The San Diego Marathon was awesome – a smoking 1:55:37 PR. The course was all uphill and mostly interstate. I was bummed when I wasn’t able to do the full marathon, but by the time it was over I was very glad I did the half.
The full course ran tangent to the half course on one straight section and due to God’s perfect timing, I got to observe both the men and ladies elite packs for about 4 minutes as I plugged along. It was, to say the least, very surreal and obviously inspiring. They were silently graceful like a clutch of gazelles gliding effortlessly through the air. Their upper bodies very still and upright, no head movement at all, eyes fixed on the horizon in total focused concentration, arms pumping in perfect tandem with their perfectly chiseled legs, yet each one’s face completely and peacefully relaxed. It was amazing. I carried that picture with me through the rest of the race and it obviously helped with my pace.
On the flip side, because I did the half, I got to go back out on the full course and cheer on Team In Training members and walked in one of our Birmingham team mates to her first marathon finish. Her knee had given out at mile 18 and I picked her up at mile 22. The privilege of being fit enough to run my own fast half then help another finish a first full while encouraging hundreds of runners along the way was spectacular. The sheer determination on some of those struggling first timer’s faces as they climbed over that proverbial wall was an inspiration in and of itself.
I love running!