Several years ago, I ran my first half marathon on Easter Sunday, the last day of a long six-month slog through rehab. Next week, I’ll run my fourth half marathon but the first with The Bride. Back then we often dreamed of running together and celebrating health and happiness and sobriety. I ran endless loops around the track envisioning someday when we would run across the Golden Gate Bridge in celebration of God’s redemptive work in my life.
Next Sunday, I’ll realize that goal.
So this Easter Saturday, The Bride and I decided on a fun run as a final day of training.
We hit T minus 7 for the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in San Franciso. We needed a final run just to make sure we were ready for what will surely be a windy, hilly, challenging, trek over the Golden Gate Bridge and into city center next week.
For our final long training run, we wanted to get out early because the damn race starts at 6:30 a.m. The Bride and I run early most morning, but not that early. We need our first cup of coffee and general waking up time before we lace up the shoes. This practice became a key point of emphasis, much to my dismay.
We also wanted to keep moving past as much different terrain as possible. Coit Tower’s Filbert Steps, Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf and back up into the center of town. In a word: challenging.
We also wanted it to be fun. So we set the finish line at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse in the Tenderloin, for its famous Cruffins.
A Cruffin at the end of miles through the beautiful city of San Francisco was meant to be a reward. This might have been the only flaw in otherwise beautiful Saturday morning plan. I felt regret in my gut as we ran by Mama’s in North Beach early on. That should have been the finishing line.
At Mr. Holmes, the wait was long, the cruffin itself a poor proxy for the trend- and taste-setting expertise of the cronut and the unnecessary calories a week before a huge run combined to take the luster off the visit. But hey, at least we can say, “we’ve been there” for whatever that’s worth.
And next week, we will truly cross a landmark off the bucket list. I’ve been sober almost seven years. This run is a highlight of just how unexpectedly wonderful this second chapter of my life has been.