I’m Not Doing The SF Marathon… Oooooor Am I Doing The SF Marathon?

July 22, 2017

Okay, so I’m not doing the SF full marathon. But I am writing you from the plane on my way to do one of their events. (I’m doing the half.)

The SF Marathon is one of my favorite running events in the world. It is so fantastic. I adore it, and I have a mini-goal to do it as many years in a row as I can.

I had signed up to do it this year. I signed up last year – I’m pretty sure before I’d even decided on Project 882. It’s the SF Marathon. Of course I’m gonna sign up.

Originally, I had had a goal to do the 2nd half, then the following year do the 1st half (those went fine), then the following year do the full (that was last year), and then do the ultra.

Seemed simple enough. I saw a ton of improvement from the year I did the 2nd half to the one I did the 1st. I figured I’d keep improving to when I did the full.

So, last year, I did the full. And as you well know, my life had totally fallen apart. I was depressed. I was struggling. I was certainly not getting out and running and working out. I was pretty darn undertrained. And I *struggled* and it was a *mess*.

And I remember talking in therapy that week (something I’ve talked about here on this blog too) that it just feels like I’m not present, I’m not here, I’m not around.

I talked about how it wasn’t even until I was about halfway through when I heard someone say thank you to a volunteer that I even kind of realized “oh, I’m in the middle of a race. Wow, I have really not been paying attention to a lot of what’s going on around me.”

And I talked about how painful it was to go through the motions of things I knew at one point to be my *favorite* things.

And then I thought, “I need to get back on the horse. I have to just do it again. I love the SF Marathon. I can’t let it become this thing that I’m too afraid to do, because I’m afraid it will never be the same.”

I wanted to sign up for the ultra (as that was in my original 4-year plan), but I knew for me that I didn’t think that kind of training was gonna be able to happen for me this year. I knew that no matter what kind of training year I could conceivably have, that having had *such* an iffy no-good marathon that I wasn’t going to feel confident upgrading. (How can I upgrade to the ultra if I can’t even get the full right, amIrite?)

So, I signed up for the full. Let’s do this again.

And then I started Project882.

And I think it’s good and important and to some degree at least somewhat helpful. But I also think I took on a *lot* on a body that wasn’t necessarily ready for so much (not just physically, but mentally too). And I’m surviving, but I’m not getting faster. I don’t have enough time to recover, *and* I am only *just* getting my personal life together enough to actually properly workout and eat and everything during the week. So, I’m just not ready to tackle the San Francisco full.

And I argued with myself. “That just can’t be true. I can do it, can’t I? Can’t I do it? The SF Marathon is my happy race! The best finish picture I have that I always use is from the SF 1st half. How can I be sliding so far backward?”

But I am/was/hopefully will stop.

[Side note: I also don’t want to be *too* precious with myself, but I only *just* felt freed/healed from everything. I don’t want to have an awful race and feel like nothing is changing – when I *do* feel like things are changing, but they can’t overnight. So, back to what we were talking about…]

I embarrassingly wrote with my head down and metaphorical tail between my legs and asked if I could change to the second half.

And I was told I was past the change deadline. I could go to the expo and ask, and *maybe* they could help me if spots had opened up for the half. But it wasn’t guaranteed, and was a long shot.

Okay, well, I love adventure and I love San Francisco… But I don’t think I can fly out just for a chance – and a small chance at that. I’m already traveling so much for Project882. Something’s gotta give somewhere, or I have to learn how to print money. [I’m sure you know I’m joking, but juuuust in case – I’m not ever actually going to try to print money, friends.] Anyway…

I didn’t want to miss the cancellation deadline. I didn’t want my name ending up the results with an empty time or something. (I didn’t know what they did with people who just never showed… Maybe they don’t list them, but just to be on the same side….) About a month ago – just before the canceling deadline, I sent my email in to cancel my entry.


I never got a confirmation that my entry had been cancelled. I didn’t worry about it all that much. “Maybe they don’t confirm that, they just take you out.” “If I get in the results somehow with a blank time, I’ll just worry about it then.”

And then this weekend started and of course I saw everyone talking about The SF Marathon.

“Uuuuuugh, I can’t believe I’m gonna miss it. I know I have to do what I’m capable of and stuff, but this hurts. I’m gonna have to start over going toward my 5-year swag when I’m already 3 years in. That’ll be gone. (And this would be year 5 if I hadn’t taken 2013 off when I also was afraid I wasn’t fit enough, etc. (which seems kind of silly in hindsight). Also, the 40th anniversary! I’m gonna miss the 40th anniversary and the special medals and all that jazz. Guuuuuuuuuuh”

And then I looked just to see – “I know I tried to cancel my bib out, but do they still have me in there?” [Types in the confirmation page on the website.] Huh. Right now I am listed as a participant… My email must’ve slipped through the cracks, or not gone through or something.

And then I posted to a running group asking if anyone at the expo could check if there was indeed a bib there for me, and if I could change to the half after all.

Thankfully, someone there *was* able to check for me, and they WERE INDEED able to get permission for me to run the 2nd half (what I think is the easier half and definitely the one with the longer time limit).

So, I immediately bought a flight, scurried to JFK, and got on this plane. Of course I wish I were doing the full, but I’m happy to be there at all. And while in a perfect world, I’d be doing the ultra this year; and in this world, I’m doing the half; hopefully I’ll be doing the ultra before you know it – in a year or two or even three, and hopefully then we can forget that all this ugh blugh guh not-goodness in my life happened (maybe not completely forget, but at least be so far away from it that it won’t seem to have mattered so much).

So, there you have it. I’m off to SF!

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