In April of 2011 I had a strange urge to register for the San Francisco Half Marathon happening at the end of July. At that point I had never run farther than 4 miles but I was compelled to give myself a challenge, so 13.1 miles it was. I browsed a few half marathon training schedules and took notes on the gradual progression of distance and intermittent hill runs. I slowly added miles to my daily runs and before I knew it I was running from my apartment, over the Golden Gate Bridge and back (almost 10 miles).
Soon enough race day came and I was in disbelief about what I was going to do. I was about to run, without stopping, from the Ferry Building by the water, over the bridge and back, and all the way into the middle of the city to Golden Gate Park. I was corralled into the start gate and stumbled through the crowd as I attempted to find my stride during the first mile or so. I kept a great 8:23 pace however, after I hit the 10 mile mark I decided that the race should end there not in 3.1 miles. I was exhausted and ready for a break but instead I had a 3 mile continuous hill in front of me. But I did it! I made it through the finish line and still in great time: 1 hour and 50 minutes exactly. In the following moments I told myself, “well that’s not happening again,” and then within five minutes I was ready to sign up for my next race 🙂
After a day or two of hobbling around I was determined to set my sights on the next half marathon and chose the Napa half in October. Once again I steadily increased my distance and decided to embrace the full culture of running including, electrolyte water, gu, protein powder, arm warmers and a Garmin watch.
The Napa run looked like it was out of a movie. Pumping up the hills there were cows on my left and vineyards on my right. I didn’t even mind that my music died 4 miles into the race. I felt much more at ease during this run and finished with a PR of 1hour and 46 minutes!
Next, on to the