August 1, 2012 by Danielle
As promised, here’s a recap of my 2012 San Francisco Marathon (something I know you all have been waiting for).
But before we get to the marathon, let’s rewind to marathon eve-the most magical of all nights.
At around 10 p.m. Saturday night, I set out all of my clothes, complete with my race number,
dog Rosie and Gu.
I also picked out a lucky penny to carry with me. My high school cross country coach, Ms. King, always gave each of us a penny before races for good luck and told us to carry it until the part of the race we thought was hardest at which point we could throw it for a little extra speed.
After my typical long run breakfast (a van’s waffle, half a banana, peanut butter and honey if you’re interested) and a shameless pre race photo, I was off.
Since I didn’t bring my phone with me and I didn’t have my personal photo crew on standby (I jest) I’m going to rely on the kindness of others for a few visuals of the race.
One of the great things about doing a race in my current hometown is that instead of driving to the start line, I had a quick 15 minute walk to the start, where my wave promptly departed at 5:52 a.m.
I took off running along Fisherman’s Wharf and over to Chrissy Field (you know, where they’re flying kites in the opening credits of Full House), listening to my soundtrack of choice…Secrets of a Shoe Addict. Yep, in typical fashion, I listened to an audio book for the first 19 miles of the race.
After hitting Chrissy Field, we charged a large hill to THE BRIDGE. One of the main attractions of the San Francisco Marathon and the First Half Marathon is that runners get to run on the road surface of the Golden Gate bridge. I thought this would be fun, but honestly it made me
fly into a mild rage uncomfortable-it was really crowded.
After getting off the bridge, we went up a brief uphill and then I prepared for a fun downhill.
I was really excited that I could just let my legs go and it was nice to know that the race was all downhill (metaphorically, not literally speaking) from this point on. Then we headed into Golden Gate Park, which is usually one of my favorite places to run, but at this point in the race, it felt like I was in the park for-ev-er.
Some of the random thoughts that went through my head while in the park-
- Channel your inner Shalane. Channel your inner Shalane. (Flanagan that is)
- Oh! Buffalo! (For the record, there are buffalo in Golden Gate Park, I was not hallucinating)
- You get music when you get out of the park. Justin Bieber and Carly Rae are right around the corner (apparently the PTA mom turned phone sex operator plot of my audiobook wasn’t cutting it at this point.)
After finally emerging from the park at mile 19, I turned on the tunes and cruised along through the Haight Ashbury district and was promptly greeted by a huge (and unexpected) hill.
Cue the lucky penny.
After tossing my penny for a bit of extra oomph around mile 22, I arrived in Potrero Hill, where from a distance, all I could see was bright yellow and lots of movement. As I came closer, I was greeted by the booming sound of “Call Me Maybe” and this-
And my friends who were holding these gems of signs,
which carried me to the 1.2 miles to go mark. However, at this point in the race, I think time stopped, reversed and then was just held on pause for a while, because it seemed like it took 30 minutes to run one mile. Thinking that a time warp had indeed occurred, I looked at my watch and saw that I could make it to the finish line in under four hours. With a few hundred feet to go, I thought about the four months of training that I’d completed, told myself to fight for it and sprinted to the finish line.**
And crossed at 3:58:29.
After the race, I was so happy to be done, but of course none of that was
legally captured on film. Luckily, this post race sentiment was documented-
So if you’re still with me at this point, there you have it, my 2012 San Francisco Marathon experience. I’m really pleased with my overall results-
and had much more fun that I had during my first marathon.
Now that I’ve had a few days to think about it, I’m definitely going to miss working towards a goal and it was kind of fun getting up early on Saturdays and plotting out my long runs. On the other hand, as fun as early wake up calls and long runs are, I also relish relaxing and sleeping in, so I’m excited that training is over…
**(Actually, part of me fought and part of me panicked because my watch said 3:57 and the clock at the finish said 4:20. Minor detail)