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Snap does Nike -- Long!

snapdragen2010-05-01 14:43:17 +0000 #1
Sorry to post this late, my laptop broke, then I got a case of the lazies.

The night before the marathon, Team in Training held a pasta feed for all of the participants. Imagine walking into Moscone Center, Coaches and Managers from all over the country, forming a long walkway--cheering, clapping, bells ringing. It's overwhelming; I'm amazed I did’t burst into tears. After we were fed extremely well, Andree and I decided to do some shopping. Being in the TNT "store" was like being in Disneyland. At no other time do you need a Mickey Mouse tie, but when you are in Disneyland it suddenly becomes an essential wardrobe item. The same with the TNT store...YES I NEED A PURPLE 20TH ANNIVERSARY TSHIRT! Oh, look, a pink "Run Like A Girl" shirt, got to have that too, and the TNT plastic rain poncho (even though the possibility of rain is at something like 1%) I managed to get out of there before I convinced myself I needed a TNT Teddy Bear, complete with purple sweatshirt.... Four of us decide to catch BART back to the hotel, and get to sleep. I dream I've overslept, and I'm running to the start line in a panic.

My alarm rings at 4:15 -- ugh. I jump in the shower for a quick wake up, and attempt to eat a yogurt parfait I bought at Starbucks the day before. I think I may be ill. I get dressed in my race clothes, knickers, craft undershirt, purple TNT race shirt, my wonderful Balega sox, armwarmers, my Amici Veloci buff, as I must represent my Team, and the magical Brooks Ghost shoes. Grab my hat, fill my water bottle with Cliff Shot Lemonade powder and water, grab my water belt and head to the lobby. Many sleepy headed TNT athletes are there, some attempting to eat, others just looking rather zombie like. Our coaches hand out glow stick necklaces to each of us. We pose for a quick team photo, and then get on the bus. There is where we made our mistake. Our bus driver did not know how to get to Union Square from the Embarcadero, because so many streets were blocked off for the marathon. Yay. We ended up in North Beach, home of the nekkid girl bars.

An hour later, with the help of one of the Peninsula team members, we make it to Powell Street and are within site of the race start. We get out and walk the remainder of the way, this will be our warm up.

The race starts at 7:00, but that's only for the elite runners. The rest of us have to stand around and get cold for 20 minutes. Finally we are off; my group is so far back we don't cross the start line until 7:24. Lot's of people line the streets, cheering and yelling. I kind of feel sorry for the folks staying in the local hotels, I wonder if they were warned. I walk with Gerry, we've become friends over the last few weeks of training. She helps keep me from charging out like a racehorse. I try to convince her we could get a cab, drive to each time check, jump up and down on the mat, and then get back in the cab. "Imagine! We'd be the first walkers to do the course in 1 hour!!" She did not go for it. On the Embarcadero there is a gospel choir singing, it's delightful. We come to the first water station and I grab a cup. I needed something other than my lemonade electrolyte drink; I'd just finished a Lemon Lara bar. As we get to Fisherman's Wharf, I see a sign for bike rentals. I look hopefully at Gerry, but again she says no. They even had a tandem!!! She didn't like the Segway idea either. I am crushed. I really have to walk this whole thing.

We pass by a group of bagpipers in kilts -- this lifts my spirits.

We make our way up a small hill overlooking Fort Mason. I tell Gerry that is where the AIDs ride used to start. It seems like a million years ago that I rode that. Into the Marina, we are greeted by cheerleaders, one calls out my name. For a moment I look at him, wondering how he knew who I was. Did I know him? DUH. I'm wearing a nametag. I point out the Marina Safeway, and tell Gerry it used to be known as a huge pick up joint. She has decided I will be her official tour guide. The biggest hill is at mile 6, a long lazy climb up Lincoln Blvd. I remember our Coaches tips on walking hills, and make my way up. I didn't do a lot of hill training, and I can feel it in my outer thighs and butt. I discover if I walk backwards for a few feet, it helps. It also helps me keep an eye on Gerry so I don't get too far ahead of her. Over the hills, greeted by Kaiser employees handing out oranges -- they are delicious. We figure out which house belongs to Robin Williams and wave. You never know. At mile 8 or 9, we are greeted by a couple that has obviously been out all night. Still in their evening finery, he stands by the side of the road and raises his beer in a salute. She is running up and down the street, proclaiming us all winners, sloshing beer everywhere. I manage to avoid getting a beer bath, soon we see the police charging down the road. Fun is over. We make our way to the Great Highway; I can see the finish line! But it is a tease. We get to Golden Gate Park, and turn left -- we still have a little over two miles to go, winding through the park and back out to the highway. Finally the finish line is in sight, Gerry and I cross it together. We are met by SF firemen in tuxedos, they hand each of us a very familiar blue box -- it is our race medal, a silver Tiffany necklace.

I could have written pages upon pages about this event, it was one of the most satisfying and challenging things I've done in a long while. I find I actually like this endurance walking thing. I'm even toying with the possibility of a little running, but that will have to wait. I have surgery, recovery and rehab to finish first. And yes, I may even do the Nike Women's Marathon again next year.

Trek4202010-05-01 14:58:35 +0000 #2
Congratulations Snap!
snapdragen2010-05-01 15:05:53 +0000 #3
Here are some pix, I'm not really impressed with them. My P&S camera does not have image stabilization.
crazycanuck2010-05-01 15:58:47 +0000 #4
Great job madame Snap!!!
salsabike2010-05-01 16:21:03 +0000 #5
I love the pics. That last one, with your name in the middle of all the other names, made me a little teary. Good going, kiddo. Thanks for doing it.
maillotpois2010-05-01 15:53:20 +0000 #6
Very cool! I love the pics. Wasn't all the cheering and crowd support on the side of the road incredible? I loved that.
michelem2010-05-01 16:07:15 +0000 #7
CONGRATS!!! And thanks for posting the photos. WOW!!!
OakLeaf2010-05-01 15:43:57 +0000 #8
Yay Snap! What a great experience!

Now... good luck with your surgery. Sending lots of hugs and healing vibes.



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