San Francisco Half Marathon
On July 23rd, 2017 I participated in the 40th Annual San Francisco Marathon. I ran the 2nd Half Marathon that started at 7:30am.
The race started in Golden Gate Park where I ran for the first 6 miles. When the race started, you could feel the focused and determined energy amongst the runners. I loved being able to run in the gorgeous Golden Gate Park. Being surrounded by nature and in a serene environment helped distract me from the difficulty of the hills.
It takes a lot of energy to run on hills. I prayed the whole time and repeated my positive affirmations.
I ran with a pacer for the first 6 miles, that helped me keep time between 8:15 and 9:30 per mile for the first half.
I’m grateful for her because she motivated and pushed me when I started feeling fatigued. She told me that after we came out of the park, it would flatten out until mile 9 and 10.
After the park we ran into the city, Haight Ashbury, mile 6/7 and then the Mission District at mile 8/9. I loved running through the city, especially running downhill.
The weather was perfect! During the first half it was foggy in the park but the sun came out while we ran in the city. There was a slight breeze that made it even better.
I was running with a goal in mind of finishing in less than 2 hours but after tackling the hills, I knew that it wasn’t going to happen. I still ran the best I could so that I could beat my previous time.
I was feeling great until I reached mile 10. There was another hill waiting for me. At this stage, I lost my focus and drive. I felt weak and wanted the race to be over. I ran over to the side and gave myself a pep talk. I said, “You’ve come to far to quit now. You trained too hard for this. You’ve overcome many more obstacles. You have three more miles. Handle it and finish strong”.
When I saw mile 11, I knew the end was near so I pushed even hard.
Seeing the finish line was one of the best feelings ever. The crowd was cheering for us and the half marathoners and full marathoners were coming into together. There is no feeling like finishing. All of my hard work was going to pay off.
I finished my third half marathon in 2:09:41. This was my personal best time. Even though I did not obtain the original goal that I wanted, I was so happy that I didn’t let the course break me down. I was grateful to have finished strong with no injury and having set a new record.
I am also so grateful to have had my cousin Rachel, her boyfriend James and my stepdad at the finish line to congratulate me. Since this was my first out of town race, it meant a lot to me to have family there.
Even though this was an extremely hard race, I learned a lot about the power of the mind. It took everything I had to keep going.
I will be back next year to tackle the first half. I look forward to coming back better and stronger!
Thank you again for all of your continued love, support and encouragement. I truly appreciate it!