My goal going into the San Francisco half marathon was to just have fun and keep “racing Page” on the back burner. In the past, I always tell myself this and my competitive spirit gets the best of me. But today was a different story – the running gods cursed my Garmin and in turn, it was one of the most exhilarating half marathons I can remember. So without further ado, here’s how it all went down.
The weekend started out with San Francisco ambassador meet-ups.
A quick Lululemon shake-out run with good friends.
Carbo-loading on the best donuts you will ever have in your life (Pebble’s donuts: organic and vegan in the Ferry Building).
Meeting up with Swimmy Kimmy.
And working the expo with my fellow ambassadors.
On Saturday night, I was in bed by 9 p.m. for a 3 a.m. wake-up call. A quick freeway hustle to the city and I was ready to for the 5:30 a.m. start gun. While the start time of this race is one of the most painful I’ve experienced, being done by a little after 7 and your entire day ahead of you is worth the extra cup of tea.
With my belly full of oatmeal and ¼ of a PB&J bagel, two bathroom stops and my shuffle ready to belt its tunes, I went to start my Garmin and got a seemingly sign of running doom. “Low Battery.” Again. This was impossible! I charged it all night and unfortunately, this has happened more times than I’d like to admit. Thus, I think my little hunk of red, Garmin love may be seeing its final days. (P.S. Chicken Face: my birthday is in August and that new Nike watch is looking prettttttty appealing. Hint, nudge, hint, hint.)
My original plan was to stick with the 3:20 pace group, which a friend from running club was leading. We huddled together, chatted and within moments, we were off. Far too often, I start out too fast. But with no real goal in hand and my Garmin resting in peace, I started the race casually weaving throughout the throngs of runners and chatting with friends.
As we made our way down the Embarcadero, through Chrissy Field, and across the Golden Gate Bridge, I found myself smiling.
Smiling as I took in the stunning views.
Smiling as I saw friends on the bridge and we cheered each other on.
Smiling from the perfect, cool weather.
Smiling as I saw one of the guys from the Bachelorette. (I later found out it was this guy.)
Smiling because I was running according to how my body felt – nothing else.
As I smiled my way across the bridge, I realized just how lucky I am and how life is so, so good. My legs and body can carry me across the Golden Gate Bridge, I just married the man of my dreams, I’ve met so many great people through blogging who are now good friends and so much more. I was happy, strong and ready to take on the rest of the race.
With my running high fueling me, I powered through the run at a pace that felt strong but still fun. No struggling allowed. When faced with the infamous hill climbs, I simply upped the music volume, shortened my stride and pumped my arms. No problem.
As with all of my races, as soon as I could see the finish I kicked it in. When you see that finish line, it’s time to dig deep and pretend like someone’s chasing you.
Run, push, run, breathe…DONE. 1:35.
UPDATE: I checked out the official results this morning and was shocked to see this (I guess all the super fasties took the day off):
Is it wrong that I’m abnormally excited about this?!
With that, I finished the first half marathon of the San Francisco Marathon with a smile and a great run under my belt. To top it all of, I was able to complete the Half It All Challenge and earn one of the most amazing pieces of race bling blang that I’ve never seen.
It’s a spinner medal with a different image on each side. HOLLA!
So here’s to running for the love of it…