I smiled hard and often while I ran in San Francisco this morning. I felt free. I felt strong. I remembered why I love to run.
The truth is, up until this morning I had decided to (maybe) stop running. I started running as a goal I set for myself last year, but now running had become an outrageously expensive and boring hobby. Except for wanting to run some Disney & charity races - I had zero desire to run ever again.
Then The Giant Race happened. Everyday for the last 2 weeks I forced myself to suppress my excitement about this race and instead focused on the work I was buried in. I couldn't attend either expo date to pick-up my race bib due to my schedule - so why bother looking forward to a race I wouldn't be able to run? Why get my hopes up?
Another truth: I do not know how to ask for help. I have never known how to ask for help, but I realized if I was going to run this race - I needed to learn. I knew that in my circle of running friends, I wasn't the only one who needed to pick-up a bib in the city. I reached out to Francis & asked if he'd help me. He did. Funny how that works: from being a stranger I met via Christine 8 months ago to becoming friend I can count on & also come to for running advice - that's Francis. As I think about these friendships I've been blessed with via running, I realize maybe this running thing isn't so bad after all.
We met in the parking lot just before race time and walked on over to end of the 10K corrals. The three of us were in it for the fun - not a PR - so there was no sense of urgency and no rush.
I started off slow...walking mostly. But once I felt the breeze I picked up the pace and started a slow, even walk/run which I maintained for the remainder of the race.
This little sign helped motive me.
The course was out and back along Fisherman's Wharf. I will never tire of running in an empty Fisherman's Wharf. It's like a playground to me. Eerily beautiful and silent during this race - it gave me pause. I did a lot of thinking, and I realized running was more than just a goal now. It's something I do for me.
As I continued to run I thought about my first time running this race. I ran the 5K last year with my daughter and we had such a tremendous time on the course and at the finish line! (I met JT Snow - read all about here.) It's a fantastic race and the grand finale is, of course, the finish line. Finishing inside the greatest baseball park in America. That's right. Say hello to AT&T Park.
Soon I reached the finish line and with smile on my face, I took several photos, enjoyed the post-race fun and celebrated with my friends.
After collecting my medals, my bobble head and my double play goodies (SF and SJ Giants fleece gloves - a bonus for running both the SJ Giants 5K and this race) it was time to say goodbye and head home. Quite the haul - whether you are a runner or a Giants fan!
Thank you, San Francisco for reminding me why I love to run. Thank you for bringing the joy & freedom back to what had become stale & repetitive. Thank you for always hiding the sun on race day and keeping me cool with your breeze. Thank you for the romance. Thank you for being home to my mom. Thank you for being the city that made me.
If you are a San Francisco Giants fan, a baseball fan or a runner just looking for a race to run in San Francisco - run this race! The benefactor is Project Open Hand, the city is San Francisco, the park is AT&T. It's a win-win situation.