Even though I wasn’t really nervous about the marathon the days leading up to it, it turned out the evening before, it wasn’t the case as I think i fell asleep around 3am. Wake up call was 430am and mentally, I was already setting myself for a ‘bad’ performance. Thinking back to my last marathon where I felt more confident going into it because I had actually done a 20 miler as part of the training. This time around, I never ran past 13 miles in my training. Still, the big difference in my training this time around was that mostly trained in the oakland hills with plenty of hill work. I think the trail training made a huge difference in this marathon because the hills on this marathon were pretty easy for me. It wasn’t all easy as the condition of the road/weather was pretty tough.

Although it wasn’t cold, the wetness/fog still through most of the morning and by the time I ran the golden gate bridge, my feet was soaked as my vibram didn’t provide much protection when it came to wet roads. My fueling routine worked out well as I didn’t quite hit the energy bonk that usually comes at mile 19/20. Blisters/chaffing wasn’t an issue as well so that felt really good because I knew those things of seemingly small things could have really have an impact on the emotion state of the run. Still, my body did not let me off so easily as I tripped twice and almost sprang my ankles in both instances. Again, I am going to swear by my vibrams as the injury sustained from those trips was minimized by the shoes. I know with regular shoes, i would have been out for 5-10 minutes before running again. My last physical challenge was holding in all the fueling products that i had taken every 3-4 miles of the race. Within the last 2 miles of the race, my internals were having a shit storm and my gag reflexes were kicking in. All I have to say was thank god, they didn’t fully make it back up from my stomache!

Performance wise, as i was getting audio cues from my phone on a regular basis, I was more aware of my average pace and heart beat. My mantra was pretty much slow but steady but even with an average pace of 10 min mile, I was constantly passing people for the most part. I guess starting at wave 6, I had plenty of people to pass! With my pace holding steady at the 2nd half of the race, I was beginning to get excited about potentially beating the time from my last marathon. At beginning, I was mostly thinking if i can finish under 5 hours, I would be happy because i didn’t feel like I train that well. In hindsight, the SF course was much easier than Big Sur Marathon. I just reviewed my Big Sur run and it had 2200 feet in elevation change compared to 1000 in SF. In addition, I my hill training in the past year really paid off. At the end of the race, I was mentally checking myself to see if I could potentially run another 5 miles and I think I could have done it. My 50K trail run goal this year seem a lot more doable after completing this marathon. By next week after all the running in the colorado rockies, I should just sign up for the 50K in september to take it off my bucket list!

Although I bought my point and shoot on the run, after the midway part, I was pretty much mentally focused on finishing the race. I wanted to take photos of your non typical people that race a marathon and show the courage that these people had. Least to say, the challenge of running and being present with my pain pretty much took over my creative desire. Still, I always find it inspiring to see all sorts of people take on this challenge.