Wow, I can’t believe that I finished my first half marathon! It feels good to type those words. I won’t lie…the San Francisco half marathon was tough. The hills, inclines and more hills made it tough on someone like me who hates hills and wasn’t in the top shape I would have liked to have been in, but I was determined to finish.
My morning started with a 4 am wake up call to eat, stretch and get going. At 4:30 am I headed to the course and meet up with my “big sister” Judy. It was COLD. I guess that was a blessing in the end as even as we warmed up I was never hot.
At 6:17 am our wave finally started. It was exciting to cross the start line.
The run started off fine and we were off to a good pace. Didn’t officially start thawing out until mile 4. Then the lovely hills started and they were no joke. Since I didn’t do any hill training and wasn’t sure what my stamina was going to be like I power walked most of the hills to conserve my energy. Honestly, I probably power walked faster than I would have ran.
The Golden Gate Bridge was next and that was pretty cool to run across. We returned from that to guess what? More hills! The steepest in San Francisco according to the signs posted – 31.5 percent incline grades (whatever that meant but believe me it was steep).
Finally started going downhill for once which was a relief. Then we get more to a residential area and I’m praying for flat running but no…we had to climb up into the Golden Gate Park area. I honestly was not sure at that point how I was going to make it mentally. Who’s idea was it to put hills at the end of a half marathon – seriously?!
Cardio wise I felt great but my legs felt heavy like I had extra weights attached to my knees. Fortunately I had no pain in my hip or anywhere else…just tired legs.
Music wise here is who pulled me through: Lady Gaga, Kings of Leon, Muse and Eminem. They rocked and kept me going. Thank goodness for music!
I was relieved to finish and managed to try to muster enough energy to actually try to sprint (it definitely was not a sprint but as much as I had left in my tank) to the finish line. I was very excited, relieved and proud to have finished 13.1 miles…something I wasn’t quite sure was possible just a few weeks ago.
I’m happy that I finished and am proud, but wished I could have had a few more weeks to properly train. Those last few miles I had to really dig deep and gut it out. As for whether I’ll do this again….while I don’t see a full marathon in my future I definitely think I will continue to run 5ks, 10ks and even half marathons. I’d especially like to do another half marathon when I’m 100% healthy and had the proper training.
A special thank you to my “big sister” Judy who decided at the last minute to run the half marathon with me. Judy you made the run fun, you kept me going and I’ll always remember my first half marathon because of YOU! Thank you thank you for all you did – I truly appreciate it.
Thanks to my Mom and Dad for accompanying me on my half marathon adventure today! Bill – you too for supporting Judy!
And to my bestie Jenn who inspired me to try to run a marathon. This blog has been a fun way to document this process and share the experience with everyone. Thanks for always being there and so supportive - even though we're miles apart. Now I'm excited to cheer you on as you train for the Chicago marathon! Go Jenn go!
Thank you to all of you - family, friends, co-workers, fellow bloggers and runners - for all the support and encouragement as I took on this challenge.
It was fun and I learned a lot about myself and running. We’ll see what will be next on the running calendar for me and I’ll be sure to keep everyone updated.
SF Half Marathon 2010 Complete!