Friday, June 21, 2013

San Francisco Marathon

June 16, 2013

Double race weekend was finally here! I was so excited and nervous as I drove up to San Francisco Saturday morning. Of course I realized as I was driving that I had forgotten the battery for my little camera I was going to carry with me during the race. It was still charging away back at my mom's house! I decided that if I saw a Best Buy or Target just off the highway, before I reached S.F., I would go buy a new one. I've been wanting one for a while anyway. Mine is a few years old and the battery doesn't hold a charge for very long. So, just before S.F. I see a Best Buy in a shopping center to my left. I end up going in and finding a nice camera with tons of battery life and that takes higher resolution pictures for a great price. And it's pink! :)

A few miles after the start.
I head into S.F. after that, finding a parking spot near the running store that is offering shuttle service to the expo. This was more of a sporting goods store. It was huge! 5 floors! I got on a shuttle right away, and a few minutes later, we were at the event. I went for my bib first. Thankfully I looked at it as I was walking away from the table, because the name on it said "Ted". Um, that's not me!! I took it back and got the right bib. Mine said "Go Maniac" :) Next, I headed over to the shirt tables. Not a good sign when no volunteers are at the table for large and xl shirts. I ask a girl at the size small table about the shirts. She said they were out of med, lg and xl! Shirts had run small, so they let people size up the day before. They would mail me one or I could choose a mens shirt. They looked the same, so I got a men's. It fits ok, the sleeves are short though. Next, I walked through the official race gear shop. I bought a visor and a purple shirt with the race logo. Then I headed out to the main shopping area of the expo. Crazyness! I bought a rubber race band with  my future goal time of 4:30. I wasn't going to wear it for this race, but it would be great for a future race to help me set a pace. :) After wandering around a bit and trying samples (I forgot to get lunch!), I headed back outside and caught the shuttle back to the Sports store. I wandered through there a bit and bought a couple of things. They had pretty good prices and they were items I can't get at my local running store. Finally I was able to plug in the address to my hotel and head on over there.

I got checked into my hotel, got everything unpacked and then went in search of food. I walked down to were the race start was, the Ferry terminal building, which has shops and restaurants. I ended up finding a gluten free shop. So, I ordered a sandwich and headed back. Since I didn't have any lunch, I was pretty hungry. I was a little worried about getting enough carbs in, the sandwich was kind of small, so I stopped at McDonalds and got a large order of fries. :)

I enjoyed my dinner while looking out at the great view I had from my room and then went down to the lobby to meet my brother, who was in town from Portland to volunteer the next morning with his dad. It was great seeing him, it's been a couple of years! We went to Walgreens, to buy a pair of long socks for me, which I was going to wear on my arms the next morning. I forgot to bring a pair of arm sleeves. Then we went back to the hotel bar and hung out and talked for a while. Got back to my room and was in bed by 9pm. I didn't sleep very well, so I was feeling pretty tired when I got up at 3:45 the next morning. I went down to the loby to wait for Jeff and the other marathon maniacs staying in the hotel, but they hadn't showed by 4:35, so I walked over to race start by myself. I didn't want to miss the pre race photo! They ended up making it in time for the photo then we all started making our way to the corral area. I had over an hour to wait until my corral was going to start, so I ate my power bar and then stood in line for the porta potty. I then headed to the corral and hung out with a marathon maniac from WA and another lady from Portland, who was on a quest to become a Maniac. It's such a beautiful morning out, clear and cool. No fog at all yet. Finally our corral made the walk to the start line and then we were off!

The first few miles are along the water front. We pass by the Coit Tower on our way to Fisherman's Wharf. Within a couple of miles, we are in the Presidio area and soon, making out way up the first big hill, mile 5. I plan on walking most hills. I don't want my legs to be shot before tomorrows race. We finally get to the top and start running over the Golden Gate bridge. You would think the bridge is flat, but I can feel a slight up hill for a little while. The space is tight for the runners. We have one lane heading over the bridge and the runners coming back have one lane. It gets hard to run around runners at certain spots. finally we make it to the other side and hit a water spot at the Vista Spot, which is mile 7.5. I stop to snap a photo, grab water and a snack and also refill the bottle I am carrying. Then, head back over the bridge.

Heading back over the bridge, we have a slight down hill and then it's right back up again. You can kind of see it in the photo. I plug away, running the flat sections, so that I can walk the up hills. Some of the grates on the bridge are covered with rubber mats. They are not flat, so you have to watch your step when running over them. One woman almost falls on her face right next to me when she trips on a mat. Thankfully she catches herself and is OK. We head off the bridge, turn to the right and then turn left and run up a huge hill! I run a little bit up it, because the water station is just before the middle, walk through the station and to the top of the hill. As we are running back down the other side, I see Jeff and his girlfriend ahead of me. It takes me a while to catch up to them, but I do. They haven't trained for this run, so are walking a lot of it. We wish each other luck and I continue on.

Miles 1 through 10 - 9:07, 9:24, 10:27, 9:39, 9:58, 12:52, 9:55, 10:35, 10:17, 11:05

Cute doggies cheering us along. :)
We then turn away from the coast, heading toward Golden Gate Park. Lots of uphills, with very few downhills. I remember this from the time I ran the half a few years ago. I feel bad for the halfers. The last 3 miles are mostly up hill with a little bit of flatness! We head into the park, where the half marathoners split off. We have a wide road to run on now and a much smaller marathon group of runners. About a mile in, we pass by the start line of the second half marathon. The last corral had just started. So we have the slower runners/walkers on our left. We split from them briefly, when they add a loop, and then join again. We run in the park until mile 19! Finally we pass the finish line of the first half group. I would have loved for someone to toss me a banana. We see the finished runners with their food and mylar blankets. That is no fun!

Miles 11 through 19 - 10:04, 11:59, 11:42, 10:11, 12:41, 12:15, 13:44, 11:05, 13:07

Then, we run down Haight street. Lots of interesting shops there. :) The course is fairly flat for a while, so I am able to run more. But my quads are feeling pretty sore from running all the downhills. I decide to slow the pace more and walk even more. I want to be able to complete the marathon the next day!

I look forward to getting to mile 23. My brother had said he should be between mile 23 and 24. So, for the entire mile, I am looking closely at all the volunteers, but unfortunalty, I don't see him anywhere. :( That was a bummer.

Miles 20 through 24 - 11:59, 12:13, 11:46, 13:04, 14:13

Just past mile 24, we are running along the waterfront again. We pass some cool bands. The rest of the course is flat, so I am trying to run as much as I can, but my legs are hurting! All I can think about are my 110% compression tights waiting for me in my room. Not food, but compression! That's how sore my muscles were feeling!

Soon, I see the AT&T ball park in the distance. We turn to the right, run around the backside of the park and head towards the Bay Bridge, which was near the finish line. I get to the mile 26 sign and take a look at my Garmin. It reads 26.5! I was way off. So rough running a longer distance than 26.2. I used what little kick I had left to run the last quarter of a mile hard, finishing with a big smile on my face. Day 1 was completed!

Miles 25, 26 and .8 - 16:00, 12:57, 8:50

Finish 5:19

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