With recent life changes (& the onset of summer), haven’t stayed super consistent with marathon training. “You’ve done so many, your body is conditioned to run marathons.”  Some truth to that, but I tell ya – getting up & randomly running 26 miles after throwing 6’s & an 8 over the past 2 weeks, is a struggle.  Still coming to terms with dropping gym membership (eff July 1st).  Started finding my groove again last Wednesday – tight timing for Sunday’s marathon (kinda late in the game) but mentally feel I’ve turned a corner & I’m back.

Up early Saturday, caught a flight to San Francisco – my 35th marathon, my 35th different state.  Landed in dense fog, temps in the upper 50’s – San Francisco norm for July.  Packed long-sleeves & a jacket – my kinda summer weather 🙂

No rental required in SF, great public transportation.  Air train to BART to Embarcadero station – 0.7 miles from my hotel, half-mile from tomorrow’s marathon start/finish.  At Embarcadero, located the free Marathon Expo shuttle – BAM, easy peasy.

Bib & shirt pickup.  Check, done.  Explored Fort Mason & caught my first views of SF’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge – the reason I chose this marathon for my California run.  Truly stunning.

Early night – 5:30am marathon start tomorrow, one of my earliest.

Quick shower, dressed in layers, running gloves & a hat – not your typical July attire.  HA!

Arrived early, waited for my wave start – almost 15 minutes after the Elites.  Lungs breathed water from the dense morning fog.  Easy 5 mile, 8 minute-pace approaching Golden Gate Bridge.  Yep, would be running OVER the Bridge to Marin County & back.

(bridge approach – one of the steepest hills I’ve marathoned.  That said, better at mile 5, than mile 25 🙂 )

Got all nostalgic during the 3-mile Bridge out-n-back.

Have crossed the mighty Mississippi, run alongside both Atlantic & Pacific Oceans AND three Great Lakes (Michigan, Superior & Utah’s Great Salt Lake).  Raced thru Nebraska & Iowa cornfields, Idaho potato farms, Louisiana bayou, Saguaro cactus in Arizona, down the Las Vegas strip at night, thru Kentucky’s Churchill Downs, viewed lighthouses in Maine, Wisconsin, Rhode Island & Michigan.  50 State Quest has been quite a life journey.  Crazy proud of my country, our people & our national diversity.

Lotta hills in San Fran – I knew in advance, but still…a lotta hills in San Fran.

Fatigue set in early – lactic acid build-up near mile 12 (inconsistent training).  4-hour pace group passed soon after.

Haven’t run a large city race since Miami – enjoyed running with folks all 26 miles. While generally a HUGE fan of small-town America, latter miles can often be lonely.  You wonder – does anyone know I’m out here?

A bit unorthodox but cell-phoned friends/family at miles 17, 19, 22 & 24.  I would finish today.  Last hill at mile 23, slogged in the remaining three miles.  My 3rd 5-hour marathon – not particularly proud of that stat, guess it’s all part of the journey.  Good days, bad days, sunshine/rain/snow/ice/heat/wind – and fog.

Pretty amazing day.  Today I ran across the Golden Gate Bridge.  Beautiful city San Fran — I’ll be back 🙂

 

San Francisco Marathon 2015
Bib: 30741
Name: K R Haga
Hometown: Louisville, CO
Finish: 5:07:45

 

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