This season has been so full. In fact, I think I've raced more than I have in years. Or, at least, combined with Seth's track races, I feel like I have. And, what a blessing it has been. In marathon training, often times, staying put and diligently working away at miles, recovery, routine, has been the theme of my marathon build ups. This one has been different. I've cheered at more track races, driven more miles up and down the CA coast, and felt more full of life. A few years ago, I would have never committed to the US 25k Championships then also to Bay to Breakers 6 days later. But, I'm so glad I did. Seth decided he wanted to race, and since I would be there to support, why not?
Seth was under the weather leading into the race, right as I returned from Grand Rapids, MI. The US 25k Championships were a little tough. Racing without fresh legs is always humbling, but I was disappointed to not place higher. Still, I look at this season and this time in our lives as a blessing. I had a wonderful time in Grand Rapids. I got to spend time with close girl friends like Sarah Crouch and Allison Cleaver and Esther Erb. I went to one of my favorite coffee shops, MadCap. I practiced contentment with iffy weather. And, I ran a great 16 mile tempo, despite it not being the race I had hoped it could be. Running & racing is a blessing. In the ups and downs, I've tried my best to focus on the Lord's faithfulness and I've learned to enjoy racing and training in a new light. I feel incredibly fortunate to enjoy training and racing with Seth.
Now, Bay to Breakers. The race recap. We visited my best friend, Hayley and her husband, PJ, in Campbell right before the race. We arrived Friday evening. While I rested and caught up with Hayley, Seth ran a shake out. By this time, I was starting to feel under the weather, too, and a little discouraged. I didn't want to race sick, but I feel deeply committed to races once I give my word. I decided to take it day-by-day. When we woke up on Saturday morning, intuitively, I knew I needed to rest. We watched the Royal Wedding (so fun!!!) and Seth went for a short run while we went on a walk. We spent the morning walking around Los Gatos and grabbing coffee & bread at a local shop.
Once Seth and I made our way into the city, we checked into our hotel & said hi to a few friends, including Danielle Domenichelli, who was the elite coordinator for Bay to Breakers. Once Seth's parents arrived, we went to a pizza spot for dinner called "Zero Zero." Seth & I love good food. There's tons of it in the city, so we chose a michelin stared restaurant. While we both wished we could have enjoyed a glass of wine with dinner, we choose to not drink very often in our racing season. It would have to wait for after the race! Seth enjoyed a pizza & I had a spring panzanella. When we got back to our hotel, we were both a little nervous about our exhaustion. I could barely stay awake at dinner & I worried we had too full of day, when I would have spent the day on the couch if we had been home. We slept soundly and I didn't even hear Seth wake up to grab us coffee!
I woke up feeling a little better and we were excited to race! We were prepared to see lots of costumes (and, errr...no costumes at all) and lots of interesting people. Most people were surprised to hear Seth and I were racing such an eclectic race, but we LOVED it. We warmed up on the Embarcadero with a few friends. I was actually a little excited to run a race that would feel short! After a warm up, strides, and putting on nose strips, we were off!! With a mass start, I felt a little buried at the beginning and ran conservatively. But, once the big hill came (about 1k long), I passed 3-4 elite women. It boosted my confidence, and once I came over that hill, something in my mind switched and I started to run quicker.
As I passed a few more women, I started to focus on running hard and the final bend came so quick! Happy to look up and see the clock, I was also happy to hear I took 6th despite not knowing how I would feel. My last couple of splits 5:20, 5:20, 5:13 (.5) were also a shock; I haven't run those times even in mile repeats. Sometimes, doing something out of your comfort zone can be a blessing! Instead of being nervous about the wind or the hill or the competition, I raced with the joy of racing!! Seth also took 6th and we both really enjoyed racing and competing & cooling down with friends.
We enjoyed the afternoon with my in-laws and had fun going to a local coffee shop, Andytown. Seth & I said goodbye to his parents and we got cleaned up then walked down to the Ferry building one last time to grab some food & treats before another road trip home to Santa Barbara. We loved Bay to Breakers and we will definitely be back!!!