Remember when I started running? In May, when running a mile was next to impossible? In August, when a 5K was terrifying? In September when a 5K was possible but still challenging?
On Sunday, I hauled my butt into San Francisco at a god-awful early hour of the morning and ran my very first 10K! I knew as soon as I heard about the Mermaid Series that I wanted to run one of their races, and I decided to push for the 10K. To be honest, I think I pushed myself too hard, too fast — training was rough, and after I take a few days off to recover, I’m going to step it back and take a more gradual approach to increasing my distance.
But as far as races go? It was fantastic! I even got a picture at the start, before I looked all sweaty and gross.
The first challenge of this was, as it turns out, getting into San Francisco in time. I had to pick up my bib that morning, which meant being there somewhere between 6:30 and 7. Only problem? Transbay transit options don’t do that on a Sunday — the ferry wouldn’t get me there until 10, BART doesn’t start running until 8 and even the bus wouldn’t get me there until almost 8 am. I thought about driving, but driving in San Francisco gives me severe anxiety, so I used Uber instead. A little pricey, but I’m glad I did, since a Veteran’s Day parade was re-routing traffic around the time I was heading home. I’d have melted down for sure.
Once I got there, I picked up my stuff, did some shopping at the Expo, and checked my bag. The 10K started last so I had plenty of time to watch the Sirena 10 milers (brave souls) and 5K athletes go. I have to say, there is something incredibly empowering about women’s only races; seeing so many women cheering each other on, supporting each other and running is so amazingly cool.
The course went along the water, out by the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. Talk about an amazing view! The 10K runners did two loops, and it was no less beautiful the second time; I almost wish I had stopped to take a picture. I managed to run most of the race. I took a few short walk breaks, and walked through the aid stations, mostly because I cannot drink while running. Also, it turns out that after about mile 4, Gatorade actually starts to taste good. But even though I walked a bit — I still finished!
The finisher medal for this is actually a necklace, and you can bet I won’t be taking mine off for a while! It’s pretty and I’m so proud that I managed all 6.2 miles. It almost doesn’t feel real to me, that I could do something like that. My official time was 1 hour, 16 minutes and 32 seconds. Honestly, that was better than I expected, so I’m quite pleased.
As luck would have it, the start/finish line was right by the Marina outpost of Dynamo Donuts. I have been having a horrible craving for Dynamo Donuts for the past few weeks, but not been able to get any so this was exactly the excuse I needed to get myself an Apple Bacon Maple Donut. Because EVERYTHING IS BETTER WITH BACON. Mm, bacon.
It’s still sinking in that I really ran that far, but my feet and knees are definitely letting me know. My feet were so sore by the time the race was over, and my knees started twinging, because I didn’t think to tape them. (They’d been behaving fine for the past few weeks.) I took another Uber to the Ferry Building and did some Christmas shopping while waiting for my boat home, which was also excellent. I’m almost done!
Getting home was an adventure too. I take the ferry every day, so I know quite a few of the deckhands and the crew on Sunday was one that often crews the boat I take home. One of the deckhands saw my bib and asked what I had run, and when I told her a 10K, laughed and said I was going to be hurting when she saw me on Monday with my bike. I had to tell her, I was already in pain! It’s about a mile from the dock to my apartment, and it was less of a walk and more of a hobble, but I made it.
The really fun part is? I’m already thinking about what race I want to do next. Running is addictive.