Yesterday was the half marathon in San Francisco and to say it was amazing would be an understatement. It was a very hard race but oh so beautiful.
It started on the Great Hwy by the coast. The sun was just starting to rise as my corral (way in the back I’m pretty slow) made it’s way to the start line. I had read online about the course and I knew that leading up to the Golden Gate Bridge was pretty hilly but I had no idea what I was in for. When we made our first turn I was hit with hill number one and somehow we never really went down. It was a pretty steady climb until just after mile 4, but as much as these first four miles were hard they were the most beautiful. At one point I turned a corner and all of a sudden the bridge was right there. We could see the water and on a sunny morning it was just perfect. Just after mile four was the Golden Gate Bridge it was pretty funny to actually run through the toll plaza that I’ve driven through many times. They had two lanes shut down for the runner one in each direction. This made for a pretty tight run on the bridge it was hard to really enjoy what I was doing because I was so focused on finding a pocket to pass someone or what my next move was. Luckily for me since I was towards the back of the race by the time I turned and headed back on the bridge and got about halfway through we were able to space out across all lanes since there was no one running in that direction. I’ve been wanting to run the Golden Gate since we moved here and this was an awesome way to make that happen. I was able to actually run on the bridge not just the sidewalk next to it. And we were so fortunate to have a clear day so I was able to see Alcatraz in the water, the city skyline, and Marin county while running. I will never forget that. I wish I could have gotten some better pictures, but I was scared to break my running groove and I was also terrified of falling behind the time limit and getting picked up by the truck. It was about mile 8 when we finished the bridge and then we had a few miles of downhill and then also flat. These were some great miles we had beautiful views of the water and marina and for once I wasn’t fighting a hill. At this point the sun had been out for awhile so it was starting to heat up, and I was starting to feel the fact that I really didn’t train as much as I should of but i was quickly approaching mile 10 so that felt good. I was getting a little worried though because I was feeling pretty fatigued and I knew I still had some hills ahead of. Miles 10 -12 were extremely hilly again, I tried my best to run the hills but at this point I knew if I was going to finish I would need to walk some. So I started walking up the hills and running down and when it was flat. It was during this time that I fell behind the 3 hour pacer and I realized that I wasn’t going to beat my previous race time. I never really thought that I would have been able to, but in those miles I knew. At this point we had turned and were making our way back into the city, there were still cool houses and buildings to see but no more water views. Finally I got to the 12 mile mark and we hit the downhill of all the hills I had been climbing up. So I was able to happily run to the finish line at mile 13.1. I got my official time later that night and I managed to keep it under three hours at 2:56. Not my finest, but I’m still proud that I did it. Unfortunately I finished with no cheering squad Mike and Molly got stuck on the BART train, but were able to see me on Mike’s phone and knew that I had finished. They joined me at the finishers festival and we ended up having a really nice day in the city. And honestly had I seen them at the end I would have started to cry so I’m a little happy they weren’t.
All in all it was a really good day. It was a beautiful run the weather was perfect, and I got to spend the afternoon with my two best people. Couldn’t have asked for more.