Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Race Report: Bay to Breakers 12K (better late than never!)

Following Laura's example, here is my race report for the ING Bay to Breakers 12K that I ran on May 18th, 2008. (Do I win a prize for the most delayed race report?) It's been sitting in my draft folder forever and I just never had a chance to wrap it up... until now!


As I mentioned when I first signed up, Bay to Breakers is a HUGE event in San Francisco. I've heard anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 people participate. For most people, it's a huge party where everyone dresses up in costumes with their friends and booze it up while they walk the 12K as part of one massive parade of nonsense. My friends and I took this approach for six years in a row and always had a blast!

This year, I decided to change things up a bit and actually try running the thing. I wasn't sure how it would go since the race is so packed (with drunk and/or naked people, no less) plus there was that steep hill on Hayes Street. My friends were suprised that I planned to run it - in fact, one of my good friends that did the six previous B2Bs with me even asked, "Do people actually run that?"

Well, I was gonna go find out! Luckily, my friend Renu joined me for the race - her first B2B experience! We decided to dress up as 80's girls - it was the easiest, last minute costume that met our requirements for something lightweight (we were in a heatwave at the time), easy to run in, and cheap!

[Note: This is as far as I got in my original draft ... so the rest of it comes straight from my memory which is why there isn't much info. Oops - sorry!]

B2B is fun but like many other point to point races with a huge number of participants - it is a huge pain to get there and get back. Actually, it's not that bad to get there. But a lot of trains were packed on the way there. It was pretty cool when we finally arrived - you can see huge packs of people in all their crazy costumes. And the floats! People really go out of their way.

We got into our start corral and participated in the tradition of tortilla tossing. You wouldn't think they would hurt but when they smack you in the head, it kind of does!

It took us about 16 minutes to get to the start line after the race started... and then took us a little longer to weave around all the walkers. It was fun to see people's costumes on the course.

(I was a little disturbed by these old folks. I guess I appreciate their "spirit" but I wouldn't want my grandparents running around with these shirts!)

One of the highlights is seeing the running salmon that always run the race from the finish to the start:

After mile 2, we got to the dreaded Hayes Street Hill:

I planned to walk part of it but Renu motivated me to run most of it. It wasn't too bad.

We still saw some fun costumes once we were past the hill, but eventually it got less entertaining when it was just us runners.

The race was still pretty crowded which surprised me since I thought the race was mostly just party people. Unfortunately, there were still a lot of naked runners. Yikes!

It was pretty nice and quiet toward the end and we finally crossed the finish line. We hung around Footstock for a little bit and then eventually got in the crazy long lines for the Muni back to the start. If I ever do this again (which I probably won't), I would definitely try to have a car somewhere near the end. Or arrange for a pick-up.

Official Results:

Distance 12K
Clock Time 1:38:39
Chip Time 1:22:41
Race Pace: 11:06
Overall Place 8162 / 22439
Gender Place 2767 / 11518
Division Place 856 / 3017

To amuse myself, I found the results when I did the party version of this race back in 2002. Here are my results from then:

2002 Bay to Breakers Results:
Clock Time 3:39:03
Race Pace: 29:22
Overall Place 30590 / 31351
Gender Place 15041 / 15501

29:22 race pace??? Is that not the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen or what? I think this can be attributed to making lots of stops to dance on the roofs of people's houses, keg stands (not me, my friends), bathroom breaks, and other nonsense.

As a final "treat", I now present you with a history of my B2B costumes over the years - enjoy!

2001 - The "Pink Slips" : Lay offs were in its hey day at the time... it was hilarious to see a bunch of big guys walking around in pink lingerie (size XXL, of course)!

2002 - Running of the Bulls: My friend and I actually made that paper mache bull that doubled as a large styrofoam cooler for our booze. Labor of love, I tell ya!

2003 - Mr. Personality Rejects: Does anyone remember this show? We actually saw another group that had a similar theme and they even had the host, Monica Lewinsky. (Well, not the real Monica.) Anyway, it was cheap and easy for a last minute costume.

2004 - Doctors and Nurses I had a dance competition that morning so I had to join this one halfway through the course at the panhandle. I learned that B2B isn't quite so fun when you're stone sober and all your friends are drunkity drunk.

2005 - Flight Attendants: I got completely separated from my group at this one and even got lost in Golden Gate park trying to find them once the course was re-routed.

2006 - Schoolgirls: Had fun with my friends but I think we all learned that maybe six in a row are enough B2B experiences for us.

2007 - No B2B for me - had a last minute business trip in Asia instead.

2008 - 80's: Totally rad!

Monday, December 29, 2008

I knew it was gonna hurt...

So I haven't really run or done much of any kind of exercise since the Nike half - which was about two and a half months ago.

Since then, I've been home to Ohio a couple of times for some holiday vacation time, went to Japan on a business trip, and oh yeah, have become obsessed with Twilight :) I know a lot of you get antsy when you're not out there running. Me? Not so much. I definitely like being out there with my Nikes and my Garmin but I also am totally content with being a lazy couch potato. And the traveling has kept me busy as well.

But it is time to get back out there and start rebuilding my running base... especially now that I am eyeing some 2009 races.

I started today and took it nice and easy - 2 miles. I just went out there for a nice enjoyable run with no Garmin or heart rate monitor. The weather was gorgeous so it was great. BUT wow - two measly miles took a beating on me. I was kind of embarrassed but I knew I deserved it. I was panting so heavily at the end of my run - I wish I had worn a HRM just because I was curious how high it went up.

I am glad that I did get back out there again. I just need to keep at it. But I am pretty certain that I will not be doing the KP half in February.

For the lovely ladies that I will be seeing on Wednesday, please take it easy on me. ;)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thoughts for 2009...

Like everyone else, I've been compiling my race list for 2009 for quite awhile now. So although I haven't been actually running, I have been thinking about it - that counts for something, right? (Right?)

First, here is the list of anything and everything that sounded appealing to me...

2009 "Everything but the Kitchen Sink" Race Calendar (blue = bike, green = duathlon) (UPDATE: Just to clarify, I don't plan to do all of these - they are just the master list of race ideas)
  • Feb 1st: KP Half Marathon or 5K
  • March 15th: Emerald Across the Bay 12K
  • March 22nd: Mermaid 5K/10K/Half Marathon - Mountain View, CA
  • April 4th: Cinderella Classic (65 mi)
  • May 17th: Cleveland Half Marathon
  • May 30th: See Jane Run Half Marathon - Alameda
  • June 7th: Mermaid Duathlon - Fremont
  • June 7th: America's Most Beautiful Ride - Lake Tahoe
  • July 12th: LiveStrong - 5K or Bike ride
  • July 19th: Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon
  • July 26th: SF Marathon / Half Marathon / 5K
  • September 27th: Mermaid Duathlon - Santa Cruz
  • October 18th: Nike Women's Half Marathon
  • November 1st: ING NYC Marathon
  • November 14th: Mermaid 5K/10K Run - San Francisco, CA
  • November 15th: Big Sur Half Marathon
  • November 26th: Cleveland Turkey Trot
  • December 6th: California International Marathon
  • January 2010: Goofy Challenge, Walt Disney World

But after the craziness of 2008, I think one of my main goals for 2009 is to simply: s p a c e * m y * r a c e s * o u t ! ! !

Also, I've really only run once since Nike so when I get back to running next week, I'll have to rebuild my base all over again. I might be interested in running the KP half again (especially now that it is chip timed - FINALLY!) but I just don't think a month will be enough training for me to run a decent race.

So here is what I *think* I will shoot for:

2009 Race Targets

  • May 17th: Cleveland Half Marathon
  • June 7th: Mermaid Duathlon - Fremont
  • July 19th: Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon (already registered with Team ROHO!)
  • October 18th: Nike Women's Half Marathon (assuming I get in)
  • November 1st: ING NYC Marathon (*** at least do the lottery to maintain my shot for 2011)
  • December 6th: California International Marathon (goal: sub-5:00 finish which would mean a PR by 25 minutes - shoot for the stars, right???)
  • January 2010: Goofy Challenge, Walt Disney World (goal: finish and have fun)

I might try to squeeze in some 5Ks and bike rides in there as well, but I will just play it by ear.

Looking forward to seeing what everyone else is planning to do!

Monday, December 22, 2008

TIART: A Year in Review and Blogger Meet Up!

Better late than never, right? After a month's absence from my blog (bad Audrey), below is my response to last week's theme from Take It and Run Thursday - A Year in Review in 52 words or less.

2008 Running Highlights (52 words on the dot!)I'm very distraught about the last one because it literally happened this morning - more than two whole months after my last half marathon! I've bruised toenails in the past but they usually just grow out, not fall off! To be honest, I was pretty grossed out. Oh well, at least it's not toe-exposing weather.

In more fun news... I had a blind date Friday night.

... with the awesomely fun Aron, Maritza, and Tara! Let me just tell you, it was so wonderful to meet such great girls that share my love for running (OK, maybe not so much love from me in the last couple of months) and Twilight!!! Is it wrong for adult women to squeal and giggle at a movie? No, I don't think so. If you haven't read the books, just give in to the hype and check them out. You will thank us later. And be sure to get the entire 4-book series, you won't stop at the first one. :)

Here's the four of us at the movies (thanks for the pic Aron!):

These girls are just as nice and fun as they are on their blogs - can't wait to hang out with them more!

Happy holidays everyone!
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