to run over the Golden Gate Bridge.
So I signed up for the first half of the marathon. I signed up and made a plan to go visit my Nonnie and run with some lovely folks from my gym!While I was training, I found out something pretty cool. My beloved Nonno, who passed away a few years ago, actually WALKED across the Golden Gate Bridge the day it opened on May 27,1937. Then, I found out you could actually customize your bib.
So I did….
But first things first…I drove from Southern California, stopping in Santa Cruz to visit my friend Nichole and headed to Nonnie’s. She and I had a fun-filled Friday! I took her to the doctor and our time together consisted of deciding where, what and when we were going to eat next! Love it!
On Saturday, I picked up my friends Jodi, Christy and Jodi’s daughter Maddie at SFO and we went directly to the expo to grab our bibs and race goodies. We did this so quickly. It’s funny how the more races you do, the less time you spend at the expos and the fewer pictures you take!
We checked in to the hotel and made our way to Union Square so we could visit Lululemon and the Niketown. You never know what you may need!
My dear friend is the General Manager of the Cheesecake Factory in Union Square so I made arrangements for us to have dinner there….it was delicious and perfect. Then we went back to the hotel to get much needed rest for the next day.
Team #Run3rd was meeting at 4:15 the next morning….my wave wasn’t until 6:30am and I didn’t want to get there so early…BUT I also didn’t want to miss a meet up. Since our hotel was so close to the start line, I decided to go down in my pajamas, say hello to my fellow Team Captains, take pictures, then head back up to get race ready!
My plan worked! I met up with Lupe and new friend Amanda and we talked for a bit while we waited for our fearless leader to arrive. Lupe is a fantastically organized leader, even at four in the morning! She had her #run3rd stickers, her signs and her positive attitude. I am not sure I was even fully awake and I had left ALL my #run3rd stuff at home in So Cal –Thank goodness she was so prepared! Thanks Lupe!She also took WAY better pictures with her camera then my camera took and was sweet enough to send them….I was thrilled to receive these and see her around mile 1. She’s always a fabulous cheerleader!
After a little while, I had to go and get ready for my own run. Maddie and Jodi are speedier, so they got ready first for their early wave. Christy and I took our time and snuck into Wave 6 instead of our real wave 8!Maddie and I were doing the first half, while Jodi and Christy were rockin’ the FULL marathon!
As I stood in the corral, I turned to look at the Bay Bridge and managed to capture this:
And we were off. I felt great for almost this entire race!
Here are some fun facts:1. I used to work for Applebee’s restaurants as a Corporate Trainer. Applebee’s just so happened to be opening a new restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf at this time and one of my best friends was working there. As I ran by, I saw she had put a sign in the window that read “ <3 SB” SB is our nickname for one another, it means “Sexy B*!ch” I tried to take a picture but the sun and the tinted windows made it come out poorly!
2. The morning was GORGEOUS! I took this picture from Chrissy Field
4. My first facebook post was a poem. I couldn’t escape the urge to pee….
Not even to mile 3
Already stopping to pee5. Then I got to the bridge. This was magical. It was so cool running over and back that I didn’t even realize how far or how fast I was going, I just enjoyed the moment, the music and the fact that I was retracing my Nonno’s steps!
This was heading towards Marin; This was heading back into SF
6. Then the hills came. I walked a bit on them, but I kept a good pace. This part of the course is up up up with teeny downs in between. You go up up up, then you go down just a bit. I wanted to quit so badly about mile 12 but I kept moving….
7. AND THEN VICTORY! 12:03 pace, sub 2:40 finish… A PR for me! Plus double medals since I did this one AND LA!
8. When I got the email from the company that took the pictures I had to laugh because I was smiling in every.single.one! Even the ones where I didn't know there was a photog there!
I love to run, I loved this challenge and I can’t wait to get back out there again!
NO EXCUSES, JUST MILES!