San Francisco: Day 3 – The Half-Marathon

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

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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)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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FINALLY

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.

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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