Today… may have been one of the BEST race days. I mean, I’ve had good races (the 2009 SF Marathon as one of them) but today surpassed all others. I ran my best marathon time and broke several personal goals/records.
1. ran a new marathon PR – 4:59:02 chip time
2. ran a SUB 5 HOUR marathon – wasn’t expecting that at all
3. did it all coming back off of a broken toe and time off from training
I was very apprehensive about everything going into the race, but decided to just go for it and see what happened. I remember the day before on the way to SF I told Trista that I was just hoping to run a 6 hour marathon. I wasn’t expecting anything big or special.
There were a bunch of SF Marathon twitter followers there, including one of my college classmates, Kristin!
We also got to see Megan, Jetta and Katie, and planned to meet up with them for dinner or to run with them in the race.
After the expo, Trista and I went to the hotel and relaxed before going to get pasta to carbload for dinner. Then we got our race gear ready, did some foam rolling, I spent some quality time with the heating pad for a stiff neck and we went to bed.
The next day we woke up bright and early at 4:30 a.m. and Trista made the tough decision to not run the marathon. She had been battling some hip and leg issues for a while and realized that 26.2 would probably injure her more than it was worth. So instead she turned into my race support! Yay!
I went down to meet Megan, Jetta and Katie at 6 a.m. outside my hotel. We headed over to the race start line and got into place. We were excited and nervous! I told them that I wasn’t sure how long I’d stay with them. My training before breaking my toe had been without run/walk breaks, however, all my training after that had been with walk/run breaks. I wasn’t sure how my body would take it or what I could do, but I figured I’d just go for it and see what happened. We planned to go for an 11 minute pace the whole time we were running. They were shooting for a sub 5 marathon, which I was not, so I planned to break off from them and take it easy after a little bit.
We started and cruised along the course at an 11 minute pace for a long time. Around mile 4 or so we lost Jetta and Katie near an aid station. Then we went over the Golden Gate Bridge, which is BY FAR the best part of the race. It is 3 miles of gradual uphill, gradual downhill, gradual uphill, gradual downhill, pretty brutal if you ask me. :)
After that we cruised into Golden Gate Park where we saw Megan’s family and then finally caught up to Jetta and Katie. We all ran together for a bit until Jetta broke off. We were feeling SO GREAT all the way through mile 18, 19, 20, 21 and 22. I couldn’t have made it through any of those miles without running with Megan. She pushed me so hard the whole time and I couldn’t have run without her.
At mile 23 Megan hit a wall that she suspects was low blood sugar. She got really dizzy and felt like she was blacking out. The look on her face was pretty scary. She told me to go on without her and Katie said she would stay and walk with Megan.
At this point I decided to run on and try to make the sub 5 hour marathon time we had been talking about. I was dragging for mile 23-24, but then kicked it into gear for 24 and 25 coming in around an 8 minute pace at the finish. I crossed the line with my arms in the air smiling, then looked down and my watch and low and behold, I had done it. The clock said 4:59:03. I automatically burst into tears, big fat sobbing crocodile tears, right there at the finish. Trista was yelling at me from the side and I was bent over in tears and could hardly even walk to get my medal. But I had done it. I had broke a record I had not expected to break for a long time.
I found Trista on the fence and gave her a hug mid sobs then went to get my medal. I had signed both of our phones up for text alerts and we each got a text with my final chip time – 4:59:02. I was finally smiling at this point. I had done it. And I was proud.
After grabbing a space blanket and some snacks, Trista and I went to find Megan’s family and wait for her to finish. She ended up finishing at 5:22 which was a HUGE PR over her first marathon at 5:58. :) Great job Megan!!
Overall it was a great race. I am so proud of myself and what I was able to accomplish. I have checked yet another thing off my list, but now I want to do even better on the next race. :) I really want to run a 4:50 in Chicago. The course is flat and fast so I think I could. We will see. Yay me!