The way to run a successful half-marathon is not to walk more than 25 miles while sightseeing throughout the week before. Thankfully things still worked out in the end. 🙂
Race morning dawned bright and early. I had everything laid out ahead of time including a map of the directions I needed to get to the shuttle busses to the second half start. (Dad didn’t come with him. He walked to the finish line a couple hours later.)
I was more than a little nervous as I headed outside, walking the mile to the shuttle location on my own. I kept looking for other runners to confirm that I was heading the right direction.
When I got to Embarcadero I couldn’t believe that waves 7 and 8 for the Full and 1st Half still hadn’t started yet. I kept walking and started to wonder where Mission and Steuart (and the shuttle busses) was. When I turned around I realized that I was on Embarcadero, not Mission. Silly me.
I enjoyed the bus ride over, though some of us wondered when it would end when the bus ended up going around the entirety of Golden Gate Park before letting us out.
Immediately upon exiting I stepped into the extra long porto-potty line.
(sorry to whoever’s backside is prominently displayed in the picture…it wasn’t intentional)
I had an hour before my wave started so I wasn’t about to force myself to take a pit stop during the race like last year.
I waited for wave 4 to start at what I thought was the front of the corral.
The only negative thing I have to say about the race concerns the corrals. Unlike the 1st Half and Full these corrals were open. I don’t know if that’s how they were supposed to be. I wish I had know where the start of the wave was because I ended up further back than I wanted and had to run at just under a 10 minute mile pace for the first couple miles until I was able to get around the slower runners.
The only goal I had for this race was to run it faster than last year when I was coming of only a few weeks of training after 3 weeks off due to travel. I avoided looking at my Garmin and kept running at a comfortable pace.
I kept expecting to start feeling tired and for my pace to fall off. That didn’t happen. If I hadn’t walked every other mile to eat a couple chomps I’m pretty sure that I would have had negative splits or close to it.
Along the way I enjoyed not only the sights but also the signs. My favorite? “That wasn’t a Cliff bar it was a ‘special’ brownie. Welcome the Haight/Ashbury!”
As we approached AT & T Park I started picking up the speed. I found it amusing that I ran around half the park on the outside after walking around the iside of the park before the game two days ago.
Then came Embarcadero and the finish. I started looking for Dad and positioned myself on the left side so he could get a clear shot. When I finally saw him he wasn’t looking up so I had to shout “Dad” to get his attention. He was ready, not for a front shot but for one as I ran by.
I couldn’t believe that I had enough left in my legs to power through the last .29 (I definitely did not run the tangents) at a 7:24 pace.
I made my way slowly through the mass of finishers to the Half It All Challenge tent. I couldn’t wait to grab that big medal. I remember last year looking longingly at all the big medals, both Half It All and Full. Now I have my own.
After meeting up with Dad at the Ferry Building I headed in to change while he waited in line at Blue Bottle Coffee for my mocha.
Job well done Wipro San Francisco Marathon. I can’t wait to do the whole thing again next year!