Anyway. Today finds me sore and stiff and walking around like an old lady who needs a walker. And that's because yesterday I ran the inaugural Rock 'n Roll San Francisco Half Marathon. Going into this race, I really didn't expect much from myself. I was actually shittin bricks because I hadn't run a distance longer than 10K, and that was done March 9th for the Nike Women's virtual 10K. I did one 4 miler when I was in Hawaii, and then that was it for running until the 27th. My mileage for the month of March? A whopping 24 miles. That's pretty crappy for training.
The morning started off rough. Of course I couldn't sleep much the night before. Then little man didn't want to get out of bed and I had to wrestle him into his car seat and deal with a crying screaming drive for 25 minutes. Decision made, next time I have a race he's staying home. Oh, and then when I got dropped off, my bib tore off my brand new bib holder. I took all of that as a sign that I would do horribly and be lucky to come in close to my past 2 times of 3 hours.
So, race review. There were 25 corrals. Each corral was pretty small, and had a person with a string dividing them up. I didn't see any corral enforcement at all (saw people who were in the 20+ corrals in the single digit corrals.) It was pretty organized for the most part though.
Anyway, I settled into a comfy warm up pace once I passed the peak of the hill, and felt pretty good. I did like how the wave start resulted in good spacing and less crowding. Until a chick wearing a bright neon yellow sweater and matching shoes decided to run directly into my path. She came up on my side and instantly side stepped in front of me, almost tripping me. What. The. F*#(. That's just rude. I should've pushed her over. That was one of the two times that happened during the race. Cmon, that's just not cool.
The course took us towards the Golden Gate Bridge, and we hit the first hill around mile 3.8. I took most of the hill, and when I was tempted to walk, told myself "it'll take you longer if you walk, just run the bitch." (Sorry, lots of cussing goes through my mind when I'm running.) I did walk some of it so I could make it through the entire race, but that little self pep talk actually helped.
|Perfect area for bands|
When we rounded the corner to the bridge, I was surprised that they didn't actually close off the bridge and we all had to run the sidewalks. That made passing people a little difficult since there isn't a lot of room to maneuver. Then once we got off, in order to make it across to the other side to head back, we had to run down a dirt trail. I wasn't prepared for any kind of trail running so I had to make sure I watched my footing, though I did almost roll my ankle a couple of times. Then we headed up another fierce hill that took the wind out of my sails. At this point I was averaging a 12 minute/mile pace, which would have had me finishing around 2:30, which I was extremely surprised at, and uberly proud of! That is, until I saw the 2:45 pacer right behind me and burst my bubble. So I downed a Gu and tried to get my legs into gear. We were heading back over the bridge and I since I knew I was so close to a super PR (of almost 20 minutes), I got my legs going again and passed the pacer and found my 2nd wind. Until...
We went downhill and headed towards Ft. Point. This is where my Solano team had our NWM preview run back in September, so I was familiar with the route. And I knew we were going to be running on a section that I absolutely dread. The trail between Fort Point and Fort Mason that runs along the water is not paved. It's a sandy/gravely something that always slows me down. The air in my sails deflated, my IT band started screaming, and then I passed the Mile 10 marker. I got a text from my soon to be cousin-in-law that she just finished and she was motivating me to finish strong. I text back "just passed mile 10 it'll be a little bit but see you soon!" I was trying to use the fact that there were only 3.1 miles left in the race to push me along. Mentally I was doing great. I hadn't hit the wall, until that stupid path. Then my calves started cramping up, just like at the Tinker Bell race. But, instead of stopping, I chugged along, knowing if I stopped to stretch out, I wouldn't PR and it would probably make things worse. I really just wanted off that stupid path. If there's another race that runs that path, I'm not doing it (you hear that Giant Race?)
Thoughts that ran through my mind those last 3.1 miles:
- wedding dress - no back fat! (repeat about 10 times)
- PR PR PR PR PR, pass that stupid 2:45 pacer!!!
- food! You get food soon! You can eat as much as you want!
- I need a pretzel. Salt! Salt!
- A spectator yelled "you're almost there!" I wanted to throw a rock at their face.
Then a TNT teammate that I started NWM with found me! We hugged (while running), complained about pain, then she left me because I had to walk. I found my last wind, chugged it up the hill heading to Fort Mason, and passed her. I saw the finish line in the distance (it was only half a mile away but felt like a gabillion miles) and pushed myself to run it in and not stop, even though my calves really really wanted me to. I'm going to hate to see that last marathon foto to see what I looked like! Then I heard the announcer call my name over the mic as I crossed the mat, and then I realized. I finished! AND I PR'D BY A WHOPPING 16 MINUTES!!!! I was so proud of myself!!!
Overall, this race didn't feel like a Rock n Roll race. There were only 2 bands, and one of them was towards the end. Course support was good, the water stations were kept clear and I didn't once feel like I was going to slide through because it was too wet. But there was nothing about the race that made it feel Rock n Roll-ish. They should have had bands set up at least through the grass along the waterfront. And the chocolate milk they handed out at the end did a number on my stomach. So this pic was very fitting:
I had a good race, probably won't run it again unless they improve the RNR vibe, and today I'm rewarding myself. I cooked the family a fatty breakfast of bacon, eggs, rice, and apple streusel pancakes. And then I'm getting a 2 hour massage. Half marathon #3 under my belt, and #4 in less than a month! I got this!
(sorry for the super long post but thanks for reading!)