Home again! What a great weekend at the San Francisco Marathon! The hubby and I had an entire "date weekend" after dropping the kiddles off at Grandma and Grandpa's. Woohoo!!! It was much overdue and I can't tell you how much we enjoyed ourselves. We started with some tasty "cow" at Fog City Diner on our way to the expo set up...we even enjoyed a glass of champagne (counter productive to expo set up!). Delicious and nutritious :-P We celebrated each night with an exquisite dinner out. My favorite was Boulevard where we had a forbidden encounter with a scrumptious basket of bread and some fabulous wine.
The San Francisco Marathon Expo was located at Pier 30/32 on the Embarcadero. It was a great venue with a nice layout. Bart Yasso's booth was right around the corner and we enjoyed watching the hoards of runners lining up for signed copies of his great new book "My life on the run". We had a super busy expo and it was great to meet all the Bay Area runners. I especially enjoyed working with one of our favorite "skirts" Glorybelle Lillie. Glorybelle, THANK YOU! Your rocked the RunningSkirts.com booth and you rocked the SF Marathon! You definately are a speedy skirt!
After two very busy expo days on my feet I took Cindy's advice and "indulged" in an icebath. We had room service bring up 4 buckets of ice, not to mention the water was already icy cold, and I settled in for my 10 minutes of torture. AAAaaaaagggggghhhhhh.....IIIIIII hhhhhaaaatttttteeeee iiiiicccceeebbbaaatthththththhhhhhhssssss! The torture! Once my dues were paid I popped into a nice hot super long shower and then crawled into bed and ordered up some room service. In hind sight Vietnamese cuisine is probably not the best pre-race meal. duh! We were staying at the Clift Hotel though and Asia de Cuba was the room service restaurant and I was so exhausted after 2 days of busy expo that I couldn't muster up the energy to blowdry and put on makeup. I would just so much rather get the extra much needed z's. I scarfed down my meals (yes plural...couldn't decide what to order) of Calimari Salad, Salmon (another one of Cindy's pre-race recommendations) and some baked plantain fries. Delicious but uuugh...full belly ache.
Wake up call came at 4:15 am although it was a pretty restless night. I forgot how loud it is in the theater district! There must have been 4 murders and 10 fires because there were sirens all night long! Anyway it was still very dark when I made my way to the huddles of the race start. I was sporting my CamoAqua Running Skirt and matching Tank and a fabulous pair of navy blue gloves...thank you Gypsy Runner! It was a bit chilly standing around waiting for the start but I made my way to the portapotty lines where it was substantially warmer. The lines were long and slow going and I had to scramble to find the Wave 2 start in time.
It was still very dark when the race started and I was wondering if I had made a bad decision choosing the First Half. I was looking forward to running over the Golden Gate and that was the specific reason I chose the hilly half and now I was realizing it might be dark. The race started good. I was running a little faster than planned for the first mile but it felt fine and my Garmin was telling me it was a 22 minute pace. My garmin stinks! I have got to upgrade to a new model! I overheard someone behind me say there were 3 big hills. I logged this in my brain and carried on. The first hill was a doosy going up the presidio to the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a little bigger than expected and the legs were pretty tired at the top but I knew I had made it to the bridge so all was well.
The first half of the bridge was a big long uphill climb....it seemed to climb upward forever before leveling out for a second and then scooping down. It was super windy too...I didn't even think about the wind factor. It was a lot of fun having those huge gusts of wind at your back...weeeee. It was a different story though with the head winds. Yikes. I was blowing all over that bridge. It was the funniest thing and I was just laughing out loud as I blew side to side with the gusts of wind. I came close to blowing right into the oncoming runners. At this point I knew it wasn't going to be a pr day. Then I saw Bart Yasso. He high fived me and yelled out "good job". How cool...I was running over the Golden Gate Bridge while high-fiving Bart Yasso. In a runner's world, does it get any better that that? It was definately a highlight of my race. That, and I actually kicked a pigeon. It flew out of nowhere and landed right in front of my foot. It was so random and weird. There was not a lot of time to react and I thought it would move but it didn't so it got one of my new Mizuno's right in the hooha. Sorry little guy!
After running over the bridge we had a nice downhill into the Presidio. I love downhill! But I knew there was another hill to climb through the Presidio so I took it easy. That hill was a beast. I think it was a 10:45 on my Garmin...uuuughh. Should have done some hill repeats! Duh! There were a lot of people walking up it in front of me and that's not a good sign. I did make it to the top without walking (took all the mental power I had left) and then I realized I had just mounted 3 of 3 hills. (wrong!) I sped up to enjoy the last 4 miles of "downhill" finish. Weeee I love downhill and I picked up the pace. I passed a lot of other runners and I was wondering why none of them were picking up the downhill pace. Stupid! I should have known something was up. After turning a corner I see all the runners in front of me climbing another nice steep hill with no plateau in sight. Oh jeez...I thought it was a downhill finish. Well it wasn't. It was one climb after another.
By mile 10 I started having some stomach issues. Oh no. I think I have to go! I started scanning the route for portapottys because I was now in dire need. I've heard about situations like this from Cindy. She refers to it as the "goo poo's". I was trying out the new Gu Roctane and I'm thinking that might have been my problem. That or the Vietnamese food for dinner last night. Once I got up to the top of the latest hill though it seemed to subside. Then I saw a portapotty and thought about stopping for a second. No, I can make it. I feel better now and if I don't stop it just might be a pr day. Then another climb...and another stomach cramp. Yikes...should have stopped. Oh No! I was now scanning the neighborhood sidewalks for a makeshift "portapotty". I was freaking out that I was going to have one of those "lifes most embarassing moments" Paula Radcliffe style. This was such a huge distraction to my race. All I could think about was that I was going to have to go and it wasn't going to be pretty. Where are the portolets when you really need them and why didn't I stop at that last one?!
Then we turned into the park. I knew it was the home stretch and that I would make it, hopefully, across the finish line where I could dart off to a beautiful blue box. Whew! I sprinted it in passing everyone near me, not out of competitiveness, but out of the sheer urgency of my situation. I heard the announcer yell out "Christy Baker from Cardiff by the Sea" and I smiled inside because I knew I was finished and I knew it was a PR. Thank you God for letting me finish this race with my dignity intact. Of course, once I got through the shoot my stomach was fine.
All in all though I really enjoyed this race. The scenery was beautiful, the weather was perfect and it was a fun, challenging course.
mile 1 7:45
mile 2 7:29
mile 3 7:36
mile 4 7:39
mile 5 7:40
mile 6 8:25
mile 7 7:23
mile 8 7:33
mile 9 7:40
mile 10 10:46
mile 11 4:22 ?
mile 12 8:13
mile 13 7:17
mile 13.2 1:33