Weird that this race was just yesterday.
At least once during every race I try to put things into perspective with time. I tell myself that in a couple of hours I’ll be across the finish line or eating something delicious or hugging my boys or relaxing with Andrew or whatever the rest of the day will entail. When I’m in the middle of a race and that darn finish line just seems so far away, I always have to do a little of that.
Now sitting here roughly 36 hours after crossing that finish line it seems like it was so long ago.
Mizuno Harmony Tank, Mizuno Maverick Shorts, Handful Bra, Halo Hairband, Halo Headband, Spibelt, Pro Compression socks (lavender is the sock of the month- use code FUN for 40% off and FREE shipping), Mizuno Wave Sayonara 2 shoes, Polar RC3 GPS and Active Pacific Sunglasses.
The San Francisco Marathon started at 5:30 am so it was an early morning. There were different wave starts and I was in wave 2 with a start time of 5:35 am.
While I was getting ready I made myself a SunButter, banana and chia sandwich on the hotel floor and ate it along with two cups of coffee.
I decided to go for the double Halo action. Sometimes just one Halo isn’t enough.
We stayed at the Hyatt which was just a couple blocks from both the start and the finish. I avoided all the pre race craziness by being able to get ready and go to the bathroom and everything in the hotel room and then just jog right to my wave start. That was so awesome.
I got there just in time to line up,
give Christine a quick hug in person for the first time ever,
get situated a bit
and see the first wave start on their way.
I didn’t take any pictures along the course this time. I thought about it, especially along the Golden Gate Bridge, but I didn’t. My phone stayed in my trusty little Spibelt the entire time.
Going into this race I didn’t really know what to expect. My mileage since Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Marathon has been down a lot and I didn’t do any speed work because of my foot. It had been feeling a lot better the past couple of weeks though so that was a plus. I was also super nervous about the whole dehydration issue. I really didn’t want that to happen again. I had planned on going easy and being cautious.
I started out at around marathon pace and felt pretty comfortable besides my legs feeling a bit tired. The weather was perfect and it wasn’t too crowded since I started with the right wave.
The course was a lot hillier than I remembered. I ran this same race two years ago and it was a game changer for me. I think this race in 2012 made me really fall in love with the marathon. It was my 4th full marathon and something just clicked.
Also, the last time I ran it I was still doing some of my running with the double stroller pushing two heavy toddlers around outside and up hills and such. Since the majority of my training these days is on the treadmill in the early morning hours I wasn’t really ready for those darn hills.
There were a couple big hills before the Golden Gate Bridge around mile 6 and then a couple right after.
You can see the entire course here, but the elevation profile looks a little something like this.
Despite the hills I still felt pretty good at mile 10. My stomach started hurting shortly there after though. I just kept running and decided if I had to stop for an emergency I’d do it, but if it wasn’t an emergency I wasn’t going to make any pit stops.
I had a GU at mile 8 and another one around mile 16 or so. My stomach was feeling better by then, but I could feel myself slowing down with each mile.
I had to start playing the mental games with myself about then.
Things I have to remind myself of in a race when doubt sets in:
How hard I worked to get there.
How I need to give it all I have for my boys and my family. I make them sacrifice a lot so I better bring it when I have the chance.
How lucky I am to even be able to run after the whole hip dysplasia thing.
If this is my last race I can ever run I better make it worth it.
That it is not THAT hard. My body can handle a lot. Losing a loved one or dealing with serious health issues is hard, pushing through a couple hours of a marathon is not THAT hard in comparison to a lot.
I even tried the whole let’s do this for Kitty thing, but it didn’t give me the extra speed I was hoping for. Ha.
I went for my Vega Sport gel at mile 22. I knew I was slowing down and my legs were tired, but I just needed to keep going. I was really waiting for that second wind to come in too, but I’m not sure it ever did.
My shoes came untied twice during the race.. Once for each shoe. I don’t remember when it happened the first time, but the second time it happened there was only 1/2 mile left. That was annoying. And yes, it’s not easy to bend over and tie your shoe quickly at mile 25.5 of a marathon.
It warmed up a bit the last two miles. At least they were flat to the finish. Although I didn’t have any dehydration issues like my last race I was abnormally thirsty the last 5 or so miles. I guzzled as much water as I could at the aid station at mile 24 as soon as one of the volunteers told me it was the last water stop. I’m getting good at double fisting thing at the aid stations. Ha.
I was running alongside this cute gal for a good seven miles or so. Finally she turned to me and said, “Hi. My name is Becky.” I was confused since I’m not much of a race talker, but she said we’d been running together for so long on the course we should probably be friends.
She was right. She was so darn nice. She also left me in the dust after mile 25.
We met up quickly again at the finish line though.
Turns out we have a lot in common and we already have a pact that we’re running this race next year.
So yeah, I got my bootie kicked a little bit with those darn hills, but I have to say I felt pretty good at the end of the race. My foot didn’t hurt, my breathing was fine, I didn’t have any cramping and my stomach cooperated the whole time.
At least I’m still keeping that positive split thing alive.
Seriously though, I really don’t have much to complain about. I think it’s part of our competitive nature though as athletes to always think we should have or could have done better. I’m always harder on myself than I should be at the end of a race. There’s usually always a little part of me that thinks I could have pushed a little more and given more of an effort.
Why the heck do we do that? I know I can’t be the only one.
I was greeted by some pretty cool people at the end of the race.
This shirt was awesome and I really want to get one for Andrew.
Boxed water is better friends.
It was a little weird drinking water out of a carton though.
I love a lot of things about this race. This is such a cool event. It really was just as awesome as I remember it. Among the really cool things are the serious race bling
and the yummy baked goods at the finish line.
I was pretty impressed with the idea of this Hands Free Tape to keep the Heatsheet on. Someone is darn smart.
My man Bart was there too.
He is seriously the coolest. We’ll be seeing him again in just five weeks at The Kauai Marathon.
In case you’re not on instagram, there was also a very special someone at the finish line.
Yep. This guy.
Someone had to bring Flat Kitty down in his backpack.
Seriously though, races where I know that Andrew is there at the end for me are so much more fun to cross the finish line. I’m so lucky to have such an amazing guy putting up with all my silly racing business all the time.
He usually gets a free beer out of it.
It’s the least I can do.
Other highlights at the finish line were a complete Nuun set up
and some chocolate milk. More importantly though was the great photo opportunity for Mom and Dad to take a picture with the Nesquik bunny and send it to the boys.
The Orange Chef Co. even had a table set up.
I had to stop and chat all about my Prep Pad and how I’ve been using it lately.
I also HAD to take this picture.
Vega was there with a little extra motivation.
If they would only be at the end of every race…..
now that would be really awesome.
I wish I did a little better for you San Francisco (and Kitty and Andrew and my family and everyone else), but I’m so thankful for the opportunity.
I’m truly blessed and am thankful that I get to run these amazing races.
I mean really, this is one heck of an amazing dream. If you really want something friends, go after it and make it happen. Never in a million years did I ever think I could or would be doing this.
I learn a little bit more about myself every single race. I get a little closer to figuring out what it is I really want and what my future goals really are.
I’ll be back next year San Francisco.
I mean, we’ll be back next year.
We have to since we have the whole 1977 thing in common.
This race happens to fall within days of our wedding anniversary each year too. It’s like the perfect anniversary racecation.
That’s a wrap. Marathon number 15 in the books.