Today, on the 105th anniversary of the great quake that leveled San Francisco, I experienced my first earthquake! We had a tiny 3.8 tremor that jolted my apartment building back and forth exactly once -- it was more or less noisy rather than disruptive. But anyone who knows me knows I've been waiting for this day for a long time! :)
And, today, on the 115th anniversary of the Boston Marathon, I was able to sit down and reflect on a few of my own running accomplishments. It was so inspiring to stream the Boston Marathon this morning, knowing I could count on two hands the number of people I knew in the race. While I'm sure a BQ is no where in my immediate future, watching this race and my friends' journey to get there made me realize that I've come a long way, too, baby.
In two weeks I'm going to be running the Big Sur 21-Miler (which will be an off-course this year due to a landslide that took out part of Highway 1.). Despite the change in scenery we'll see, I'm excited to get in another long training run in preparation for the San Francisco Marathon later this summer. Originally my goal was to build up to 18 miles two weeks before the 21-mile race, and then taper back down. After Big Sur, I'll step back for a few weeks before ramping up my long runs again in preparation for SFM.
On Saturday morning I took a bus down to the Ferry Building and told myself I'd run the first 17 or so miles of the SFM course at a leisurely pace, and then run home from there to make it to 18 miles total. I didn't want to push it on the hills -- I wanted to get in a quality run on big hills to mentally get ready for Big Sur. After those 18 miles, I was feeling so good -- unusually good -- that I ran another 2 around my neighborhood to finish up at 20.
I was pretty surprised at my mile splits. In the span of less then one year, I went from running this...
My first 20 miler: May 1st, 2010 -- relatively flat MN route
To running this...
My latest 20-miler: April 16, 2011 -- super mega hilly SF route
I have essentially cut 15 minutes off the time it takes me to run 20 miles, decreasing my splits by almost 45 seconds per mile. To me, this is crazy! I never thought I'd improve at long-distance running after my somewhat-disastrous marathons (1 & 2) last year. Although the hills were hard along the SFM course, I never felt like I was pushing my pace beyond a comfortable zone. Naturally I want to think this 20 miler was a fluke, but for how great I felt afterward and how I had no muscle pain the next day, it can't be, right? Right?!
I'm excited to see how Big Sur will go and what else my legs have in store for me the rest of this year. This was exactly the kind of training run I needed to have to boost my confidence in covering long distances.
Next up ... Big Sur!