Me crossing the start line about 20ish minutes after the race started - there was music blaring, everyone was so excited and we had to wait a while for our pace group to be let out of our "corral" so all the faster pace group could go. It was great for building the excitement!! We started out running between tall skyscrapers and just taking in the view - it was amazing! So cool running through the big city! Then we went out onto the Embarcadero. We could see the Bay bridge and there was a cruise ship docked that wasn't there the day before and the pier was all quiet - you could see Alcatraz and it was the perfect weather for running. A little cool with a slight breeze. Just amazing!!
This is me in the middle of climbing one of the hills - in fact I think it was "The big one" - Alcatraz is in the background!
Vanessa with a view of the Golden Gate Bridge - we ran almost 10 miles together and had so much fun! I also after finishing thought I could see her since the full marathon people split from us and then met back right before a split again by the finish line so I went to find her at her mile 16 and only waited about 15 minutes! At that point she was having pain when she ran, but only had 10 miles to go and she planned on walking and finishing!
These were some inspirational signs at the top of another hill - pretty cool shot with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background!
I ran what I felt was a comfortable pace and I kept thinking I could break 3 hours (my previous best time was 3:03:45 but a very different course) We walked all the hills (my angel on my shoulder telling me the whole time to not slow down, walk with authority!) and recovered some at the top and the ran the rest skipping some walk breaks at times and I felt so good. The miles flew by! I don't think I really believed I could break the 3 hours mark until I hit mile 12 and my Garmin said I was at 2:45 - I thought - I could power walk this last mile and still break 3! I ran the entire last mile with no walk breaks and came in with an official chip time of 2:56:01!! I was crying at the finish and some woman came in behind me and was crying and I told her I needed to hug someone and she grabbed me and hugged me, we must have stood there crying and hugging for several minutes! This was her first half marathon! Someone took our picture and after asked us our names, I don't know if it was media or race people, but I hope to find the picture! The rest of the finishers chute was a blur. I do remember sexy guys in Tuxes standing around, but couldn't tell you what the guy who handed me my necklace looked like (can you tell I'm happily married?? it's not about the guy it's about the bling!). They gave us a bag and then lots of food, drink, samples of stuff and a nice little aluminum foil blanket to keep us warm, the finish line was right by the ocean and it was cold and breezy!
We walked around for a while, walked over to see Vanessa and a TNT friend that was there cheering people on and then we got on the bus to go back to the Hotel and start our trip home. I was really emotional last night and again this morning, I guess it took a lot out of me. It was such an amazing weekend with so many positives, I don't think it could have been any better! I also want to thank my hubby for making the weekend so special and being so supportive. I am the luckiest girl in the world!!