Last March I was recruited by 4 of my college teammates to run the Nike Half-Marathon in San Francisco. Although all living in different states, they decided we could train (remotely) together for the race in honor of our 20th anniversary of winning the NCAA Championship at Stanford.
As much as I enjoy running, I never run more than 40 minutes! A half-marathon is three times what I am used to! Not wanting to let my teammates down, I very reluctantly decided to commit.
The first step was to sign-up and pay the $100 entry fee. Step two was finding a good training plan. Step three: I followed the program. Step four: recording my workouts.
To my surprise, I enjoyed the training, pushing myself beyond what I thought were my limits. Following the roadmap was invaluable so I never had to “think” about what to do, I trusted the expert’s plan. The feeling of camaraderie and support from my teammates made all of the difference, especially on those days I did not feel like running!
On the morning of the run, I was a bit nervous, sort of like I used to feel before games. Could I really run 13 miles? Was I ready? We lined up in Union Square along with 20,000 other runners and the energy was unreal! I had to force myself not to start out too fast and lose steam! The energy of the event, the runners (and my adrenaline) helped the miles pass remarkably fast. There was music (including a gospel choir and bagpipes) and people cheering every couple of miles.
The run was absolutely breathtaking — a gorgeous loop around San Francisco, including Land’s End and Golden Gate Park, finishing at Ocean Beach.
It was a fabulous way to spend time with my teammates after all these years! And together we pushed each other to get in shape! We each had our own goals — Sonja Henning wanted to qualify for the NY Marathon and she did! Trisha Lamb wanted to beat 2 hours and she did! Ann Adkins wanted to complete her first half-marathon and she did!
And I wanted to run faster than an 8:30 pace and I did! I finished in 1:47!
For anyone looking for motivation to exercise, I highly recommend getting a group of friends to commit to a race. It was just the motivation and accountability I needed to push myself. I can’t wait to do it again next year!