I’ve always been very proud to say that I am a “true” Bay Area native. I was born in Oakland, have lived here all 39 years of my life and don’t see myself moving away anytime soon, if ever! I know my hometown like the back of my hand and have worked and played in San Francisco as often as possible over the years.
In 2006 I started running and, for the first time in my life, realized I actually only knew a very small portion of my city by the bay. Once I started looking for places to log my miles and learned about the sundry paths and trails surrounding San Francisco, Oakland, and Berkeley, it became a personal goal of mine to also race in every different Bay Area locale- running remains while the backdrop always changes.
I won’t lie to you, running was not easy at first. I couldn’t breathe, there was pain in every joint and I felt like a two ton elephant. But after just a few tries, my body started to adjust and what seemed impossible- run 20 miles? Are you KIDDING ME???- became something that I could easily manage. Each run proves to me that I’m stronger than I think and if I just believe in my ability, I can do anything. I’ve gotten faster, stronger, and more consistent over the years, I’m still achieving PRs, as well as taking on longer distances. I’m proud of my kids and my family, but I am also very proud of myself. Running has taught me how to push beyond my limits and has proven to me that I can and will achieve my goals.
That train of thought brought me to the finish line of my very first marathon in 2011- the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco. I was more than dubious about running 26.2 through San Francisco because, in case you didn’t already know, there are hills here. Lots of ’em. Nevertheless, I believed in myself, believed in my training, tackled the hills, and finally crossed that finish line with a more-than-victorious smile.
A lot can happen on the way to 26.2 and you are forced to become incredibly honest with yourself- what you need, how you feel, when to take it easy, and when to push. If you had told me 6 years ago that I would someday run a marathon, let alone two in San Francisco, I would have laughed right in your face, but now I know that I can do it and that’s a really great place to start.
The year after Nike, I tackled my second marathon in San Diego and this year, I will complete my 3rd at The San Francisco Marathon and am very honored to have been chosen as an ambassador and respresentative for the race. Nothing defines the Bay Area more to me more than the iconic streets, beaches, parks, and bridges of San Francisco- from the Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf and the Marina, over the Golden Gate Bridge, through Golden Gate Park, the infamous
Haight, around AT & T Park and home of the SF Giants, then finally past our new Bay Bridge…
I left my heart in San Francisco too, but I take with me the soul of the city and cannot wait to re-trace 26.2 miles and 39 years of fond memories through this amazing city I call home.