Saturday night as I was brushing my teeth Jason asked me, “Do you feel ready to run tomorrow?” And I had to pause for a minute. To spit. But also because it only just then occurred to me that I would have to run the next day.
Up until then I had devoted all my brain capacity to logistics. I worried that I would forget one of the 10,000 things we needed to bring or that we wouldn’t get out the door on time. I worried that all the parking garages would be full and we would end up playing pinball with the road closures. I worried Ruby would refuse to eat in the car and I wouldn’t have time to pump. I worried that I would miss the shuttle bus to the start line. I worried that I wouldn’t make it through the porta potty line or that I wouldn’t be able to – yes – poop before the race.
I did not worry at all about the running part. So I naturally felt, by the time I had checked everything off my To-Do list and lined up to start, that the hard part was over. I let out a sigh of relief and set out for a nice run.
Somehow I ended up in the sub-2:00 start wave and was immediately passed by just about everybody. Despite starting out much faster than I had intended on. Buzzers and flashing lights kept going off in my head:
You are starting too fast!
You are going to pay for this later!
But since I didn’t have any expectations for the race itself I figured, “What the hell! If I hit the wall at mile 7, I’ll just slow down then.”
Only I never did, and I’m still trying to figure out why. I think the race conditions helped. I’m used to running up mountains in 180 degree weather. Or at least in slightly warmer than perfect weather and up slightly steeper than not so steep hills.
The first half of the second half of the San Francisco marathon traverses the Golden Gate Park, which was a lovely scene. The second half of the second half wasn’t much to see, but my attention was focused mostly on my breath, my heart, my head and my feet at that point anyway.
I settled into a rhythm and the miles ticked by. In what felt like no time I heard the crowd framing the finishers’ shoot and spotted my fan club on the sidelines.
All in all, the race was pleasantly uneventful. A beautiful break from the stressors of daily life and something to feel proud of.