It’s been over a month since I ran marathon #11. I’ve taken a lot of time to reflect on everything that happened that weekend and can finally wrap my head around everything I’ve been thinking.
While it wasn’t my best race by far, it was one of the most awesome weekends I’ve spent at a race. This year marked my second serving as an SF Marathon Ambassador. Over the past year I’ve blogged, posted, networked, trained for and talked about the SF Marathon to everyone I know… trust me, people are sick of hearing about it. But I love it. This race has a special place in my heart. It was my second marathon with a 24 minute PR, then my first time breaking 5 hours and the last two years it has been a race where I’ve seen runners I’ve worked with achieve their goals and dreams in crossing the finish line. It warms my heart just to talk about a race that has become a staple in my marathon schedule every year and will continue to be a part of my race calendar for years to come.
The weekend started for me on Friday night with a drive to SF for the Ambassador dinner. I was so excited to not only see my old friends, but meet the new ones I had gotten to know through our networking over the past year. I met up with Courtney on our way to the restaurant and got to see my friend Charlie when I walked in. As the Ambassadors kept trickling in it was so nice to put real faces with names as a culmination of all the hard work everyone had put in. Jojo, Maddie, Bart Yasso and the rest of the team showed up from the expo a bit later and we ate, drank and presented Jojo with our Ambassador gift. We took some great pics of the whole group at the dinner. Such an awesome SF Marathon family.
My race roommate, Claudia, and I headed back to the hotel to get some rest before the next day with the Shake Out Run and volunteering at the Expo. Last year one of my fellow ambassadors was Joe and this year, while he was an honorary Ambassador, he couldn’t come to the marathon because he’s serving in the Peace Corps. However, his awesome fiance Laura came to SF to not only run the marathon, but to fall in love with San Francisco. We had planned on meeting at the Shake Out Run and were friends instantly. I’m so excited for her and Joe and their future together.
This pic is for Joe… thumbs up!
Here’s a shot of Charlie, Claudia, Peter and Bart at the Shake Out Run.
After finishing the Shake Out Run it was time to get ready to work two shifts at the Expo. I headed to the Expo around 11 a.m. to pick up my bib, shirt and other goodies then met up with the other Ambassadors to work in the Tech Center. It was great to meet up with all the runners and talk about the race, give them advice and answer questions. The Sacramento area runners I’d been meeting up with over the past 16 weeks also came by to meet up with me. We took some group pics as they came through too.
After finishing my shift at the Expo I met up with Laura, her mom and aunt for dinner. It was so great to hear how much Laura was enjoying San Francisco (I’m keeping my fingers crossed that she and Joe move out here as soon as they can).
I grabbed some snacks and dessert from the store on my way back to the hotel and tried to get to bed early. That was hard to do as the Olympics had started the night before. I ended up not falling asleep until around 11:30 and with a 4:30 wake up call. When I woke up at 4:30 I had the most awful stomach ache. Turns out I must have eaten something weird the night or day before because I was really sick. I got dressed and headed to the VIP party to meet up with the Ambassadors before I went to meet up with my fellow runners from Sacramento. I got to chat with a few of my Ambassador buddies before heading out to the start line. I met up with Jonathan, Kim and Steven then headed to our wave to line up. We only had to wait a few minutes and we were on our way.
The race started fast like it always does, but Jonathan and I planned to keep our pace easy til the halfway point. Now, after waking up with a horrible stomach ache I knew I was going to have to push through the race while having some major stomach issues. I ended up only making it to mile 8 before I had to stop. Jonathan and I leap-frogged each other a bit and ended up running together again until about mile 19. Around mile 16 in the park I ran into Libby, Lauren and Peter who were running the full as well (Peter was actually doing the “Worth the Hurt 52.4″ double marathon). I ended up leapfrogging with them through the park and joined up with them on Haight Street. The whole race I had been feeling awful so seeing familiar Ambassador faces was AWESOME. I couldn’t have finished the race without them.
Coming into the finish I saw my family on the right side of the fence and I started crying. I have never been so happy to see a familiar face as I was right then. I gave my dad a high-five and kept running with my tu-tu wearing friends.
That’s me with Lauren, Peter and Libby. I was waving frantically at Bart Yasso as he was announcing us all as we came across the line. I have a similar pic of me waving at him at the finish line last year too. Love me some Bart.
When the race was over I met up with my family and headed to the VIP location to pick up my bag. I didn’t even stay around to say hi to my Ambassador buddies because I was so exhausted from the race. With virtually no nutrition in my body and being pretty dehydrated at that point I thought it would be best to get a shower and some food with the family before we left town.
As I said at the beginning of this post, it was by far one of the BEST experiences at a race and leading up to it with all my Ambassador friends… but it was also my worst race, not time wise (I beat my first marathon my :09 seconds) but health wise, it was pretty awful. But now I know that I can run through pretty much anything you can throw at me. I will miss the Ambassadors next year. It’s like I’m leaving a club or summer camp after being an Ambassador for 2 years. I just hope I can stay involved with the SFM for many years to come.
If you are interested in applying to be an SF Marathon Ambassador for the 2013 race, visit the website here and apply now! It’s TOTALLY worth it.