Sunday, November 18, 2012

US Half Marathon Recap

Wow, this post is long overdue - I mean the race was only 2 weeks ago. Where does time go?!

I had the pre-race jitters / extreme excitement the night before the race. Daylight savings time started and I was up to see the 1 o'clock hour happen twice - freaky! Regardless of being up late, I woke up at 5:30 feeling rested and ready to run.


Go! (such a dork)!

Probably one of my favorite things about this race, was that the start was in Aquatic Park - a quick 1 mile walk from my apartment. This meant no dealing with busses or cabs at the crack of dawn. The husband was up until about 3AM playing video games (men!), but was nice enough to wake up early and walk me to the race start (ahh).

I got to Aquatic Park a few minutes before 6:30 and the sun was already rising. The weather was beautiful, but I knew we were in for a scorcher. As much as I LOVE the indian summers here, I would have preferred for it to go away until Monday. I'm used to running in 60ish degree weather, not 75ish degrees. Also, fog would've been nice - not a fan of running in direct sunlight, I'm kind of a vampire like that. Runners in San Francisco are seriously spoiled - almost perfect running weather year round, I can't really complain.


Compared to The Giant Race, I felt like this race was much more organized  I easily found the start line and didn't have to deal with confusing corrals and funky start times - guess that's the advantage of a fairly small race.

The race was set to start at 7:00, I think it started about 10 minutes late. Had to remember to pace my self, i tend to run my fist few miles pretty quick. I was happy to see that my first mile was 9:23, not too fast, not too slow. My goal was to be around 10:00 min miles - BUT someone didn't really look at the course map and the hills, my god, the hills. I mean, I knew we were climbing up to the Golden Gate Bridge, but really, I had no idea we were so many hills on that route. Also, to my surprise the bridge...the bridge is not flat? Say what?! I think dying my hair blonde for the last year really killed some brain cells. What was I thinking?

Look at this chart - up, down, up, down, up, up, up! 

So I'm complaining a lot about the hills, but in all seriousness the course was beautiful! I managed to rip my arm band off and snap a quick pic as I was getting on to the bridge

oooh ah! 

Once getting across the bridge there was a nice little path downhill, but what goes down, must go up...wait. And so the job up the hill began...again, and then back across the bridge. I remember thinking, get me off this #$%& bridge. And then it was over. Did I mention it was really hot out! Well it was. 

Mile 10 (I'm in blue) Thumbs up! 
Photo compliments of a nice spectator that posted to flickr

I was feeling surprisingly good around mile 10, maybe it was the Gu kicking in. My pace picked up for the next 2 miles, which felt great. I was thinking maybe I can PR. But then I hit a wall, the heat was getting to me, I had some hot spots in my shoes, and really - who puts a hill in mile 12. Sigh. I could see the finish line and I gave one last burst of energy to get me through the finish. 

Mile splits

Sadly, I didn't PR. I blame the hills. But I have a 2nd race under my belt. Woo hoo! I collected my medal and awesome new water bottle. The race didn't want to waste thousands of plastic water bottles, so they gave everyone a wicked red reusable bottles and had filling stations just past the finish line. Love this green city! 

Notice red bottle. And that sweet medal around my neck. 

Close up! Take a look at that puppy. 

My awesome hubby was waiting at the finish. I saw him in the stands, he missed my finished, but I was super happy to see him watching for me. 

Finish Time: 2:18:48
Pace: 10:36/mi

After the race I was famished. So naturally, we went to IHOP. All the mom and pop places were crowded, but IHOP, not so bad. I even brought a towel so my sweaty bum wouldn't be sitting directly on the chair. How polite of me. Thankfully, they didn't sit anyone really close to us. I mean, I reached out to take a sip of my chocolate milk and got a whiff of a man who hadn't showered in weeks...oh, wait...that was me. Gross. 

Fruit Crepe...YUM!

I tried to eat healthy, but honestly, I was hungry like 20 minutes later. I had the munchies all day long. So I had my hubby bring me snacks on the couch, while I relaxed with my feet up in compression socks. 

Look at those nasty tan lines. 

Whew! Long post. Hope you made it through. Until next time...

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