On October 11, 2014, I ran 26.2 miles from Lone Oak Point in Tilden Park to the Lake Chabot Marina.
Before March 2014, I had never ran over 10 miles in one run. This was because before then, I pretty much hated running.
But I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could pull it off.
Here is how it went.
Before the race, I felt great. I had eaten well, gotten rest, and stretched. I was ready to go.
Here is a picture of my gorgeous wife, Sarah and I, before the race began. I was so excited that she was able to join me at the starting line. She has always been supportive of me and my crazy ambitions.
This is a picture of a friend of mine, Don Wong, and I. Don and I leap frogged each other throughout the race, so it was a blast to chat with him from time to time along the trail.
Rookie mistake: I wore cotton socks. Apparently this is a no-no in running. But, being my first trail marathon, I did not know this.
And so, around mile 5, I developed blisters due to the downhill parts of the trail and all of the rubbing.
I thought, how wonderful, now I get to run 20 miles with blisters!
Thankfully, at the 7.5 mile checkpoint, they had athletic tape. So I taped my feet up so that the blisters didn’t get worse. Here is a picture of my feet after the race.
What is crazy about a trail run with just 200 runners is that I spent many parts of the trail running alone through the wilderness. It was amazing actually as I talked to myself out loud saying, “Here we go, here we go, here we go.”
I listened to music the first 15-20 minutes, but after that I enjoyed the silence of the forest and the faint sounds of my foot steps.
I was able to fight through the blisters, the heat, and the hills to cross the finish line at 6 hours, 18 minutes.
The run was such a mental battle. I remember crossing the half way point (13.1 miles) and feeling pretty good. I thought, okay, I’m half way.
Then, I remember having 10 miles left and wondering, “Do I have what it takes to make it?”
I just kept going. One foot after the other. I knew if I kept my feet going, I would make it.
Then, when I knew there were only 6 miles left, I knew I would make it.
Even if I had to walk, shuffle, or crawl, I knew I would make it.
And I did.
Above is a picture right after the finish line.
I hugged Sarah, found the closest chair, and had a joyous cry. If you can tell, I am a bit emotional in this picture.
There is just an inexpressible and indescribable joy that happens when you do something you have never done and never thought you would do.
Sharing the moment with Sarah was one of the greatest joys of my life.
All of the adventures Sarah and I have had passed through my mind and I got to add this experience to that. Journeying with Sarah has been pure joy.
I saw this sign and thought, maybe they should have put this at the beginning of the race. Because by the end, I may have outrun my joy of running. Ha! At this point, I was in quite a bit of pain and fatigue. Before long, I know I will be back out on the trails.
After I gathered myself, I went back to the finish line to snap this photo.
Overall, it was an awesome day.