It’s been over a week since I completed the Big Sur International Marathon, and I’m just now sitting down to write about it. It’s not that is was a bad experience I don’t wish to recall, it’s exactly the opposite—It was an experience and a journey that meant so much to me that I don’t want to let it go. No one ever tells you about this part of setting goals, the part where you achieve what you set out to accomplish and you’re left wondering what’s next. Eight months ago I decided to run the Big Sur Marathon and raise money and awareness for Solutions for Change. It turned out to be so much more. I had no idea that this experience would leave such a lasting impression on my life in so many areas.
When you have a goal in mind, it doesn’t matter what obstacle you encounter, you’ll find a way around it. The obstacles to my training included a very cold and rainy winter (by San Diego standards), a back that goes out once a year and threatened to go out half way through my training, and finding the perfect balance between living, running, and working.
Three years ago, my husband Rick, who was then my boyfriend, took me to Monterey for an art retreat as a Christmas present. We had no idea then that our trip and the surrounding area would bring about so many wonderful future memories. Last year it was where we decided to get married, and this year it was where we spent my marathon weekend.
With all of the talk at about the Big Sur course and the infamous wind, Rick and I thought it would be a good idea to drive part of the course to see what it was really like… BAD IDEA. Lets just say, seeing the hills in person and feeling the 25-mph headwind at the top of the biggest hill of them all, does nothing for calming your nerves.
Simply breathtaking! Those were really the most beautiful miles I have ever run. I’ve been trying to find the right set of words and ways to describe those miles, but nothing seems to capture exactly what I saw or how it felt. All I know is that I hope I will never forget it.
1. The national anthem at 6:40am with the sun rising and the release of two-dozen doves signifying the start.
2. Making a friend along the way. My new friend, who typically runs a sub 4-hour marathon, pulled her hamstring in the first mile. Turns out that a fast runner with a pulled hamstring runs at about the same speed as I do.
3. Reaching the top of the “BIG” hill known as Hurricane Point and realizing that it didn’t hold a candle to the training hills I ran on (thank you Twin Oaks Valley Road).