I originally intended to tell my experience of running the San Francisco Marathon in one post, but with so much to share and talk about, that one post grew way too long. So, I decided to break my recap up into two separate posts. I'm sharing all of the pre-race fun today, and will detail the actual run/post-run craziness tomorrow!
New Year's resolutions was to finish a marathon in under 5 hours. I only had one official marathon race under my belt, and I was determined to achieve an enormous PR. Month by month, I filled in my daily workouts and rest days so that I knew exactly what I needed to do in the upcoming days and weeks. I found that this method really worked at holding me accountable and allowed me to be successful in completing my training program. After a few months of getting back into the habit of running regularly again, I realized that I was capable of more than my initial goal. I wanted to PR by over an hour for a time of under 4 hours and 45 minutes. Again, after many more exciting long training runs, I challenged myself to finish the SF Marathon in under 4 hours and 30 minutes. I knew this final goal would be tricky, but based on my pace and how good I felt after my long runs, I was pretty sure I could accomplish this big feat.
Lauren, Marissa, Heather, and Leti also signed up for the marathon. We were all looking for a way to get back into running after having been out of shape for awhile. Since Lauren and I both live in Philadelphia, it was easy for us to train together and follow the same running schedule. The two of us completed all of our long runs and most midweek runs together.
I flew out to California with Lauren in the middle of July, leaving plenty of time for us to adapt to the time and environmental changes in preparation for the July 26 marathon. Being in California completely threw off my normal daily routine I had grown accustomed to in Philadelphia. I tried to be strict about my midweek runs the two weeks leading up to the big race, but when I did manage to go running, my runs were all pretty casual and lax. I'm not sure how this affected the actual race, but such a big change must've had some effect.
Lauren and I are known as the "sparkle twins" throughout our SacFit running group because we always wear sparkly headbands when we run. Obviously you can never have enough sparkle, so of course we needed to stop by the Sparkly Soul booth to add a few more headbands to our collections. This was my first time trying this specific brand of headbands, and after trying multiple other ones, I can honestly say that I'm going to be a longtime customer of Sparkly Soul. I picked two glittered headbands: a pastel rainbow and pewter; and a solid shiny brown one to wear when I'm not running.
last year. After trying to look up directions, we discovered the restaurant closed. Luckily though, we quickly agreed on Gracias Madre for our pre-race meal. Being an all vegan menu, Lauren and I found ourselves not knowing what to order since everything sounded so good. We order lots of appetizers and a few entrees, and decided to share everything amongst the five of us. Everything tasted delicious, just as we remembered, but all of our favorites were the potatoes and cauliflower appetizers. Their cashew cream sauce is to die for.