I’ve been struggling to keep up with blogging (or social media in general) over the last 6 months. Between working longer hours/days and longer commuting hours (up to about 5 per day now), I haven’t had any little breaks at work to scroll through posts and feeds, and I’ve been trying to nap during the commuting time, since I’m still not sleeping well at night. Race weekends and family time and overall exhaustion has taken over, but this weekend I have some free time (finally!) and am trying to catch up on things like decluttering my room, donating more items, and catching up on the blog!
The Town’s 1/2 marathon in Oakland was one I had been looking forward to for awhile. A nice small race through Oakland was just what I needed – there wasn’t 20,000+ runners crammed into a small area, you would never feel cramped or crowded, the race organizers are fantastic and it’s extremely community-oriented. If that wasn’t enough, their sponsors are awesome, so you not only get a race-branded mason jar, but Brita really comes through with a filtered water bottle for each finisher! (there were a bunch leftover after the race, so Laura and I were lucky enough to get two bottles each!). They have entertainment, little carts are wandering around the open space with breakfast items, single cup coffee, all from local vendors.
I met up with Laura in the morning and we drove to Oakland together, getting there with plenty of time to meet up with Steve, who picked up our packets for us the day before (another great perk of the race, they let you easily pick up packets for your friends or family if you aren’t able to make it). We originally planned to start together, but she’s faster than I am, so I just planned to try to keep up with her as long as I possibly could (or at least keep her in my sights) – it worked for about 3/4 of a mile and then I lost her!
I kept going at that same pace (it was actually feeling good!) and trying not to look at my watch. I was chugging along, looking at all the sights, and realized at about mile 4ish, that I had just passed her! That gave me the confidence that I could finish strong, so I kept going, walked part of the hill around maybe mile 8-9ish, and realized at mile 10 that I was in a really good place to PR (previous time was 2:14.12). By mile 12, I thought I could FINALLY break 2:10! I was hustling as much as my heavy legs would let me, but when I crossed the finish line and looked down at my watch, it was 2:10.12 – I was devastated.
All the things I could have done differently started going through me brain: if I would have started running just a few steps earlier on that hill, if I hadn’t walked that aid station, etc. Laura came in shortly after me and we celebrated our finishes together. Though I didn’t break 2:10, I had just PR’d by 4 minutes, and that is a pretty spectacular feeling.
We walked around the booths they had set up, collected our snacks, and stopped by one of the booths (Better Health East Bay) that was giving away a new Garmin watch – it was worth a shot to enter! All we had to to do was take a selflie and use the #WeRanTheTown hashtag to be entered, easy enough! We rolled around the area they had set up with yoga mats and foam rollers (THANK YOU!), sipped coffee in our new mason jars, and lazed around before heading back to the car to make the drive home.