Tuesday, August 05, 2008

SF Half Race Report

So the race was fantastic, but that doesn't give a lot of insight or detail, now does it? Here are some of the highlights of the two days surrounding the race:

The Expo was fantastic! In my opinion, it was even better than the Nike Women's Expo last year, but maybe that's because I spend almost 2 hours in line there waiting to have my iPod engraved. There was so much to see and try. My favorite booths were:

Catra and me!

There were seminars at the Expo and I got to hear Dean Karnanzes speak. Good thing I got there 45 minutes early and got a seat, because it was standing room only. He was funny, humble, and his legs looked like anatomy models with every muscle and tendon fully visible. One guy in the back asked if Dean could just come to the back so he could look at his legs!

Saturday night Audrey and I went to Greens in the Marina for dinner. Really yummy vegetarian food, but I started having really bad stomach pain right when we got there (no idea why!) . We had a great time talking and laughing, but by the end of the evening, I just wanted to be curled in the fetal position, and even Pepto Bismol wasn't doing the trick.

Neither of us slept much, and the 4:15 alarm felt very early because it was. But no stomach pain anymore -- hooray! Got dressed and caffeinated and grabbed a taxi to the race start.

Audrey and me before the start of the race.

There was a sweat check at the race start which was wonderful because standing around in SF at 5:00 in the morning, it's cold! But I thought sweat check meant you could toss your bag around mile 1 or 2 -- nope. Means you are supposed to drop your bag off before the start of the race! We were in wave 4 (more about waves in a minute) and thank goodness for the nice spectator man who took our bags to the half marathon drop point within moments of our starting gun!

The wave starts were GREAT! Every 5 minutes, a new group of runners would start, with the full and the first-half people all together. We were in wave 4 (1:45 - 2:00 est finish time) and were able to run right from the start, unlike so many races where you're just trotting along trying not to trip anyone around you.

The first few miles were nice -- lots to see, not too hilly until we entered the Presidio, and again, that wave start thing meant that although there were almost 20,000 runners, you had room to move! At about mile 5 we were approaching the Golden Gate Bridge and I was getting really excited. Running across the bridge really was worth the early start time. It was overcast, but that just made the bridge look mysterious and cool. It was really windy on the bridge, to the point where I was holding onto my hat at times! I think the out and back on the bridge was about 3 miles, so we had time to really enjoy running where most people never can! And they had it set up great: one lane for outgoing runners, one lane for incoming runners, and a "buffer" lane so there was some room between you and the cars.

After the bridge it felt tougher, but nice spectators helped pull us along. There were a few more hills in miles 10 - 12, but nothing crazy like you might think you'd find in a San Francisco course. At this point, Audrey was really digging deep, since she'd only ever run 9 miles as a training run, so this was all new territory! But we kept moving along, with me running a few steps behind her, so as to let her set whatever pace worked for her. Well, FAST was what worked, because we crossed the finish line in 2:00:35 (official time).

Me and Audrey after the race -- all smiles!

We gratefully accepted the shiny post-race blankets (the finish point was the coldest part of the whole race!) and the post-race snacks. And headed back to Audrey's apartment for lovely post-race SHOWERS!!!

After getting my car from the BART station, I had the first of many post-race treats. This one? Diet Pepsi and Cool Ranch Doritos (my lunch of choice in my 30s!). YUM!!!


kara said...

Running over the Golden Gate at dawn sounds magical.
Thanks for sharing.

Irene said...

You both did great! I know what you mean about running from the start. It sounds like the race was well organized.

Thanks for taking me along though song!

Love the Kinesys, too!

Colette said...

I am so thrilled to hear all you got to experience!! The pics are wonderful, and the time with Audrey sounds priceless.

Can you believe that even though I've pretty much grown up in the city, I have NEVER walked accross the Golden Gate bridge?? I have wanted to, but just haven't.

Again, I'm so happy for you!
Thank you for sharing in such detail.

Anonymous said...

Great job Leslie, I don't know if I will ever have the drive to run in SF, the idea of the potential hills scare the crap out of me. Congratulations on a great time!
hugs, stacy

KatieFeldmom said...

Me too Colette .... and I think I've only driven over it once or twice.

So glad that you guys had a good time and your time is amazing!!! Excellent job!!!

Brit-Man said...

Just curious if there was any specific reason for the Caffeine?

As Caffeine Vasoconstricts Bloodvessels, the Heart could potentially have to work extra hard to pump Blood in such conditions, which might not be preferable, especially when it could possibly reduce the amount, of Oxygen replenishment to muscles.

Anyway, WELL DONE again, you did yourself proud, and are a truly inspiring person.

:-) :-).


Anonymous said...

Great work Leslie! Just stopping by to say Hi and Congrats on your race and sounds like the expo was a great time!


*aron* said...

congrats!!!! great race and great report! i ran the full and it was an amazing day!

Running by.... said...

Congrats to you and your niece!!After reading your post, I wish I spent more time at the expo!

You have a great point about running on the GG Bridge, I'll have to stop complaining about that part of the run!


Colette said...

Okay...it's been just about two weeks now.....

Jennifer said...

Wanted to let you know we here in cyberspace miss you. Come back soon.

Anonymous said...

So glad you had such a great run. Sounds like alot of fun. LOVE the pics, you're so beautiful!