Finish a Half Marathon (check!) and Run On Golden Gate Bridge (check!)

It feels ridiculously productive to cross off TWO items on my bucket list today!

Complete a Half Marathon
Run on Golden Gate Bridge

Yes, I’m fatigued. Yes, I’m sore. And yes, it feels awesome to finish my first half marathon with the San Francisco Rock n Roll series today!
The emotion of crossing the finish line caught me by surprise. There were few tears and of course lots of smiles. Part of it was the challenge going into a half marathon only half prepared (the longest I’ve trained was 10K) But most of it was the sense of accomplishment with a challenging somewhat hilly course (yes, dear San Francisco, what would thou be without few hills?) The hills, especially the climb onto the Golden Gate Bridge, were tough.

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But the view looking back was stunning!

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The thought of getting onto the Golden Gate Bridge was very motivating – it was almost like the beacon of light in the early morning!

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The biggest motivation was the running energy from my fellow runners as well as the Rock and Roll staff!

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Running on Golden Gate Bridge was surreal. Rock n Roll folks closed three lanes on the bridge, leaving about half open for car traffic. There were more than 11000 runners today – it was crowded on that bridge. I learned that GGB was quite extensive, especially on two feet. All my previous visits to GGB were on the car, it was over in minutes. Well, today, I finally realized the total length of GGB was about 1.7 miles each way. Let’s just say, I had plenty of time to appreciate its full majestic beauty. And some.

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By the time, we turned around on GGB, we were also half way through. This was when I really started to feel fatigued. It was beyond any training I’ve had. All I had left was the determination and will power to carry me through the second half of the race.

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Don’t get me wrong – Rock n Roll planned a very scenic route. However, the second half, especially, mile 10, 11, and 12, there were more hills for me. I finally understand why runners would say “the last mile felt like the first ten” In my case, it was the last 5K that felt the most work!

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My major source of discomfort came from blisters forming on my toes, especially on the right foot. To add more drama was for the first time in my short 1-year running journey, I felt pain on my right knee. I had figured out that was because my running form had suffered from fatigue and the unfamiliar hill runs. The choices were to walk some of the hills and “stay calm and carry on”.

Because of my physical discomfort, I was very very very happy to see this.

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And the last 0.1 mile – I “sprinted” emotionally. It felt exciting and exhilarating to cross that finish line! I DID IT!! I ran, walked, jogged, slogged, and logged 13.1 miles!!!!

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I’m proud of myself. More importantly I’m very grateful that I completed this race without any serious injury. I’m also very grateful to have my brother-in-law, Vilen, to run with me. He’s much faster than I am. He’s using today’s race as part of his training for his triathlon. Having a family member running “with you” really helped. Special thanks for my wonderful hubby who provided all the support I needed this race weekend. He also kept me moving and going towards the finish line.

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I plan to savor this for the coming week and take good care of myself with  recovery. Who knows – maybe there is another half marathon soon?

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