This will be a multi-part recap. So, grab your cup of coffee or whatever it is you enjoy drinking and get comfortable. I hope you enjoy reading as I recap my adventure of the Funtanilla Forty.
I feel compelled to begin by sharing about my feelings the week prior to the run. I was in last stages of tapering, which in itself is enough to drive me nuts. I go from lots and lots of running for months and recovery to hardly any at all. It’s so important to do this to ensure fresher legs on the “race day”, but man, it truly is mentally challenging. Those thoughts creep in every day, “have I done enough? am i ready? do i need to get in another extra run?”
In addition to those crazy thoughts, i felt physically sick. or like i was gonna get sick. I realize I usually go through this same pattern before the big races. The last 7-10 days pre-event, I begin to feel extremely tired, kinda achy & super stressed. I realize, I bring most of it upon myself, but I believe there is something else happening too. I think with not only the physical tapering, but the “mental tapering” too that the body is thrown into shock. It’s so focused and put through so many physical & mental demands for months and then there is a gradual decrease…but to me and my body, this is a shock to my system. So, i think how i feel in that final week is a culmination and combination of all of this and then the other life stresses that come into play. Needless to say, I got myself on the plane and headed west.
I was super excited, anxious and overwhelmed. What began as an idea I wrote out on a piece of scratch paper became one of the biggest occassions of my life. What began as an idea of a very solo & quiet journey transformed into an epic adventure where so many people from all over were involved in one way or another.
The first real planned event of the weekend was a dinner with about 10 friends at a restaurant near our hotel in San Leandro. We had to dine in Oakland simply because there are so few legitimate dining places in San Leandro. I’m not kidding.
On the way to dinner
So, a bunch of us met up at Francesco’s, about 5 miles away from our hotel, The San Leandro Marina Inn. The group included, 1 friend I met via the blogging world (SCOTT) , 5 friends I met through twitter world(JULIE, LYNN, KERA, SANDRA, SHARON & LYNN), 1 old high school friend(KRISTINE), and 2 old friends from my days living in SF(ALEC & HOLLY). What a great group! I felt so blessed to be there. I think I had a smile from ear to ear on my face the entire time. I tried to eat, but I just couldn’t. I probably ate 1/4, at most, of my pasta. I was so happy being with all my friends and I was in disbelief that they were all there to support me.
After helping Scott with a ride back to his hotel in nearby Hayward, I got back to my room, crawled into bed went to sleep. I knew I would wake up early and use that time to eat and get all my gear and food together for the long day ahead.
4:30am wake up call. Seriously? Yes. On my birthday, by choice, woke up at 4:30am to go run 40 miles. Seriously? Yes.
Actually, I had no trouble getting up. I quickly made the hotel room coffee which was not too bad. Far from Peets, but hey, you gotta take what you are offered, right?! (Also, there are NO PEETS coffee places in SAN LEANDRO)
So, me and a cup of Superior Brand coffee it was…along with my customary Clif Bar, water, and a banana.
I had some pre-race jitters, which was really cool because this wasn’t a race by any means. The excitment running through my veins was pretty damn neat. I was about to go to yet another “starting line.”
After getting dressed and getting all my stuff together for support car, I headed downstairs to the lobby. To my delightful surprise, there were 3 of my friends waiting for me to give me a hug and cheer me on; Neva, Holly, & Alec. And then there was the additional group of 3 who were to travel with me via support car; Kera, Scott and Sharon. All but Neva came to the starting line with me; the starting line being the old house I grew up in as a kid; 465 W. Broadmoor Blvd, San Leandro. That was the residence I lived in with my mom; a still very dumpy looking duplex at the edge of the San Leandro/Oakland border. One thing is different from 28 years ago, there were black bars on the windows. As I stood there in the darkness, surrounded by my friends, we spoke softly. I smiled as I looked around at what used to my driveway..the spot where my sister and I would lie on the cement after running through sprinklers or just getting wet with the hose on a hot afternoon. We would lie down in the driveway, on the cement and let the sun dry our little bodies. I can still feel the warmth of the sun on my cheek, my hair. When we finally lifted our heads, we would find our cheeks marked with the little ingrained gravel of the ground.
I turned around and looked into the street. I saw a memory of me, my 2 brothers and my uncle all out there in the middle of the street playing football. My uncle would be the QB and he would diagram plays on his palm for us. Nerf football or hard football, it didn’t matter. I could catch both and hang with the boys.
I took one last look around at my 5 friends who were all smiling at me. Each of them gave me a hug and then I turned and headed south into Mile 1. Aproximate start time was 6:15am, Pacific Standard Time.
I felt free and light at the beginning. No more heavy legs, no more tired legs.
I carried nothing with me except a little piece of paper with route/map abbreviations so I would know where to go. No water (had support car), no iPod (intentional). Temps were cool. Maybe 70 degrees. I started off wearng my long-sleeve technical tee shirt from LA Marathon, but I knew I would change tops as the day progressed. I wore my K-Swiss K-Ona shoes, aslo knowing that later i would change pairs. These shoes are good for about 20 miles and then my feet start to hurt and need more support, so I would later change into the K-Swiss Tubes.