Race Recap: Nike Women’s Half-Marathon SF

nike women's half marathon | almost getting it together

When I put two and two together that I would be in San Francisco during Nike Women’s Half-Marathon SF I knew I had to somehow get a bib. I get race envy and would just be annoyed looking at Instagram all weekend if I didn’t run it. Nike doesn’t let you transfer registration blah blah blah, but with a quick Google search (*cough* at the bar Sunday night *cough*), I found someone selling theirs and had a bib for the race this weekend (maybe something I should consider for SeaWheeze next year since I just completely forgot about registration).

I absolutely loved Nike Women’s Half-Marathon DC. Things in my life were at a completely different stage six months ago for that race than they are now so maybe that was part of it. Also, Nike races are amazingly well produced and the gear is the cutest. Oh, and Tiffany’s medals. So I knew I wanted to run Nike Women’s Half-Marathon SF but when registration opened in May, I just didn’t know where I would be in my life in October (irony) and knew I wanted to do a fall marathon (more irony) so I didn’t apply.

nike women's half marathon | almost getting it together

I totally bought more Nike gear I don’t need this weekend.

This race was basically the same, production wise. There was an amazing expotique (I didn’t have to pick up my bib so I just did a quick run-through to try and change my pace bracelet… no luck, but more on that later), finisher’s celebration, etc. etc. Shalane Flannigan was there (again). I thought about asking her for a picture when I walked by her Sunday morning but then also felt weird about it. She is so pretty in real life and just has this really strangely calm energy about her.

I always want to PR but also wanted to focus on just running a race to have fun, not to feel disappointed at the end. I had a lot on my mind, had spent the past two-ish weeks crying every day about something and oh yeah, trying to find an apartment in SF is a nightmare. Emily texted me to say good luck (and more importantly to have fun) and after chatting with her while walking from the hotel to Union Square, I got in the “have fun” mindset.

nike women's half marathon | almost getting it together

I just can’t with all the branding. Too cute.

The girl whose bib I bought was in the 10:00-10:59 corral but I needed to be in the 8:00-8:59 minute corral. I spent a lot of time feeling bummed about them not letting me move forward (when you’re stressed you focus on the. dumbest. shit) but on Sunday morning, I just walked in the 8:00 corral and no one stopped me.

The course was really great and I wanted to use this race to a) get a long run in for the week b) check out some running routes in my new city and c) have fun. It started in Union Square, through the Tenderloin, Alamo Square and into Golden Gate Park. From there, you run through Richmond, into the Presidio, past Chrissy Field and into the Marina Green, AKA my new backyard. My dad and I joked that if I run it next year I’ll be able to walk home.

The temperature was perfect (duh, it’s SF the temp is always perfect) but it was super foggy out. I felt really good starting out and also noticed that other people who should not have been in the 8:00 corral were in the 8:00 corral. People, please – go to the pace corral you should be running in. It’s net time, not gun time, so please please stop making everyone weave around you when you stop to walk 1/2 mile in.

Around mile two I spotted the 1:50 pace group. I ran a couple miles with them but then fell back… I was watching my watch and their pace was a little aggressive (now I know why) and I didn’t want to kill myself knowing there were some intense hills near the end of the race.

So, since I didn’t have my name on a bib I couldn’t look up my time (totally forgot to look up my bib number and threw it out!), I went by my watch. According to my watch, the course was 13.29 miles (and I noticed a lot of photos tagged with #werunsf also had that magic 13.3 number…) and I ran that distance in 1:52:07, so a PR of 50 seconds or so. It was an 8:26 pace which I was happy about.

nike women's half marathon | almost getting it together

Stretch area at the end of the race where I kind of half-ass foam rolled for a couple minutes.

Most of my miles were low 8:10s and 8:20s, one sub-8, and then two slower miles: a 9:24 on mile 11 with that insane hill in the Presidio (which would have been beautiful if the fog had burned off by then) and then my last mile was an 8:38 because I was just so beat by mile 11.

MORE IMPORTANTLY: I had fun. I was smiling most of the race, even on that awful hill in the Presidio (Ragnar DC, you taught me well). I think I hit that runner’s high. So this year out of five races (not counting the AEO 5K I ran a PR in – 24:59 haha), I really only had one race I was miserable during (minus the last three miles of Pittsburgh due to my hangover).

It was weird though… I was so happy about my PR but not elated like I was at the end of DC. It didn’t even feel too special to me after the race. I kind of just went through the motions then went to find my dad once I finished. I didn’t take many photos or even any of me post-race (but I looked terrible). I just got up that morning, didn’t overthink anything and ran. I don’t know if I’m just so used to races now (this was my 11th half-marathon and 4th this year) or if I was just so preoccupied with everything else going on in my life that the sparkle was gone. Really hoping it’s the later.

A note though: I was really sore Tuesday. Monday I felt okay, went to yoga to stretch out, thought I was fine. Tuesday, DOMs set in and hard. My recovery run Wednesday hurt until about two miles in (but all of my runs hurt until two miles in, let’s be real).

Chat with me:
Do amazing things ever begin to feel routine to you? Have you ever run a Nike race? (You should.) What things do you get envious if you’re missing out on?

40 comments on “Race Recap: Nike Women’s Half-Marathon SF

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Susie @ SuzLyfe on October 23, 2014 7:14 am

I know what you mean. I go and do half marathons and they are like “easy” runs. It’s like, WHO AM I. Great job, though. Maybe your euphoria is like DOMS and just delayed.
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Cassie on October 23, 2014 8:53 am

Hahaha I love that you understand where I’m coming from… sometimes I feel like such an asshole for thinking that!

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Tina Muir on October 23, 2014 7:32 am

YAY! You know what?! As much as I enjoyed reading that you ran well, and felt good. I am mostly happy because you enjoyed it! That is how a race should be! Very impressive though lovely, and a great welcome into San Fran! I look forward to many more, especially once things calm down for you! Here if you need me :)
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Cassie on October 23, 2014 8:52 am

Yes, thank you my dear!! I am just waiting for you to come and run a race in SF so I can cheer you on!!

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Heather @Fit n Cookies on October 23, 2014 7:47 am

I would love to run a Nike race, mostly for the necklace ;) I am so glad you had fun during the race. With all your changes happening, I think it was perfect to get a long run in, in the form of a race. Your time was great! I hate when races are longer, though. It’s always a huge bummer.
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Cassie on October 23, 2014 8:51 am

So you know what that means?? Maybe you come to SF and run it with me next year??? xo

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genevieve @ gratitude & greens on October 23, 2014 9:51 am

You go girl! I’m still working on building endurance, but would love to run a half marathon one day!
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Emily @ Sweets and Beets on October 23, 2014 10:07 am

That is so fun! I think you have a lot of emotions/energy pent up about the move — always fuels the best runs! :) And I agree with you — some races are more about the experience than the time or whatever. Someday I’ll do a Nike race.. my girl Tiffany ;)
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Chris on October 23, 2014 11:13 am

So, you were in town and you just casually (drunkenly?) decided to run a half marathon?? You runner people amaze me. Like seriously, I’d have to train for forever to run that far. Running doesn’t appeal to me at all, but that’s really awesome for those of you that can go out and crush it like that. Congrats on the PR and awesome way to get to know the lay of your new land! =)
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Justine Y on October 23, 2014 12:02 pm

That race sounds awesome! I have always wanted to a half marathon, but so far have only accomplished 5ks, lol. Someday!
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Cassie on October 24, 2014 9:22 am

You can definitely do a half-marathon… I used to do 5Ks (in high school) and NEVER imagined running half-marathons so casually!!

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Ange @ Cowgirl Runs on October 23, 2014 1:02 pm

SeaWheeze is BRUTAL on transfers. You’d need to grab a bib from someone after they’ve picked it up because you need to show physical ID even if you’re picking a package up FOR someone.
I get not wanting to do transfers, but that’s just cray. BUT if you do come, I’ll be there!!
Nike SF and Nike DC are both on me “to run” list. One year!
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Cassie on October 24, 2014 9:21 am

Come run SF next year!! Also that is craziness for the bib. I feel like part of it is all the cute stuff you get, too… I wish I hadn’t totally blanked on the registration day!

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Kelly on October 23, 2014 1:09 pm

Great job! I bought a bib from someone off of Craiglist for the Army 10 Miler :) I’m so upset Nike won’t be in DC this year for the half marathon!! I went the first year they had it here in DC but, I guess this is a good reason to travel to San Francisco :)
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Cassie on October 24, 2014 9:20 am

Yes, and they are going to do another race somewhere else… they have something sneaky in the works, I think!

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Catalina @ Shades of Pink on October 23, 2014 1:58 pm

I am still in physical therapy due to “runner’s knee”, but I can’t wait to get better and start running. Great job!

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Jo @ Living Mint Green on October 23, 2014 2:22 pm

Well done, friend! I would absolutely LOVE to do a Nike race… they’re pretty much my fav brand. Maybe next year we could run a race in SF together? And/or Vancouver? Can we hold hands & laugh during?
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Cassie on October 24, 2014 9:18 am

Yes X a million.

I would have to run faster to keep up with you so you mightttt be pulling me along :)

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Elizabeth on October 23, 2014 2:44 pm

A Nike Women’s Half (Seawheeze too!) has been my running wish list for a while — perhaps next year? I’ve been sidelined with an injury which is making me sort of an envious beast… but I am hoping when I’m back on the road soon that I’ll be extra grateful for any and all chances to run. ;-)
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Cassie on October 24, 2014 9:18 am

Definitely work towards rehabbing for a Nike race… so much fun!

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Kaitlin on October 23, 2014 3:00 pm

I love the SF Nike race!! Such a great way to explore the city and hey, the perks aren’t half bad ;)
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Cassie on October 24, 2014 9:16 am

The perks are SO GOOD!! I think it’s definitely worth the money, especially since some of it goes to the Lymphomia society!

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Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on October 23, 2014 3:51 pm

Way to go on this race! That is an awesome time!
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Cassie on October 24, 2014 9:15 am

Thank you!!

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Jessica on October 23, 2014 7:51 pm

Does it count if I’M still impressed by your accomplishment? :)

I’ve never done a race, but I plan on training for my first 10K postpartum. I don’t think I’ll ever be a runner, but I do enjoy running, which is good enough reason for me to look into some kind of organized event.
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Cassie on October 24, 2014 9:13 am

If you enjoy running you’re a runner!!! I definitely think you would enjoy a 10K, it’s a great distance.

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Matt on October 23, 2014 8:18 pm

Awesome race!

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Cassie on October 24, 2014 9:13 am

Thank you!

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Jessie on October 23, 2014 10:30 pm

“MORE IMPORTANTLY: I had fun” … best sentence of the whole post. I’m glad you didn’t put a significant amt of pressure on you & just went w/it.. and even scored a 50 second PR.
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Cassie on October 24, 2014 9:13 am

Thanks girlie!! I think no pressure = more fun!

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Kay @ Kay Bueno on October 24, 2014 12:41 am

Damn girl. Even if you don’t care about your PR, killer race.

The Nike one looks awesome. I was considering doing it, but I’m not at the “easy half marathon” stage yet. (One day please omg)

I’m doing Seawheeze next year, and you should totally figure out a transfer situation. It was so beautiful. And Vancouver is like, the easiest flight from SF ever. Ever. EVER.
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Cassie on October 24, 2014 9:10 am

Yes… I definitely need to figure that out. AND I’ve always wanted to visit Vancouver!!

[…] This week, I lamented on how running a half-marathon felt like NBD and felt guilty because this big experience just felt… ordinary. (And, side note, the same […]

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Kelly Cote on October 24, 2014 8:56 am

Wow, I’ve never ran a Nike race, but I’d definitely want to in the future. Also never done a 1/2 marathon, but it’s on the bucket list for sure! Nike races sound so awesome. Thanks for posting.
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Cassie on October 24, 2014 9:10 am

A Nike race would honestly be a great first half-marathon!

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Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health on October 30, 2014 5:29 pm

You did awesome! Congrats!
Those shoes are too freakin’ cute…darn Nike. Now I want to go shopping!
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Sarah on November 2, 2014 2:54 pm

Absolutely inspiring. I would love those run times!
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Cassie on November 3, 2014 1:08 am

Aww, thank you, that is so sweet of you!

[…] done any speed work or tempo runs since the beginning of October (and I have ran one race, the Nike Women’s San Francisco Half-Marathon, since then) so I didn’t expect to go out and get a PR… I thought at best I would run […]

[…] my bedtime as I write this… not much exciting going on here this week. I’m running the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon again this weekend then plan on brunch at Nopa, which I haven’t been to in months. Since I […]

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