Nike Women’s Marathon (Destination 26.2)

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.



100_3765I had to take a picture with my mentor Laurie as she has been a great motivation over the last few months!


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! 🙂

46 thoughts on “Nike Women’s Marathon (Destination 26.2)

  1. So it doesn’t really help that I’m emotional today to begin with, but I am holding back my tears because I am so, so proud of you, Linzi! I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it a million more…I’m so proud to be your sister! DBNs for life!

  2. Linzi, I am so so proud of you and Maria! You girls were so inspirational the whole season =) Way to go! By the way, Pat Stanger has been looking and looking for an ’07 medal. If you don’t want yours and you get your new one, I’m sure she would take the ’07 off your hands. If you want to keep it, I don’t blame you there either! =) Good job girls!!!!

  3. YAY Linzi! Awesome recap! You did so well and it looks like you had so much fun. What an amazing accomplishment! Don’t worry, you can get a mylar blanket at your next marathon 😉 Also, helloooo firefighters. Fun way to end the race! 🙂

  4. omg, i am totally crying right now!!!
    im still emotional from sunday. not enough sleep and lots of soreness will do that to u.

    omg linzi….u r a marathoner!!! awesome. congrats, congrats. that was an amazing recap.
    ur experience was soooo good. ur race was so much better and funner than mine.

    love the men in tuxedos!! we didnt have anything fun like that!! booooo.

  5. Congrats Linzi! You did it!!!! And I’m so proud of you for triumphing on the hills. I always feel like such a ass when I say that hills don’t really phase me, but you are proof that if you train for them, they really aren’t so scary.

    Love, love, Love the boys in tuxes!! Ahh! And I would kill for one of those “Don’t Think. Run” signs. Too cool!

    I actually think I would be pretty stoked to have two necklaces (even if one is for a race I didn’t run). Now you have one to wear and one to hang from your rearview mirror or something. 🙂

  6. Oh I love it! I totally have a sparkle in my eyes. WAY TO GO! Man, why isn’t there a bigger font available in comments. Mine would be massive if it could be. I’m so, so, so, so, so, SOOO happy for you.

    However, how awful that they ran out of stuff. It’s not like they don’t know how many participants there were. That’s just unacceptable.

    CONGRATULATIONS again Linzi. You and Maria did amazing!

  7. Congrats!! You did a great job.

    And I was totally excited about my space blanket too. I’m totally going to put it on the wall in my basement. I guess you’ll have to run another marathon to get that blanket. 🙂

  8. Congrats on the marathon! You did awesome! It is great that you took the time to take some pictures. You’ll remember this day forever! You ARE a marathoner!

    Bummer about the medal, I’d be disappointed too.

  9. Linz, I am so happy for you and proud of you! I knew you could do it. You can do anything you set your mind to!! You are an inspiration to those around you. I got tears in my eyes at work reading this blog because I know how much this means to you. You are AMAZING and I am lucky to have such an outstanding friend.

  10. AGH I loved reading this! You sure are a marathoner! It’s a testament to your training that you felt so good all the way to the end.

    Bummer on the medals and space blankets. 😦 I hope you get your real medal in the mail SOON!

    Congrats, chica! You rock and you look SOOOOOOO happy! (as you should) 😀

  11. So proud of you Linz! This is such an awesome and inspiring recap.

    Sucks about the medals and space blankets. What the heck. I’ve always wanted to try out those space blankets too.

  12. Congratulations! I’ve been following along for most of your training. You just about had me in tears with this post. I’m so proud of you for finishing!

  13. So awesome! Congrats! I love the tux’s and Tiffany boxes…of course, would have kind of sucked not to get the actual one, but hey, still exciting. So awesome, great job!

  14. Congrats Linz! You have to change your blog masthead (logo) now – you ARE a marathoner!!!

    I love all the pics! The spectators look like a lot of fun! And I LOVE that the hills were a breeze for you!

    I totally agree that seeing family and people you know is so energizing! I think that medal (or is it a necklace) looks cool. I wonder what the actual one will look like.

    COngrats again, marathoner!

  15. Linz, I am so happy for you!! Congratulations, you are a rock star. You worked so hard to become a marathoner. What a great accomplishment. Way to go.

  16. Great race report and Congrats on your first marathon!! 🙂 I can only imagine how you feel right now. 🙂 I’m sure this will be the first of many. It was great to meet you on Monday and hopefully we’ll be at the same race again soon. Don’t forget to email me pics from breakfast!

  17. Just a minute Linz, first got to wipe the tears from my eyes before I can type more …………..

    So that’s done. Girl you made me cry with your recap. I’m so so proud of you and so happy for you that you and Maria did this.

    I loved every word of this recap and all the pictures and I love seeing both your families being so supportive of the both of you.

    This will be a day you will never forget. I think that every marathon you will run from now won’t be as memorable and exciting as this one has been.

    Again: Congrats my blogger friend and thank you for taking me on this journey, I loved every post of it.

  18. Congrats Linzi! You are a marathoner! Sounds like the race went amazing! So what’s next? Are you going to do another one? BTW, after seeing the firefighters in tuxes handing out Tiffany necklaces, I now have to put the San Fran marathon on my list.

  19. CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I am so thrilled you had such a great marathon. You deserved every minute of awesomeness. It has been so inspiring to read along as you got to this milestone. You. Are. A. MARATHONER!
    P.S. I totally had the same feeling you did when the half marathoners split from the fulls. It was very weird, like, “where are you all going? come back!”

  20. Congrats congrats congrats! Great job out there! The wind and the rain really took a toll on me, but it was such a fun time! I can not believe that they ran out of race medals! They know exactly how many people are signed up for the race – there is no excuse for not having enough. I was also looking forward to getting my NASA blanket, but all the Halfers took them and left none for the marathoners. Lame.

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