Yesterday started out one cold and foggy morning. It was probably fitting for all those people I saw returning to their homes after a wild Halloween out at the same time I was rising to start my day. But not for me: Every race I’ve ever run in San Francisco has been relentlessly foggy, which does nothing for the $100 views I paid for when signing up for in the first place.
(All those weird birds that inhabit Crissy Field—it’s like a bird breeding ground, I swear it—didn’t seem to mind a little haze.)
But just half a mile after I passed my sunglasses over to spectator SVV to hold for me, thinking I wouldn’t need them the entire day, the fog gave way to glorious sunshine, and blinded me until I saw him again on mile 11.
SVV is such a good sport. He willingly gets up at 5:30am, sometimes earlier, to accompany me to every race I run, then rides his bike around taking pictures of runners, pet cemeteries and the like.
To clarify, I’ve hardly been running since May. There were two months straight when I was on the road (and I never run on the road, no time), then two months straight when I suffered from that pesky lymphocytic disease, then another three weeks on the road. So, since I had to bail on the Marine Corps Marathon in D.C. last week, due to the aforementioned auto-immune disease, I thought why not squeeze a half in with little to no training? (Ever since my marathon last year, I kind of laugh in the face of a mere 13 miles anyway.)
Surprisingly, I felt good the majority of the race, even though the course was VICIOUS and far worse than the routes the San Francisco and Nike Women’s Marathons follow. The start line was on a steep 40% (how rude!), then shortly after there were the Presidio hills, the Golden Gate bridge which is a hill itself, then the freakin’ Marin Headlands. Then, in the homestretch when you’re looking forward to sprinting the last half mile, there was the Fort Mason hill to conquer. Blah.
Terrain ran the gamut of asphalt, sidewalk pavement, sand, dirt trail and gravel.
Still, it was one of those frequent days we have out here that’s so stunningly beautiful, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to leave this city by the bay. (Sorry, Mom.)
This bridge, for example? I will never tire of it. EVER.
And I fear I’ll never be happy anywhere landlocked when my daily runs consist of ocean and bay views galore.
I ran the race in 2:03 (pace 9:27/mile), which is five to eight minutes slower than I normally run a half. But considering the facts—no prior training, bitch of a course—I cut myself some slack. If nothing else, it was a great jumpstart for my training for the Napa Valley Marathon in March. (Who wants to join me?) And I actually felt pretty darn good and wasn’t winded at all the whole way.
Don’t get me wrong, today I feel like someone did a tap dance on my bones and major muscle groups. But hey, a girl needs some motivation to fit in her wedding dress after all.