Monday, July 30, 2007

So below this entry you can see my results from running the SF marathon. My first marathon I ran was the Big Sur marathon earlier this year. It is known as one of the harder marathons to do but I did better than I thought I would. I finished in 3:25 and decided that my goal for the year would be to qualify for Boston which meant that I would have to run a marathon in 3 hours and 10 minutes. On a whim, I signed up for the SF marathon not thinking that I would achieve my goal as it's a tad hilly and windy but just enjoy the run and hopefully do well. Clif Bar sponsors pace groups where a pacer will run the course in a certain amount of time. The pacers are easy to spot as they run with a stick that has 3 balloons attached. On the balloons the finishing time of that pacer is written. Even though I wasn't very confident I could pull off a 3:10 marathon, I decided to run with Jack, the pacer for the 3:10 group. It was nice running with a group and not having to think about if my pace was on as Jack was keeping track of the pace. The first half wasn't a problem as I've run a lot of half marathons at 1:35 or faster. But I was definitely wondering if I could keep up the pace for another 13 miles. At the halfway point, I was a bit in front of the pace group but a couple miles into the second half, Michael, who took over for Jack at the halfway point, as the pacer came up behind me. He was going at a faster pace than I was but I decided to try to keep up with him. It was tough and after mile 21 I was definitely starting to have second thoughts but Michael was very supportive and really kept me focused. With about a mile to go I picked up my pace and gave everything I had for a sprint finish. I had some friends who decided to cheer for me during the race or at the finish line but I finished faster than we all expected and only ended up seeing Peter, who ran with me for about a mile. I really am grateful for all the support and encouragement my friends, family, and complete strangers provide during my races. Yesterday was a perfect example of how well I can do with support from others. My training gives me a great foundation but without all the encouragement I get before, during, and after races, there is no way I could achieve those goals.