Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Running for a Reason

I am dedicating my run at the Born to Run 100 on May 18, 2013 to my good friend Bob, lost to suicide on July 25. If you can contribute, please donate here.

Bob with A (3 months ago)

Monday, July 30, 2012

San Francisco Marathon (Race Recap)

Sunday, July 29
Marathon #13
State #6
San Francisco, CA
Weather - Overcast, mostly perfect

If you recall, my friend died last week. I wasn't sure I was going to end up going to the race at all, so I didn't pack my bag in advance. Friday night a friend of ours hosted a BBQ and I finally found out the services would be AFTER San Fran. However, I had a few beers and by the time I got home, I "packed" and went to bed.

Apparently, I had not set an alarm for my 8:45 am flight. Luckily J had to work and woke me up by saying "what time was your flight?" It was after 6:30 am. I had no time to verify what I packed. I had to get dressed and go. Arrive at the airport, park, grab something to eat, get to the gate as the plane is boarding. I'm AWESOMELY in the very last row. Then a few minutes later, I get re-seated to the 4th row. Stretch seating. Sweet. Only... due to weather in San Fran, our flight is delayed 90 minutes. So we are asked to deplane. It's at that point I decide to check what I packed. It is discovered I brought my running clothes. AND NOTHING ELSE. I have no underwear, no long sleeves, no #magicpants and nothing to change into after the race other than what I am currently wearing. I mean, I guess it is a good thing I managed to get my clothes packed? Luckily J had seen I done a half-ass job of packing and thought to throw my flipbelt, phone charger and camera in the bag. Or I would have be really screwed. Frontier gave us free tv for the super late departure. My luck, the only thing on for the Olympics was table tennis. TABLE TENNIS. I dozed on and off for the flight, and I think I ended up landing around noon.

Did you know San Fran has a super confusing airport? It's true. I was texting Heather to let her know I had arrived. She said to come upstairs to the train. Um. How? I see stairs nowhere. Anyway, after wandering around for 10-15 minutes, I find her, and thanks to her being a genius, she knows exactly what to do to get us to our hotel.

We ride the BART, the noisiest train ever, and then we walk to our hotel in Chinatown. On the way, we stop at the Paul Frank store, where I manage to not buy a thing. We checked into our room. Our teeny tiny room for midgets. Or children. Or possibly dolls. Smallest. Room. Ever.

Worst view ever 

smallest. room. ever.
Then we figured a quick lunch and head to the expo. We stopped at the Lululemon down the street and AMAZINGLY I was able to get a mirage pacesetter skirt in my size. What?? It sold out online the day it was released. SUPER EXCITED. Then we grabbed food at a cute bakery on our walk to the expo. It didn't take too long, and other than knocking over some creepy guys bike, it was uneventful.

Not even sure what was happening here
Expo was the most crowded EVER. We managed NOT to buy anything, but stocked up on Larabars and other random items. On our way out we ran into Libby and chatted a bit about the course. On the way back we had every intention of taking the bus but couldn't figure out how to get on it so we ended up walking back. We got coffee and tried to find bagels for the morning with no luck. Really, Whole Foods? Picked up a new neon yellow wristband at American Apparel (did you know that item is a FINAL SALE?) since I obviously forgot to pack mine.

Got back to the room and tried to get my stuff ready for race day. I took a quick shower, we watched the Olympics (sort of) then we headed to meet... Twitter/blog friend Reneigh for dinner. We went to a super cute Italian restaurant and had the most amazing bread and pasta ever.  (There is a cute picture somewhere on the Internet Machine).

Headed back towards the hotel, but I needed to stop and buy underwear (really). We hit up Ross and then we stopped at the most awesome Walgreens I've ever seen. DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN BUY SUSHI AND STUFFED MUSHROOMS AT WALGREENS? Apparently you cannot buy bagels though. Instead, we got donut holes and a small carrot cake. That's practically the same, right?

More Olympics, some eating, then bed around 9:45.

Race Day
Thanks to the information we got from Reneigh, we knew we didn't have to get to the start line super early. Which was good, because we wanted to sleep late and it was COLD. We were hoping to start in wave 6 (6:12) start, and we got up at 4:47, leaving the room around 5:30. The donut holes were the best ever, but at least I followed it up with a banana. It took us maybe 10 minutes to get to the general start area, but then probably another 10 to actually get into the corral. We literally never stood around and walked right up to the start line and started running.

I was a bit nervous for this race only because my mileage has been reduced dramatically, and I've been having some weirdo aches and pains. Even though it was sort of overcast and chilly, it wasn't too cold that I was whiny about not having gloves or arm sleeves. Pretty comfortable running weather, and we settled into a comfortable pace.

I was hesitant to have a "walk" plan, although there were some hills we planned on at least partially walking. Considering the number of runners, the course was not very congested and we didn't have any trouble running together. I was running holding an Aquafina bottle of nuun. Pretty glad I had that as most of the aid stations were having trouble keeping up with having cups filled for runners. (Minor complaint - SMALLEST CUPS EVER).

The course was pretty, although it was pretty foggy, so it was hard to see all the things. We ran by Libby and then headed up by Ghiradelli Square before heading up to the bridge. The bridge was pretty cool to run on, but it was super narrow and WET. We were pretty cautious as we didn't want to fall. On the other side of the bridge we used REAL BATHROOMS (with no line), then headed back across. Seemed even more congested on the way back. We were still taking it easy and I didn't have any nagging pains, but I was already starting to get hungry!

Look, it's Libby (middle blue tutu)
Hard to tell, but that's the bridge behind me

Example of why I should always wear sunglasses 
Mile 12.5 and I was sorta wishing that we were only doing the half.

We headed into Golden Gate park and right by where the 2nd half started, we were greeted with... BUFFALO!! They were so cute! Heather said she got a bit tired of running in the park, but I enjoyed it. I can't seem to remember the miles, but we did a loop around more of the park and then I think we were around mile 17 and we had to run right by the finish line for the 1st Half. So wrong. I was so hungry and there were all these people eating. It was probably another mile before we had an aid station. Bummer. Somewhere we stopped and used another indoor bathroom, can't remember where we were.

The outside of my right knee really started to hurt around mile 19 or so. I knew we were going to have some flats/downhills on the second half, but it was pretty painful to do the downhills with my knee being all stupid. The interesting thing about this race is that not everyone runs the exact same race. It's true. The police sometimes put up tape and route people onto different streets to ease traffic congestion. As a result, it was never super crowded. It might have been the aid station around mile 20 that had beer. I took two cups. It was glorious.

Aid station at mile 23? I had to slap some Biofreeze on  my knee. I just wanted to be done. By this point, my garmin had died (you know, since I had forgotten to pack the charger) and we were really hoping to finish in about 5:05.

We took some walk breaks, and finally caught up to Dave at mile 25 or so.

Lulu skirts are so dang cute.
There was a home game happening and it got a little crowded...

I had really hoped to run a nice last mile, but my leg was just hurting. Finally, with about a half mile to go, I sucked it up and we ran for the finish. We passed a TON of people in the last quarter mile. Heather said we were running a low 8 pace at the finish. I was never so happy to cross a finish line!

We got our medals and mylar, then got to the food area. Only somewhere we missed all the baked goods. Total bummer because I was starving.

Bib #50029
Overall Place - 4990/6440
Division Place - 308/425
Official Time - 5:10:49
Official Pace - 11:52

We had to walk back to our hotel and amazingly we had enough time to take showers before checkout.

The biggest hill EVER.
 The hotel was willing to hold our bags, so we went out to get lunch. Stopped at an amazing place to get burgers and (sweet potato) fries.

We wandered around by the pier, then took the bus to Ghiradelli Square. We had the most amazing key lime cupcake ever, then we decided we might as well head to the airport.
San Francisco Bridge
Ghiradelli Square
Most giant seagull ever
Ginormous pelican

Heather was in a different terminal, but we had some salad and pizza, watched a bit of the Olympics (synchronized diving), before she had to leave to catch her plane. OF COURSE mine was delayed. It was already bad enough I wasn't scheduled to land until 12:20 am. Flight delayed 30 minutes. I sat next a super chatty girl on the plane so I got NO sleep, and we landed around 12:45. I didn't get home until almost 2:00. Most. Tired. Ever.

Overall, this was a very well organized race, and a beautiful course. I just wish my body had been feeling better.

Week in Review (May 14 - May 20)

Tuesday  (12,837 steps) - Peloton ride before work. I was about 40 minutes into a 45 minute ride when our internet went out. Totally forgot ...