Playtime in San Fran and the 1/2 Marathon!

This could quite possibly be the longest post known to man kind to this day, so let the photos load, throw on some music and read away! It’s a weekend recap and race report. Enjoy!

Also, instead of putting tags with their blogs in this entire post, if you would like to visit any of the other bloggers, you can visit them by clicking on their name below. Most of them already have their race reports up as well!

Aron

Tara

Kristin

Billy

Maritza

Julianne

So this weekend, as you know, I was up in San Francisco for the San Francisco half marathon. I ran the 1st half which is the half that you run over the golden gate bridge in the course. This is the ONLY race where you run across the bridge. I was pretty excited to go up to San Fran and hang out with my friends up there as well. Well, this weekend didn’t disappoint. Gorgeous weather, great friends, fun times and hands down the most fun I’ve ever had during a race. I took over 190 pictures, so I pretty much chronologically photographed my way through my trip.

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This was on Saturday on our way to the Expo. Going over the Bay Bridge into the city. It was SO clear that you could see all of the city. I forget how much I love the city and every time I go up there I am reminded that it’s one of the most fun and beautiful cities in CA.

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For some reason, I LOVE the bay bridge. It’s almost just as cool as the Golden Gate Bridge to me! It has such pretty architecture and it’s way longer than the GGB. Luckily, I got to ride on this bridge the most since I stayed out in Walnut Creek.

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At the Expo, we met up with our friend Julianne who was an official pacer for the full marathon. How cool is that! She did a great job and it was great to see her and her husband Duane for a little bit.

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Then we met up with Billy, as he was getting his leg/foot taped up with special tape.

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We met up with another friend, JBone who is SO speedy! He ran the course in 3:20. Um, yea over an hour faster than me. Amazing! Great to meet up with him.

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Then we got a quick picture with Dean Karnazes. He was rushing off to pick up his daughter but was nice enough to pose really quick with us and it was nice to get to meet him really quickly. I had him sign a map of San Fran.

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As we were leaving the expo, I snapped this because it was going to be closed for the marathon and it made me excited.

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Then, the wonderful tour guides, Maritza and Tara took me around the city and I got all my sight-seeing in! Maritza said that if you ever are in doubt you should follow the seagull signs. So we did, and they didn’t fail us.

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We are looking out at the GGB here! It’s so foggy that you can only see the section that you can drive on. Sadly, we couldn’t see much of the bridge at all during my trip.

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Almost there, SO much traffic in the area. I guess the GGB is a tourist attraction?

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Driving over it, you can see so much more of it, but only as you approach it. It was very chilly out there! I stuck my camera through the sunroof for this picture.

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We ended up in the city of Sausalito for some lunch, which was delicious. Don’t fall off your chair, but I got a vegetarian sandwich and actually liked it! Perhaps the brie cheese helped me not miss my meat too much :) It was gorgeous over there and we walked around, ate and saw some attractions. One thing I didn’t like about Sausalito was that it was biker central. AKA lancers. Yea, they were EVERYWHERE. I thought I was going to have to throw down with some of them.

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On our way back they took me past San Quentin. That was weird and exciting. I guess it must also be a popular surfing spot?

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Then we rode across another bridge, the Richmond Bridge. It was so long and pretty too. I love bridges. They are so fun!

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The night before the race we had a little bit of pasta for dinner (we were still stuffed from lunch) and made signs for the race. Tara did the full and we wanted to cheer for her and the others who were finishing. These signs were priceless. We also watched the Michael Scott Rabies 5k Office to laugh. Great show. One of these signs will come back to haunt me though, you’ll find out after the race recap! We went to bed around 11ish, and it still took me a little while to fall asleep. This race starts incredibly early since they can’t close off the golden gate bridge forever. We were in wave 2 and we started at 5:32 am. Getting four hours of sleep was a little rough, but if you are a runner, you know the adrenaline that runs through you race day, so it didn’t hit me until the car ride back from the city.

We got up, got ready to go and I ate a peanut butter English muffin. Pretty delicious. I was feeling pretty good and I wasn’t nervous or anything at all. We went and picked up Aron and got to the starting line with plenty of time to spare, we even scored a sweet parking spot. When we first got out of the car it was very cold still. We didn’t want to take off our sweats!

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Huddling together for warmth.

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We finally stripped down and gave Kristen all our stuff. She was so sweet to come and support us all and drive us around. Once we got into wave 2 it wasn’t cold at all anymore because everyone was pushing and shoving to get into the corral. It was kind of intense, but we finally made it in and waited for a little bit and took pictures and videos.

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See, it was dark when we started. Very dark.

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Aron and I tried to be mismatched twins. I thought it worked out really well. It was so fun to run with her during the race too.

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We were lined up right by this guy. WHO would do this to themselves?! I don’t know and I guess it had to be a bet or a dare or something. We saw him finishing about 6 hours later. Much respect to anyone who runs in a costume

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Then I saw these women, now, it was chilly but it wasn’t chilly enough to be running in BAGS and especially ones like that. It’s not doing too much for you at that point.

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Aron and I running together.

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This was the backsides of us all right after we met up with Billy. He was suppose to run the full but was having some foot issues and was going to run the half for fun with us.

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Billy and I running along Fisherman’s Wharf

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Then, as I got the city tour the day before, I was told that this Safeway is voted one of the best places to meet an attractive, single male or female by Maxim Magazine. I was also told it is called Dateway by city folk. I just had to snap a picture.

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I have no idea what this is, but it was along the path and seemed important. I really like the picture now though. :)

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Running up the hill to the golden gate bridge! It was here when I was doing stupid things like telling Billy and Aron about the ‘rope pull technique’. They have video of me and I look like Rocky running up a hill.

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I thought this sign was so cool. They close off one lane in each direction for the runners. It was SO cool to be able to run on it. It was scary at the same time though.

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Best picture of Billy of the day, don’t you agree :)

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It was SO much more foggy than the day before and it was chilly. The fog horn kept blaring as we ran across. I think you can hear it in the video below.

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I really, really enjoyed this. It was the best part.

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Then after the bridge you run up another huge hill and then totally trash your legs on a downhill. It was pretty rough but still since we vowed to ‘play’ and not race it was really fun.

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Billy got this shot of Aron and I, I love it! It was great to look down and see the ocean and more of San Fran.

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We were nearing the finish when I took this picture. The fulls cut off from our side and kept going through Golden Gate park.

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This was taken after I got my CA dreamin’ medal. That is SO worth it! I love the medal and jacket. I have more pictures of those coming up below as well.

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Running twins! :)

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We ran the whole race together, and it was the best race ever.

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We met up with Maritza after her finish in the half and then started being goofy. Eye patches with our medals.

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As we were going to cheer on Tara for the rest of her full, we went right on the course about mile 19.5ish. She ROCKED the full, and we found a donut shop and got coffees. I don’t even like donuts and I got a sprinkled one. It was the best donut ever.

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After we went to Gordon Biersch for Tara’s Birthday. It was so fun and a lot of people came out and Kristin got us Kara’s Cupcakes which were SO good. I ate a whole pizza and then while we were waiting for our food, a FREAK came up to us.

When we walked in this guy shouted to me when he saw my sign. I was like yea, yea, yea, bloody nips, congrats, whatever and just walked away.

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He came up to FIND ME and wanted to take a shot with me. Maritza was looking out for me and came downstairs with me (thankfully) Homie already was pretty tispy and was so about yelling to me about running. It was embarrasing. He did buy me a shot, which I guess was nice, considering the fact that two shots was twenty dollars. BUT he was STINKY and hello, had a bloody nip! Body Glide fool!

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I don’t do well with shots. They make me vomit. I felt really bad though and manned up and took it. It was AWFUL and I licked a HUGE ton of salt off my hand afterwords. It was a ‘hornito’ (really?) But, I was actually semi proud of myself for not vomiting on him after taking it. Lucky him.

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All the girls outside Gordon Biersh.

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Yup, I left early yesterday morning, still dark. I’m getting used to all this waking up in the dark thing! NOT.

So here are the pictures of the coolest award ever, the CA Dreamin’ series stuff! If you finish all 3 of the Long Beach, Huntington Beach and San Fran 1/2′s or fulls within a year, you get this. I was very impressed with the jacket. It has vented underarms, two zippered pockets in the front, reflective strips, the logo, a back zippered pocket and it FITS! I know, that blows your mind, right? I got to try on the jacket before I even left the finish line and that was a great feeling to know that I would get use out of it. It zips up and the material inside is a dry-fit of some sort and it has a neck that goes up pretty high. It’s a really nice jacket. I was expecting something that looked like a windbreaker from the eighties.

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This is a picture of both the medal and the jacket.The medal is ALSO impressive. It has the San Fran, Huntington, and Long Beach “icons” and it is HEAVY and HUGE. I LOVE it. It was SO worth it! I can’t believe I finished all three of those half marathons and got it all in my first year back racing. Totally worth the hardware!

Then we have some videos from the weekend, I am going to post more pictures and the “video montage” this Friday, but here are some that I can’t stop laughing about:
The first one is of my friend Billy. He made a video on this post about his time at the Huntington Beach marathon. I ALWAYS make fun of him for that video. Here is my rendition.

and this one is of me running across the GGB.

As I said before, I loved the bridge! In the middle when you hear me say “stupid” (which is one of my phrases I use ALL the time) it’s because there was a photographer and that’s why the camera went to the side for a little bit. Aron told me there was a photographer last minute and we had to prepare for our picture. Also, the ‘fast people’ I’m referring too are the elitists running past.

So down to how the race went. It was surprising to me because I was NEVER nervous, or even was tired. It was seriously a different feeling to run with no pressure and just to enjoy things. Before I knew it we were at mile 10 and I realized we only had three miles left. There was so much to look at and enjoy that it just flew by. I was so happy to be running/chatting with Billy and Aron the whole time too. It was the most fun I’ve ever had during the race and even though it was a personal worst 1/2 marathon time for me at 2:02, it was the best race with the best memories ever. I am so glad that I choose to run the race like that, because it was the perfect race to ‘experience’. It was a wonderful course with a lot of ‘historic’ points that we ran past. I wasn’t sore or tired after and it felt great to race again. I made it past mile 8 with no mishaps! It was harder to run with a camera in some aspects, but it was totally worth it to me. I’m so glad I got so many great pictures and videos.

There were some cons though, like it starts in the dark, there were NO spectators, I would say roughly I saw like 100 the entire race and maybe 250 at the finish, and the HILLS. The hills are NO joke. I was TIRED on the last few, but luckily Aron and Billy pushed me along.

Overall it was a great weekend with tons of fun had by me and I hope by everyone else. :) I can’t wait to meet up with all my girls again soon for another race. As for what’s on the horizon race-wise, I have a 5k this weekend at Angel Stadium. I’m really looking forward to it but have no idea how I’ll run on Saturday, I can’t decide what I will be feeling just yet. Last night I went for a great bike ride with the roomie on our cruisers again. Luckily, there weren’t too many lancers out there so we survived. Tonight, I might get a run in but we’ll see.

As for upcoming races after that, I’m looking into a few options right now and planning out some schedules. We’ll see but I’ll keep you in the loop. :) Gosh, it’s running like I did in San Francisco that reminds me that anyone can run and it can be fun! Now that you’ve lost an hour of your life that you can never get back, enjoy your evening!

xoxo

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68 Responses to Playtime in San Fran and the 1/2 Marathon!

  1. Adam says:

    That huge medal is AWESOME! It looks like you guys had a blast running.

  2. Tara says:

    I am SO glad you came up this past weekend :) I had an amazing time and can’t wait to be reunited soon!!!

  3. Joy says:

    LOVE your pics & commentary – sounds like such a great great time!!

  4. It looks like you had so much fun!!! Your videos cracked me up =)

  5. Nobel4Lit says:

    Great recap! I enjoyed that race as well!

  6. Nobel4Lit says:

    I’m going to get my CA Dreamin’ medal in Long Beach!!

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  8. Julia says:

    LOOVE the photos and the videos! PS- what kind of camcorder do you use?

  9. Smurf says:

    Awesome recap, love the videos and CONGRATS on reaching your A-goal of having a blast. :)

    As someone else pointed out, the US Half Marathon also goes across the bridge– as does Emerald Across the Bay in March. It is an AWESOME 12K, so if someone wants to run the bridge w/o committing to the half, it is a super well-put-together race that is loads of fun.

  10. Ashley says:

    GREAT pics & race report!!!Did you run with your digi camera the entire time??

  11. Amanda says:

    FUN!!!! I loved following all ya’ll on Twitter while you were there and now seeing the pics and reading the report is just great. You were a champ to link arms and do a nasty shot with bloody/stinky nipple-man!

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