It’s always crazy to me each year SFM rolls around. It seems like so long ago that I was lining up at the start line of my very first marathon, but at the same time, it seems like just yesterday.
After not being a runner AT ALL at the start of 2008, somehow 8 months later I was standing at the start line of my first marathon, completely in love with running and so excited to be running a marathon!
I very much remember crossing the start line with Kristin and Tara (who I had met training for this race) and Chris with tears in my eyes, so excited for this day. I was on my own pretty quick and set out into the dark morning wondering where I would be 4+ hours later. I remembered thinking 26 miles is a long way to run, but I just found my zone and went.
I ran along the Embarcadero, over the Golden Gate Bridge, up the tough hills and around Golden Gate Park. I saw my friends and family and they cheered so loud for me!
I remember around Mile 21 thinking that I had never run that far before. I remember people falling apart around me and starting to walk, cramp and look defeated. I plugged away, ignoring all those people and just used them to pick off one by one.
One of my non-time goals for my first marathon was to run the entire thing. When I got to Mile 23 and I really wanted to walk, I reminded myself of that goal and I just kept on running. I never walked.
I remember seeing the Bay Bridge off in the distance and it inching closer, which meant the finish line was close! As I was heading down the last stretch The Time of My Life by David Cook came on my iPod and it was very fitting in that moment.
Then just as quick as it started, I was across the finish line and just like that I was a marathoner, something I never ever fathomed I would be.
Somehow I did it with almost smack even splits.
1st half split: 2:02:20
2nd half split: 2:02:15
Total time: 4:04:35
As soon as I saw Chris I started to cry and said “that was so hard” but at the same time I had never felt so good. And just like that, the addiction began.
Marathons give you a little taste of what you are made of, they make you feel invincible, they sometimes crush your spirits, but no matter what happens during the race, there is nothing like crossing that finish line especially that first time.
I can’t believe this weekend I will be at the start line again, 3 years later, this time for my 11th marathon! 10 marathons later and I am definitely still in love with running as much as I was at the start line of that first one.
2 days to go!