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"Don't let your happiness depend on something you may lose." ~C. S. Lewis

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PostHeaderIcon Frisco run

Ok, yes, you’re not really supposed to call San Francisco Frisco, but it’s fun to needle my SF friends who seem to take great offense at someone using the term. Ah, the sensitive progressive.

I found myself looking forward to the run in SF since January quite a bit. And as the date got closer, I found myself a bit nervous of the actual trip itself. Twas the first time I was going to my city by the bay in six months. And it still held such a beautiful big place in my heart. Which I happen to wear on my sleeve.

But the race itself did not disappoint. And was such a good push for me for where my running is now, the mental side of the training I’ve been doing. The course was absolutely stunning, as were the weather conditions of the day. Could not have asked for anything better. Being able to stay quiet in the city and have a little time to myself worked wonders. Funny enough, my stomach was bothering me a bit and couldn’t quite put my finger on why. It made me a bit nervous to attempt a run when feeling as I did. But. I really didn’t have a choice!

There was a bit of added stress the day before when coming back from a lovely and loving lunch with a friend I found myself stuck in traffic. For an hour and 15 minutes. While needed to get to the Expo to get my number. I left Oakland at 3:30 and parked on the street near Moscone Center at 4:45. It closed at 5pm. Needless to say, that rental car heard a lot of yelling and swearing and swearing and yelling. Yikes. But. I made it. I didn’t get to do my usual swing through row after row of inspiring booths but clearly I was not supposed to do more than grab a number, one or two products and get thee out.

What an early start. I mean really. 6:30? But there I was, finding my parking lot spot somewhere in the Tenderloin at 6am and sauntering to the line in the Civic Center to get on a bus to take us to Ocean Beach. The last bus left at 5:45. This was all ridonkulously early. I think I ate yogurt at 3:30am and a half a banana. My body was so darn confused, it just gave up trying to fight it and actually I felt pretty supported, save for a wobbly stomach.

Talked with a sweet man on the bus, from SLO with his buddies who were from San Diego, they were doing this race along with a few other ones in CA. When they asked “is this your first?” and I sleepily shook my head. They said “Second?” I said no and before I could answer, one said “It’s my fifth!” and I said “congratulations!” They asked again and were incredulous when I said “it’s my 30th. In four years.” They loved it. It was super fun and got me a little more awake on the drive to Ocean Beach. We wished each other luck and waved as we all were swallowed up in the still dark morning sea of runners.

Had a super fun occurrence in having my dear friend Rich show up from down the street with his son Neil. They lived so close that they offered to come cheer me on at the start! I’d never had that before! What a fun way to start the race. I race over to find them and we got a few pictures together and they gave me a good pep talk. I like to think maybe a seed was planted in Neil that he might want to do events like that someday! Although, if he doesn’t become a MLB player, I’d be shocked…

At this point, I’m feeling pretty good actually. Excited even. No idea how the race will go, and know it will be hilly so as much as I’d like to do a quick speedy race, I’m also going to let myself enjoy this one and relax into the scenery of it all.

My corral finally goes (I held back to spend a few extra minutes with Rich and Neil) and we’re off. Not a couple hundred yards later we take a sharp right into the the outer Richmond and BAM! HILL! I mean, super hill. My music is on at this point but I hear all sorts of expletives around me. It’s like it was out of the blue and smacked right into us. It’s a plateauing hill, meaning there is a steep crest, then plateau, then steep crest, then plateau. Kind of like stair steps. Only you’re running each part of it. It’s pretty brutal. And to start so early with this. Hmmm. Thankfully, my legs are  bright since it’s early so I head up the hills pretty easily and feel good about it. There was a little mess up of the course at the top of the hill to take a left and suddenly a bunch of us were diverted to run further up the hill before taking a left to head into SeaCliff. It all worked out fine but definitely caused some confusion for a few minutes.

As we start heading downhill through Richmond toward Sea Cliff, the sun is really starting to rise. And it’s spectacular. Wow. Really stunning and FUN. We’re winding our way through a few narrow streets and suddenly there’s all these jam ups right and left and I’m trying to figure out what’s going on while not tripping myself or anyone else as we’re pouring through quiet neighborhoods.

Oh. Photographers. But I see those every race?!? Oh. It’s San Francisco. And I realize the jam ups are something I’ve never actually seen before – runners stopping in groups to actually pose in front of the camera man. No action shots, no candid, just straight up stop short (with no thought of who’s behind you or who’s behind them) and pose. Ah yes, is this the Twitter/Facebook/Instagram effect? A city of selfie-makers and takers must get all photos possible? Or just a terribly narcissistic town? More on that on the bridge…

Getting stride up under me and yet we’re still just about to hit mile three. That’s it so far. But WOW has it been beautiful! So far I’m really loving this race, even with that hill business in the beginning, and I can’t wait to get to the…UM, WHAT? What is that? Holy HILL! My word! It’s THAT hill. I remember this thing. Did it once in a race years ago. That thing is nasty. Wow. And we all gotta go up that? Did I train for THIS? Oy. Ok, let’s go. And I go. And I keep going. And suddenly I’m feeling actually pretty great, like, hey, this isn’t so bad. I like hills, which I do, and this one just keeps going. I get jammed up a couple times behind people who suddenly decide to walk (I get it, it’s a rough one) and have to bob and weave to one side to get around, so I don’t break momentum. This is key for getting all the way up this thing. But almost there, just rounding a corner, I’m sure this is the…CRAP that’s not the top. OMG we’re still heading up hill. And way up hill. Lord. Does this thing ever end? Never? I begin negotiating with myself about whether or not, hmm, a little walking never hurt anyone. No, I don’t want to break stride. I am actually doing well, a little delirious now but really feel strong, light, fleet of feet. I’m, gulp, enjoying this!

And we finally see the top. We as in me and the others gasping as we make our way up up up. There it is, the beautiful glorious top of the hill, when you know it’s downhill and weaving your way to the Glorious Golden Gate Bridge. Wow. Stunning. Truly perfect day for running this race, this course, this city. And I’m pulling up to the top of the course and suddenly I feel and rumbling in my stomach, reaching my chest and bottom of my throat…uh oh…

 

Part 2 coming up!

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