I was bib # 3694 in the 2007 Emerald Nuts Across the Bay 12K. A certified 12K (7.45 Miles) course from East Fort Baker; across the Golden Gate Bridge west sidewalk to Aquatic Park. Hilly, paved and beautiful.
Except for two short walks at the start of the two hills I ran the whole thing! Finish time: 1hr 40mins - that's a 13.42min mile pace. I expected to do it at 15 min/mile so I am happy. I am also amazed that I ran the entire thing.
I started the race with Trish, honoree Vanessa's mom, we ran & chatted to the mile 1 marker, looked up & saw THE HILL! We slowed & walked & stretched in hopes to save our legs for the rest of the race. About 1/4 of the way up we see our coach, MamaLisa cheering us on "run through the hill" "baby steps" "you can do it" "just like a stairclimber" (I hate the stariclimber!). This gets me "running" again and before I know it I'm at the top and turning onto the Golden Gate Bridge. I've also left Trish behind, sorry.
I've lived here all my life & have never crossed the bridge other than by car. This is pretty cool. I set a goal to run across the bridge before I take another walk break. I leapfrog across the bridge with a nutty woman in bright red wearing a feathered cap (she's either in her 60's or spent too much time running long distances in the sun - maybe both) We make friends and chat and use each other as course markers thru the whole race. I'm halfway across the bridge and I feel pretty good.
I miss a mile marker sign and have no idea how far I've gone but I'm still running. How long have I gone without a break? Why don't my feet hurt? This is so weird. What did that sign say? Mile 5 Yay me! I've run farther than ever. I can do this.
It helps that all the TNT runners are wearing the team shirts so we can recognize our friends along the course. Whenever you pass another TNT-er you get a cheer and a boost to keep going - you have no idea how much that helps. I was not alone out there even though I was running by myself.
At mile 6 I felt the rebirth of a few blisters. Oh, please grow slowly so I can finish. I attempt to walk to see if that helps but it just makes me want to stop so I pick up the run and distract myself with all the cute dogs playing on the beach.
The mile 7 sign is at the bottom of the last hill and I power walk through the fist hump. I told myself I will run the last mile no matter what and I turn on MamaLisa's voice in my head and take my baby steps. I make it to the crest and can't believe I'm almost to the end. I start to think about our honoree Brenda who is in the ICU, who can't breath without oxygen, and I focus on my own breathing - being thankful for each deep breath. I'm almost to the end. I can breath. I've climbed the last hill. I start to cry.
I try to regain my stride & my breath on the downhill, I know it's going to be over soon. A right turn at the bottom of the hill reveals the finish line. I sprint the last 100 yards, I can't believe I have the energy to do that.
It's over. I've run my first race. I actually RAN a race. I RAN the whole damn thing.
I guess I have no excuse for walk breaks on tomorrow's buddy run around Lake Merritt.