Flashback Friday: My First Marathon

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! 

sfm5 sfm6

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.

sfm8 sfm7

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

sfm3 sfm4

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!

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22 Responses to Flashback Friday: My First Marathon

  1. Naomi July 29, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    I loved reading this trip down memory lane! You were born to do this! Good luck on Sunday and hope to see you there!

  2. Shannon @ Mon Amour July 29, 2011 at 7:17 am #

    It is so neat that you do keep doing your first marathon race. It must feel so cool to go back each year and think of how far you have come

  3. marlene July 29, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    Awesome post!!! My 9th marathon will be in October at the same race where I ran my first in 2008 (and my first half in 2007). Sooo many memories. I almost get choked up thinking about it. I never imagined myself here.

    Have SO MUCH FUN this weekend!!!

  4. Becky @ cityrunnergirl July 29, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    I love this recap ;) The obsession happened for me just the same way! Good Luck!

  5. Kristen July 29, 2011 at 7:54 am #

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been running for less than a year and SFM this weekend will be my first marathon, so it was inspiring to read this. I’m nervous and excited, and trying really hard not to psyche myself out! Good luck out there!

  6. Kaetlin @ dailydoseofrunning July 29, 2011 at 8:27 am #

    OMG! Such a touching post. This was just what I needed. Have a great race!

  7. Kristine @ Running on Hungry July 29, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    Loved this post! I’m in SF as well and about to tackle my first marathon in December so I love reading other’s thoughts on their first marathons! Good luck this weekend!

  8. Susan July 29, 2011 at 9:47 am #

    Have a great race, Aron! I can’t wait to read all about the weekend…take lots of pictures! :-)

  9. danica July 29, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    I know this weekend you’ll do amazing! :) Have so much fun reliving the first course you ran! xoxo

  10. Jessica July 29, 2011 at 10:46 am #

    The exact same song was playing on my ipod when I finished my first marathon – 2008 Country Music Marathon! So fitting. I love your flashback!

    Good luck this weekend!

  11. Nelly July 29, 2011 at 10:50 am #

    Great post. I can’t believe that you got exactly even splits, that is awesome. I was one of those people last year who fell apart the last 1.5 miles and the wheels came completely off, lol I guess hopefully I was a good target for people running by!

    And you are still running with one of your compadres – Kristin!

  12. XLMIC July 29, 2011 at 11:05 am #

    So cool that you were so smart in your first marathon! I wasn’t :P
    Such a touchingly written post :) hoping to cheer you on this Sunday!

  13. Shortskirts July 29, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    love this, i felt that way during my first half marathon. One of these days i’ll get around to running a full.

  14. Page July 29, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Awwwwe, the memories! Just take it all in and think of how many people will be cheering our hearts out for you!!

  15. nicole July 29, 2011 at 1:40 pm #

    Good luck this weekend sweets! kick soem BOOTY!

  16. Anna July 29, 2011 at 2:51 pm #

    I love this post! I’m about to start training for my first marathon, and I’m so nervous. Hearing stories like this helps a lot. Good luck this weekend!

  17. Susan - Nurse on the Run July 29, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    I can’t believe you didn’t walk at all in your first marathon! That didn’t happen until my eighth marathon. Sounds like you were a marathoner from the start…look at those splits!

  18. margot@fasterbunny July 29, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Good luck – you’re going to be awesome :).

  19. The Laminator July 29, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    All I remember from your first marathon is…that I ran it TOO!
    See, that’s how i knew we would end up being good bloggy friends :)

    Yeah, it was my 4th and my only Cali marathon (so far),
    and the only one i ran that was on my actual birthday!

    Loved every moment…even if (confession time) I think walked for a bit on mile 24 and 25 :P
    Best of luck in your return to your first marathon. So exciting Aron!

  20. Rachel July 29, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    so cool that you’ve come full circle, and accomplished SO much in the past 3 years! the sf marathon is definitely a special race : ) good luck and have a blast!

  21. Jessica Martin July 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm #

    I love the idea of going for a run and coming back a stronger happier better person, congrats on the marathon

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