Um, wow. Just … yeah. Wow. I am humbly blown away by the response to my bloggy return. To all of my blog friends, internet-based and real-life, thank you so much for your kind words! I always feel weird reaching out and, you know, not being perfect, so I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all the love.
Okay, sappy stuff over with. I promised a Wipro San Francisco Half Marathon race report, and sweet 8 lb 6 oz baby Jesus help me I will not let my computer eat this one.
Where do I start? I was a beautiful day for a half marathon. Sunny and warm on the East side on the Embarcadero, a friggen’ fog-tastic ice planet of Hoth over in Golden Gate Park. As all SF mornings start out, I suppose.
When I registered Hulk an myself for the race, we had two options: one was to run the first half of the marathon, and the other to (see where this is going?) run the second half of the marathon. The start/finish of the marathon was on the Embarcadero and Howard St, about a mile from our apartment. Since we’d need to shuttle one way or the other, I decided the preferrable option was to shuttle to the second half start line at Golden Gate Park, then walk home after the race. We’d have to wake up a littel earlier to battle the pre-race zombie hoards at the shuttle pick up, but at least we wouldn’t have to stand around on post-race legs waiting with the rest of the post-race zombie hoards for the return shuttle. This turned out to be a fantastic decision. My best one of the whole race experience, for sure. Hulk was impressed by my forthsight.
Anyway, we boarded the shuttle at 7:00 am near our apartment and headed to our 8:15-ish start. Hulk was in the wave in front of me since he’s a big, strong, manly man and much faster than my stubby little legs. So I got to do a lot of standing around alone.
Which made me hungry. And thirsty. And, since Hulk and I are cool kids (not to be confused with smart kids) I didn’t bring food or water or anything with me to the start. By the time my wave started, I was sprinting just to find the first water station. Which was about 4 miles in. And those little dixie cups with about 1/2 oz. of water in them was not doing it for my thirst monster. I pounded about 5 of them as I jousted with the other more prepared runners grabbing their little sips.
Somehow I survived and made it on to the Gu station finally. I grabbed the Gu’s or whatever the voulenteers had in their hands and them in my bra for later. I think I grabbed someone’s phone as well, I’m not sure. Anyway, after a spectator was also handing out full-sized water bottles in the Mission I was able to pound down sufficient water and feel good about life again. That was about 9 miles into it.
The Grant Ave. Lululemon also had a cheer section around mile 8 and were giving out bananas. That was awesome.
I also ran into one of my neighbors (not literally) who was running the second half. That was awesome, too.
Okay, then we came around AT&T park. I had fun at this point, because even though it was around mile 11, this is where we always ran to train so I felt like I was on my home turf. I (kinda) knew where the finish was, so I just cranked it and entered “mantra mode”. I try to forget about everything except making my legs go and I have a couple of phrases I cycle through to keep me focused. I repeat “just go”, “XX miles to go” and “almost there” the way a crazy cat lady repeats her cats’ names. I don’t think I annoyed too many people since by this point everyone is either too comatose to care or I’m passing them anyway.
Then I saw the finish line, sprinted and about tripped on my face, finished anyway, and met up with Hulk who was waiting for me by the medal chute.
As we were herded through the free food line I took a peek at our results. Here was me:
You can’t really read it, but it says right there – 2:21! Woot! My last half was over 2 years ago, and I ran a 2:36. So I was pretty happy that I about cut a minute off my pace. Hulk was a modest rock star, of course. His first running race EVER and he pulled a 1:46. So hot.
And then we walked home. And then we died.
And then we remembered my brother was watching the Squish and we should probably, you know, feed them or something. So it was Super Duper Burger all around!
(Okay, this was from In-n-Out. But I didn’t take a post-race meal picture. Plus I felt the need to squeeze in another Squishy shot somehow.)
In other news, my friend reminded me on Facebook that I am still registered for the North Face challenge in December, since last year’s race was cancelled and I have a free entry this year. I completely forgot about that. So if you are going to ask if I’m doing another race soon, the answer is that I suppose I am.
Conclusion: bring water regardless if you think you’ll need it or not, and no one looks good posing with a “duck face”.