Oh yes! That’s me! Yesterday I completed the US Half Marathon in San Francisco. And can I even tell you how wonderful it was?! Euphoria my friends, pure euphoria!
This past summer I started 2 new projects in a push to bring more balance to my life. The work and family portions of my life are wonderful beyond words. In the larger picture, my grand challenges are so small. Yet, I need to do something solely and utterly for me. And so, this blog was born and I started training for the US Half marathon.
What started as walking by myself in the morning, better known as the Church of Louise, became walking with a friend. Her aunt suggested we look into marathons that are friendly to walkers. (Note, we just walk, not that intense Olympic style walk.) We found training schedules online and broke out the calendars. Turns out we would be marathon ready at the end of December. Acck! We were not ready to be at the height of our training during the holidays, so we set out sights on the US Half marathon in San Francisco. Two other friends were recruited. They recruited on more. On weekends, we did our longer walks, always trying to keep at a race pace.
The first 6 mile weekend walk had me with stitches in my side and panting at the end. The next was a breeze. Following the first 8 miler, I came home and read / slept for 2 hours, and after the next I painted the house for endless hours afterwards. We all worried about the 11 and 13 mile training walks, but sticking to the plan paid off and we knew we were ready. Occasionally one of us would miss a major weekend walk and then enthrall the rest of the group with creative language on the following walk. 🙂 Turns out the training schedule is worth trusting!
A quick run down of the walk:
- Start near Ghirardelli Square – park under the chocolate factory with all the other participants and chat with the movie star next to us about the race. Discussion point: how do I attach my bib and chip?
- Race starts with a tour past incredible marina houses and cloudy skies. Discussion point: architecture and seasonal decorations. Note made of animal skeleton in a bay window.
- On to the marina where we check out the boats. Discussion point: Which boat would you choose?
- Chrissy field is beautiful and a rainbow erupts from the sky over the Golden Gate Bridge. Discussion point: Why don’t we come here more often?
- Through the Presidio and past an outrageous climbing gym. Discussion point: This looks like Oregon. We need to do more hills training.
- Up and around and up and around the hill under the GG Bridge. Discussion point: Amazing! I was here during the 50th birthday celebration when the bridge went flat.
- Over The Bridge. Wow … simply beyond words! Discussion point: How far have we gone? Why are there no mileage markers on the route
- A figure 8 on the marine headlands. Discussion points: geography. Seeing the layers of the earth, moved nearly vertical, is beyond our imaginations.
- Back across the GG Bridge, enjoying the waves crashing on the shore. Beginner move – I miss the race photographer and gesticulate wildly while passing. Lovely.
- Down the hill, to Fort Point and back, with the waves splashing us as they crash against the sea wall. Discussion point: These are larger than the sprinklers we like to run through on our weekend walks. We need to go to the bathroom but don’t dare stop.
- Through the Presidio. Discussion point: We are just moving now, nothing to discuss.
- Through Chrissy field with all of the weekend runners and people out with their cute, cute dogs. Discussion point: Our dogs would be most happy running on the beach, chasing a ball, getting all wet and stinky in the water.
- Past those lovely houses again. Discussion point: If you could have any house, which would it be? Maybe that skeleton in the window is of a deceased greyhound. Can we be done yet?
- Past the marina. Discussion point: Oh, a bathroom! But, if I sit, will my leg muscles tighten too much to stand back up? Can we be done yet?
- Through a park where we see runners leaving the event, offering us words of encouragement. Discussion point: Can we be done yet?
- Finish line! Discussion point: We did it! When is our next event?!