I did it!!!
I realize it’s been a week since I completed the actual marathon but it’s never too late to celebrate an accomplishment…
Here’s a quick recap of the day’s event and all that was going on in my brain along the 26.2 miles to that little blue box…
The start of the race was in Union Square and with over 20,000 participants it was quite a scene! I’m sure we woke up everyone that lived in a mile radius and there were even residents hanging out of their apartment windows to take pictures of the sight below. Where are the porta-potties?! Are people going into those hotels to use the bathroom? Oh man, I am already lined up with my pace group, who knows what the line is like in that hotel; I’ll wait for the first set of porta-potties. Holy hell I’m nauseas! Let’s get this thing going!
This is weird. I work in this part of town. I get lunch right here. I pick up the bus over there. There are too many people; I’m going to run on the sidewalk. In my “sing-song voice”…I have to pee. I have to pee. I started my marathon and really have to pee!
Ahhhhh porta-potties! There were about 10 bathrooms and lines of about 2 – 3 girls already for each! I’m assuming these girls needed to do more than just empty their bladders because these lines took FOREVER! I knew The Chef and my parents were going to be waiting for me around mile 4. I also knew that they planned their arrival time around my projected 10 min/mile pace but the congestion at the start and this bathroom break really delayed me. So I decided to call The Chef to let him know I’d be a little bit later than expected. Yes, I was THAT girl on her cell phone while running a marathon.
I shed my extra layer in anticipation of handing it off to my parents. I see them! I see them!! I see them!!!
Stick tongue out for picture The Chef is taking, check! Hand jacket to Momma, ‘I love you too’, check! High-five Dadtober, check! And now the hilliest part of the course…
Miles 6 – 9:
WOW they weren’t kidding about the inclines on that elevation chart! People, if you are going to walk make your way to the right. This is San Francisco, none of you trained on hills?! Please don’t walk in a group, with your 5 other friends, blocking the entire, narrow pathway up the hill. Maybe when I complete a race in another city I’ll understand the desire to stop and snap photos mid-run.
Miles 10 & 11:
This is SO cool. I’m running my first marathon in my own neighborhood! I know these roads; I LOVE this park. Ha! That sign was hysterical! (“My wife made me hold this sign”!) Ooooh, orange and black – GO GIANTS!!! The Chef and the rest of my support group were supposed to greet me before I entered into Golden Gate (GG) Park. There were tons of race supporters around here and I couldn’t find them. Later I learned they didn’t make it to this spot but for the next two miles I thought about calling again so I wouldn’t miss them at the next “check point” (mile 16). It started raining and I had other things to worry about so I ended up not making the phone call and crossed my fingers hoping we’d find each other along the way. Awwww, cute shirt! (“On a scale of 1 – 10 my wife is a 26.2!”)
Miles 11 – 15 (GG Park):
I tried my first GU at this point. It was espresso/chocolate flavored and of course this was the first time I was trying it out. In fact, I didn’t try any GUs pre-race. Go me! 😦 Luckily, I could consume the GU much like one would consume a shot of Jägermeister. Glad I got that over with quickly! Oooooh, that’s not going to sit well. Aaaaaaaand now I want to barf. Breathe. Breathe.
What is that?! Wait! Is that?! Oh man…it’s raining. 30% chance my ass weather.com! I have feared having to complete a race in the rain since I started out on this racing journey with my first half marathon a year ago. It’s not that much fun to run in the cold, wet, wind and rain but frankly worse could happen. It rained on and off throughout the rest of my race but I’m actually happy it did, got that phobia out of the way! Glad to have my birthday present to myself waiting for me at the finish line! Mmmmmm, warmth, I can’t wait! Go Giants!!!
Goodbye half-marathoners! Oh how nice it would be to finish right now. I’m hungry. And cold. And thirsty. And there is like NO ONE left on this course!
Why is everyone cheering me on today wearing neutral colors?! The Chef had a tan sweater on, Dadtober green jacket (or was it black?) and Momma was in a light blue windbreaker. I can’t find them! Oh look, a Bethtober sign! There they are! WOW there’s a lot of them now! They found The Chef’s sister and his parents too; it looks like some of our friends have even joined them. Woohoo! Only 10 more miles to go! Holy shit, I still have 10 more miles…
Only 6 more miles until D. Only 6 more miles until D.
My friend, we’ll call her “D Iron-woman”, “D” for short, is an experienced racer, she’s even completed a half-Ironman. Crazy! D offered to meet me towards the end of the race to help pace me to the finish! I (obviously) took her up on her offer and we agreed to meet around mile 22. She had recently sustained a leg injury, it was raining, she wasn’t running her own race, and she VOLUNTEERED to run the last couple miles with me. Who does that?! I couldn’t have been more grateful! After seeing my family and friends around mile 16, I knew I wouldn’t see them again until the finish (10 miles away!) so I began to count down to D. I knew, once I met D, I could check out mentally. She would help distract and motivate me to the end. She could drag me to that little blue box if I needed her to!
5 more miles to D.
4 more miles to D.
3 more miles to…D?! A couple miles early?! WOOHOO!!! I made it! Well sort of…7 more miles to go…
Miles 20 – 24:
D and I chatted about the race, the officials kicking non-registered runners off of the course (see what I’m doing here? This is called foreshadowing), the Giants, life, GU etc…I was actually pretty chatty which is not normal for me. Typically I’m not much of a talker (while running ;)), I prefer to breathe.
This part was AWESOME! I had a lot of experience running the second half of the marathon course most weekends during my long runs but the loop around Lake Merced was a little bit different than the path I would typically take. So when I realized I was back on The Great Highway and only 2 miles from the finish, which I could practically see at this point, I was elated! The knee tenderness I had just been feeling magically disappeared!
Mile 26 – 26.2:
D got kicked off the course for not having an official race bib, I raised my arms in excitement as I passed my friends and family, a wave of various emotions hit, I crossed the finish line of my first marathon…it all happened that fast! 4 hours, 42 minutes and 49 seconds later…oh yeah, and I picked up my little blue box from a tuxedo clad fireman.
NWM 2010 Race Stats | Full Marathon
Finishers: 4788 | Males = 404 | Females = 4384
Average Finish Time: 5:04:33
Finish Time: 4:42:49 (with a porta-potty stop around mile 2 – not bad!)