Most race recaps are these happy joyful reports that includes the great weekend that was meant to be and how wonderful the entire experience was … I’ve written those time and time again … now it is time to write one with a 180 twist to it … the 26.2 miles at The San Francisco Marathon for me SUCKED! I wanted to DNF during the race …. no really I was moments away from a DNF … here’s how it all went down …
Saturday morning came around and I did a 3-mile shake out run here in Sacramento before loading up the car with my wife and son and heading off to “The City”. The traffic wasn’t awful so after a little over 90 minutes in the car we arrived at the Fort Mason Pavilion where the marathon expo and check-in took place.
While at the expo, I was able to see some familiar faces that were part of the ambassador program and some other cool kids who I have gotten to know through this awesome thing called running. At the expo I picked up my race swag and even was provided with an awesome gift courtesy of fitbit, they hooked the ambassadors up with a fitbit Charge HR!
After spending time at the expo saying hello to some friends and checking out what the expo had to offer it was time to grab some lunch at Bubba Gump’s at Pier 39. We love this place because of the vegetarian burgers … no really, they are delicious. With our tummies full, we walked around and made our way to check out the San Francisco Aquarium, my boy loves aquariums.
As the day started move towards the early evening, we made our way to the Hyatt to check-in … however, this was a fail, the hotel didn’t have our room ready and it was already nearing 5PM … WTF?!?!?! How is a hotel room not ready on a marathon weekend, we joined the masses in the lobby and took a nap … well I took a nap and so did my son … good enough for about 45 minutes of shut eye.
Now it was dinner time … so we made our way to grab a bite across the street … As the meals were completed, it was time to do the typical night before marathon stuff … you know the flat runner photo posted on Instagram, the Twitter shout out to all the other runners doing the same race, and the “I’m about to do this” Facebook post.
The 4:00AM alarm went off and it was time to get up and make my way to the start line just a couple of blocks over from the hotel. When I woke up, something didn’t feel right … I was coughing up a storm and my body felt a little tired, not exhausted tired, but more so sick tired.
I figured after getting in some pre-race calories in me, I would feel a littler better … nope that wasn’t the case. I was still feeling the cough and actually felt my body feeling warmer … and not that fuzzy warm feeling you get before something awesome is about to happen.
5:32AM started to come close, so it was time to head over to the Wave 2 Corral and start my 6th San Francisco Marathon. From the beginning of the race it was shaky, I mean I was coughing up at each water station that I opted to grab a cup of water.
As I got to the half marathon mark, I knew it was going to be a rough day, though I was able to enjoy seeing some friends on the course, and even stopped to take a selfie with a couple of them … those included the rockstar Pavement Runner and David of FitFam6.
By the time I got to the 19th mile, I was struggling massively … This is where it was clear that I might actually pull a DNF. At this point in the race, I actually asked one of the course guides where I would check in to drop out, fortunately he didn’t know and directed me that at mile 20 there was an aid station and support there.
For the next mile, I pulled out my phone and told my wife I probably won’t be finishing the marathon. This is the first time that I had ever put myself into this situation…
As I got closer to mile 20 I could see the aid station, I then pulled out my phone again and told my wife, I think I am going to try to take this race and finish one mile at a time, however expect to wait a little longer than expected because I was struggling.
Over the final 10k it was a full on struggle. However, I was happy that I made the choice of finishing it off. When I crossed the line at 3:53:xx, it wasn’t my worst marathon, but also nowhere close to my best. I conquered another marathon and could happily wear the medal that I almost didn’t get.
After the race we headed on home after a bit at our favorite vegan spot in Berkeley, Herbivore. The moment, I got home I hit the sack for a couple of hours. My wife suggested that I take my temperature and sure enough it verified what we already knew … yup a temperature of 102 degrees ….
Have you ever been placed in a situation during a race where you didn’t feel it and a DNF was something that might actually happen? Did you go forth with the DNF or did you push yourself through the race?