Wow, I finished the San Francisco Marathon in 4:23! This was my personal best! I was so excited.
I started the race off at 6:18 am. Yes, I said 6:18 am. The early start was not because of the weather, rather they can only close the Golden Gate Bridge early in the morning to keep traffic from backing up. I set the alarm for 5:05 so that I could get up, put on my super cute outfit, drink some water, and eat my Luna bar and hail a cab to the start line. I ended up tossing and turning all night and did not sleep well. I finally woke up at 4:30 and could not go back to sleep. I went ahead and got up and got ready for my long day ahead. I am not sure that Ken appreciated me talking to him, but he got over it.
I ended up sharing a taxi with four really nice ladies from LA. They were all running the half and were amazed that I was running the full. It was still dark with the race started. We ran along all of the piers before heading up to the bridge. I knew a big hill was coming up, but I had no idea how big. It was the steepest, longest hill I have ever seen! The Golden Gate Bridge was flat and very foggy. The fog did a number on my hair! I looked like Medusa at the end! I was thinking that since there was a huge hill before the bridge that there would be a down hill at the end of the bridge: WRONG! We had to go up another huge, steep, long hill! Finally, after the mambo jombo hill, a two mile stretch of down hill came. I think this is what made me so sore the next day. I was not used to using these down hill muscles!
We ran six miles in Golden Gate Park and then the second half marathoners joined us. I was not a huge fan of this part, but it was fine. At mile 22 was the "surprise" hill that the course warned us about. You can bet your socks that I walked up this hill! I did catch a glimpse of myself in a store front window somewhere near mile 23. Wow, talk about looking rough! This is when I first noticed my Medusa hair! The premadonna in me tried to run my fingers through it to make it look half way decent! We ran past AT&T Park where the Giants play. What a beautiful stadium! I could not believe how close it was to the Bay. I was reminded of the kayakers trying to catch home run balls hit by Barry Bonds.
For the last half mile I was looking to see if I could find Ken. The finish line is set up differently than the Memphis Marathon which finishes in a stadium and allows you to spot your loved ones before you cross the finish line. I had no idea what he was wearing, since he was snoozing when I left, so I did not spot him. He saw me though! I guess it is hard to miss a 4'10 girl in a bright pink top with crazy hair! All he could say when he found me was Wow, you look a little rough!
What a great race! I would run it again in a few years to try to get a better time on the hills. I think the main reason I was so sore afterwards was all of the down hills. After the race (and a much needed shower) we headed out to wine country! What a great trip!