I had envisioned the month before the Giant Race much differently. I wanted to cut off alcohol completely, and be on a strict diet like last year. Instead, I ended up partying until 3am the morning of the run. I didn’t drink, but the lack of sleep took its toll on me, and I arrived at the start line an hour late. I wasn’t worried about the run itself. It was my first 10k, but I enjoy running and the route was one of my favorites in San Francisco. I was just scared of looking like an idiot being the only person running in the opposite direction. Apparently, out of 14,000 people that day I was the only slacker.
So there I was trying to be incognito as if I wasn’t part of the race, and just another Sunday morning jogger. FAIL. I was decked out in orange and black, and in order to minimize the run I had to stay in the designated route separating those registered from everyone else. It sounds stupid, but I felt really embarrassed. I kept my race bib hidden, and looked down at the concrete most of the time only looking up to see landmarks and make sure I didn’t run into a wall.
I wanted to stop at least twice. I figured just showing up was a feat on its own. I felt so disappointed in myself, then ashamed that I thought about quitting. I knew it was nothing compared to what I’ve been through, and what I have yet to go through. So I kept running, and day dreamed about a boy to pass the time. Next thing you know, I’m at the halfway mark. I was surprised, because I thought it was further down. Soon as I turned around, and was going with the flow of traffic I felt way more comfortable and a sudden surge of confidence emerged. I finished in 1:03, which probably ain’t shit to most, but is something I’m extremely proud of.
The symbolism of this run was uncanny. I was swimming upstream until I found my flow, and joined others to success. Last year I was fully prepared, and crossed the finish line with my best friend. This year, I was a fucking hot mess and all alone. But in the end, I persevered and not only finished, but finished strong. When I got to AT&T Park I laid out on the grass, stretched out, and just took it all in. I learned three very important lessons laying there in the sun, in what I believe is the most beautiful stadium in the world. One, go hard or go the fuck home. Don’t do anything half-ass. If you love something, commit to it, and give it 110%. The reward will come back tenfold. Two, NEVER GIVE UP. Simple as that. And three, I am a motherfucking G.
Hopefully, by the time you’ve finished reading this you will have learned something too. That this post has nothing to do with running.