Sunday, July 31, 2011

San Francisco Marathon 2011

I signed up for the San Francisco Marathon early in the year while training for the American River 50 which was on April 9th. Being my home marathon and that it was 3.5 months after my first 50 miler I figured it would be a fun run and one that I could push myself to run a PR at. My calf had other plans. After catching a gnarly head cold and not running for a week in mid-June I went out for a lengthy and hilly run through the Marin Headlands.  The next day my calf was really tight and hurt every time I took a step and landed on it. I tried everything to get it to heal quickly but unfortunately it didn't stage the comeback I wanted it to. My calf is healing but very slowly.

Even though I'm hurt I decided to go out and walk the first 4 miles of the San Francisco Marathon. My family was visiting from out of town and some of them were running the half and some the full. So at least we got to start the race together. It became an interesting little experiment/view into the marathon. I have never walked a running race before and it was an odd feeling to just walk out over the start line and keep walking. My mind and body were trying to convince me that I was somehow miraculously able to run but I held it together and just walked along for the first 4 miles. I even passed some runners! The main thing I took away from the experience was how important (and often ignored) the mental side of training is. I probably could have walked the whole 26.2 miles but I was very excited to be finished walking at mile 4... it was taking sooooo looooooooong. I knew I could run 26.2 miles but could I walk 26.2 miles on a course that I have ran before? Sure I could hike through the mountains for 26.2 miles and love it but walking just for the sake of walking seemed way too daunting. As a runner you often feel invincible but these 4 miles were oddly humbling.

Anyway, congratulations to all the runners, walkers, wheelers, etc of the 2011 San Francisco Marathon. I hope to be out there next year... running, not walking though.  
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