Friday, June 28, 2013

San Francisco Marathon–Robin

June 16, 2013 – SF, CA
Marathon 26.2 Miles
7th (out of 284)
Marilyn Watson, Michelle Ladcani
Troy and the girls get up early with me and drive me part way to the start. I'd planned to run to the start but discovered our hotel was 2 miles away instead of 1!  It is 1 mile from the Nike Women’s marathon start... maybe I got my marathons mixed up…ha, ha! I’m anxious to get to the start, use the restroom and stretch. Troy let’s me out with a 1/2 mile to go for my warm-up. After hugs and kisses, I’m jogging down to the start. My first order of business is the bathrooms. This should be easy considering it’s a huge race and well organized.  I think back to the smaller CIM (Calif. Int'l Marathon) and the many porta-potties they always have!  But I look and see a long single line for all the porta potties. The inefficient way they were set up prevents us from lining up in front of them.  It will take a LONG wait. With my race starting in 25 minutes, I opt not to wait but to get to my corral and start stretching. Maybe I’ll make it through the race or I might have to stop. I ask the Lord to help work it out. I have faith He will.  Wave 1 goes off and I’m next. I just picture the elites hammering from the get-go.  My plan is to go under 3:30 which is around 8 min pace. I want to stay ahead of the 3:30 pacer especially now that I might need to stop.  Ready, set, go! We're the next fastest wave, but I'm surprised how slow it is getting across the start line and down the road. I focus on staying relaxed as Troy suggested. Running loose…focusing on one body part at a time. I get into the groove and find myself just under 8 min pace. At mile 4, I’m averaging 7:53 pace. My hamstrings are already sore but not debilitating. I just need to continue to relax. I definitely need to use the restroom and pass by some porta-potties that are already full. I’ll take my chances and continue down the road. We are now in the Marina district. It’s so pretty and peaceful here! The Golden Gate Bridge is coming up which means my opportunities to find a potty for a while are diminishing. I see a guy with a Team 4:13 shirt that has Philippians 4:13 on his back. That is so cool! If I catch him, I’ll tell him I like his shirt. The next aid station is coming up. I see potties to the right. But they are all occupied. Okay, don’t panic. Then I see some open on the left, right behind the aid station tables. Yes! Thanks God! I go and do my business as fast as I can. As I come out, I think I see the 3:30 group ahead. No worries, it shouldn’t be too hard to catch them. Mile 5 is 8:42. Not bad! It’s a climb up to the bridge and I’m unable to see the 3:30 pace group. Where are they? Mile 6 is 8:15. Wow, the bridge is just amazing! It’s totally sunny and clear! I didn’t get to do the bridge in 2003 because of the aftermath of 911. It’s a real treat today! We have 2 lanes for both directions of runners. I’m not sure how we are going to keep from running into each other. Soon the pros start coming back and it’s fun to watch them hammer. I hear a honk and look over to see Troy and the girls driving by and waving like crazy. How cool to be able to see them. I smile and wave…what a boost! As soon as they see the 3:30 group farther along, they will realize that I’m behind. 130616_sfmarathon_robin4Once across, I see the 3:30 group coming back. I do a short loop around the park and head back to the bridge. I see Troy and the girls on the other side of the bridge cheering. I wish I could communicate somehow why I'm now behind... I imagine the gestures I could make but realize how silly that would be. I just smile and wave. Heading back it’s quite crowded on the other side and it looks like the bridge is seeing it’s heaviest foot traffic. 130616_sfmarathon_robinNow onto the Presidio. From mile 7 to mile 11, I’ve averaged 7:48. I certainly hope that’s gotten me closer to the 3:30 group! I think I hear Troy’s voice but cannot see him. Then I see Anna and Ariel ahead and know the voice was Troy's. I throw Anna my long sleeve and tell them I love them. I’m running downhill so the moment is short. I think about how much Troy has sacrificed for me to be able to do this and especially on Father’s Day. I want to not only race for the Lord’s glory, I want to race for Troy too. I want to push hard like he pushes hard to provide and care for us. Running in the city also brings back memories from when Troy gave his kidney to his best friend’s son. That hospital is near here. Now it’s on to Golden Gate Park. The sun is hidden on this side of town which makes it comfortably cool. The 4:13 guy comes alongside. He got behind because he needed to make a stop, too. I tell him that I like his shirt. We chat I find out that he’s from Alabama and his name is Britton. His wife is doing the 2nd half of the marathon. We pace each other well and the time goes by much faster. We both are hoping to catch the 3:30 group. At Mile 15, I see Troy and the girls ahead. The girls run alongside me and give me high 5s. I tell Troy, “This is for you honey! Happy Father’s Day!” I introduce Britton to Troy. I ask him about the 3:30 group and he says they are still head. Man, where are they? I tell Britton that we can do it little by little. From mile 12 to mile 16 I’ve averaged 7:57. The hamstrings are the same. I’ve gotta push more, but carefully. I encourage Britton and we work together as we wind through the park. At the aid stations he slows down to get fluids and then catches up to me. As we head back from an out and back section, I see another guy heading towards us with an FCA shirt. We wave to each other. Britton and I pass the 1/2 way, point, and the finish of the "1st Half Marathon". I hear our friend Will from Tri Cal announcing. He’s doing a great job calling out all the names and encouraging them to finish. Soon we are out of the park and heading towards the “Wall”, Mile 20. My hamstrings are making it difficult to run smoothly but I am still able to push them. Thank you Lord! I see Troy and the girls. Another round of high 5’s keeps me going. Troy tells us that the 3:30 group is 2 minutes ahead. 2 minutes?! I thought for sure they were closer than that! From mile 17 to 20, I’ve averaged 7:50. It’s still not enough to catch them so this last 6 miles needs to be faster…not sure if my legs are going to cooperate. After the next aid station Britton doesn’t catch up. I wish I could wait but I’ve got to go. I keep looking down the long streets for the 3:30 group. I don’t see a group of people anywhere. I start to notice runners coming from other side streets. My heart sinks for a moment as I wonder if I’m off course and then I remember that they sometimes send folks down different streets to help divert the traffic through the course. We all run the same distance, just slightly different routes. I see Troy and the girls again at mile 23. I’m alone so I can tell him that I got behind because of my bathroom break. “The 3:30 group is only 1 minute ahead now. We’ll see you at the finish next.” I tell Troy, “this is hard but if you can push hard Troy, I can too!” I blow kisses and continue my hunt. 130616_sfmarathon_robin2From mile 21 to 24 I average 7:29. Okay, I’ve got to be close now. There they are! Talk about cutting it close! I catch up with a big effort. Mile 25 is 7:13! I’m going to make it under 3:30. Thank you Jesus! I’m running towards Pac Bell Park, Home of the SF Giants. I see the Bay Bridge just ahead of that. The finish is close but this last mile seems so long and my hamstrings have just about had it! I look at my watch and see it’s going to be close. I make another push. I soon 130616_sfmarathon_robin3hear the announcer at the finish line. Go, go, go…for Jesus... and Troy! There it is! With my hamstrings screaming I dig down. I cross the line at 3:29:05! Woo-Whoo! I limp down the finish area to Troy and the girls. I take my medal off and give it to Troy. “This is for you! Thanks for your great sacrifices. I love you! Happy Father’s Day!”
Name Race Age Group Place Run Time
MICHELLE LADCANI 2ND 1/2M W45-49 18TH 1:48:53
MARILYN TERRAZAS 2ND 1/2M W50-54 14TH 1:55:23