Where do I start? I ran a freakin’ MARATHON! Wahooo! To be honest, I am still trying to get used to this idea. It’s very surreal and sometimes I’m not even sure it DID happen. Then I move and I am reminded ;)
All last week was I nervous. For my first full, I did a major undertaking – traveling across the country, an elevation chart that looked like a heart monitor in a hospital and a 25,000 runner marathon/half-marathon. It was a bit overwhelming. I drove down Thursday to visit my friend Meagan and to fly out the next day. She and I had a great time talking all about running. She ran the Chicago Marathon the weekend before so I asked her as many questions as possible. We went on a shake out run, 4 miles in 41 mins and ended with a yummy dinner. The run felt good and M was a major ego boost for me.
I got to San Fran at 3 ish and waited for my dear friend Danielle to fly in – it was sooo great to see her! We grabbed a shuttle and got to our hotel. We stayed in an American Best Suites and it was simple, within walking distance of the race start, cheap and clean – perfect! We dropped our stuff and were out the door within 12 mins to head to the Expotique (yes, this is what Nike calls it).
Union Square was about 8 blocks from the hotel and after getting slightly lost, this came into view
Yay! My heart rate jumped a bit at the sight of this purple tent. The expo opened on Thursday so I didn’t think we would get many freebies but this was the exact opposite. There was no line for packet pick up and it was very smooth – I had a print out of a bar code that they scanned and I got my bag with goodies and my bib.
We went started through the tent and WOW! there were a ton of people. Maybe I was simply tired (or the massively loud music) but I found it kind of too much. We walked around, got some awesome free granola from the Safeway station (they also had a “gerbil wheel” you could run in but we bypassed!), stalked the Neutrogena make-over line – too long, got some free Nuun, Luna bars and I picked up a ticket for the shuttle back from the end of the race. From here we headed over to the Nike store and found our names on the wall!
The Nike store was PACKED! I wanted one of everything! We shopped for a while but again, maybe it was the lack of food, lots of ppl or whatever, I was getting done. We made a few more stops and then went for dinner. By this time it was around 9 pm? After a tasty dinner, we went back to the hotel where dumped our Nike bags and made plans to return to the Expotique the next day.
Truthfully, it still hadn’t sunk in that I would be running 26.2 miles. I went through the fun race packet, read everything cover to cover but still couldn’t wrap my head around it. We went back to the tent the next morning around 8:30 am. They had this really cool booth where you could get your picture taken but it didn’t open until 9:30 am so we got in line for the mini make-overs. Well, this took a little over 2 hours! Haha, at first I was all angsty but then D asked what else did we need to be doing? Oh yeah! It was ALL race business ALL weekend! This change in mindset really helped me for the rest of the day/night. Here is our fun photo from booth!
Then it was onto some lunch (I had awesome french toast) and Fit Approach‘s yoga class! It was fantastic to meet Jamie and Alyse in person – they are the sweetest. We had a really incredible stretch session and then some chatting, free swag bags (which of course included some Sweat Pink laces) and some hugs. It was a perfect pre-marathon workout session.
Okay, your eyes are probably bleeding by now! So a brief rundown of the rest of the night: we headed to Fisherman’s Wharf for seafood, the sights and a trip on the trolley. It was great fun but standing in line for the trolley there and back did a number on our legs and feet. On the way back, there was some very odd downtime with the trolley and we got to hang out with GIANT rats, a street performer and a long line of frustrated, cold folks. We didn’t get back to the hotel until 9:30 or so, which was way past the time we had planned. Here are some fun pics!
tomorrow will be the race recap!