For the FUN of the RUN–my 1st Race Recap (ever) of my 10th Half Marathon! RnRSF

In August 2012 my goal for my first half was part serious and part joke–I kept saying that I just wanted to complete all 13.1 miles, upright and cross the finish line on my own two feet.  Then I started training and decided I could finish and that I wanted to complete it in under 3 hours; I ended up finishing in 2:35 so I was thrilled!  Then I did my 2nd half and beat that time by almost 20 minutes, then my 3rd half and PR’d again by another 5 min, and so on.  PRs became something I was getting used to and using as my focus/goal for each race.  Then the inevitable happened and I didn’t PR.  I was kind of bummed at first but I got over it, it was bound to happen at some point and I really hadn’t trained as well as I could/should have.  Then it happened again…I not only didn’t PR but I came in at the same time I did as my 2nd half and here I was completing my 9th!  Something dawned on me then…

This past Sunday I completed my 10th Half Marathon, it’s still amazing to me that within less than two years I’ve completed 10!  So here’s some background.  I am born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area–hills are part of my regular training/runs.  I did the RnRSF last year for their inaugural race and it had some good hills in there.  This course was a “go big or go home” kind of hill course and if you don’t know SF, then you should know that “inclines” are anything that are not pancake flat and “hills” are some serious climbs–whether that makes them short but steep or long.  Comparing this year and last year’s courses felt like night and day!  Once I faced the facts of what the course had in store from me I decided my goal was going to be “enjoy the views…and yes that was definitely a plural!”  This course started us out at the beach at sunrise for 0.25 miles then we headed up our first set of (many) hills into the sunrise itself–we had hills for breakfast!  Once we got into the Presidio and Sea Cliff it was all postcard views from there–and we were going to earn them!  I could talk about them but I will just post some of the pictures that runners took along the way.  I thought of stopping but I chose not to except for once and that was with some fellow bloggers who were cheering runners on along the course between miles 2 and 3!

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@pointonemiles and @pavementrunner

Explaining these views is pointless, they speak for themselves.  But for someone from here, they even got me to consider stopping because they were SO BEAUTIFUL!!

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From top/bottom and L to R @sojomy, me, @pointonemiles, @katietheactor, @hayz808,  @pavementrunner, @run_westin, @runrocknroll

This weekend was more about why I enjoy running and not about how fast I could finish it!  Isn’t that what life in general is about?  Enjoying the journey and not focusing about how fast you arrive at your final destination?  I was so proud of myself for my finish but I was elated at the finish line because the amazing fun-filled weekend I had was well spent and worth the hurt (and tiredness) that I felt!  I met people who inspire/motivate me daily via social media and I feel like we all really know each other like any other friend I’ve had for years!  We all instantly click when we get together like we’ve never been separated by distance.  We encourage each other to keep going when it feels hard or hurts, to go further when we feel we’ve gone the distance, to keep our heads up when we keep ourselves down, to be proud of what we’ve done because we couldn’t at one point, and to enjoy the view and have fun because in the end that’s what it’s all about!

This weekend I conquered the hills of San Francisco, I completed my 10th half marathon (and plan on completing many more), I was blessed with some AMAZING views and I’m grateful to be a part of this running community that spans over many miles, ages, demographics, experience, etc.  We all have one common thread and it keeps us together through all the ups and downs–or in this case peaks and valleys!

 

 

For more great views check out RnRSF recaps at  http://www.pointonemiles.com/  and  http://pavementrunner.com/rnrsf-2014/

 

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Pre Race “Cold Feet”–Am I the ONLY One?

Many times, especially when I first started out, I’d get to be a “ball of nerves” pre race day.  Often times it’d keep me from getting decent sleep the night before, my stomach would be in knots the morning of, I’d jump out in the beginning of the race and go too fast for my normal pace, etc.!  Am I the only one?!?

I’ve come to learn that running is just like many other things in life, it’s something we practice and the more we practice we not only get better at it but we also get more comfortable doing it.  I’m at a point now where I can feel my pace/stride and that’s an achievement for me but I still get some of those nerves/cold feet!  It wouldn’t bother me so much if it didn’t also trigger some negative thoughts. 😦  Am I the only one?

I can often catch myself in these moments and consciously work to correct my negative thoughts into positive ones.  Or I’ll pause and reflect on my past and realize that there was also a time when running wasn’t something I was capable of doing because of my weight and mindset.  These help me in the moment but now I wonder if these nerves are something I’ll always have or if it’s possible for me to overcome them.  I’m running my first half of 2014–wait, maybe that’s part of my problem….maybe I’m keeping myself this way by always focusing on the “first” part of this.  Instead shift my focus to I’ve run this race before, I’ve run 13.1 miles nine times before this and I’ve run 10+ miles many times in addition to that!  Focus on adding more miles to my life and enjoying the view instead of focusing on the speed in which I get from point A to point B. 

I keep running (and the longer distances) because I enjoy the “runners high”–I let go of all the things “weighing me down” and just enjoy being in the moment; it’s like meditating.  So I don’t know why I get so wrapped up in the “can I do this” pre race nerves!  Maybe this blog will help me release that and the more I practice releasing it, it will eventually cease to exists.

Thoughts…feedback…advice…?

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