12 April 2012

Ready Ready Ready to Run

Whoo-hoo, we finished!

I did my first half marathon in 2004 -- the inaugural Nike Marathon for Women, and probably the toughest I have ever done (the hills! more hills! never-ending hills!). Since then, I have done several others, averaging about one a year. Each time, I say this will be my last, that my body can't take it, my knees hurt too much, it's too far... Each time, hoping to go out with a bang at a really awesome race.

And, each time, finding myself finishing and already thinking about what my next one will be. Most recently, by the time I crossed the finish line at the Healdsburg Half, I was already looking ahead to the next time I could make my body hurt so good.

I chose the Oakland Running Festival half marathon as my next. I had heard really good things about it from previous years, including that it ran by Farmer's Produce -- by dad's business and what ended up being the launch pad to his next journey. This was a daunting prospect as I hadn't been anywhere near there since the summer of 2010. I was drawn to it, however, because it was close to home and perhaps I'd see some familiar faces, both on the course and at the finish line.

As the day approached, the weather reports did not look so hot. I spent at least two days trying to figure out how to best dress for 2.5 hours of constant downpour...and was none too happy. When the day rolled around to go pick up our race packets, we were greeted with an unpleasantly cold rain. People tried to tell me running in the rain was GREAT! THE BEST. I respectfully disagreed.

But, when the morning of the race rolled around, the sun decided to fight through the clouds and send its rays down on us. Unfortunately, due to the forecast, many of the route bands and spectators stayed away (couldn't blame them), but those that were out there were awesome. We especially enjoyed the unexpected brownie bites from Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland. Those should be required in every race!

Running past the market took me by surprise...thankfully my running partner kept talking as we went by and didn't get too weirded out by my sudden tears and inability to breathe. I was sure glad to get that over with.

That all said...eventually we finished, with my mom & aunt cheering us on at the finish line. Not anywhere near the time I would have liked, but, oh well, sometimes thems the breaks. Half Marathon #8 in the books, and I am, again, trying to figure out when my next 13.1 will be run!

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