San Francisco: Day 3 – The Half-Marathon

Check out where I shopped and what I ate before you read about how I raced!


It’s here, it’s finally race day. Decked out in my favorite reebok capris, sparkle skirt, lululemon tank, TNT tank and of course no outfit is complete without a sparkly soul headband or garmin ;)

I may have a big smile on my gave but I was a wreck. My sister made me coffee while I showered and dressed. I drank about half a cup and choked down an english muffin with some peanut butter. I met the rest of my Team In Training group in the hotel lobby, we took some group photos and headed to the start corrals together. I took a banana with me so that I could have something to eat, but ended up eating it before we left the hotel. We got into the corrals around 6ish, the race didn’t start until 7 am.

Let me start by saying, I did have race goals, ones that I kept to myself, the first was to finish and be happy, but what I really wanted was to finish in the same time as my first half or PR. So when I bird pooped on my head on Friday I thought, hey this race is going to be awesome and I am going to ROCK IT.

Unfortunately, this is not a happy tale. As I mentioned before we went to our start corrals about an hour before the race started and because it was such a large race and my corral was so far back, it took our group about 30 minutes to even cross the start line. I ended up starting my fuel earlier than I usually do.

The race started in Union Square and made its way down towards the Embarcadero and the Marina, Christine managed to find me in the crowd and I actually heard her, thanks for the encouragement! The first 4 miles were relatively flat and I was under my goal pace for those miles, but I still felt like I was not really pushing myself, I wanted some energy in the tank for the hard miles.

I made a bathroom stop around mile 3 and around mile 3.5-4 was the first big hill, but I just powered through it and got to the top, I saw my sister at mile 4…(sorry to anyone I sent this too, she took this pic at mile 4 NOT the finish line)


I wish I had remembered to grab the extra fuel that I packed for her to take but I forgot, problem #2. I had my fuel around mile 4.5 – 5, these areas were fairly flat, I remembered that there were going to be shot bloks at the aid stations so I thought I would be okay. Mile 6 was were it started to take a turn for the worse. It was a winding hill that I thought was going to never end. I trained on some hills but they were nothing compared to this. I ended up power walking about halfway through, but I was starting to feel woozy at the top. I started walking when it flattened out and grabbed as much water and nuun as I could carry and hoped that I was dehydrated, but the fluid was not helping either. Around mile 8 a girl that I talked to earlier in the race noticed that I had slowed down, and maybe saw the desperate look on my face. She offered me a pack of sports beans, black cherry flavor, and I was so grateful, I wish I had caught her name or something, she saved me from a DNF, I am quite certain.


This is what desperation looks like

I call mile 8 – 9.5 my dark miles. These are the ones I was alone and all I wanted to do was quit. It was an internal battle. I started secondary fuel way too late and I just wouldn’t be able to recover. Which meant walking the last 5 miles, I ended up on my feet for much longer than I ever had been before and that really hurt my knees and hips.

I was texting my sister and told her that she was going to have to wait longer than we had anticipated, but she was awesome.


Honestly, I was not feeling it, I just wanted to finish. My time was 03:56:45, a full 38 minutes slower than my first half-marathon. I ran through the finish line, determined to have a smile on my face, it didn’t hurt that the commentators were discussing my awesome sparkle skirt over the speakers.



I grabbed my necklace, finishers T, food and bag! I just wanted to eat and go shower, so I only stuck around long enough to snag the last long sleeved 13.1 finishers shirt.


Caty and I hopped on to the TNT shuttle back to our hotel and showered & changed then proceeded to Boudin and Ghiradelli for my post-race treats, and unfortunately I forgot my ID so no post-race beer for me

23 thoughts on “San Francisco: Day 3 – The Half-Marathon

  1. for starters let me say i love your outfit you look so cute!!! I know this is one tough race, I remember doing it a few years ago so even though you may not have hit the time you want, remember you still had the guts to finish!!

  2. Way to power through and not give up! That was a hard course! How awesome of your sister to be such a great supporter! I need to write my race recap! It's def a race that I would like to do again!

  3. Great job! This course is no joke, seriously. i ran it last year, and am bummed that I missed it this year. i am determined to get revenge on that course in the next few years!

  4. Thanks Betsy! Sorry we never got the chance to meet up. How'd the bf do with spectating? Was he able to get a good spot? I def want to do it again too. Revenge haha.

  5. Races can be so unpredictable the longer they are, way to push through such a tough one! Starting 30 minutes late would definitely affect fueling strategies, and that sounds like a really tough, hilly course. Congrats on completing another half!

  6. Ahhh Kelly! Seeing those texts from your sis warmed my heart. What a gem! I'm so proud of you for finishing the race and it's so awesome that the fellow racer gave you that fuel you so desperately needed. Talk about a brush with fate – you were meant to fnish the race, no matter what the speed! You're such a champ and we all have good and bad workouts. I'm juts in such admiration that you have done two halves. The farthest I've ever run is 8 miles once and I can't imagine the hard work you had to put in to train and run those two races. You're an inspiration and also a cutie in that sparkly skirt. Love the pic of you and Luke. You're #AmazingKelly!

  7. I just came across your blog and have to tell you that I am proud of you. My half marathon time is 3:24 or something. My goal this weekend is to beat that. But that's besides the point. I went through what you did when I ran a half earlier this year. I wanted to quit *SO* bad. At mile 8 or 9 I was just done. I had tears in my eyes, I didn't care, I wanted to be done. DNF I didn't care. I get it. But pulling through and keeping on, when everything in us is telling us to quit, is what makes us awesome.

    I have some demons from the NWM 2005 race, one day I'll go back and beat them. And I can't wait to hear about when you do!

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