I know this sounds kind of geeky, but I *love* marathon weekends! No, I didn't run in one myself this weekend, but I got to take part in the SF marathon activities Saturday and Sunday and the vibe was awesome! I love all the pre-race excitement and anticipation and the post-race celebration and happiness.
Saturday morning started with an 8 mile hilly run with the Nike club with unusually warm and sunny weather. It was a lot more challenging than some of our previous routes - felt like the hills would never end! Later that afternoon, my friend (KB) and I make a quick stop at Sports Basement and then hung out on Chestnut St for some lunch and walking around.
Later that day, I headed to the SF marathon expo to register for the 5K. I get such a kick out of expo's, mostly to see what freebies are there but I also like to see all the products. Have you guys seen the GasCap?
I don't think it's something that I would personally wear but it's good to know my options for storing fuel. Also, I saw the running shirt with one of my favorite sayings: "This seemed like a good idea three months ago." I'll have to get it next time I tackle a marathon.
They also has this cool thing where you could get your bib screen-printed on a technical shirt. I thought that was a cool idea - and I think it was reasonably priced, maybe $20-30 or so?
I missed the seminar with Dean Karnazes, but I did see him signing autographs and taking pictures at the expo. As soon as I saw him, I knew there would be a pic on Laura's blog - and I was right! :)
I was also able to buy the 2007 SF half marathon shirt for $5. I ran the 2nd half last year but got a size small shirt which fits OK but is a little snug. The medium is just right! Does anyone else struggle with what size to order for the race shirts? You just never know how they'll fit... for example, I got a size small (ladies) for the technical shirt for the Disney marathon and it's a little loose but fits fine. I ordered a ladies' small again for Disney's Women Run the World 15K but that shirt is way too small!
After the expo, I headed back to my friend's place as she was gracious enough to let me crash at her place for the night. We had a yummy salad + ravioli dinner and then I helped her get ready for a night on the town, while I got ready for an early bedtime.
First, I had to make sure all my stuff was out and ready to go for the next morning. The SF marathon used a new timing method this year - it's a "D Tag" that was a strip attached to our bibs which we then attached to our laces.
Seemed to work fine and it was nice to not have to worry about returning a chip.
Race morning went well as I had plenty of time for parking, a potty stop, sweat check, and a quick warm up. The weather was perfect that day for running! Nice and cool and a little overcast.
I ran into one of my Nike pace leaders who is definitely a die hard - she was planning to run the 5K despite being in a car accident yesterday! She didn't appear to be injured but still, that's hardcore.
I was also excited to see two of my friends, JL and TL, who were also running this morning (one was doing the marathon and one was doing the 5K). They had just returned to SF after living two years in London and I was looking forward to catching up with them. Luckily, I spotted TL at the start of the 5K so I got to catch up with him while we waited for the start. They had some kind of weird pre-race event... I couldn't really see but it looked like a guy wearing a mattress was racing a guy in one of the character suits, I think it was a bee or something? I don't remember. But it was kind of funny though to see a running mattress.
Anyway, I'm not sure when the race started because I don't remember hearing anything, just seeing everyone take off. I couldn't even really see the start mat either so I just clicked my Garmin and off I went.
The course is nice and basic. It's all on the Embarcadero so it's pretty much a straight route with two hair pin turns.
I should also mention that there are MUNI trains that run alongside the Embarcadero. Somewhere after mile one, they actually stopped us so that one of the train cars could cross! I couldn't believe it. This is a timed 5K, people!!! It was only one car so it wasn't that bad but I definitely had to jog in place for a bit waiting for that thing to pass. The sad thing is that it almost happened again at another point later on when I was making the second U-turn at the ballpark. Argh...
By the way, while I was running, I definitely could feel the effects from the previous day's run in my legs. Oops. Maybe not the best time to try to set a new 5K PR.
5Ks are so challenging because you really have to push yourself - sure, it's only 3.1 miles but you've got to be ON for those 3 miles. I was definitely getting those "Where is the d^&* finish line?" thoughts after mile 2 - haha. I sprinted as fast as I could one toward the end and the clock read 27 something when I crossed. I knew it was close but I probably did not set a new PR...
Chip Time: 27:41
Place Overall: 227 out of 1088
Women: 86 out of 683
Now, if you have time, please take a look at my personal records listed on the right.
* pause *
I MISSED BEATING MY 5K PR BY FIVE FRICKIN' SECONDS!!!
Bleh. I blame the MUNI car. Ah well, I'm actually still pretty pleased with my results. This might be the only other time I've finished with a sub-9:00 pace.
So after the race, I caught up with TL and after getting our post-race goodies, we went to the finish line to wait for JL. We arrived when the 3:00 marathoners were finishing. One guy was limping to the finish - amazing! And our girl, JL, rocked it out with a 3:23 (WOW) finish! Woo-hoo!
Here's a pic of all of us at the post-race celebration:
(By the way - the post-race party had this pretty good cover band that I got a big kick out of. They played everything from 80's tunes as well as recent stuff, like The Killers. Fun, fun!)
So... I guess I can use this race for the Shave Your 5K challenge. My stubble time was 28:45 so with my shave time of 27:41, I've got a delta of -1:04. I might try again if I find another good 5K this year. Next time I run one though, I will make sure to do it with "fresh" legs.
On a final note, congratulations to JL, Laura, Lam, Aron, and Julianne on their fabulous marathon finishes!