I ran my second half marathon 2 weekends ago and I’m so proud of myself because not only broke a personal record, I also finished in less than 2 hours which was my goal! My exact time was 1:56:51, which made me the 1,881st person to finish out of 25,000! Can you imagine how awesome that feels?
I arrived in San Francisco on Friday evening, right after the expo closed, so I was a little sad that I couldn’t pick up my race packet, but nevertheless I decided to take a little walk to the Expo and look around to see what everything looked like. I had been stalking the people who had already been to the event on Instagram and you can’t imagine how excited I was. I found my name amongst thousands on the windows of the Nike store, which was amazing! I felt like a little girl, looking for a hidden treasure.
The next day there was a shake-out run, combined with the reveal of the Tiffany’s necklace, planned on Saturday morning, so I got up really early and ran my way to Union Square. I ran because the hostel where I was staying was kind of in a ghetto neighborhood and I just didn’t really feel safe to walk there. I feel like San Francisco has a lot of poverty. I might have had this experience because the HI hostel was located right next to the street where all the social services were, but still. It’s not nice to feel unsafe in a place you don’t know that well.
We were welcomed by some very inspiring people, like Joan Benoit and Sarah Reinertsen, who were giving us tips and who were telling us more about their experiences with running and how they became who they are today. After that the necklace was revealed and that was the moment I knew I wanted to break a PR and I wanted to earn this medal so badly!
The shake-out run was just an easy 2-miler, but it was great because we got to run through the Chinese district, which I hadn’t been to yet. After the run I picked up my race packet, did a run analysis, got a make-over by the amazing people at the Neutrogena stand and had all kinds of samples. Gosh, I loved this expo! I could have hung out there for hours!
Race day itself was pretty stressful. I woke up every hour that night, because I was just so excited. I would check the Instagram hashtag for the race and would see people starting to post that they were ready to get to the start line at like 4 o’clock, so I just decided to get up at one point and go where I had to go. The race didn’t start till 6:30, but I left a little before 6 and when I arrived I was surrounded by thousands of women who wanted the same thing I did. To run the 13.1 miles and to get that necklace!
The feeling I had when starting the race was pure joy. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world to being able to be living in the US and to live a healthy and fit lifestyle.
I was really well prepared for the half marathon itself, but the last hill at mile 10 or 11 was over the top. I felt like I was going to break at one point. I want to thank all the strangers along the course who stood there with motivating signs who were encouraging the runners not to give up and who just made me feel like I was doing a great thing. We were all running for a great cause and I love that by doing the half, we were part of a great cause by doing something we love.
The last mile seemed like it was never going to end, and I kept checking my time which was stressing me out and motivating me to go a little faster at the same time. I was 10 minutes away of hitting the 2 hour mark and every time I thought I saw the finish line, it seemed to get away further and further. Anyways, I crossed the line in less than 2 hours, reached my goal and was the happiest (and probably most exhausted) girl out there!
I want to thank Nike for organizing this amazing event, providing us with free pictures (which I didn’t expect, but loved!), getting us the cutest necklace and for just encouraging us through social media to live a healthier lifestyle.
I can’t wait to know the location of the next half marathon and will surely try to get in!
All pictures were made by Nike photographers.