Sunday, October 21, 2012

the nike womens 1/2 marathon recap.

i did it!! i got in, traveled there, and ran this awesome race! if you hadnt heard, although if you havent im not sure why, this past weekend i spent a glorious 5 days in san francisco to run the nike womens marathon and 1/2 marathon. the registration process is a lottery and completely random even if you have run the race before youre not an automatic in. you can catch up on all the details and background here if needed:) so lets fast forward to race weekend. if you havent read all about the whole weekend you can do that in part 1 and 2. this one is all about the race baby:)

we stayed in a hotel in not the greatest section of town, but incredibly convenient for race morning. the race started at 7am and i wanted to be out the door by about 530a/545a to get there in plenty of time. there was a starbucks located directly in the lobby that opened promptly at 530a and my family could not have been more excited haha. so after a quick stop there we hopped on the street car outside the hotel almost right away to be greeted by tons of fellow runners! i felt right at home as we jerked along down the street toward union square. we were at the race by about 6a, just when i wanted to be there!

the race was super well organized and had massive towers that told the runners which corral you were in based on time and the color of the bracelet each of us were to wear on race morning. we reached union square about 1 block too close, but it was super easy to walk down to where we needed to be. it was a little chilly outside but great weather for a race and not too cold for spectators. after lots of hugs and pictures i headed into my corral to hit up the porta potties and my family to find their shuttle. 
the wait seemed to fly by and before i knew it was time for the last minute announcements and the star spangled banner. you want 25,000 runners to fall completely our amazing national anthem. everyone stopped mid conversation, took off their hats, placed their hands on their hearts, and turned to the nearest american flag. it was awesome. the end of the song meant it was time to get my garmin going and we were about to start! i was in the 3rd corral to start and you could actually see the start line from where we were standing. we began moving forward and i was able to see me family up on a hill cheering like crazy! i was ready for this. i was trained, fueled, psyched, and had a little bit of sparkle to carry me these 13.1 miles. i was ready for my victory lap!

just after crossing the start line and beginning the bobbing and weaving my garmin lost signal. i have never had that happen and laughed to myself as i thought of my friend jen that it always seemed to happen to on our long runs haha. so i decided i would just go off the stopwatch to keep myself on pace as i crossed each mile marker. the first few miles were pretty flat as we headed to the ferry building and turned left to pier 39 and fishermans wharf. there was still a lot of happening while you kept watch of the ground because it had lots of little holes and raised parts of the sidewalks. i guess a few earthquakes will do that to you haha.
the 1st hills began right on schedule just before mile 3 at the end of fishermans wharf. it was a little bigger than i was expected and i got stuck behind a slow runner which was not so fun. the downhill was actually kinda steep so you couldnt really fly down that one. we turned on to a lot of back roads from there with weird construction. you never really knew where you were because it was so foggy, you couldnt see the bay or the bridge. then with a vengenance came the hills at mile 6 which then continued all the way till mile 10. now let me tell you people, these hills are NO JOKE! holy crap. i did hill training thank goodness, but man were these killer. and then the downhills were still so friggin steep i thought with 1 misstep i was going to take a serious tumble all the way down haha. 

i took my phone for one of the 1st times on the course for my music and it for whatever reason did not like that plan. it kept skipping in the playlists about 30 seconds into each song no matter what settings it was on. so i decided pretty short into it i would have to entertain myself lol. luckily there was A LOT happening on the course. the sidelines almost always had people on them cheering. and they made a really big deal about miles 4 and 11.3 which was also where the spectator shuttle was supposed to drop off your friends and family. i didnt get to mine at mile 4 as they were just loading the buses when i was almost there so i hoped i would just see them at the end instead:) the course support was great and there was even a bra exchange at mile 6! you literally changed out of your sports bra and they gave you a new one on the spot! there was a tent you could change in right there as well. im not sure if you later had to pay for it or what. but there was totally a line!
as we finished off those nasty hills about mile 10 i was ready for some flat land and the finish line. there was no gu on the course which was so weird to me but i did try shot blocks for the 1st time and they were great! we turned into the park at the end (i have no idea the name but it wasnt golden gate park), it was sooo pretty. right before the full marathon/half marathon split i saw my family! they were cheering like crazy and had super fun signs they had got from somewhere. i was feeling really good and was able to pick it up a little bit for the last few miles. 

you could hear the finish line close in the distance but i knew we needed to do a little bit more weaving around before we got there. i was shooting for under 2:13:00 since thats what i did about a year and a half ago on a hilly course as well. as i got closer and closer i realized i could get under 2:10:00 if i kept going at the pace i was at! we passed the 12 mile marker and the smile on my face started getting bigger and bigger. next up was the 20k marker which i thought was the 13 mile marker for some reason and started to just take off! soon i realized i was not crossing the finish line and reeled it in for a few minutes before i finally turned onto finshers alley. the crowd was sooo loud and i really took off this time! i kicked that finish lines ass if i do say so myself:)

i was feeling sooo good and was ready for the most important part of the weekend, the tiffany bling. in case you didnt hear one of the biggest draws of this race is the tiffany necklace (yes really tiffanys) you get as your medal handed out by the san francisco firefighters in tuxedos! they had lots of gorgeous guys all lined up and ready as they funneled us through to grab the bling. we all had our cell phones out ready to take pictures of everything. there were even about 3 firefighters around each silver tray of tiffany boxes in which just about every girl took pictures with in addition to the one with the tray:) omg it was sooo cool! 
1/2 marathon #9 complete!
the coveted box.
see, i wasnt lyin:)
we headed down a little further grabbing some food and our finishers tee while on the lookout for my family. they had to make their way through the park a bit to get to the end. this was actually the 1st time i didnt see them right away. of course none of our cell phones worked cause there were way too many people in a small area trying to use them so i found a sidewalk i could stand on and look. soon they were making their way through the pack and i headed to the photo place to meet them and start standing in line. ::note to future runners-dont open the tiffany box right away. go to the photo opportunity place and take more pictures 1st!:: theres a couple of different backgrounds to choose from so i found the one i liked and we chatted all about the race. as we got closer i started to see a few girl taking some different poses with the gorgeous guys, i of course had to do the same. 

luckily he was sooo super nice and let me take a few pictures...and he smelled really good. jessica wanted to take him home:)
told you he was gorgeous:)
afterward we headed over to the finishers boutique and saw a lot of the same things as the expo. except for the finishers stuff! i didnt see anything i super liked which was good because the line was crazy long. then i found a baby blue 1/2 zip that said finisher on it and knew i would be sad if i didnt. thank goodness my family was totally cool with waiting and the line moved really quickly. plus it gave the boys time to scope out where we needed to go for the shuttle pickup back to the start line lol.
we headed to that line next and i started to get really hungry. the line moved pretty fast, it was a really well organized race i must say, as there were tons of empty buses lined up ready to load as soon as one was full. i was more than ready to sit down once we loaded up and i think we all took a few minute nap on the bus ride back:) when we got back we had a change in plans for breakfast, yes even at almost 12p we still wanted breakfast, and ended up at a great cafe with big portions!

this race was awesome. it was everything i wanted and am so so so glad i was able to finally run it! the whole thing was well organized and flowed really smoothly. the course support was overflowing and there were lots of gorgeous firefighters at the end! trust me, the lottery is worth signing up for:) if you dont believe me, check out the bling...


Richard said...

You did amazing like always :) It meant so much to be there and share that moment with you and everyone. I love you with all my heart

Betsy said...

This race was a blast! Glad you had such much fun. Love the pics. Def gonna have to do this race again in the future.

Megan said...

Love this girl! And such an awesome time on those hills, holy COW! You rock!

PS. Have I said how excited I am I get to semi-sorta race with you in February? :D GIRLS WEEKEND, FTW!

Nicole @ The Marvelous Misadventures of a Foodie said...

Eee! I am giddy just reading your recap! Congratulations on your AMAZING finish time on such a tough hilly course!

I just might have to enter the lottery for this race next year :)

~*katy beth*~ said...

thanks everyone! it was an awesome race and experience:) and yes, enter for next year!

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