x every day: twohundredseventyseven

19 October 2008


Woke up at 6am, although the cheering started much earlier-- we could hear it from our room less than a block off Union Square. Our room's clock must've been slow, because I left at 6:51am but only had two or three minutes to push into the crowd before the start.

The race itself was perhaps the most difficult I've ever done-- certainly the toughest of my three marathons. There were hills, sure, but the steepest of them were at the beginning when I still kept pace with the 4:10 goal leader. The out-and-back and split from the half-marathoners in Golden Gate Park really took it out of me. When I finally hit the turnaround, I saw the 4:10 pacesetter again, behind me, but soon the 4:20 pacesetter overtook me. Then we joined back with the half-marathoners, who were at mile 12 while we were at mile 16. Having run farther, we still had farther to go. They were fresher on their feet as well as just about to finish. And it showed, and I felt it acutely.

After they turned off for their finish line, we had another out-and-back down the great highway. Headed out, I could see the first finishers headed towards the finish line, while I was still 10 miles away. I walked a couple of times around Lake Merced, not trusting its rolling hills and deceptive turns. All of the portapotties were a little ways off the path, so I didn't bother to use them. Instead I tried to cut back on the liquids and sweat it out. It's so odd to make a decision like that, but hey, it works. Usually at the end of a race I'm able to push and kick it out, but even at the last two miles, the last mile, at the mile 26 sign, I just didn't feel like I had it in me. I finished around 4:25, making it my slowest marathon and just a smidgen over 10 minute miles on average. That's a good lesson in under-training. You know, for next time. Of course there will be a next time. I am crazy.

We waited a while at our designated meeting spot, and I went to the first aid tent to have two particularly full bloody blisters on my toes drained. When I returned, Anna and her sister Colleen was there. We congratulated each other and departed. On the walk back to the car, Erik and I stopped at a coffee shop for lattes and a shared bagel. Thank gawd, cos it took at least 20 minutes to walk to the car, and then traffic was so thick that it took at least an hour to drive back to the hotel so that I could take a blissfully hot shower. Nabil picked us up and we went to Cafe Gratitude in Berkley for a late lunch (around 4pm). Afterwards, we went to see the house he had just signed on, and hung out there for a bit while he signed more papers. We came back to the city for a vegetarian Chinese dinner, and called it a night. I'm pretty tired, and the bed at the hotel is really comfortable. Tomorrow we go to Santa Cruz!