If you have been a follower of my blog for any length of time, you know that the San Francisco Marathon means the absolute world to me. It is no secret when I decided to start taking my social media and running and making them work for me that they had been the first ones to see the power in my story and given me this amazing platform to be able to share my story. This is also the first time in over three years that my focus was not tied up other places and that I got to focus on my running.
The training cycle had been interesting for this. I dumped a lot of races that I would do just to do during the spring and early summer in Portland due to both personal reasons and I wanted to focus my energy on this race. I think this was a smart move, but towards the end of the cycle I was dealing with a super tight IT band.
So I was literally walking into this not knowing what would happen.
My adventure started at the expo. If you have ever been to a SF Marathon expo, this by far is one of the easiest most runner friendly expos ever. You start with the shopping area to have a chance to get any TSFM goodies that suit your fancy. Then you can head to the back to pick up your number and gear bag. Your shirt is located at the next table and I had zero wait.
The shirts are my favorite shirts every year and I am still wearing my first one pretty constantly. Long sleeve green layers and they fit so well.
Anyhow. Friday I worked the app both to tell runners about the runner tracking application. It was a mix of technical support and being an ear to some of the runners who came in a little nervous. I always have a blast working the expo as an ambassador because I get to talk to so many runners from all over the word and see some of the most inspiring people I have met, my fellow ambassadors.
Sunday’s race morning started with the very short walk from The Green Tortise which has played host to me for two of my three years. It is so simple to get to the start line from about half a mile up the road. I checked in at the ambassador tent and found one of my favorite people on the planet and got a long overdue hug. Then I made my way to drop my bag which was super easy; as all you have to do is look for the truck that corresponds to your bib number.
I found my wave rather quickly but was starting towards the back. It felt like it took forever to get to the start. But being back at the main start line this year is amazing. I ran the second half last year and the energy isn’t the same.
The first few miles went almost perfectly according to plan. Your first few miles are in the waterfront section; from the Ferry Building, past Pier 39 to Marine Park and into Crissy Fields. This is truly breathtaking as you can see the Golden Gate Bridge breaking through the fog.
The first major hill is leaving Crissy Field and I knew going in I was going to need to conserve energy so I took it slower, but I could tell that my having to pull back on training because of my IT band was going to hurt. But I did not loose that much time here.
Now, one of the landmarks of running this race is being on The Golden Gate Bridge. Please note, if you are looking to PR, sometimes the congestion is going to get to you. It did for me here. But it is worth seeing it. Even in the fog, it will truly be something you will never forget. I did end up getting my pace killed at this point but I was ready for it.
You can check out a video here:
After making the tour of the bridge you have to head to the part of the course I compare to almost all other courses, Baker Beach. The fog was pretty thick but being able to see the ocean from that angle is always something that sticks with me.
The course is very well supported and you barley have to look before you make a water stop. You do need to be patient at the water stops; some of the water stops got overwhelmed by runners. Just be patient, and you will still get your water.
I was struggling at this point of the course because of how my training got fouled up so I decided just to do what I could and peel back to enjoy the race more.
After Baker Beach you head into Sunset which is an up and down part of the course and pretty residential. I enjoy seeing the true nature of SF.
The finish line is in Golden Gate Park and it is stunning. I was 49 seconds off of where I had hoped to be on this course and I am perfectly okay with it. I was more emotionally tired then anything because this is the first time in a long time that I got to push myself and run for me. I pushed hard, I tried to fight back from loosing the time I had banked (and I had a good chunk of it)
I have tried for the last three years to sum up how much The SF Marathon means to me, but I have truly as they say left my heart in San Francisco. This race truly reminds me what I am capable of when I set my mind to it.
I am so honored to be part of the ambassador family. Please stop by and check out their recaps.
Sheena: The SF Marathon – a half marathon+ of emotion
Erin: the 2016 San Francisco Marathon race report – DNS
I have not ran away from this place.
I just have not been feeling all Zombie Running Princessey as of late.
But lets talk about a few things:
Dad’s home. If you have followed me on social media for any length of time you know my dads been in and out of hospitals for the past three years. I am excited to say he is home and doing pretty dang well. We have hit a few bumps in the road but its expected. Each day gets better.
Self Doubt Kills: I have been in a bit of a personal transition since dads been home and since I have been more focused on career and taking care of myself instead of taking care of the things that tend to take my attention. I have been saying no a lot more and been more focused on my goals instead of everyone elses. And I think that fear of letting other people down has been problematic.
I have always had an issue with self doubt in my head. I dont think the problem will ever quite go away. I think a lot of it is I never saw myself as the one pursuing success. I so love what I do at Mud Run Guide, I love what I do at PWF and I am driven to be better. But I always go back to the girl who was a secretary, who had no further vision.
I think that has been the biggest thing, despite coming so far, I will always see the before me. I know who I am, just sometimes I need to remember to embrace the hell out of it.
The thing is, I have had a lot of good help, especially from a few of my “brothers” to realize that I have the talent to take it forward even when I don’t see it.
I am getting there, but it will always be my biggest challenge.
I will talk more about running soon, but my plan to just focus on SF and Seattle was a SMART idea. think I am more focused on getting better on what makes sense. I am still pacing (actually pacing one of my faviorte races this weekend.)
More later, just wanted to throw out in the open why I haven’t been blogging all that much.
I am BACK.
You keep trying to beat me down. You keep trying to get me to say you are not worth it.
But you are.
I am back as the returning vet to the 2016 Seattle Marathon Ambassadors. IF you have read my blog for any length oftime; you know this is one of my favorite races. It is also such a challenging course. It is also ran by a group that is dedicated to running a top notch event for runners (even when its 23 or so degrees at the start).
And there is
If you have ran the event you know. It comes right around the mile 8 mark in the half. You turn the corner coming off of the amazing Lake Washington; you are hitting your groove.
And then smack.
It hits you like a ton of bricks.
It goes straight up.
Like a brick wall.
Reminding you that this course is not that easy.
But it is also quite tough.
So Thanksgiving weekend, #Whathill and I get to tango again, and my entire goal is to be ready for it. I was hoping for a PR last year but it did not happen. This year; I want to finish what I started.
And Seattle is the best place to do it.
I am coming for you. This time, it will be mile 18 something as I am running the full and shooting to beat my last dance in Seattle.
And I can’t wait.
Excuse me while I celebrate
After a ton of non-fun challenges
We are going dragon!
I have talked about this before. I love The Color Run, I love what they stand for and they just opened up registration for 17 more events in 2016. (I am counting down the hours to Portland)
The Color Run Baltimore
The Color Run Eau Claire
The Color Run Lafayette
The Color Run Night Lansing
The Color Run Madison
The Color Run Montreal
The Color Run Seattle
The Color Run Shreveport
The Color Run Twin Cities
The Color Run Birmingham, AL
The Color Run Chicago
The Color Run Nashville
The Color Run Omaha
The Color Run Philadelphia
The Color Run Pittsburgh
The Color Run Racine
The Color Run MLB All-Star 5K, Presented by Nike
The Color Run San Diego
Make sure you register soon to get in on all the fun.
One thing I have had to learn as a pacer.
Sometimes you are going to get wet.
This one I got super wet.
I have always wanted to do the Hot Chocolate Races. Cost and travel made it less then cost effective. When Beast Pacing gave me the opportunity to be able be a pacer for the 15K I jumped all over it.
I got to the expo on Friday and it was small, but really well organized. If you did not have your information you could have a volunteer help look it up for you. Then you picked up your goodie bag which had your race jacket, which is a change from the normal hoodies that they had been doing. There had been a few vendor booths and a chance to purchase race gear.
Sunday morning started with finding my pacing crew and picking up my pacing kit. I have to thank Beast and Ram Racing for the nice shirt and the 2XU compression sleeves.
Bag check was very easy and simple to get through. The volunteers had been eager.
The start line corrals had been between Key Arena and the Armory which made it very narrow but still a well organized system. The only down side is I was pushed almost all away back to the corral behind me.
Now the course. This course is TOUGH. I thought Seattle Marathon was tough, that is actually a walk in the parkcompared to this. You start with a quick run through downtown before you hit the roads behind Pikes Market. This is one sharp down hill and one sharp up hill back to back before you hit the tunnels that take you to Aurora Avenue.
And Aurora itself?
If you live in Seattle you know what this entails. This was a series of up and down hills including a long climb right up after the bridge. I heard some people mention how the elevation map made it look like stairs, it had not been. It was a straight set of hills. I was not ready for how tough that side would be.
The course is well supported even in the pouring down rain. The volunteers went out of their way to encourage the runners and the pacers alike even though it was pouring down rain and windy. (We actually had thunderstorms)
I finished a few seconds back of pace, but still had runners coming up to me thanking me for running and holding my sign which meant a lot. I ran with Marie, who is one of my fellow Skirt Sports Ambassadors and she was truly a difference maker. It was nice to have a pacer with me and we kept each other in line all away through.
I finished and headed for the post race, which consisted of the famous food and chocolate finishers mug. We did not have much of a festival area so I was in and out quickly.
This is a fun race, its well organized and a bit of a challenge. I am actually excited for next year.
If you are like me this is the last news you want to see. Because this will hurt.
It is time for Ghost Busters.
**Note, if you read my ambassador application for Seattle Marathon from last year, you know where this came from. I had to do it in the same vein**
Dear Seattle Marathon-
I just can’t quite get over you.
I said I was going to only do you once.
That was 2012. (And you are still my marathon PR)
But I keep coming back for more.Your course is truly spectacular, especially the views of Lake Washington. But it is also challenging (Can we say #whathill?) and makes you push yourself to go harder then you ever have before. I love the tunnels and the constant echos from the runners trying to cheer each other on. I can’t get over how amazing it is. It makes me want to keep coming back for more and keep seeing how hard I can push.
Your volunteers are amazing and they really come out to support the runners and make their experiencing better. They truly have an energy that makes you want to run harder and faster.
The expo is always one of the funnest expos to go to every year because it is so well organized, and it allows runners to learn about all the area has to offer without feeling crowded in. Not to mention the fact that I think the goodie bags are always the best every year.
I keep speaking your praises everywhere I go. You know me; and you know how willing I am to use my social media reach to keep telling people how amazing what you do is. I will help when you come down here to spread the Seattle love. I was proud to serve in 2015 and it would be a honor to come back in 2016.
No matter what you decided, I will be back. Because to be blunt, I just can’t get over you. I can’t get over how much you remind me of how strong I am and how able I am to run.
I did not plan on writing but there is an article going around the running world that makes me ragey.
Dear Patrick at Run Steady-
You make me ragey.
In your article Can’t run a marathon under 6 hours? Don’t run a marathon. you make it perfectly clear that the marathons are for the elite.
For the record, I am not a 6+ marathon’er. I am in the 5 hour club. (My PR is 5:25 in Seattle). Some of the best and most inspiring people in my life are sub 7’s.
I am a former Portland Marathon course marshall. I was always at the cut off point for people to start taking the side walk (the post 6 finishers) and it has not been due to lack of training. If anything they have worked just as hard and there are a lot of marathons that allow them to be able to continue.
Honestly, I think you would be surprised at how many people really there are in the back of the pack. Race directors are seeing this and work
This is the comment that really got to me.
“Agree with most all the points you made. Would love to see more of an effort to protect the sport of marathon. Doing 26.2 at a walking pace cheapens the sport and does not create long term runners or cultivate safe running”
UGHHH! Where do I start?
The whole idea that walking cheapens the sport is ridiculous. I have made it known for years I am a die hard run-walk Galloway method girl. It has helped me stay almost injury free. The sport for us is different. Our sport is to be a better version of ourselves. For me as a pacer to, it is to help and motivate those who want to finish.
It just boggles me that there is so much snobbery out there.
Running is truly a sport for everyone. Not just those who can rack sub 10 min miles all the time. Its for those who want to find their fearless (had to do it, I am a 261 Ambassador), their strength and how amazing they can be.
Short blog. Just wanted to get that off my brain because the more I read the comments.
The more ragey I get.