13.1 miles later and I survived. I already told you my story of how I came to be a part of the Nike San Francisco Marathon (half marathon in my case) but regardless of the countless hours of training and miles I added up in preparation for this day, there’s nothing, nothing that can gear you up for the roller coaster of emotions you get to experience when you’re just one of the 30,000 women running this beautiful and extremely difficult course. We started at 6:30am from Union Square and ran through the city at night, there were corners and hills all the way to the home stretch at the beach and I made it to the finish line in 2 hours and 22 minutes according to my timing tag. Within that 2 hours, I had the pleasure of taking in some of San Fran’s most stunning views, all seen through it’s infamous fog, I wish I was able to stop and snap for you all (side note to style bloggers, shoot in San Fran!).
I’m not going to pretend that this was easy, it’s by far the most difficult process I’ve put my body through but I’ve loved every single second of it. I realised all of this when I sprinted to the finish in the last 30 seconds, going as fast as my legs could take me and my eyes welled up with tears of joy, happiness, exhaustion, who knows? I made the decision there and then that it wouldn’t be the last time I felt that sense of accomplishment and I’m currently in talks about signing myself up for another half marathon next year. (I really hope I’ve inspired some of you to do the same).
I can’t thank Nike enough for giving me this opportunity to recognise my physical ability and put it to the test in probably the most memorable experience of my life! I’m also thankful I got to share yet another ‘first’ with the always fabulous Natalie Hartley and her contagious smile. We did the whole race together (a part form the 10 minutes that I lost her on one mammoth of a hill), and it made the world of difference for motivation and support, I fully recommend getting involved in some sort of running programme or half marathon with a friend. On a personal note, I’m so proud of everyone that finished the half, especially Jay Heather, Penny and Natalie. I hope to experience this with you all again soon.
Images courtesy of Nike.