One weekend in early January 2007, one of my childhood friends came to visit me in the Bay Area. I had only been living in Mountain View for about six months so we spent a very touristy weekend sight-seeing in San Francisco. We headed out to the Golden Gate Bridge and on a whim decided to walk across it and back. Here’s a picture of me that day.
I don’t remember much from that day or that experience other than how proud I felt for having walked across the Golden Gate Bridge and back. And how hard it felt and how tired I was. That day was significant because it was right at the beginning of my weight loss/health adventure. Our walk was at the end of my first week starting a fitness program at Club One. That program may not have been the right fit for me but it got me started on the road to figuring out what does work for me. Side note – when people ask me how I’ve lost so much weight and kept it off, they seem disappointed when I don’t have a one word answer for them (“I did X!” or “I ate Y!”).
I haven’t thought much about that day back in January 2007 except a couple of weekends ago when I ran the first half of the San Francisco Marathon. The course starts near the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero, running past a few piers, Fisherman’s Wharf, up Fort Mason, through the Presidio, up what felt like the world’s steepest hill to the Golden Gate Bridge, across the Golden Gate Bridge (on the actual bridge, not the pedestrian sidewalk) and back, and up and down what the SF Marathon people call “rolling hills” in the Richmond district, to the finish line in Golden Gate Park. It was during that surreal run across the Bridge and back that I just couldn’t shake the memory of that day almost five years ago.
That day when I thought walking across the Bridge was a big deal.
That day when I didn’t know how long I’d keep at it.
That day when I didn’t know that I could run a mile. Or that I’d even like it.
That day when I didn’t know about the woman who was inside me all along who could run five miles then run across the Golden Gate Bridge and back and then go on to run another 4 miles.
And the more that I thought about that day, the more proud, amazed, and grateful I felt for where I’ve been and how far I’ve come.
Running the first half of the San Francisco Marathon was an absolutely awesome experience. It was a very well organized and executed event with a stunning yet pretty challenging course. Along with managing to survive running a really hard course (harder than I anticipated), I also PRed! I ran the SF half in 2:40:37, almost six minutes faster than my first half marathon time of 2:46:27.9. And unlike my first half marathon, I actually felt pretty strong for most of the race.
My body still hasn’t fully recovered from the race but I’ve been on a high ever since. I cannot wait until my next half marathon. So much so that I signed up for not one but THREE half marathons:
- October 2012 – San Jose Rock & Roll Half
- March 2013 – San Diego Half (2 days before my birthday!)
- June 2013 – SF 2nd Half
Who knew that that girl walking across the Golden Gate Bridge in January 2007 would run two half marathons and sign up for 3 more?