W. CAITLIN SMITH

DOULA, PILATES, YOGA, DANCE, ART, TRAIL RUNNING

Monday, October 19, 2009

SF Nike Women's Marathon




(Photos courtesy of SF Gate)

Did yesterday really happen? Here is my recollection. Waking up, eating, putting on my gear (and yes I wore a pair of my trail shoes, La Sportiva Skylites). Next I arrived at the start, nervous, excited, typical prior race feelings. Then we started running. I kept a fast, but comfortable pace. When I arrived at mile one in 6 minutes I realized I needed to settle in a bit more. There I was leading the race, the pace car in front of me, motorcycles by my side, and the nicest woman ever biking near by. She kept being blown away by my climbing. Hills yes SF has them, but they are not like running up a mountain. And I explained that I loved to run up mountains. Before I knew it I was at mile 10. I was in disbelief that I was still leading. A couple 1/2 marathoners cruised past and I was sad when they turned off to finish. Where was everyone else I thought? I came through the half way mark on target for a 2:51. I just kept breathing and enjoyed the encouragement from people I knew, people I didn't know, and seeing all the other women out there running, smiling, and achieving their goals. As I came into mile 17 I saw Rick Gaston. I was so excited to see a fellow trail runner and grabbing a water at the same time turned into a bad mix. I fell. All these times running on trails with roots and rocks and I fall running on a road, go figure. I jumped back up and started running, everyone cheered. It took a bit to get back into a groove, but I did. I slowed down a bit in those last 8/9 miles, but just tried to stay consistent. My legs are not trained for the faster leg turnover and I think they were a bit confused. At around mile 20, I started to realize I might win. Honestly I got a bit freaked out, but once again I just settled in and enjoyed calculating my finish time in my head. I knew if I just stayed at my current pace I would run under 3 hours. Before I knew it there was mile 25 and I thought holy shit this is really happening. I am really going to finish first and all those people are going crazy for me. Part of me wanted to cry, smile, and laugh all at the same time. I crossed through the banner in 2:58 and I was greeted by Joan Benoit Samuelson ,Kara Goucher, and a crew of paparazzi. I got my knees cleaned up and then got to spend time with a few other top finishers. Everyone was so nice and down to earth, got to love that! I got to celebrate in the afternoon with friends. I have to say it was a good day. Every time I run I am blown away by how much I love it. By how much potential there is in all of us. By the strength of consistency, trust, and acceptance. And thanks everyone for the super kind words and enthusiasm!!!! Hope all the other women felt that out there yesterday too!

SFGate
In Entertainment
Examiner

21 comments:

trailmomma said...

Awesome awesome job. I was there. Ran the half. Beautiful day. Beautiful course. Congrats on a great win and a great race. I did chuckle about the fall though. That is so my style. :)

209Mike said...

You are a frickin' stud. Congratulations on another great run.

Bob - BlogMYruns.com said...

lol love the dark trail shoes look in the photo as you motor down the Road with bloody knees ... Classic!

Trail Shoes,

Road Fall

1st Place - Priceless

I was looking for results yesterday and I was wondering how you did ...then I read the article from the examiner earlier today and Said: OH I guess she did pretty good :-)

Congrats !!!

Devon said...

Congrats girl! I am so proud of you!!! I can totally relate to your feelings about running and winning the marathon. It feels so surreal. Very different than the ultrarunning/mountain running scene that is for sure. I think it is just freaking fantastic that you had such a great day out there! So what are you thoughts about 2012 :)?

Rick Gaston said...

You finished the race with bloody knees and a pair of trail shoes, like Mike said, you are such a stud. I'm glad you had a great day in San Francisco. That finishing picture with those two, priceless.

David Ray said...

Well, okay, then. Another day at the office. Just your friendly neighborhood superstar. That's a good payoff for the bumming taper week. Congrat on a great race!

Luke said...

absolutely amazing, you are incredible!!

Scotty said...

Isn't cool when a random person says "You were awesome." ?

You were awesome.

Congrats.

Buzz said...

Sub 3 and the big W ... congratulations! What a year. You look good.

Anonymous said...

nice race. ditch the trail boots and skirt; train to run a flat/fast course (e.g., CIM) with some decent competition and a 'b' standard time is a very realistic goal. good luck.

SteveQ said...

Congrats! Everyone beat me to the bloody knees/ trail shoes comments.

Old Man said...

Ditch the skirt and boots? Yeah, for sure, cause you know the CIM with a negative elevation gain and such wild switchbacks is so, yawn, interesting, especially for mtn climbers. But you know, if you put away your trail shoes, you might have a pair of flip flops (or something else more suitable for the road?) that you can wear for this ridiculous ego booster (gee, how fast can i run if i fell off a cliff?) sideshow. However, do remember that nike blew it big last year win they awarded an "elite" runner with a 3:06 time with the win even though an amateur won it in 2:55:11. So yeah, you won, but you know you can so blow that time. Regardless of trail vs. road sentiments, go for it next year, win the CIM, and then qualify for London 1212 trials. Shaka.

Anonymous said...

CIM last year was won in 2:32

willgotthardt said...

Hard to find any fault in someone who can, on essentially a whim, throw on a skirt, grab the least muddy pair of shoes from the pile by the door, and throw down a sub-3hr/8min-gap win in her first road marathon in over seven years.

Caitlin, your only possible limit is the uniquely wide scope of your running talent(s). Just make sure you continue to push into areas you enjoy, and not get pulled (there will be a lot of that ahead).

Anyways, great fucking race, best of luck in Germany, keep it rolling.

Cheers, Will G.

CRA said...

You are a running goddess! What an amazing result and great story - bloody knees, trail shoes, victory!

Can't wait to see how you do in other road races while you continue to dominate on the trails.

Thomas Bussiere said...

Enjoy the moment - Make it last! What an amazing race.

Marco said...

Caitlin, awesome job! You are amazing. To even think about running a marathon hurts my legs. Our company produced all the printed graphics for the race (including the finish line banner!) Good luck next year! - Marco

Scott Dunlap said...

Way to make us trail runners proud! Can't imagine how fast you would have gone with say, road training and a pair of racing flats. Another day, perhaps. ;-)

Victory!!!!

Scott Dunlap said...

And I'm with Devon - time to put 2012 Olympic Trials on your agenda. You easily have low 2:40's in you (as does Devon).

SD

Monica said...

Congrats on all your race's! Good luck with all your race's in the future. have fun and be blessed!

Jesse said...

Wow, congratulations. I've been following your blog since I got into ultra running and appreciate your insightful but down-to-earth writing style. I was up there for this event, running a friend in the last 9 miles. What a beautiful course to win on.