Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Wipro San Francisco Marathon - Inspiration and Renewal

What a fantastic weekend I just had! So many wonderful and unexpected things happened in San Francisco this weekend! This will probably be a long post, so grab your mug of Inspirational Tea and get comfortable. I got a lot to say and lots of pictures to share :)

I arrived at San Francisco airport on Friday morning and took a swift BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) ride to Embarcadero station which is where the host hotel was located in the city. I headed to my room on the 14th floor overlooking the Ferry Building and the Bay Bridge...what a beautiful view. I relaxed and got settled then met up with fellow running friend, Jennifer and we took on the adventure of heading to the expo...which was 3 miles away. We laughed, shared stories, picked up our bibs and shirts,  ate all the samples, etc. etc. etc. It was a fun experience all around!

Me & Jennifer @Jennrunsdisney
That night, I met up with one of my dearest friends Jeffrey for an evening filled with Blue Bottle Coffee, Specialities Cookie hunts, a delightful dinner at the Stinking Rose in Little Italy, and a short shopping spree in Union Square. It was wonderful to get to spend some time with my brother!

Gotta Love Best Friends

Saturday came along, I was looking forward to it! I got up in the morning and laced up for a short run from my hotel to Fisherman's Wharf and back. Who can resist an early morning run along the Port of San Francisco? It was so calming and serene. The fog was lingering on the bay and the air had a crisp snap to it. Other runners had the same idea to go out for their shake out runs. We exchanged waves, high fives, and smiles. 

Morning Shake Out Run!

After my shake out run, I grabbed a cup of tea and sat on the rear side of the Ferry building and watched the sun come up over the bay bridge. I wanted to just appreciate nature and the blessing that was this weekend. I ran into my running pal Krissy while sitting there...what are the odds right ;). I made my way back to my hotel and got myself ready to head to the expo. I was anxious to get to the social media meet/tweet up! I met some really awesome runners I have had the privilege to correspond with via Twitter and Facebook! It is always so much fun to meet people in real-life. It really is a highlight for me! So, if you ever see me out and about, please say hi! I'll be honest, I may not connect the dots right away but the lights will come on eventually haha :)

My new buddy @QwietSt0rm! He also scored a tin of EnergyBits!

And then my day was made when I met one of my favorite bloggers........

Ladies and Squirrels, @PavementRunner!!!!!!!

Honorable mention goes to Heather and Chris who I also met :)

After the expo I headed to Ghirardelli Square and met up with Krissy where we delighted in a lovely view of Alcatraz, world famous hot fudge sundaes, smiles, and laughs! 

Gotta Love Krissy @OutrunMonorail
After that delight, I grabbed some dinner at Boudin, then headed back to my hotel and prepped my gear for the big race.

Race morning came, I got dressed and headed to the start line which was located right outside my door! I love when that happens. Now, I have been nervous abou this race for weeks because it is a tough race. Let's be honest, San Francisco is not a flat city...it is built on hills. Would I make it? Am I prepared? What if I don't hit my target? All that went away after I got into my corral and I was watching the sun break through the clouds and dance on the water of the bay. A sense of calm washed over me. Then I remembered why I do this.

As much as I love to run for time, sometimes it isn't about that at all. Sometimes, you just have to run.

When my corral was released into the wild,  The first 5 miles of this race were cake. I took my pace a little slower because I knew the hills would be on their way and I wanted to have enough juice. Then something happened. I came to mile 4 and looked to my left and saw the Palace of Fine Arts. I looked to the right and could see the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance....and the clouds and fog had dispersed. The next thing I knew, I was running ON the Golden Gate Bridge. Now, I didn't think this would have excited me the way it did, but let me minister to you...

Running that bridge was one of the proudest moments of my life. Seriously. I ran ON the Golden Gate Bridge during one of the toughest marathons in the world! And I had a smile on my face the ENTIRE time! Nothing in my world was wrong. Everything just fell into place while I was up there! It was beautiful, it was inspiring, it was everything! It is something so special, and I will never forget that moment! So thanks to the marathon team for allowing it's participants to create a memory that will last a lifetime.

Once we finished the bridge, we made our way to Golden Gate Park. You may not know this, but that park clearly is what heaven looks like. It is stunning. The trees, the wild life, the buildings, the culture, the geese, the hills. Yeah, this park is on a steady incline so it's best to really pace yourself through this area. But it was beautiful. So much to see and appreciate. Another treat. I took it easy on this portion of the course. I wanted to appreciate all of the nature and wanted to be energized for the last 6 miles of the race once we exited the park.

After the park we made our way through city streets and popular neighborhoods. I finished the race feeling stronger than I anticipated. I beat my LA Marathon time, but came in a little slower than my OC Marathon PR. I didn't care. I had an amazing race. I finished and received some awesome inspiration along the way...so I won. I completed the LA/SF Challenge, finished my 4th marathon, AND earned my Golden State Marathon Series Bronze Medal Status...yeah, I won. This is an amazing race, with an amazing course. If you are considering running this race...DO IT! I will caution you to train so you can handle the terrain. What I found inspiring was the energy of the city and vibrant energy that explodes from the architecture and nature. No where have I ever touched a bridge and felt it vibrate with energy of positivity and made dreams! I am not blowing this out of proportion. If you were on that bridge with us on Sunday, you know that it was something very special! Being in the park, and seeing that slice of heaven was just amazing! I didn't want to be finished. I wanted to keep running and I hoped it wouldn't end! I want to go back to San Francisco and run through the park again! Beauty and splendor is all around us, and when we are centered and focused, life and the things that matter become clear. I received blessings this weekend I never expected, and I hope if you were with me, you received your blessings as well. I will be back to do this race again. It was absolutely 'Worth The Hurt'...plus ya know, they have Noah's bagels and Blue Bottle Coffee up north...


  1. Love this!!

    This race really is something special - I love hearing other runners who find it as magical as I do!

  2. What a fantastic recap! I had tears in my eyes as you recalled your trip across the bridge! Congrats!

  3. WOW what an amazing write up.. Sounds like this run gave you all you expected and more. So inspirational especially about running the bridge and the joy and excitement you felt.. Thank you for sharing your journey and accomplishment with us!!!

  4. Great recap! You make this race sound every bit as magical as I've been told it is. I hope to get to it soon!

  5. Great recap. What great weekend weather. I had thought we would be running the bridge in fog/clouds. Crystal clear blue skies. Perfect.