There are always times during marathon training where I doubt myself and question why on earth I am doing it. I have a hard time getting out the door and finding motivation is hard to come by.
Since I am always very honest with my training on the blog I will confess that lately these moments have been more frequent and I really have been questioning whether I should run Portland or not. I looked back at some old blog posts and realized I have been “in training” for a marathon consistently for over a year now. I started last August for CIM, then went straight into Boston training, which went into Big Sur, and then into SFM. I know I am facing a burnout, and I am just going through the motions trying to decide whether I want to push it for the next 6 weeks or just throw my hands up to the running gods and let them figure it out.
I will figure it out soon but have been using my motivational tricks lately to help get myself out the door. So when a friend of a friend of Chris’s had two bibs for the Giants Race half marathon he wasn’t using, I figured that would be a great way to get my long run in for the weekend. I jumped on the bibs which also came with tickets to the Friday night game!
Chris and I went and lasted almost half the game, which is pretty standard for us. We watched the fog roll in, which made me happy and I hoped it would stick around until the race! Even though we left early, we still didn’t get home until after 10 and I was finally in bed around 11 with a 5am wake up call.
I had 17 miles on my training plan for the day, so I planned on running a couple before and a couple after. In order to make sure this would happen, I parked about 2 miles away from the start line so it would force me to get in the extra miles. I made it to my parking spot easily, and ran the 2 miles over to the start line. There I ran into Naomi, Courtney and Audrey easily and then met up with Kristine (a new bay area blogging friend!) to give her my other extra bib.
We all walked over the start line and I lined up with Courtney and Kristine. They both were shooting for around a 2 hour half, so I said that sounded good to me! Sometimes it’s hard to run with people for an entire race, just because of logistics, but I knew I would love company so I wanted to do my best to stay with these girls for as much of the race as I could.
The course is a long out and back that starts near AT&T park, goes along the Embarcadero, takes you up and over Fort Mason (the one hill on the course), into Crissy Field and back to finish in the Giants stadium. The weather was cloudy and cool, although a little humidity and muggy at the beginning. We all settled into a pace very naturally and just kept on talking the entire time! Before I knew it we were turning around heading back to the stadium.
Our splits stayed pretty amazingly consistent the whole time, with a couple miles here and there that were up and down. Once we got to mile 10 we all knew that if we held the same pace we would come in under 2 hours and both of the girls really wanted that. Courtney was pushing hard the last couple miles, wow that girl has some mental (and physical) strength! Kristine and I cheered her on and with just over a mile to go, the end of the 5k converged on our course, which turned the rest of race into a weaving session. I was treating it like a game, finding the holes to go through, but I know it was really frustrating.
Pretty soon we were right near the stadium and we made a right hand turn to go in and finish on the field! I LOVE on field finishes and always get goosebumps. We were clearly going to under 2 hours but once we were 20 feet from the finish line there was a traffic jam and you could NOT cross. It was very, very frustrating.
Our watches said 1:58:XX (I didn’t wear a chip) which was perfect. It was a minute off a PR for Courtney and a HUGE PR for Kristine! I had such a blast running with these girls. Seriously, it just made my day.
We were faced with even more crowds and lines getting our medal, shirt and bobble head AND just getting out of the stadium in general. I really loved the race, the course, and the swag, but they really need to do something about the finish line and the post race lines.
Finally once I was out, I ran the 2 miles back to my car for 17 total for the day! I was so happy with this run and just really enjoyed every step out there today. I can always count on a run with friends, in a change of scenery to boost my spirit and that definitely happened today. I feel so much better and know I am going to be just fine.
17.05 miles/2:33:34/9:00 avg pace