running

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I am a Marathoner

It was an amazing weekend! We arrived in San Francisco without incident. I was concerned about 40 people traveling together and my biggest fear was people not being able to get their act together at baggage claim. My fears were unnecessary. And before I knew it we were checked into our hotel.

We went to the race expo. Which was an interesting experience. The race was sponsored by Nike and instead of having vendors at the expo, participants were directed across the street to Niketown. to purchase their Nike race souvenirs. It was pure marketing genius from Nike.

A few days before the race, Runner Girl Leana was kind enough to forward me an official race email that I had not received. The email had a few last minute tips and an email address to send a picture of the people we were running for. Casey made the big screen at the expo.



When we returned from the expo, I was pleasantly surprised to find a dozen beautiful roses sent to me by my family to wish me luck and say how proud they were of me!



Saturday was a laid back day and I was up early. I sent Jamie a text message to sadly bow out of our run. With a planned trip to Alcatraz, I didn't want to spend too much time on my legs.

Sunday I woke up about 15 minutes before the alarm was going to go off. I got up, got dressed and headed out. There was the usual bag checking and the irrational need to pee 500 times before the start of the race. Our hotel was less than a block away from the 4:30 pace group and we made three trips back.

While waiting for the race to start a beautiful tall blonde walked by and I instantly recognized Leana. We talked, took a picture and even had an opportunity to run together for a little bit.



There were so many runners. I started with the 4:30 pace group. I had them within my reach as we passed the Golden Gate Bridge, and just like that, they were gone. The course climbed ad climbed. The hills were really tough. We made a turn and we were looking down at the Pacific Ocean. It was absolutely breathtaking!

At one point the 4:45 pace group had caught and passed me. I ran with them for a while and then they were gone too. We made our way through Golden Gate Park and out to the Great Highway. Just before the 18 mile mark, the 5:00 pace group was right behind me. I struggled to keep them behind me for about a mile and then I decided to join them too. Before we were at mile 20, I was struggling to keep up, and then they were gone too.

We were headed toward the back side of Lake Merced this part of the course went on and on and on. There was little crowd support during this stretch, but I had a personal pick-me-up at mile 21. There were two women cheering as runners passed by. With my name on my singlet, they both said "Go Maddy" and then they gasped and started screaming "MADDY!!!!!!!!!!". As it turns out, these women were former co-workers at my last company. They are identical twins and their brother was running the race. What a pleasant surprise to see friends when I was struggling a bit.

After the loop around the lake we were back on The Great Highway and on the home stretch. The last two miles were surreal. There were so many people on the side of the road, cheering and calling my name and giving me encouragement. I feel like my pace picked up those last two miles.

I crossed the line and received my finishers medal, a Tiffany necklace.

My final time was 5:19:11 - 49 minutes slower than my goal. While I was prepared for the distance, I don't think I was totally prepared for the hills.

So what does that mean? It means my next marathon selection will be on a flatter course, because I'm totally hooked!

15 Comments:

At 12:54 AM, Blogger P.O.M. said...

Yeah. That sounds incredible (minus the HILLS)! I'm so glad it was a good experience for you. To be honest, San Fran hills scare the CRAP out of me!

Enjoy your recovery beers!!
You deserve it.

 
At 7:38 AM, Blogger Road Warrior said...

Congratulations, Maddy! You did the smart thing and finished wanting to do another marathon, rather than running too fast to enjoy it. Great job!

 
At 8:35 AM, Blogger ShirleyPerly said...

Great job, Maddy!!!

Yup, S.F. is hilly and although the Nike course you ran is very different than the one I ran in 2004, it looks to be just as tough.

Enjoy your recovery and your Tiffany medal!

 
At 9:46 AM, Blogger Petraruns said...

Fantastic girlfriend - what an amazing achievement! You picked a hard and challenging course and I'm so glad you paced yourself and enjoyed it. I am SO impressed with you - I was thinking of you all night on Sunday - you totally ROCK!

Well done - now you have a PB to improve on!

 
At 10:16 AM, Blogger lizzie lee said...

Yes indeed. A Tiffany Necklace!!!!! Well deserved.

 
At 2:20 PM, Blogger Amanda said...

Way to go Maddy!!! Those hills were crazy for sure, I know I don't have anything comparable to train on, but what a view.

 
At 4:30 PM, Blogger Keri said...

Maddy the Marathoner!!
YOU ARE AWESOME!!
Congratulations on a great finish. I'm so proud of you and I hardly know you - you bring tears to my eyes!!

 
At 4:37 PM, Blogger Susan said...

Oh Maddy! I am literally crying!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am so proud of you! And excellent report, lady!

Excellent results, too -- in my opinion. You really got the job done. WOW! And to hear that the last 2 miles your pace picked up and they were surreal - WOW - I'd like to experience that myself!!!

Way to go, my friend, way to go!!!

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger MarathonChris said...

Congratulations on a fantastic race - and welcome to the .1 of 1% marathoner club. :-) I expect to see you signing up for the 2009 Disney FULL marathon...a much flatter course indeed.

Way to hang in there with the hills.

A great race report! Looking forward to more local runs together.

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger Jim Jones said...

Maddy congrats! Hey, don't even worry about your time--like you said, the hills were probably what slowed you down. Look at the positive side--the next marathon you run, you'll be virtually guaranteed a PR!

Nice job, very proud of you!

Jim

 
At 4:31 PM, Blogger lizzie lee said...

Ah, and I know now that somebody else, besides me, suffers the same 500-pee-time syndrome.

Congrats again...

 
At 7:53 AM, Blogger IrishBlue said...

H-I-L-L-S!!! Yikes...that was a tough first marathon. Most people go for a flat course, but you got the hills out of the way right out of the gate!

Now, you can go flat and fast.

 
At 1:06 AM, Blogger Database Diva said...

I live near Seattle and have run in San Francisco, so I know how tough those hills are. Congratulations to you for conquering them, and for not getting hurt in the process.

The roses were such a lovely gesture. You must have a terrific family. Running into someone you knew on the course was pretty amazing. This will be a memory to treasure forever.

If you like flat marathons, but feel like getting out of Florida, check out the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans.

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Runner Gal Leana said...

Those hills....yes, holy smokes those were hills! I'm so sorry you didn't hit your goal, but it was a tough race and I still think that you did great. It was wonderful having the chance to meet you and run with you a bit. Maybe we can do the same at Disney in January!

 
At 6:49 PM, Blogger CewTwo said...

Yay Maddy!!

I congratulate you!

A marathoner! Wow!

Great report!

 

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