It was cold, around 41 degrees (warm for our snow friends) as we were departing Golden Gate Park and headed for the Presidio. Our turnaround point was in Sausalito on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. I have never run on that side, so I was looking forward to it.
Unfortunately, to get there it involves going across the Golden Gate Bridge. It's not that I don't like the bridge... just not a fan of running ON it. I love the view, I love running near it and even up to it, (Hopper's Hands?). But being on it is almost 2 miles (each way) that I sort of just zone out. Usually it is an out and back across it, but this time we were running on the other side into Sausalito, a beautiful, quiet artist/boat community. And at 8 in the morning on a Sat., it's filled with runners and bikers all enjoying the route and scenery.
There were some slight hills along the way, but nothing we haven't been working up to handle. Our team was set to run 22 that day, but the final course ended up being a little over 21 which left me 3 mi. short of my goal. I left the house late so I wasn't able to sneak in my 2 miles before. Luckily there was another runner that wanted to hit 24, so we set out on a 1.5 out and back on Great Highway. I don't think I would have been able to do the last 3 at a decent pace without my friend, he had the energy and he was pulling me with him, which I was glad to follow.
I finished my 24 in... Drum roll, please: 4:13. OMG. That puts me completely on pace for a sub 5 finish and gives me a huge confidence boost for Big Sur. That being said, here comes the rationale part: I stopped my watch at our water and stretch stops. Honestly you could proly (probably) add on 20 mins. to that time, but on an official course I wouldn't have taken those stops as long as we did. I usually never stop my watch on training runs, but this day, I thought I could use the extra boost. Also, Big Sur has major hills, so we have to take that into consideration. In reality my 4:13 probably would have been a 4:30 with the water and stretch stops I normally take, but my watch said 4:13 and I'm gonna celebrate like it's 1999 because I can.
Now it is 3 weeks of taper and enjoying what I have gone through to get to this point. Thank you to everyone on Facebook that shot me out some positive energy for 24. It went fabulous and I couldn't be happier. Afterwards it was a walk in the icy cold pacific ocean and my legs feel great today. Good enough to squeeze in a 3-4 mile run tonight. Cheers.