Never Give Up.-(B.P.-my second grade student who tried to comfort me while I freaked out about the marathon)
I ran my first marathon Oct 14, 2012 in the beautiful city of San Fransisco. Despite months of encouragement to train for this marathon, I never really found the motivation to regularly run. I am not a runner. Honestly, I signed up in April because of the College student discount ($100 for full or half) and was guaranteed a spot. Since this is the world’s largest women’s marathon, spots are granted based on a lottery system. It didn’t hurt that SF Firemen would be waiting in their tuxedos at the finish line with Tiffany’s necklaces and there would be MAJOR pampering throughout the weekend.
We left LA around 7:00PM and arrived in Santa Cruz around 2:00AM. There was a moment of terror when I glanced over and noticed that the gas light was on at 12AM in the middle of the mountains/nowhere and still climbing. We were forced to pull over at a Chevron charging $4.97/gallon, never been so happy being overcharged. My brother greeted us and we were all exhausted. Having slept only 5 hours the night creating a playlist and working with children for 6 hours was not how I imagined the weekend starting. Thankfully, my brother ordered us some pizza and we fell asleep at 3AM.
We headed up to SF around 9:30AM and arrived in SF around 11AM. The expo line was long but moved quickly and were soon enjoying all the FREE SWAG. We got food, free Neutrogena makevovers (2.5 hour wait), and hair makeovers by Paul Mitchell. When we were finally done with the expo, we headed back to Adelaide Hostel except we were told we weren’t staying there but actually in another building on Post and Taylor because we had reserved private rooms. Unlike Adelaide, this place was somewhat old and creepy. The bathtubs were those old ones that give you a bad vibe and the elevator was creaky and like the ones in Titanic. Windows weren’t soundproof but we got a room on the 5th floor and the view was breathtaking. We decided to carb-load and was recommended by SUPU’s cousin to eat at SUPPENCUCHE. We began our LONG walk and accidentally strayed into the “tenderloin” area. It was pretty intense. We found out that the wait for suppencuche was about 2 hours and being the adventurous people who wanted to try new food, we decided to wait. I WAS STARVING by the time we were seated and I was upset because it took them another hour to bring out our food. Also, the place served fabulous beers and people were a bit drunk so it was FREAKING LOUD. OKTOBERFEST! WHOOO!!
Basically, we didn’t get back and sleep that night until 12 which meant we would only be getting another 5 hours of sleep because the marathon started at 7AM. (What were we thinking?!)
“Runners! Ready? the race begins in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…” Me and SUPU’s eyes jolt open because we thought we missed the race. We jumped out of bed and saw that it was 5:30AM. Luckily, the place we were staying at was RIGHT where we’d be lining up for the run so all we had to do was walk downstairs. 25,000 + people (with families) awaited us and it was breathtaking to see the buildings, lights, and crowds of people before sunrise in SF. I was in the 10-12:00 min corral and was separated from my group. I was also the only one doing a full marathon so I was already prepared to be on my own but it was still sad to see everyone taking picture with their friends while I just stretched and listened to music. I didn’t reach the start line until 8 min after the race started and everything beyond this point was a blur. Adrenaline, Runner’s High, EVERTHING KICKED in and I was unable to enjoy the scenery because I was so focused. The weather was perfect - cool, cloudy, and just a little bit of drizzle. I finished the half in ~2hr35min and dreaded knowing I had to run another 13.1 miles. I was really upset because at mile 12, the half and full marathon runners separate and the second half of the full is ALL UPHILL. Anyone who tells you the course is easy and flat is A LIAR AND A TERRIBLE PERSON. I wanted to quit at miles 15 -25 but B.P.’s words “NEVER GIVE UP” and my dad kept me going. Admittedly, I cursed alot while running the 2nd half because of all the hills but I DID IT. I finished under 5.5 hours, received my necklace from A HOT BLONDE FIREMAN, went to an oxygen bar, got a massage, bottles of chocolate milk, walked on the beach, and got my picture taken with SEXY FIREMAN. SUCCESS.
This SF trip was unforgettable, not because we saw three nudists walking around in the rainbow district when we got Ike’s Sandwiches ,but because I proved that I can accomplish things if I really wanted to. This extra boost of self esteem is perfect because MCAT registration dates open today and I need all the assurance I can get. This was one of the hardest things I’ve had to accomplish and I know I kept saying “Never again” because I was in so much pain but looking back, I know I can do another marathon. MIND OVER MUSCLE.