San Francisco on July 29th.
Almost always I start a marathon with this heady feeling that I can do it forever. As long as it takes, in any case. Certainly for 26 miles. No reason I wouldn't be able to go on for 26 miles, the way I do it right now.
If it's a good race I still have the feeling by the halfway point.
Sometime after that it dissipates. Even without hitting the wall around mile 20, moving forward isn't this easy certainty anymore, this given, natural, sustained rhythm that promises to unfold, if not forever, certainly for as long as it takes.
In San Francisco I had this feeling throughout. I was sore, I was bored, I was cold, I was tired, but there was no reason I couldn't go on forever, at any given moment, the way I did just then.
At mile 22 my boyfriend texted me that our friends were at the finish line. I thought they were early. Then it occurred to me that maybe I was late, and I went for speed. I sprinted the last four miles, passing people left and right, as if I was a motorcycle. This race wasn't my fastest, but it was the first one in which I achieved a negative split.
Probably also the only one where spectators offered us joints with a compassionate look on their faces. We were passing through Ashbury Heights. Only in San Francisco.
The exhilaration of power stayed with me until the end - or almost - I would keep running as I did right then for as long as it took. At mile 26 I couldn't feel this anymore, but I knew it. I could already see the finish line.
I kind of enjoyed this one.