Monday, July 30, 2012

Marathon Redemption: San Francisco Marathon Recap

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I think I summed up my feelings about marathon2.0 pretty thoroughly last week... I know the people of the internet machine are really concerned about this, so I want to make sure everyone knows...

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I went with the Glycerine's.

Becka and I had a delicious dinner with ReneighRuns Saturday evening
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Ristorante Umbria - super duper delicious.

Renee gave us some details about the race, including the exciting news that we did not need to spend a freezing hour waiting for a race to start - we could pretty much just show up right before our wave.
Stopped quickly at a giant Walgreens (fresh fruit? sushi? who knew?!), then back to our hotel to get our race stuff together....
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I love personalized bibs.
We set our alarms for the luxuriously late time of 4:57am, and got ready in record fast time. Out the door and walking to the start line by 5:35 - our hotel was super close, and it was pretty chilly, so we were excited for a 10 minute walk to the corrals, and that we had real bathrooms without needing to stand in line!).
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The goal, for me, was to ultimately run a comfortable pace, but not tied to any specific number - more than sticking a pace, I wanted my brain to not quit.

Miles 1-5: 10:55, 11:01, 12:12, 10:49, 11:19
The course starts mostly flat along the Embarcadero, through Fishermans Wharf, next to Ghiradelli Square, up the hill at Fort Mason, then through Crissy Field to the first part of the Golden Gate Bridge.
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Miles 6-10: 13:30, 11:12, 12:17, 10:56, 11:27
Running on the bridge.... amazing. It's crowded, but it's so beautiful! The bridge is so tall. There's water everywhere (duh, I know). It's just great. You should totally try it. It was kind of congested, but not too bad, and we were running carefully anyway - weird slippery grates all over the place, and Renee warned us lots of people face plant. Ha. not us! I saw Paulette running back on the bridge on our way out - I love seeing people at races!

We found for REAL bathrooms at the Marin County side of the bridge, and - UNLIKE IN STUPID SEATTLE - we ran the end of the bridge, a quick turn around at a scenic vista point, and back across the bridge. No lame banked tunnels to navigate. {TAKE NOTE, RNR}.

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Mile 10 ran through some trails overlooking the water, in Baker Beach. Beautiful.

Miles 11-15: 10:13, 12:11, 11:35, 11:59, 11:15
Mile 11-12 were really tough for me - I was worried that all this uphill nonsense was just going to wreck my legs, and I started being legit concerned that I wouldn't be able to finish. I strongly considered dropping at the end of first half, and looked at the marathon/half marathon split sadly when we went the other way.

These miles all ran through Golden Gate Park, which was LOVELY. It was lush, and green, and wildflowers everywhere, and... BUFFALO! I know, who knew, right!? It was really beautiful. I was just over it. I felt like there was sooooo much time in this park. Which is odd, for me, usually I dig that kind of stuff. Who knows.
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I know, so pretty. Gently rolling hills - I think we ran most of most of them. Some we walked parts. I just focused on keeping my brain from stopping.

Miles 16-20: 11:28, 12:25, 10:45, 12:01, 11:38
At mile 17.5, we ran into REAL BATHROOMS. AGAIN! So we took advantage. Somewhere in here was an aid station with BEER. Delicious. I don't really drink beer, but it was the BEST.

16-18 were still in Golden Gate Park. Mile 19 we (finally!) exited the park, and headed out onto Haight!
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This neighborhood was fascinating, and the residents seemed to dig the race running through their area - super fun.

Miles 21-26.47: 11:15, 11:16, 12:33, 11:34, 11:21, 12:22, 9:16
Miles 20-21 were mostly downhill, and STEEP downhill. It definitely seemed to agree with me - I don't know if it was just giddiness that I felt so good at this point, or if there's some sciency stuff about working different muscles or something, but whatever. it was rad.

At mile 23, Becka biofreezed up her knee - I didn't realize it was hurting her, seriously, before - I would have totally eased up on the downhills had I known :(.

Some more awesome locals were giving away PASTRIES. So delicious.

Miles 23-24 are not super scenic, kind of through an industrial area. Mile 25 we ran towards AT&T Park, and the tailgaters were everywhere cooking delicious smelling food. We walked a tiny bit outside of AT&T park until we hit mile 25, and ran it in.
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In full disclosure, my official time is 5:10:xx. I'm not sure where my watch went wonky, because I don't pause in a race, but... whatever. I don't care. I finished and I finished happy.


So, overall, SFM is a GREAT race. The course is really fantastic - I can't imagine why the park bothered me so much, but I'm positive that it's just my brain. Under almost any other circumstance I would have loved it.

The weather was perfect - I wore my arm sleeves the entire race, and never felt overheated at all. I just can't imagine better running weather.

IMO, the first half was dramatically harder than the second half. First half = the bridge and sights of SF. Second half = that park, and all the downhills/flats. Pick your poison, I guess. (Note, I plan on doing the Half it All Challenge ASAP).

My only real complaint, and it's certainly not a big one, was I would have liked more aid stations, and the aid stations seemed to have a tough time keeping cups filled and ready. There were 12 stations which is okay, just my personal preference, because I didn't want to carry my handheld.

And, obviously, I nailed the hell out of my goal.


Unknown said...

Great job!!! Amazing!

Alyssa said...


Wait, wait, WAIT. You ran the friggin' hilliest marathon ever, with such consistent splits, all while taking bathroom and beer and photo breaks? Impressive! And then to have such a massive PR, too!?! BAD EFFIN ASS. Really. I am VERRRRRY IMPRESSSSSSED!!

I'm so glad you loved this race. I am glad you enjoyed this beautiful city. And while I'm sad my weekend was too stupidly hectic & I didn't really get to see many of the people I wanted to see, I hope this inspires you to move here & run here forever and ever. The end.


PS The park probably bothered you because it IS so long & takes up a massive portion of the race. It's hard to run tangents properly while in there, and if you didn't notice offhand, it's slightly uphill for about 3 miles. It LOOKS flat when you're running in it, but it's a drag on your body when you're doing it. it took me a while to figure this one out. :) Deceiving little sucker.

Kerrie said...

Woohooo! Congratulations! So glad you had a better experience this time!

andrea @ theMFDre said...

So proud of you. Awesome job. Way to keep your head in the game!

Average Woman Runner said...

So glad you had a better experience than in Seattle. Definitely sounds like an awesome course - I love SF. My only complaint = the one photo you have of you is cute but we need a better shot of your race day outfit!!

Paulette said...

Yay for SF and for hitting your goals! I was excited to see you guys on the bridge. I'm going half it all next year, excited to check out the 2nd half because I've done the first half two times now. Congrats again on the PR - not to mention only a month after Seattle. Wow.

Unknown said...

Redemption indeed! Glad you chose the Glycerines. I cared.

Unknown said...

Yay! The race sounds amazing. Now I want to run it. Minus the hills.

Karen said...

That race sounds so hilly! Great job on your splits!! :) And a new PR, wow. You rock!

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

Dude, you kicked ASS.

SupermomE13 said...

You SO totally rock. I am crazy impressed. awesome awesome job! :)

Anonymous said...

Way to rock it. Eating a PR for lunch is the best meal, isn't it?

funderson said...

Way to go, mama! And you look freaking great!

Julie16750 said...

Awesome bib, awesome job. Glad your head was on board this time. Congrats on the PR!

Elizabeth said...

Congrats!!! impressed by the number of real bathrooms you found :)

chiara said...

I know it was downhill, but 9:16 mile after mile 20? That's pretty sick. I mean, I could not imagine running a mile 2:00 faster pace than the rest of the marathon even with the downhill.

Congrats on a massive PR!

Celia said...

Congrats on the PR! I did the marathon too. Wasn't it just the best marathon? :)


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