|Saturday at the Golden Gate Vista Point|
|The getaway house|
I was fortunate enough to spend the weekend in Los Gatos and San Francisco. A friend from my running blogging community was in town for the weekend, and offered to pick me up from Santa Cruz and take me to San Francisco. While I have spent now two summers in Santa Cruz, I had yet to visit SF, so I jumped at the opportunity. Plus, the SF Marathon/Half/5k races were on Sunday. The half was a bit expensive ($110), but I felt like I could afford the 5k. Why not - it would be a great way to see the town and catch up with some friends.
We had an amazing weekend. We spent Friday night and Saturday morning in Santa Cruz, and I got to show off my UCSC trails. Then, we headed out to SF for the day, both to go to the expo and to do some sight seeing. It was great going over the Golden Gate Bridge, and stopping to see the town. So beautiful! I had never been there before, and I really enjoyed exploring another new city and part of the country.
|The Golden Gate Bridge was so beautiful!|
|Look for the yellow shoes...working my way to the front|
The gun went off, and when I went to start my watch, the memory was full! I had forgotten to clear it. Silly me (seriously - this is the 3rd watch issue I've had in a race). Oh well. I decided to just run by feel, which has worked before, and see what happens.
I quickly found myself in about 5th place, and felt really good. At this point, it was my goal to get in the top 3, and take it from there. Within the first mile, I was in third, and feeling like I still had another gear to move. Then, I moved to second place, and was within 100 feet of first. Oh my gosh, could I actually win this race? I've only won one race before, which was really cool, but it would be amazing to do it again.
I really felt that while the pace was hard, it wasn't grueling, and that I could shift gears a bit. I finally pushed hard enough that about halfway through the race (remember, I am running by feel, not checking mile markers or anything), I took the lead. Man oh man, I hope I can keep this, this feels awesome. I could hear a woman breathing behind me, but she wasn't right on my shoulder. I felt like rather than pressing the pace, I should just hold steady, and if she kicks, I'll have enough energy to respond. But she didn't, and I could hear her less and less. Finally, we had a turnaround, and at this point, I could see that I had at least 100 feet between me and the next woman. And the people on the other side of the turnaround started to yell, "First woman" and clap their hands for me. I'm not going to lie - that felt good and was encouragement for me to keep going. I peeked back a couple of times (which I know tactically is bad, but I wanted to make sure I was keeping first place - I was not going to have anyone blow by me). As I could see the finish line in the distance, I was getting excited, as I could actually envision myself winning the race. And while there was no tape to hit as I crossed the finish line, I yelled out a huge "YEAH!" while I finished because not only did I win the race, I PRed!
19:33 (6:18 pace)
1st woman out of 618
19th overall out of 1018
|A marathoner, a 5k winner, and a half marathoner all walk into a bar...|
|Big smile after the award ceremony|
It is hard to articulate in words how I am feeling right now. There is a ton of joy. My day turned out so much better than I could have expected, in part because I surpassed all of my own expectations. The whole weekend was amazing. San Francisco won me over...and I won it back!