Monday, July 25, 2011

Bittersweet Anniversary

On July 25, 2010 I felt like king of the world.

Today, not so much.

A year ago today I ran the San Francisco Marathon. I've done lots of things in my brief tenure as a runner but I can't imagine running a more challenging, rewarding and outstanding course as San Francisco. The City offers stunning views, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Golden Gate Park and the Embarcadero. The hills of course are notorious but getting over and surviving them really puts you in a class of our own. Not everyone can do that and survive, after all.

Alas, despite planning on running this race again in 2011, things did not quite work out that way. I won't be doing the San Francisco Marathon, and even though I'd held out hope of doing one of the day's half marathons, I won't be in San Francisco at all.

Sad face.

I will always have my memories of San Francisco. I will have the medal to remind me of the hard work I put in, not only to run the course itself but to train for it, how my heel nearly gave out on me during training because I was running hills like a madman to prepare for them, the solo 20-miler I did in preparation for it and how it nearly destroyed me mentally and a 22-miler I ran on July 4, 2010, the first 17 miles of which I ran alone.

And I will always remember how I felt down the stretch, seeing Mrs. LB after such a long and harrowing journey, of coming into the finish area and feeling like a champion, of nearly collapsing once I finished running, and of course how I felt after the race. I did not feel as beat-up and worn-down after any of my other marathons as I did after San Francisco, but this is a good thing, trust me.

So why did I not decide to do it? After running the Diamond Valley Lake Marathon in April, I took two weeks off to rest my body and mind. I had planned on hitting it hard in May but once the end of May came and I realized that my time was short if I wanted to do San Francisco, I knew it was either crank it up or forget about it.

Summer vacation came early for the girls and thus I realized that it would be a massive struggle to get enough miles in each week to run a marathon in late July. Judging how little I've run these last few weeks, I made the right decision.

It's just disappointing, though. I did not make this a priority but figured I would just do all the training involved and then the race itself. Things did not work out the way I wanted them to, though.

I'm not sure about next year. I want to do it but I want to do other summer races as well. Perhaps if I apply for and get to be a race ambassador, I'll do it again. But if not, that's fine. I do want to run more than two marathons in 2012 (sure, I say that now but come back to me in a year). LA is one (March 18) but a late summer one would be great as it would cut down on my training time.

I don't know what next year has in store for me. I barely keep up with the days and weeks, let alone next year. But I hope to run more regularly in 2012 and if I am fortunate enough to run San Francisco next year, awesome. If not, I will always have my memories of when conquered San Francisco in 2010.


Megan said...

My husband lived in Oakland for a little while before we got married, and I spent some time with him there. It is such a beautiful place. I can only imagine how amazing it must feel running in that beautiful weather. (Well, I don't think I'd like the hilly part, since everywhere I run in South Louisiana is FLAT.)

misszippy said...

Use my approach for what has been a crappy year of running: don't look back. Just focus on the future.

Willoughby said...

Life is like that sometimes. No matter how much you plan, there isn't enough time to do everything you want to do. I'm sure there will be many more marathons in your future.