Friday, February 8, 2013

Frisco Fridays: An Alluring Challenge

Here goes... been thinking about this for a bit and now I've committed myself, so let's see how this goes.

I figured, how to tie in my most favorite marathon (San Francisco Marathon) and this blog and a bit of regularity, so I decided to declare Fridays on my blog as Frisco Fridays.

Okay, I know that SF locals kinda frown on Frisco but let's just ignore that for now, okay? All right then, let's get started...

What will happen on Frisco Fridays? Well, anything and everything San Francisco Marathon related. Might blog about some of my own experiences, might blog about why you should run it, might blog about the course or the elevation or the city or share pictures or video of the event... I really don't have a specific plan for it, other than Fridays will be regular and will be dedicated to the best marathon you can race, the San Francisco Marathon.

So is my initial venture just to talk about the venture? Well, no. Obviously I have to introduce it but once I get done rambling introducing the topic then I can move on.

Moving on...

What's my obsession with the San Francisco Marathon?

I guess that's about as good a place as any to start.

In February 2010, I ran my first marathon, the Surf City Marathon. I enjoyed it tremendously and wanted to experience another marathon quickly, but heeded the warning many in my running club had given me - take some time before running another one.

Once my muscles stopped hurting me, I began to feel the itch for another marathon. I'd targeted the OC Marathon, but was discouraged from running it. It was in early May, two months after Surf City, and I felt it was too soon in the end.

My itch was growing and I started to look around. I thought about going big. I thought about San Francisco.

The San Francisco Marathon instantly appealed to me. I could probably convince Mrs. LB of a weekend getaway to a new city, I thought. Running in a new place would be a fun way to explore and sightsee. And of course I'd get in my second-ever 26.2-miler.

There was just an issue with the hills. Ah yes, the infamous San Francisco hills. Now, I'm going to leave the details of my hill training for another Frisco Friday, but I will say this: the hills became a source of pride. That I was going to challenge the hills *and* another marathon? Well, that was me taking off the training wheels indeed.

I wasn't going to train with a group like I did for the first one. I wasn't going to run with a group. I wasn't going to take comfort in knowing that a lot of my friends and fellow runners will pile up big mileage and then take on this challenge alongside me. Nope, this was me choosing to face the fire all by myself, to stare down the flames alone.

Go big or go home. Wasn't much of a homebody anymore so I chose big.

What appealed to me then is what appeals to me now. This is no ordinary marathon. Yes, running 26.2 miles is difficult, whatever the course looks like. There are no shortcuts, no rides you can take on any particular marathon course. The distance is the distance, period. But this distance could very well have an asterisk next to it.

Surf City Marathon 2010 - 4:42:26
*San Francisco Marathon 2010 - 4:38:51
Surf City Marathon 2011 - 4:23:38
Diamond Valley Lake Marathon 2011 - 4:45:41

* hard course

It stands out. Certainly from my first four marathons, the course separates the race from the rest.

The allure of a marathon is still very strong inside me. I have run eight marathons overall, six since running my first San Francisco Marathon. But the allure of running a marathon on a challenging course.. well, that just draws out the best in me. Am I man enough to take on the challenge? Do I have what it takes? Am I going to let some obstacles stand in my way?

In mid-2010, I decided that yes, I did want to take on San Francisco's challenges, yes I do have what it takes and no, I wasn't going to let hills stand in my way.

And, as I look ahead to my third San Francisco Marathon, I feel the same way about it now.


Johann said...

Awesome! That might be the best excuse for me to visit there one day.

Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to Frisco Fridays.
That course is no joke, definitely something to be proud of!

Melie said...

I'm really happy for Frisco Fridays. As I've mentioned to you, I plan to run the first half this year. I am really excited, but kind of scared too because the course is so hard. So, I hope that your posts will make me more excited and less scared :-)

Nelly said...

great post, look forward to this every week! Though yea, locals don't like calling it Frisco - but I can't think of a better name for your post lol. SF Fridays?

Lauren said...

Oh this makes me so happy! I'm running San Fran this year and I want to read everything I can about it so you can bet I'll be tuned in every Friday! Asterisk it is :D Love this!