Tuesday, April 24, 2012

April 18, 2012

Birthday weekend in San Francisco.
I had never been to San Francisco, but I always felt like I needed to go. The city fascinated me. I’m not sure how it all came about, but we had some free tickets that needed to be used, so we booked a flight for my birthday.
We got up early Friday morning and headed to the airport. Smooth sailing to the west coast and we were landed and in our hotel by noon. We spent Friday just exploring the city a bit. One day I will run those hills!
Saturday, we got up and went for a drive through the mountains and visited Sonoma. Then we spent the evening at the piers and Fisherman’s Wharf.
There was a race on Sunday morning. I had gone back and forth about doing it or not. On the one hand, how often would I be in San Francisco to run a race across the Golden Gate Bridge. On the other hand, did I really want to spend a vacation doing a run. Also, my husband is NOT into races at all, and hates standing around waiting for me to finish one. I really didn’t want to inconvenience him. We talked about me just running the bridge, but it just didn’t feel the same to me.
I got up at 6:30 Sunday morning, and by 7 we had decided to do the race. It started at 8. As a result, I jumped up, got dressed and ran out the door. No breakfast, no usual pre-race ritual. I resigned myself to just sitting back and enjoying myself and not worrying about time or anything else. We got to the starting point just as the 10 milers were starting out. I paid my registration fee, got my bib and t-shirt and handed it off to my husband, waited in the line for the bathroom and that left me with just a few mins before the 10k’rs started. I told my husband I’d see him in an hour and a half, and off we went.
There was a nice incline leading up to the bridge. I knew I could run up it, but I reminded myself that I was out to have a good time, not run hard and wear myself out. I slowed to a walk and snapped a couple pics.
On to the bridge. It was crowded and congested. People were stopping to take pics. We were herded on to the narrow walking path so stopping to take pics just made things more congested. I spent a bit of time weaving my way through the people who were walking or chatting or stopping. I reminded myself the whole race to calm down, not race this, enjoy the scenery. How often was I going to run this again!
We got across the bridge and went down the stairs and under the bridge to the other side to start the trek back. People were much better spaced out at this point and it was a very enjoyable, and quick run back. It was also windy. I loved it.
Came off the bridge on the other side and had to weave around some buildings and back under the bridges toll station to some volunteers waiting to cheer us on. I glanced at my Garmin and I was almost at 5miles at 1:09. Holy was I making good time!
Back towards the start, we zigged instead of zagged to get that last 1.2 miles in. Down and back along the coastline. This is where it got difficult. It was a hard packed sand trail with gravel on top. This is not something I’m used to running on and I found it hard to get traction. Instead of fighting the path, I stopped often to walk it. When the finish line was within site, I put on the gas and made a sprint for the end.
I cross the finish at 1:29:57
Almost 10mins better than my last 10K.
Without trying
And I felt great afterwards

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