scroll down for "RACE REPORT"
incredible. unbelievable. you would not believe how many participants... 20,000 runners. the biggest women's marathon in the world. yeah. and WE were a part of it. memorable is too small a word.
I set my cell phone alarm for 5:00am, but must have turned it off, because I woke up around 5:15am, and saw that my alarm had already gone off and I don't have a snooze function on my cell phone. okay. back up. I woke up at 5:00am the day before to catch a train, to catch a plane, to catch a bus and then subway ride to San Francisco. yeah. a very long day. was in bed around 9:30-10:00pm. exhausted. and then I played alarm clock peek a boo. tossing and turning with nerves. anticipation. excitement. how do people sleep the night before a race?!
so I wake up at 5:15, get dressed, packed, check out. but leave my bags there, to pick up later on my way out of town. 6:00am I head over to the Jack in the Box on the corner for a breakfast jack and orange juice. breakfast of champions. I was staying 2 blocks away from Union Square and only one block away from where my group, the Grey Bracelet Group 9:00 - 9:59 lined up.
The Groups, determined by your estimated Race Pace:
6:30 - 8:59
9:00 - 9:59
10:00 - 11:59
12:00 - 14:59
15:00 - 16:00+
It was a sea of runners all over the streets of downtown San Francisco. runners everywhere. in every direction. you could feel the energy. very emotionally charged. incredible. after breakfast, I walked over to the start line where the ELITE runners were already lining up. omg. these women looked amazing. they started 20 minutes before the rest of us at 6:40am. quite a few of them were from S.F.'s all women's running club, The Impalas. they all looked extraordinary taking off, loud as thunder with a bang. inspiring. I can't help but gush.
then I meet up with Jade. I convinced her to run with me :P hehehe. She runs 9 minute miles during her weekly workouts, in the same neighborhoods, on the same hills, as this course. So of course, if she wanted, she could run 7 or 8 minute miles easy for a race. especially this race. it's her weekly workout route. So I meet up with Jade about a quarter till 7:00am. We line up and it's staggered. After the Elites take off, then it's SF Club Run, then the Black Bracelet 6:30 - 8:59 minute Group, and then us. so there is a time delay of a few minutes past 7:00am by the time I started - I'll get my official chip time in a few days.
It was perfect race weather, cool and overcast. no direct sun.
RACE REPORT - the Half Marathon 13.1 miles
So we take off from the start line in downtown Union Square, in front of Tiffany's on Post St., closer to Stockton than Powell. Even if you wanted to run fast in the beginning, you couldn't. there were so many participants. The announcers kept making announcements to start out slow in the beginning of the race. over and over. well, with this many runners, you had to run slow to start, or you'd give someone a flat tire. It was pretty much this way until mile 12, it seemed to me. seriously. but it was okay, because I know how to sprint in and out of traffic.
The first mile was flat and got you out to the ocean. It was amazing to be running at slightly past 7:00am in the city streets of downtown San Francisco. I was gorgeous. an interesting urban landscape from a view you normally don't get the chance to see it from.
At mile 2.5 was a coat check and donation station. It was cold that morning, and I wore a black Gap fleece pullover, knowing that I'd leave it in the donation bin that benefits a local women's shelter. I didn't see the donation bin up ahead (we were running along the Wharf now) and left it on top of a coin newspaper stand - I sure hope the volunteers came by to pick them up, there were quite a few.
so after mile 3 we could tell the congestion of runners was not going to let up. and that's when we started sprinting to empty patches along course. I wasn't sure of proper race etiquette on passing runners, but I think we were really polite and gentle about it (?) It was a little difficult with so many runners.
I felt a little disenchanted with the digital time displayed at the mile 3 marker, it was something like 37-minutes ? 30-something minutes. whaaat?! I felt like we were going much faster than that. turns out there was a time delay from when we left the starting line. not a big deal. It's San Francisco. there are hills. you are here to have FUN. it's not all about time. I told myself. I still didn't like seeing that time. and after seeing that, I wanted to sprint more. I thought to myself, I didn't come all this way to just cruise the course. I want to RUN. and then we started RUNNING.
miles 3-5 were a lot of sprinting and weaving in and out of traffic.
lots of aid stations along the way. Luna chews, Gatorade, Water, Bananas. Chocolate. I stopped at all but 2 stations. I've never eaten and drank so much on a run the way I did that morning. It was all sloshing around. but I felt GREAT. just had a cramp in my foot somewhere between mile 5 and 6. I just ran it out. I came a long way for this. I wasn't about to let a cramp slow me down. My foot was mad at me. and I kept running.
miles 6 to 10 were KILLER. I wasn't sprinting anymore. I was hurting. It was a slow jog up those hills. I think it was a jog. It was very slow. it hurt.
for details on the course, please refer to Jade's race report. she knows the course like the back of her hand. it sucks. it hurts. it's brutal. all I know, is that I was hurting. it hurt. I really wanted to join those folks walking. but Jade was running with me. damn. gotta keep moving. I probably had 3 walk breaks ? of less than 30 seconds each ? my quads are shredded. those hills. those. hills. ouch. they hurt your quads and toes.
mile 11 and I was beat. only 2 more to go Jade said.
mile 12 on the half marathon course was the chocolate table. yeah. chocolate. of course I stopped here! yeah. I grabbed a couple Ghriardelli chocolate squares. we ate them. they were good. :)
the last mile hurt. but then you come around the corner and see the finish line. gotta keep running. gotta pass these last few folks and make it count. I know. I'm a ding dong. but that is what I was thinking. I didn't wake up at 5:00am the night before, have no sleep, and come all this way to whimper out on the last few hundred yards. Heck No. RUN. my toes are killing me. my feet hurt. I'm tired. I so desperately want to walk. but there is the finish line. I hear the music. and Jade is running with me. do it. Just Do It. and then I did it. I DID IT!
oh, the time.
the digital clock displayed 2:17 and some odd seconds.
Not bad I think to myself. I can't wait to see what the official chip time says :D
Official Time: 2:11:21
so we cross the finish. WOOHOO!!! and there they are, those cutie patooties in tuxedos with the robin egg blue boxes! oh yeah. Tiffany.
and then the Tshirts, and the foil space blankets, and then the smoothies, and bananas and bagels and yogurt and granola and bottles of water and luna bars and lip balm, and all this stuff FREE. so we load up! :D and grab a table and check out the fancy race medal... Tiffany pendant. Nice.
and now I am aware of my feet. particularly my left foot. and my toes. ugh. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. Jade and I hang out for a bit and then part ways. Jade continues on for another 3 miles home. yeah, she's FIERCE like that!
and now I hobble over to the shuttle buses to get back downtown to Union Square.
I met a women that came down from Coeur d'Alene, ID. we chatted on the shuttle ride back. She signed up with 15 of her friends. She was the only one who made it - this race is done on a lottery. yeah. She ran in the Black Bracelet pack: 6:30 to 8:59 pace group. She finished in 1:58, she timed herself. she was smart enough to wear a watch. not like yours truly. lol. ding dong deluxe. hahaha. it's all good. I had the most amazing run of my life EVAH! with one of the FIERCEST girls I know. It was a perfect morning. tired, fatigue, blisters and all. I had the time of my life. I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.
so I will get the battery in my watch replaced this month. and now I will stalk the Nike Marathon website this entire week until the official chip times are posted.
and now I'm looking forward to LA
official time: 2:11:21
Pace (Min/Mi): 10:01
Overall Rank: 2019
Female Rank: 1830
F35-39 Rank: 419
1,992 in my age bracket - that means I was in the top 25% for my old lady age bracket! :P Ha! never would have guessed I could have pulled this off when I started out on PeerTrainer a year and a half ago. nice :-)
[show split times]
Checkpoint Time Pace
5k 0:32:44.440 10:32
10k 1:03:03.470 10:08
15k 1:35:33.400 10:15
Half Finish 2:11:21.750 10:01
Pace (Min/Mi): 10:32
Overall Rank: 2975
Female Rank: 2744
F35-39 Rank: 587
Pace (Min/Mi): 9:45
Overall Rank: 1552
Female Rank: 1382
F35-39 Rank: 321
Pace (Min/Mi): 10:27
Overall Rank: 1833
Female Rank: 1649
F35-39 Rank: 371
Pace (Min/Mi): 9:28
Overall Rank: 2004
Female Rank: 1821
F35-39 Rank: 412