Yesterday, I won my first marathon event! I came in 1st for women and 15th overall at the US Half Marathon in San Francisco. The weather was perfect (slightly chilly, light wind), and we had an extra hour of sleep, thanks to the end of Daylight Savings.
Charles picked me up at 5:30 am, and off to the course we went!
My previous PR was a 1:27:44 at the Bay Breeze Half Marathon in Feb 2013, and I was aiming to sub-1:25. Deep down, I wanted to break 1:22. I’m still learning a lot about running, and what is truly a “good” time, and I like to use my running buddy’s PR’s as a baseline.
It was a tough course! Starting at Aquatic Park, going up the hill and across Crissy Field to hike up to the Golden Gate Bridge, cross, down and back up, and of course, back across the bridge. The course was lined with hills and gravelly trails, and worst of all, gravelly traily hills! Oyy! The bridge path also had plenty of metal doors on the ground that are slippery when wet. Proceed with caution!
All in all, it was a TOUGH COURSE. I am still a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to kick it into a full sprint at the end. It’s what I pride myself on, and for whatever reason (lack of preparation, arduous course, not being mentally in the game, or whatever), I wasn’t able to turn it up. I’ve been working hard to train myself on squashing negative thoughts and insecurities, and replacing them with self-encouragement and positivity. Yes, it sounds very nice and dandy, but it works! I tried to smile and enjoy the race when I was feeling my worst at the Santa Rosa Marathon in 2012, and it helped me PR by 30 minutes.
Nonetheless, I am completely STOKED that I won my first semi-big marathon event! How empowering! The best part? I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in, yet I still have so much to improve and so much to learn. And that… that is the most exciting feeling.