Well, it's here. Almost here I should say.
The San Francisco Marathon is here and on Sunday I will run it. This will be my seventh marathon and the second time I've revisited a marathon course. I've run Surf City twice as well as LA, OC and the Diamond Valley Lake marathons.
Yeah, I still can't believe it either.
It seems my journey has been a bit of a whirlwind and has been rather unpredictable even for myself. I mean, I can't say that I thought I would have run one marathon let alone seven. And I'm not exactly going to stop at seven. Long Beach will be eight and I'm hoping LA next March will be number 10.
Two years ago, I never could have imagined I'd be going back to San Francisco. While I enjoyed the 2010 event tremendously and was very proud of myself for having handled that and trained for it all on my own, the race was quite difficult. In fact, I may or may not have said to Mrs. LB after the race: "I liked it but I'm never going to run this race again."
Of course, that was probably a oxygen-lacking post-race haze-induced comment I muttered. I've been known for several similar quips.
Regardless of how I felt immediately afterward, the pain has long subsided and all the remains are the memories. And my what memories San Francisco produced - the hills, the beauty of the course, running on the Golden Gate Bridge, spending some tourist time at Fisherman's Wharf the day after the race... it was all pretty crazy and all very memorable.
This year, I'm heading back as an Ambassador. That's a bit crazy, honestly. Me, an ambassador. I don't even know still if I belonged in the program yet I will be heading up, looking forward to perform my ambassodorial duties whatever they may be and looking forward to meeting a bunch of amazing people I've been blessed to have crossed paths with.
At the heart of this all though is the race itself. No matter how unique and fantastic the Ambassador experience has been and no matter how many awesome people I've met through this program, nothing and nobody will help me run the course. I must run every step, conquer every hill, get past every mental challenge that will undoubtedly try and thwart me on the streets of San Francisco.
It's a challenge I'm willing to meet head on, but one that will take every last ounce of energy, every last drop of perspiration, every last bit of grit, determination, guts and drive that I have in my soul. I know it. I know this will be my hardest marathon, that's not even in question. I haven't had the training I wish I would have had and this course will not care. This course is relentless and unyielding, and I've got to traverse it somehow.
I fully intend on finishing. That's not a question in my mind whatsoever. I intend on crossing the finish line sometime late Sunday morning. I just am not sure in what sort of shape I will be when I do so.