I made out last weekend. Jen, a friend from my Thursday morning trail run group, hooked me up with a free race entry to the San Francisco marathon. It was such a last minute thing, I got confirmation of entry the afternoon before the event. Well it ended up being a really fun time. I enjoyed most of it and it's been too long since I ran my last marathon. The last time I entered a marathon was back in 2004, quite some time. The idea was to run with Jen and pace for the entire race. I'm not in racing shape but I knew I could complete the distance without killing myself. Her goal was to come in under 4 hours which was within my capabilities.
The weather was perfect. I mean it was shorts and t-shirt weather at 4:30 in the morning. I picked up my friend Scott and we walked down to the waterfront. I expected it to get breezier and colder by the water but it was pleasant and we would enjoy great weather for the rest of the day. The first 10 miles just flew. Jen and I ran at a great pace, talked a lot and enjoyed ourselves. Shortly after the bridge however I would lose her on a long downhill when she took off and I had to stop twice to tie my shoelaces. Eventually I caught up with her at Golden Gate Park. I ran ahead of her after catching up but eventually I lost her again. Thinking that she was still behind I ended up waiting for 12 minutes in the park. Finally when I started running again I caught a glimpse of her as the course looped back on itself - she was more than a mile ahead! This was around mile 17 or so and I would use most of it to catch back to her. I wasn't happy to be running so hard but I was also pleased that I was running well with no major issues. It felt good! Eventually I caught her, a mile from the finish. In the end she didn't need me as she paced her race superbly. She did it! She got it done! About 50 yards from the finish line Jen starts hauling and we run past Scott who was struggling. I yelled at him to follow us into the finish, "c'mon Scott! Follow us!! It was Scott's first marathon and he has been wearing his medal to work all week. We all crossed the line at 3:56. What a day.
Afterwards we hung out for a bit on the sidewalk and then eventually headed to Perry's. Thanks again to Jen, she secured us entry to where the elites and upper level volunteers were given the VIP treatment. Free food, free beer and a free rubdown = awesome. It took a lot of self-discipline not to go crazy on the breakfast menu however. It was delicious and there was plenty of it but I kept it under control. I did avail myself of the free rubdown and got to catch up with other friends.
So despite my horrible pacing skills and having to run hard just to catch up I had a great time, a really great time. I've never run the San Francisco marathon and it was good to finally check that item off my list. Run my own city's marathon - check! I felt great afterwards. I even went to TRX class that afternoon (I had a free pass for a week and wanted to make the best of it.)No lingering fatigue or issues now. I was so psyched that I signed up for another ultra this month! I feel good. I am officially recovered and back in the mix.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend.