What an epic day!
Marathon morning started early but not as early as some. We were up at 5:00 am and out the door by 6:00 am ready to rock!
We met up at our corral with many of our team and started singing songs to get pumped up for the run. It was pretty chilly to start the morning, so the long sleeves seemed like a good idea.
Almost 20 minutes after the crowd started moving did we even cross the start line. Everyone was moving slow and it felt good to warm up that way. My muscles were still very cold.
The first couple of miles were a quick blur. We ran through Pier 39 and the Wharf which was an amazing way to see the city.
Before we knew it we were already at the 10k mark staring out to this beautiful site. Oh the Golden Gate Bridge, I how I love thee!
We had shed our long sleeve shirts by mile 2 due to the humidity. It was overcast for the whole entire race. Which felt good for the first half.
Obligatory photo opportunity!
There was no way I was running by the Golden Gate Bridge without my picture snapped in front of it. I think this was the perfect break before heading up the hardest hill in the course.
We were surprised by our Coach Brad and Bryon on the sidelines cheering us on as we headed up the hard hill.
Those first 6 miles we were feeling good. Really good! I think it was all the excitement from the spectators! Everyone kept yelling GO TEAM! The support from the crown was almost overwhelming at times because there was just so much! But it was much appreciated!
The picture below is of the masses running up the hill. (It was this crazy until around mile 11.50 with people.) Maria needed a quick pit stop so I took the opportunity to take a little stretch break.
We were about half-way up the hard hill at this point and still feeling good.
Our coach trained us well for the hills on this course. There was never one time in which I felt I could not tackle the hill. I even dare to say that some of the hills we ran in Boise were actually harder. Possibly the adrenaline kicked in and I just had it in me to kick those hills during race.
I can’t quite explain the feeling I felt during the hill run though. It was as if everything clicked for me. All the hill training that had been such a struggle was finally doable. It was thrilling!
These girls ran the whole marathon in these outfits! LOL!
The run down the hill was even more exhilarating! I remember rounding a corner and hearing “Don’t Stop Believing” playing from the Nike Power Song station and calling my friend Ashley to sing to her. (It’s one of our favorites songs!)
She was freaking out – “Omigawsh, are you running right now?!” Oh yes! We are at mile 10 baby and feeling AMAZING!
Then we continued on until we hit the Marathon & Half-marathon split off (around mile 11.50).
This was an interesting point in the race for me. I remember it so clearly. It was as if the energy in a balloon was instantly deflated. As the halfers took the right road and we continued on straight all in the world was quiet.
It was apparent that there were WAY more halfers than full marathoners. As the road ahead was finally free and we could keep a consistent pace for once in the whole race.
I was really excited at first to have the whole road ahead, but as I mentioned that feeling quickly faded. It was quiet and then it started to get cold.
We hit mile 13 in really good time. The clock says 3:09 but my garmin said 2 hours 45 minutes. We were happy with that time!
Shortly after this picture Garmina died and things got a little bit harder. The rain started down, the wind flared up, we were getting chilly and we were running a bit slower.
But we were still happy. We knew our parent’s were at mile 15 & 16 waiting to cheer us on. So we had a little more pep in our step to get going.
Mile 15.50 was quite a cluster! The half marathon course rounded back up with the Marathon course and we watched as they ran toward the finish as we had to keep on trucking.
But at that time I saw J. Alabama & my Mom high fiving and shouting Go Linz! I was instantly reenergized! A few spots down I saw Destination 26.2 Dad and brother was across the way snapping photos!
Not long after that we saw Maria’s mom. She was all smiles!
Then not a minute later we saw Coach Brad and Byron! They ran with us a ways and told us to keep up the good work.
I think seeing so many familiar faces at that one point was the perfect pick me up. If we had reached a wall it was between mile 13-15. After that it was all fabuloso!
We ran down the highway and were cheered on by the amazing volunteers and other Team In Training Coaches.
We were still happy as can be despite the cold weather and the on and off rain.
We began the run around the lake. It was about 4-6 miles around the lake, but felt like we were running forever. At one point Maria exclaimed, how do you feel?
Great!! I said.
Well good, because we just passed the 21 mile marker. This is the most you have ever ran!
It was really surreal when I started thinking about how horribly I felt after the 20 mile team run just a few weeks ago. At this point in the race I still had it in me to keep to going. I was smiling, I was happy. I was ready to own this marathon.
Then not far ahead was the Ghiradelli Chocolate mile. Ahh… if you wondered whether or not I was going to indulge in the chocolate treat, just know I went for it!
How could I resist? Really?! And let me just tell you it was the sweetest most amazing chocolate ever.
Then it was time to get serious and focus on the last bit of road ahead of us.
J. Alabama has always mentioned it’s good to pick someone out to be your “rabbit”. Someone who runs just fast enough ahead of you to keep you on the move the catch them.
Well our “rabbit” as we like to call her was a speedwalker! She was amazing and I couldn’t help but freak out a little when I would I would look up ahead and see that she had passed us yet again.
Every time we would take our 1 minute walk she was speed walk on by and leave us in the dust. Then we would catch back up and the cycle would start all over again.
Our rabbit is on the left side of this picture above. We were on the home stretch (around mile 24) and were determined to catch her and pass her once for all.
That’s when the weather gods decided they could not hold out any longer. The rain started down harder and the wind was colder. It was getting intense.
Maria & I were not phased by this. I had the biggest smile on my face and could taste that finish line.
Then I saw my brother jumping and yelling up ahead in the middle of the course. He was taking a million pictures of us and was so excited!
You can see how drenched he was.
Not far behind him was J. Alabama.
“Run baby Run!” He said. “You are almost there!”
That last half a mile was insane! The rain was coming down in buckets and we were passing people who looked like they were in so pain. I couldn’t beleive how amazing I felt.
I was feeling the joints and muscles ache in my body, but I wasn’t feeling anywhere close to as bad as I felt during my 20 miler.
Maria and I grabbed hands and crossed the finish line in amazement!
WE DID IT! We ran a freakin’ marathon! And we did it under 6 hours.
We reached Destination 26.2!
We were then greeted by these handsome fire fighters with our “race medals”.
Yes, our race medals were a necklace from Tiffany’s!
Now I have a few complaints. We were handed our race medals and told that they would be sending the REAL ones in the mail. I sadly opened my box to find a 2007 medal.
Umm… I guess they ran out of race medals? That was sort of let down considering this is one of the perks for running this race.
I tried not to let that bum me out too much. I actually couldn’t focus on anything else as the raining was still pouring down buckets and Maria and I could not stop shivering.
We picked up our finisher’s shirts and tried find those awesome space blankets they give out at the end of marathons. We quickly found out that they had run out of those too. As silly as it sounds I’ve always been fascinated by those things and was SUPER excited to get one. 😦
We were shaking uncontrollably at this point and shuffled as quickly as our bodies would let us to the Team in Training tent.
We grabbed some Boudin’s Sandwiches and met up with our families.
Thank goodness J. Alabama had nice warm coat waiting for me. You can see it in my eyes, I was done. But I was still high life at this point.
This adventure was truly amazing. I can’t believe how great I felt throughout the entire race. Now don’t get me wrong, it was tough. There several times in which I just wished I could be teleported to the finish, but there was no greater joy than that of crossing that finish line.
I earned all 26.2 of those miles.
Thank you again for your support and happy thoughts. I could definitely feel everyone’s energy with me through the race.
I am a marathoner now! 🙂