San Francisco Race Weekend Day 2 - The 1st Half Marathon
Race morning came 3:30 early but we wanted enough time to shower, get dressed, have a decent breakfast and walk to the starting point. I haven’t had such a poor night’s sleep since my very first half marathon. I was still super worried about my back I guess so much so that it cause some insomnia. In the morning the hot shower definitely helped and I was moving around well.
Almost forgot the break to help the feed…so read more and see some great pics of Northern California.
Hubby brought his Jet Boil which is basically a portable stove in our case for heating water for our hot chocolate, coffee and oatmeal. It was super nice to have a hot shower, hot oatmeal and hot chocolate and even a few bananas we picked up at Walgreens when we grabbed some Aleve the day before.
It seemed like we were a bit behind already as we were walking to the Start Line. We saw one of the rail cars going in the opposite direction and made a quick decision to get to the other side of the street and try to catch one to the starting line. Well we were lucky and once again I was so grateful to be able to save my back the walk. Mornings are always a bit rough but we made it. On last stop at the porta potty and I was off to find hubby at our corral.
The event organizers did a great job at running the corral systems and ours took off exactly at 6:12. By the time I was done taking some pictures, I was crossing the starting line at 6:14. The weather was perfect, cloudy and cool and even some heavy mist. Unfortunately it would mean no clear shots of the Golden Gate Bridge.
I decided to start the race with my 2:1 run/walk intervals. However I was being followed by a van and it made me feel stressed so I skipped some intervals and just continued to run at a comfortable pace. To my surprise I was going at a faster pace than I thought and I even imagined just for a second that I might be able to PR. I knew it was unlikely but still nice to imagine.
The race starts along the Embarcadero and continues along the Piers, the same ones we had seen on our rail car ride and then down to Fisherman’s Wharf, alongside the aquatic park and then into Fort Mason. Up till this point the route has been flat. However I am feeling more pain than I thought given that I had taken some meds. I continued on…like I always do.
(First real hill of the course at Fort Mason)
The first hill we encountered was one into Fort Mason and although it is steep it’s relatively short. Lucky for us it leads into a nice downhill and then down to the Marina district.
By this time I am feeling relatively no pain. I seemed to have warmed up nicely. I’m still continuing to hold steady with my 2:1 interval. Soon we encountered a tribute area for fallen soldiers in Crissy Field at the Presidio sponsored by Wear Blue: Run to Remember. It was quite emotional to see the faces of those killed in the line of duty…all just so young.
Before long we are heading up a long hill which will take us to the entrance of the Golden Gate Bridge. There was one traffic lane in each direction for runners. So if a few people walked it became hard to maneuver around and quite tight. There were also steel grates that I thought I might slip on due to the mist. I thought to myself I’m not going to stop and contribute to the problem.
(crappy pic of the entrance to the GG bridge)
One might think the GG bridge is flat but there is a significant hill at the start and it continues gradually till about the middle and then slopes down the other side to the Vista. This would prove to be challenging but I decided if I made it the whole way without stopping I’d do the same on the way back over the bridge. Just before getting to the turn around point I finally saw hubby and waved to him but because it was too crowded I couldn’t take my usual picture of him coming in the opposite direction. So I made it to the Vista area and walked most of it and then headed back over the bridge. The way back was much tougher as my hamstrings were starting to tighten. Just before the end of the bridge grating I saw Crystal and stopped to wish her good luck and to keep going!! I remembered from the course map that once we made it to mile 10 we would have a nice downhill of almost a mile. However they had to throw one more hill in before we made it to Mile 10.
I turned my feet over slowly on this hill and all of them and kept plugging away. Finally we crested the hill and made our way along Baker Beach and then we would head into the Richmond District.
I remembered from the video on the SF marathon site that this area would include rolling hills. They weren’t bad hills really but my hamstrings just continued to be super tight. I was so happy to see the Mile 12 mile marker and Golden Gate park in the distance. Of course this wouldn’t be San Francisco without a few more hills even at the end. I finally made it around one last corner and could see the finish line and luckily there was a slight downhill to the finish. I was so happy to be done. Time was not as good as some half marathons but better than others. Some pics of my garmin screen at brunch and the ocean in Pacifica on our way down to visit family friends in El Granada. I’m already looking forward to coming back next year for the 2nd Half :-)
The next morning we decided to take the coast part of the way home so we could stop at Nepenthe in Big Sur for some lunch. Here are some pics I took during our lunch time visit…just a beautiful day and a great way to end an incredible weekend.
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- becomingkal said: Gorgeous pictures!
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- deanaisfindinghergroove said: Love your pics!
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- lagirlontherun said: Congratulations!
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