Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Aching knees? Yes. Sore hips? Yes. Awesome weekend? Yes.

After all my complaining, I can now say that the training and the 7+ hour car ride were worth it. The Nike Women’s Run was an incredible experience.


I believe my friend C put it best when she said, “If everyone could act like they do at marathons, the world would be a much better place.”

The amount of good tidings and support buzzing in the streets of San Francisco Sunday morning was truly astounding. I believe about 20,000 people participated in the race, and hundreds more lined the course—clapping, cheering, playing music and showering passers by with positive juju.

We could barely get to the starting line, it was so packed around Union Square.


When the race finally began at 7 a.m., we pounded along the pavement of Montgomery Street, across Washington to the Embarcadero. The weather was refreshing and cool, the streets dim in the morning fog, and along the water, the sounds of a Gospel choir and a group of bagpipers rose up, mingling with our panting and chatter and excitement.

At mile six, we hit a huge hill that seemed better to walk up than waste energy on. We could see the Golden Gate across the Bay, and found ourselves commenting again and again at how beautiful the path was.


On the way down the hill, we opted to whoop it up and run, which led to terribly sore knees later that day and during the drive home Monday. But as you can see, we had a good time, so it was worth it.


When we rounded the corner to the Upper Great Highway on the city’s west side, the sight of the beach—and the finish line—nearly took our breaths away. It was painful to have to jog past the music and the smell of food to continue our course into Golden Gate Park. I felt like my bones were clacking against each other at that point.

Thankfully, it was only another 2 miles until we were done.


As we crossed the finish line, we were handed Tiffany necklaces by San Francisco firefighters in tuxedos. No joke. It was kind of surreal. Immediately following that, someone handed us mylar space blankets, water, bananas, bagels and Jamba Juice. I felt a bit like a sweaty princess.

Despite my cranky attitude, my waffling commitment to training, and several big hills on the course, I beat my Palos Verdes time and finished the half marathon in 2 hours 26 minutes. Not too bad. Now excuse me while I finish eating my celebratory wheel of cheese.

21 comments:

Big Sister said...

I live vicariously through you, little sister. I run errands, and I run to the bathroom. That's about as close to a marathon as I'll get, although it is tempting if firefighters in tuxedos give you Tiffany jewelry.

JustRun said...

That's so great! Go you!

Christina said...

Good for you!

How long was the run!

laura said...

AWESOME! Congratulations....sounds like a great run AND a great weekend in SF!!!

Dingo said...

Way to go! And you can use the Tiffany necklace as part of your pirate costume booty.

Mel Heth said...

Sister - I'm tellin' ya, we could totally get you trained and running. I know you say you can't do it, but if you worked up to it, you totally could.

JustRun - Thanks! It ended up being a lot of fun!

Christina - Thank you. The run was a half marathon - 13.1 miles. I cannot even begin to fathom running a full.

Laura - It was great. Can't wait to hear about your half in Feb. Maybe I'll come down and cheer you on!

Dingo - Haha I think I'll just stick to wearing the necklace with regular clothes. If Mr. W saw me dressed as a pirate's wench, the necklace (and my clothes) might get ripped off of me. We wouldn't want that...

charlotteharris said...

Yay, wonderful, I am so excited for you and your recap totally energized me for my run later this afternoon!

Lara Watkins said...

Seeing the pictures of you made me a bit weepy. I love and miss you so much. I'm so incredibly proud of you! You are such a great woman :)

jen tarara said...

Nice job sweaty princess! Maybe you'll do a full marathon in 2009? LA is March 1st... ;)

brookem said...

congrats to you my friend! what a great accomplishment!

Wow, that was awkward said...

Sweet! Good going Mel. The only running I've done lately has been from my mouth!

geekhiker said...

Nicely done1

thecoconutdiaries said...

Well, if I'd known running came with jewelry and hot guys, I would've started years ago! You're just telling me NOW that I've just gotten comfortable in my glutton and laze? Thanks alot!

Sizzle said...

Congratulations! You deserve that wheel of cheese!

Princess Extraordinaire said...

Congratulations on a job well done! You should be so proud of yourself.....and your friend is right..the world WOULD be a much better place is that were the case!

Semicharmed said...

You are extraordinary!
I am in total awe :)

Jane Moneypenny said...

I'm alive!! I'm so behind...

First, CONGRATS! I'm so so so in awe of you. Please train me. I'm such a spaz, nonathletic.. .

-Jane

Mel Heth said...

Charlotte - Thanks! I'm glad my energy amped you up. :)

Jen - Full marathon? Never! I was SO glad to be done after 13. I'd be crawling to the finish line the next day if I did 26.

Brookem - Thanks, doll!

Wow TWA - Haha that's the best kind of running to do! Running to the fridge for a beer ain't too bad either.

Geekhiker - Thank you. I'm quite glad to be getting my Saturdays back for hiking. :)

Coconut - Tell ya what, there's one in May in Santa Ynez that ends with a wine tasting. Why don't you come out and do that one with me?!

Princess E - Thank you! It's so true - everyone is so incredibly nice and supportive out on the race course. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Semichrmd - You're so sweet! Thank you!

Jane - I don't think you're a spaz. And anyone can run with training - believe me, I was NEVER a runner until last summer. You could totally do it.

Just a Girl said...

Very cool. Congrats.

Some of my group are in talks to do this run next year, all because of the firemen. :)

Others want to go to Disneyworld and do the Goofy which makes me thing their brains are gone! (run a half on Saturday and a full on Sunday- you get a special Goofy medal)

Lara said...

Woo! Good for you!! Rock on with your bad self.

Robin said...

I loved this post and can definitely say that all of you present at the marathon had a great run and a lovely weekend with beautiful and cherished memories