It finally happened – I ran my first half-marathon. Running the Golden Gate Half Marathon was a pure pleasure. At least looking at it now 😉
It’s been a while since this has happened, to be exact almost four months. I’m not sure why I haven’t shared that experience here yet, but nothing is lost!
So let’s maybe start from the begging.
I wanted to sing up for half-marathon for some time before I decided to do it. The reason why I waited and waited was, of course, my fear. That I won’t be able to do it, I won’t make it.
How can I possibly run that far?! Other people, yes, but not me.
I honestly don’t remember right now what made me decided to stop this thinking and sign up for one finally.
The first months of my training were great. I was motivated, and I enjoyed the training. The closer to my run, the harder it was to stay motivated and follow the training plan. Going out for a run was like a punishment, and I couldn’t wait to be done with this. I couldn’t wait to run this stupid half-marathon and be done and don’t feel anymore like I have to do something.
I felt down because I knew I should be training, but I didn’t feel like it. Was I giving it my 100%? Probably not, I was skipping my runs.
Anxiety kicked in when I figured out there is a time cut-off. That was something I didn’t know that before. I didn’t know that I will have to finish in under 3h. That really scared me! I thought that for sure I could not do it, it’s impossible. At that point, I’ve never run 13 miles, so I didn’t know what my time could be. My times was based on shorter runs and was freaking out that of course, I will be slower on a longer distance.
After weeks of being scared and continuously thinking about it, I decided to message the organizations and ask how exactly will it look if I won’t finish in 3h. They told me that they have to open roads after the 3rd hour, and if I’m close to the finish, I will be able to continue running. If not, they will shuttle me closer to the finish line, but I will still be able to cross the finish line myself. I could breathe again. I felt a relive.
Even tho I live close to SF, we decided to drive to the city a day before the race and spend there a night.
I could not sleep. On the same night, we were changing time, and I was so scared that somehow my phone won’t do that automatically, and I won’t wake up on time. I woke up in the middle of night, checked the time, googled what time we have, and after confirming is the same, I fell asleep again.
On the day of the race, I was nervous. Thank goodness for the portable potties because I had to pee every 5 min!
I found my pacer, and I was waiting to start.
I have to say the run was beautiful, atmosphere, views, people, everything was just perfect. And I felt soo happy! I was running and smiling all the time (well, at least at the beginning).
My concern was that the course would be hilly, but I wasn’t too bad—a few hills but nothing that you cannot overcome. The first half was easy and relaxing. The way back wasn’t that easy. The first half I was way ahead of my pacer, on the way back, I slowed down, and the pacer starts catching up with me. I was fighting; every time she passed me, I started running and passed her. We did that a few times until I gave up. The last 3-4 miles were the worst. I was fighting with my head a lot!
Last Mile of Golden Gate Half Marathon
The last mile after passing a curve, I saw a hill, and I said to myself out loud: “Are you fucking kidding me?”. Now when I think about it, it’s funny, but back then I wasn’t laughing.
Thankfully the last steps were downhill, so I sprinted to the finish line and finished strong with the “Happy” song playing from my phone.
After crossing that line, I remember I was so confused. I had clogged ears and couldn’t hear properly. I got my medal, and my husband started hugging me and congratulating me. The first few seconds, I didn’t realize it’s over, and I DID IT!
I felt so happy, relieved, proud, and accomplished.
And got a free beer! 😉
We got my favorite Indian food on the way back, and I spent the rest of the day relaxing.
And of course, right after I finished my run I felt so happy I wanted to run more!
The biggest lesson from this half-marathon is to relax. Don’t worry about that I will be the slowest that I would have to walk some parts. It doesn’t matter. All it matters is to enjoy it and have fun while doing it!
Overall, I highly recommend running Golden Gate Half Marathon if you get the chance. It’s really worth it! If you want to know more about the run check out their official website.
Keep your fingers crossed for me on my next run!