San Francisco Marathon Race Report
I hesitate to call this a 'race' report as I did the slowest marathon i've done (of 2). As someone once told me, some days you're the hammer and some days you're the nail. On July 31, 2011 I was definately the nail.
I was fighting a flu/cold fever all last week, so i wasn't even sure if i would be able to participate at all. Finally on friday evening, some of my friends (who were registered for the half marathon) convinced me to go down to SF with them and stay in their accomodations. So I went. For shits and giggles I wore my, "I overtrain so I can drink wine" running shirt. I figured any little thing that might help would be good.
It was such a tough, but inspiring day for me. I saw so many people of all shapes and sizes working their hardest to take on a challenge. I even saw two sikh men with turbans running--one must have been nearly 70 years old--the other had had a stroke and was running, mouth downturned, one arm not working properly--but determined nonetheless to complete this endeavor. It brought tears to my eyes to see that. For all my whining of aches and pains and flu/cold, here were two men near my grandfathers' age kicking my butt!!!
I was not sure if I would even complete the whole marathon since i had been feeling so lousy the week prior, so my contingency plan was to drop out at the half way point if things were feeling too icky.
Lo and behold around mile 13 i felt great so i continued on. By mile 16 however, my determination was flagging and i was having a really hard time moving. And I was slow--and getting slower. I saw old men in knee braces pass me on hills as I walked and I started to worry about the sweep passing me and saying, "Sorry ma'am. You are done for the day." This produced more anxiety which made (I think) my performance worse. The relentless hills didn't help my mentality--I so wanted to drop out and and pull the lever on my contingency plan. I even saw a place I could easily walk to, where my brother could come and pick me up. But my pride wouldn't let me do it. I also thought about Misty who often writes about her endurance runs-- how she is sometimes a very slow runner--but she always keeps going, regardless of what anyone else around her is doing. Eventually i just figured it would take less time for me to finish the race than it would to flag down a medical person and request an escort back to the start. My first marathon last year was done in 4hours 45 minutes.
Yesterday it took me 5:20 (i had 5:15 on my garmin, so 5 minutes of potty breaks) so it was quite a bit slower than last year. Bro was at the finish line and ran in with me cheering and that was really wonderful. I was cursing though, "Where is the fkng hell is the finish line!!??"
Today i am so happy i finished it even though my time is nothing exceptional. I'm thinking of doing another marathon (here in sacramento) in December. :)
When I got home, there was a big banner across the whole garage door--and as I very gingerly exited my car, all our neighbors came out and clapped for me!! It was so awesome!
For you viewing amusement, here is a video from SF Marathon. I'm wearing a bright pink shirt and black shorts.