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!
@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!!
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/