Running, running, running…

It is safe to say I have officially lost my marbles.  This past weekend wrapped up my biggest goal for 2015…two marathons in 28 days.  I love the feeling of finishing a marathon, but I never want to do that again so close together!

First up on the list was a major bucket list race…the San Francisco Marathon.

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I’ve dreamed about running this race since before I ever even started running.  I never thought I’d be able to because SF is pretty intimidating to someone who trains on flat ground with only freeway overpasses as a hill.  I kept thinking I needed to drive down to SF one weekend for a long run and spend some time on the hills I’d eventually end up running, but I never made it happen.  Instead I focused on advice I was given…walk the hills, recover on the downs, and keep the heart rate under control.  It worked out well I’m happy to report!  I made it to the end, and honestly the worst part was in the first half.  Once you make it off the Golden Gate Bridge it’s (mostly) downhill (and flat) from there!

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The Golden Gate Bridge…one of my absolute most favorite things in the entire world.  I’ve walked across it twice, I’ve driven across it countless times, but I had never run across it.  This was by far what I was looking forward to most when it came to this race.  No one gets to run across the road bed of the Golden Gate unless they’re participating in this one, and it was absolutely incredible to stand on the other side and say I’m one of those who did!

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I struggled a little more than I would have at SF if I’d focused more on preparing for the hills, but I went into this race hoping to just enjoy the ride.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I can’t WAIT to do it again one of these days!!!

Next on the list for 2015 was the Santa Rosa Marathon.  I’ve never been to Santa Rosa, so I had no idea what to expect.  I was happy to see the course map looked pretty flat coming off of the SF marathon, but I wasn’t sure how well my body had recovered in just 4 weeks.  I didn’t run too much between marathons, so I had no way to gauge my recovery over any distance longer than 5 miles.  I stood at the start line early Sunday morning thinking there was no way I was going to make it back there to the finish line.  Guess what?  I did!  And not only that it turned out to be my second fastest marathon. (WHAAAAAT?!?!?) I was pretty happy to see that happen since my goal was simply the finish line!

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Of the 4 marathons I’ve now completed I’ve only run 2 of those with my dad.  My first and then this one.  Due to the finish line set up at my first marathon (men and women are separated) I didn’t get to cross the finish line beside him, so Sunday was extra special for me because I finally got to step across that finish line side by side.  Actually we raced to the finish, and even though the results don’t show it, I’m pretty sure I beat him by just a hair! 🙂

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This race had some awesome swag!  (Which I’m pretty sure is how I ended up talked into it!) Who doesn’t like a bottle of wine at the end of a marathon?! C’mon now!

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My favorite part of this race was getting to run through all the vineyards in the area as well as running through the barrel room of DeLoach Vineyards.  It was a really neat change of scenery halfway through a marathon!

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My favorite part of the swag though was this ^ bad boy!  This is my favorite medal so far…and I’m pretty sure my biggest! 🙂

I hurt a little more during and after this race, but I had a great time running with my family.  We all ran the SF marathon, but we separated about halfway through to all go our own pace.  We all knew this one could be a little rough 4 weeks after SF, so it was awesome getting to slow down and just enjoy running with my family.  It was the first time all 3 of us have got to cross a marathon finish line together, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be our last! 🙂

Next up on my agenda is a race that is very close to my heart…stay tuned! 🙂

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