My first half marathon By Rhonda
I started participating in running events in 1987. My first race was the Human Race in Santa Rosa. It was the first time in my life that I had
run 6.2 miles at one time. I had trained for it for a couple of months. I had never done much running when I was growing up except for softball. In the late 80’s, I took up running to avoid going to Jazzercise. I was not very coordinated but wanted to start exercising. Running filled that need. I’m not fast but I can run forever.
In 2005, I decided to challenge myself to something that would make me stretch as a runner, my first half marathon. I signed up for the San Francisco marathon that summer. I was going to run the first half, 13.1 miles because they offer both. I found a training schedule online and followed it to the letter. The schedule told me how many miles to run each day, scheduled rest days and gradually built the miles up until reaching 13. At this point, I had never run more than 7.5. I had run the Bay to Breakers several times and thought that was my limit.
My training went well and occasionally a friend would join me on a run. My friend Misha ran
at my speed or a bit faster, so we were a good match. She probably went with me once a week when our busy schedule allowed. I tried to talk her into doing the half marathon with me, but she wasn’t sure she could commit to the full training. We had done sprint triathlons together on many occasions. I continued along on my lonely way, training for my big day. I was very confident as the date was getting closer.
I was planning on driving myself to SF as I felt like it was a solitary adventure. About 2 weeks before the race, Misha offered to drive me. How super sweet I thought! That was really very nice and then I could relax so I could try to calm my pre-race jitters. I wouldn’t have to stress about parking and getting to the starting line on time. What Misha did next was above and beyond in my book! She actually started running the race with me and ran a good distance. I kept running- mile after mile. At about mile 5, I saw Misha on the side with the spectators. She ran up to me and jogged a while with me again.
After she turned back, I kept running. Again, at mile 8, there was Misha waiting to run with me and make sure I was doing okay. She found me at mile 11 just as I was nearing the end. It was such a wonderful and thoughtful way to support me through my first half marathon. I will never forget her kindness and support. With a little help from my friends, I was able to successfully finish my first half marathon!