The best way to get yourself rolling on a new exercise plan is to set yourself some goals!
Yesterday I ran my first half marathon-the Nike women’s half in San Francisco! My furthest training run was 8 miles…over 5 short of the 13.1-mile race, I had heard there may be a few hills, but oddly enough I was excited and not really that nervous. There were 20,000 participants!!!! The whole area around Union square was pulsing with excitement on Saturday morning…some were excited about running, some were excited about just being there, and some were excited about the Tiffany necklace they were going to receive when they crossed the finish line 🙂
My friend and I joined the group in our pace section (the groups are divided based on how fast you run, so the faster folks can start first and not have to weave around all the walkers and slower runners in the congested first few miles). We enjoyed the music and the energy of the crowd, and at 7 am, the race began. We crossed the start line at 7:10…I’m sure the slowest pace group didn’t cross until at least 7:20. Running through the streets of San Fran was neat, looking up at all the tall buildings, no cars to contend with. We then ran along the waterfront and Fisherman’s wharf…not too crowded at 7:30 in the morning! Along the waterfront, winding up and down and around until we reached Golden Gate Park! Back to those hills…they were oddly enjoyable! I didn’t train for hills, there sure aren’t any to train on in Bakersfield, but I didn’t walk up any of them…I was winded by the top of them but had the downhill section to get me back on course. Amazingly it was the downhill sections that hurt me the most. I had shooting pain down the outside of my left leg…that IT band I believe it would be. My stubborn side and the knowledge that I was making good time kept me from pulling over to massage it out, and also the fear that if I stopped it might be difficult to get moving again!
As I came around the corner at Point Lobos, there were the crashing waves of the ocean, the fresh breeze blowing in and Beyonce singing Halo on my iPod…and then the tents at the finish line came into view! There was still 2 miles in the park but it was enough to drive me on!
I crossed the finish line at 2:28 on their clock, so that would put me at 2:18 as my time didn’t start until I crossed the start line! Official results will be posted soon. The relief of crossing the line and the sense of accomplishment for finishing brought a few tears to my eyes…truly worth the hard work!
After receiving my beautiful necklace and race shirt, I headed to the massage tent! Enjoyable, but when I returned to the windy waterfront air with my sweaty clothes I was FREEZING and my muscles knotted right back up, and then I saw the line up for the buses back to Union Square…20,000 people + spectators, makes for a LONG line up. I looked for my friends who had been running too and realized the line went even further than I had thought…I then noticed people from the line getting samples from a booth, and I merged back into the line with them…I was COLD and alone…what is a girl to do 😉 Apparently I would have waited for almost an hour had I not done that. Not my proudest moment, but would I do it again….you betcha!
A quick shower at the hotel and we were in the car headed home. 4 hours of sitting after all that running lead to some extra stiffness! When we got home, it was a slow hobble into the house, some rolling of muscles on the foam roller, and a wonderful dinner my husband had cooked! A nice hot bath – not so easy in my current home as my body cannot all be submerged at the same time in the little tub, but it helped! Then bedtime…I love my bed!!!!
Today I can walk again, the shoulder stiffness is easing, but I am ready for Carlsbad in January!!!! Next time 2 hours 🙂