Over the weekend I ran my 5th Nike Women’s Half Marathon here in San Francisco! Oh what an experience it was! I had an absolute blast, broke my PR and can’t wait to do it all over again next year. So let’s start from the beginning.
I woke up in the wee hours of the morning- 4:30 to be exact. Got ready in the dark, ate a banana and chugged an insane amount of coffee to get me going. I then hopped in an uber and headed downtown. (Uber was 4x the rate and cost me $40 to go only a few miles! ugh). I got to my 8:00-9:00 start corral right as the race was starting. No time to down a gu gel or even start my music. I always arrive so early and get impatient so this year I decided to get there and get running!
And we’re off. The race starts in Union Square, heads through the Tenderloin, zig zagging through Golden Gate Park, Presidio then finished right at my apartment on the Marina Green. In no time at mile 2 we were already at a steep hill. It was a long uphill and got a little nervous about starting off too fast. Once I made it up that hill I knew I would be ok until the enormous hill at mile 10. I honestly didn’t have a lot of thoughts running through my mind (that I can remember), I was constantly making my way through the crowd, feeding myself gu chomps (energy blocks) as needed and enjoying the whole vibe! Once I got to mile 10 (the steepest hill EVER) I was totally in the zone. I slowed down quite a bit, but pushed myself uphill with the mindset that the downhill will come VERY soon. And once it did, my pace was back and I was in my home turf. The mind is a powerful thing. If you get your mind to a good place, you can achieve anything. Once I reached the Marina I knew I was close to the finish and pushed hard until the finish line.
(photos via Run Nike Women Series)
It was incredible to run through the streets of San Francisco with 25,000 other fit, ambitious, strong and like-minded women. The fact that we were all chasing the same goal is incredibly empowering. This was an extremely difficult course, but luckily I trained hills more than I ever have before and the work I put in was certainly put to the test. I ended up PR’ing with a time of 1:49 and 8:18 min/pace. I am a strong believer that if you run with your heart, your body will follow.
So cool to find my name on the wall at the Niketown! The expo was much smaller this year, but Nike always puts on a great event.
We were able to snap a quick pic before the race started. Actually, the race may have started at this point but we needed a ‘before’ photo!
Concentrating and totally in the zone. I’m usually in my own little world but still having fun despite my expression!
Jeff met me at the finish line and he was clearly happy that I was happy! And notice the new addition on my neck. 🙂
The Tiffany’s necklace at the finish line sure is a plus to this race! Who doesn’t love a beautiful piece of jewelry?! Looking back at the past 5 years makes me realize how far I’ve come. These necklaces mean so much more then just a medal. They symbolize tireless hours of training, and incredibly sore body, blistered feet and at times a whole lot of self doubt. No matter what level you’re at, keep on pushing forward. Running takes a whole lot of heart, but I’m a huge believer that you can do anything you put your mind to.