On the menu? Tackling 6.2 miles in exchange for providing 10 meals each for those going hungry in the surrounding area.
Although I’m still recovering from last week’s Nike Women’s Marathon, I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to come out and support such a worthwhile event.
And we may be thin-blooded Californians, but a little fog wouldn’t keep us from descending on Crissy Field, where we huddled together to keep warm before the start.
The course featured a loop around the marsh followed by a double loop to the Golden Gate Bridge and back, along the Golden Gate Promenade.
Great views, for sure, but I knew the two later loops may prove difficult – not only due the repeat factor, but also because faster runners would be doubling back and running alongside slower pace groups, which could be a recipe for some real confusion on the course!
Women’s Health had it expertly organized, however, and there was a positive vibe among participants, volunteers and spectators that was palpable. I think we all knew we were there for a bigger reason than the race itself.
In fact, the start was one of the most mellow (and polite) ones I’ve ever seen; no crowding or jockeying for position, which was nice.
Since this was my first post-marathon run (exactly a week out), my plan was to go strong, but not all out. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about a possible PR since the conditions were favorable (cool weather/flat course), but I’d have to see how my body would react to running with some residual aches and pains.
Before we knew it, it was time for the final iPod and GPS watch check…and were off!
I went out a little faster than I usually like, but I figured I could push the envelope with this shorter distance. It’s a completely different feeling/frame of mind than the marathon: There, you aim to settle into a comfortable pace for a few hours; here, you learn to accept the fact that it’ll be uncomfortable the whole time. But the faster you go, the sooner you’re done!
My right foot was acting up a bit the whole time, but by mile five I knew I was within reach of a PR if I could give it a push to the end, so I willed my breakfast to stay down as I picked it up for the small loop to the finish. I saw the clock ticking toward 49:00, so I picked it up for a final kick to see if I could hit a 48-anything.
Final time: 48:58 – a new PR by two minutes.
Another highlight: After I caught my breath, I caught up with @RunEverAfter at the post-race festival. She was volunteering at the race, and we chatted about how she’s crushing her marathon training. I’m thrilled for her progress and, once again, proud to be a part of our amazing local running community!
Missed the race, but still want to help make an impact?
Here’s why you should: The FEED Foundation is dedicated to ending world hunger, partnering with organizations such as the United Nations World Food Programme, UNICEF, DonorsChoose.org and local food banks to fight hunger and eliminate malnutrition by providing school meals, nutritional supplements and education.
Here’s how you can: Click here to give to a specific FEED Fund, whether you want to support moms, victims of natural disasters, people affected by HIV/AIDS, and more.
For more information, visit TheFeedFoundation.org.