My Thursday flight was delayed to uncertain time in the middle of the night, so I switch the airport of arrival from Oakland to SFO just to make it there sooner, what meant Larry had to drive rental car to pick me up from one airport to another. You can never get bored with me around:)
Friday was full of city guiding adventures. San Francisco is the only city I ever feel I want to do touristy stuff, and showing my favorite places to my boyfriend made it that much sweeter. We never rested and visited Market Street, Cable Car, Fisherman Warf, Chinese restaurant, Golden Gate park, ocean at the tip of it, Golden Gate Bridge from both ends, Marine Headlands (and the place for Headlands races), and a bunch of small streets. We stayed at Rick’s place, who kindly disappeared to a wedding in Vegas for a couple of days (how convenient). By night time we packed the running gear and retired to get some sleep with full intention to run a 100...
Saturday morning was much warmer than Friday, and the drive didn't take more than 20 minutes. 7am start allowed to sleep in and be alert (or as much as one can be while battling "why am I doing it" questions). We met with dozens of friends and exchanged the latest news and good wishes.
A promo on the PCTR races: Sarah and Wendell do an amazing job with their calendar races! I had participated in Forest Park 50k back home twice, have so many friends run in others, and it was my first time at Headlands (not at the course though, as Marines is the land where Miwok 100k is run). Beautiful trails, nice hills that are underestimated, breathtaking views and a team of support that doesn’t wish for more. What is awesome about this particular course is that is so crew accessible, it's not even funny. Not only can you be at every single aid station - and on time for sure - you can also see your runner at many crossing points in-between. So that's what I did. I hopped and popped, and took some 200 pictures, and got around driving like crazy, had lots of fun, helped at AS's, cheered on for friends, made new ones, filled bottles, fed runners, and, of course, gave kisses to sweetheart.
Larry was perfectly on time for his splits, and feeling great. The clouds gave way to sun exactly as runners hit the open sections, and the "carnage" rate increased somewhat, but nothing to deter this Texan boy. Donald was going strong and consistent, Kelly Ridgway ran (away with a victory in 50M) with grace and smiles, and despite whatever everybody felt at the moment, no-one ever was grouchy. I think it's a compliment to Sarah and Wendell and their fantastic volunteers!
Steve Ansel was to pace Larry's friend John Reynold, and we had a "pacer's competition" set up with certain "rules". Guys left 50M AS about 30 min ahead of us.
Larry came in at 10:45 and was ready to get moving. We made our way across the beach onto the trails, exchanging the latest.
I'll have a gap here to not steal the story. But we did stop at Rodeo Valley and walked some 3 miles back to start/finish area. It was a peaceful night by then with stars filling the sky, and a lot said and felt. We said our "thanks" to race directors, bid goodbye and drove back to San Francisco.
A good night sleep let us explore the city some more and spend quality time together. It was sad to leave...another great weekend is gone, another count-down began. I am grateful for been able to live through each moment of it though.
See, guys (Jason and Rick), I promised to be short, and I deliver:)
Now I just wish I had any idea how I'd run Waldo this coming weekend, not to mention daunting AC100. I haven't done any serious or quality miles since Bighorn with the exception of HR100 pacing and OR100 scouting, and neither one of those courses are forgiving and can be faked. But I have my priorities straight for this time of my life, and intend to enjoy whatever life throws at me.