Last year I ran the first half of the San Francisco Marathon. It was tough but the views and running across the golden gate bridge were thrilling. It also was at the somewhat beginning of my ‘racing’ career, if you want to call it that. So this year, since I was going up there for work, and am in the middle of training for the Camarillo Marathon, I thought well I’ll give the 2nd half a try, therefore I’ll have “ran the whole course.” I’ve heard that the 2nd course is much easier than the first but still rather exciting and it travels through Golden Gate Park and also through Haight Street and then finishes down on the Embarcadero.
Let’s just go over three things real quick. Easy is not a word I would use to describe this course. Scenic isn’t exactly a great adjective when talking about the course. I say it now, but I will NEVER run the full!
So I worked the expo on Friday and Saturday and it was quite packed in there. It blows my mind that so many people who are so particular about what they eat before a race and what they do during the race, sample every single little thing in there. Gus, juices, gels, granola, anything that’s free, they go crazy on, it’s like these people haven’t eaten for days. So worked that, had a little tweet-up/meet-up and it was great meeting so many people. Here are a few of the pictures.
Newly Ironman (Ironmanned? Ironmenned?) and one of my favorite people, Ron!
Finally got to meet Karin, who had an awesome race on Sunday!
All those, minus a few, who showed up for the tweet-up and meet-up. Some left before the picture was taken, but it was fun to put faces and actually meet people who I regularly talk with!
Doing a little work… :)
The day started off bright and early and Page and I got dropped off by spectators extraordinaire Tara and Maritza. For some reason, my mind just wasn’t into it. The entire time I was thinking about the race before hand I just wasn’t excited or anything really. I was just feeling a little blah. We walked into Golden Gate Park where we seemed to be a little lost and just kept following the marathoners to the 2nd half start line.
We finally met up Kristin, Aron and Stephen and were all gathered around chatting and without much notification, people in front of us started running and we realized the race started? So we were off. I squeezed into the first wave and ran about a mile with Aron and then she took off like a speed demon. I didn’t want to push myself during the race and my legs were feeling a bit heavy still from the whole shoe debacle and I was tired. I got to mile 1, 2 and 3 and the hills were killer. I NEVER run hills. Like never, ever so they were a little difficult. They were making me tired and I just was cruising along. It was very strange because for some reason I just wanted to cry. I have no idea why but I just saw the spectators and ran and wanted to cry. Right around mile 5 or 6 we were out of Golden Gate park which I was excited about. The park was a little boring for me and I wanted to be more in the city.
I also realized I don’t do well when you’re doing loops where you see where you make a u-turn, or where you see where you’ll be running in literally a minute. I’m good at out and backs, but I felt like they randomly had us running places to just get mileage so it wouldn’t be a short course.
Little did I know the city had many more hills! I was not pushing myself at all and just kind of felt like I was going really slow so when my garmin was beeping my splits I was a little surprised, but my mileage was way off according to the signs posted along the course. Finally we were at mile 7 and 8 and I knew the end was nearing. I just felt like I was trotting along, it was weird and reminded me a little of the Malibu Marathon where I felt like it was taking me forever but it really wasn’t. It was another twilight race for me with the random “I want to cry moments” and the random bursts of speed. I remember the roads being really tore up, I wasn’t used to that at all since a lot of the time I run on paths but I remember just trying to find a path that was the most consistent on the course. The hills continued and finally we hit mile 9. That is when Claude the Garmin lost satellite and I was sad and wanted to cry again. HA! What is wrong with me?! My splits up till then were pretty decent though.
I remember running past a lot of industrial buildings and before I knew it I could see the bay bridge and I knew the end was coming soon. Finally. I ran past Giants stadium and it was cool to see it and how close it was to the ocean since I’ve only seen it on TV, but since they are the Angels nemesis, I wasn’t impressed. :)
Then onto the bay bridge and through the crowds and just like it started, without much excitement, it was over. I grabbed some food and then a Jamba Juice and walked out of the finish area to find Page and be reunited with everyone. I saw my time was 1:52. I couldn’t really believe that I ran it that fast when I was in such an odd mood, but being only 5 minutes off my pr on a much more difficult course, I’m more than happy with it. My first mile splits were around 8:14, then at mile 7, I was running 8:24 and my final splits were 8:34.
I don’t know how anyone could run that full course. It is insane. I would be crying on the side of the road in the park if I ran the full. That’s for sure. The 2nd half wasn’t as great as I thought it would be, but that’s just where the course travels. The finish line area was great and I re-qualified for the CA Dreamin’ series again, so I got another medal and jacket!
We all ate at Gordon Bierch afterward just like last year and it was delicious! I love hanging out with my friends up there and I miss them so much when I’m back home! A lot of these girls are some of my very best friends and such an encouragement to me! I just love SF!
So overall, a great day, a fun, different and interesting race, and some delicious food and chatter with friends. I finished off the weekend in Walnut Creek, perusing a few shops and enjoying my time there.
Last night I ran a 10 miler on tired legs and once I started going I was fine, but it was those first few moments when I wanted to kill myself. I got lost on my run and ran 11 miles, but the last one was a speedy 7:10. I think I just wanted to get home. I’m feeling better about upping my mileage and hit 100 miles yesterday for July, which is an all time high! :)