It’s 8:30 p.m. on Sunday night as I write this and I’m ready for bed. In my defense, I probably slept five hours last night – a 4 a.m. wake-up call is not pleasant.
I had the opportunity to run the Rock n Roll San Francisco Half Marathon this past weekend. I didn’t mention I was going to run a race this weekend, did I? I kind of mentioned it in passing to a few of my non-SF friends. I think my family basically forgot I was running. I’m old news these days.
Saturday I did something really responsible pre-race day and spent the day drinking a lot of wine in Sonoma (well, specifically Healdsburg) for my sorority sister Caroline’s birthday. I have a great track record of carb loading with wine. Originally way back in January I wanted to run a 1:45 at this race then realized it was really hilly and I have been more focused on marathon training than getting speedier so I was just going to run for fun and hopefully hit 1:50.
When I headed back south to the city, I realized I should probably eat some beets because I remembered they are good for runners. I was unfortunately out of beets, was trying to beat the Presidio Pizza Company (best gluten free pizza in the city – they use dough from Mariposa bakery in Oakland) guy to my place and considered having Postmates bring me some from Trader Joe’s. I then considered the fact I am a ridiculous human being and decided to forgo eating beets, but stuck to my traditional pre-race pizza.
I was not hungry when I woke up (at 4 a.m.) but forced down some oatmeal with banana and peanut butter. The race started on the Great Highway at Ocean Beach and you could take a shuttle from Fisherman’s Wharf or the finish line at Civic Center. Originally I thought I would walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf and take the shuttle but of course, I thought sleeping slightly longer was more important and took an Uber there. The shuttle ride took about 30 minutes and by the time we got there, I had about 30 minutes before the race.
Friday when I picked up my race packet, I was kind of shocked I was in Corral 2 (of 15). Then immediately as the race started I really wasn’t shocked and was thankful I didn’t put myself back a few corrals. The whole race I realized I was pretty much running with guys. The hills were pretty brutal – we revisited the hill in the Presidio that kind of ruined my life at the Nike San Francisco Half-Marathon in October.
One of the big selling points for this race is probably the fact that you get to run the Golden Gate Bridge. I ran it last weekend as part of my 20-miler (finding 20 flat-ish miles in a city that is 7 miles by 7 miles and built on a bazillion hills is difficult). On the way out towards Marin it was a little faster but on the way back to the city it was slightly slower because a lot of people going the other direction were stopping to take photos, etc. which I TOTALLY get and understand – just be aware of your surroundings, people!
After the bridge there are about 5 miles left. You run down to Chrissy Field and then onto Marina Boulevard, aka my usual morning run. I killed it on the down hill from the bridge because that’s my favorite hill to do hill workouts on so I’m used to speeding down it. After Marina Boulevard, you run the entire way up Polk to Civic Center. Polk is really painful and really hilly. I thought a PR was not going to happen at mile 11 but thought I should at least try. I realized at mile 12 if I didn’t screw anything up, I could slightly PR or at least get close enough to not be too mad at myself.
I finished in the top 4% of women, top 5% in my age group and top 12% overall. I PR-ed by 30-ish seconds (my previous PR was unofficial because I bought someone’s bib off
the black market Craigslist, but I ran a 1:52 flat and a 1:52:50-something in April). I’m not going to lie – I was kind of stoked about these stats. These races are great because there are a lot of entertainment for beginners (and everyone!) so if you’re thinking about running your first half – they are a well organized, fun series I would really recommend.
After the race, I walked around the Farmer’s Market, bought some things to juice then grabbed an Uber home. I showered, Facetimed with my dad for a while and then met Kay for brunch at Plow, which was basically at the top of my SF-brunch list. We waited two hours for a table (after getting there at 12:30) but it was pretty perfect because we admitted to snacking before brunch because we didn’t know how long we were going to wait. For being transplants, we have the whole being San Francisco residents down.
Do you want to run a Rock n Roll race? Save 15% off your registration with code RUNTOGETHER.
I was compensated with free race registration as part of the Rock N Blog Team but all opinions are my own.
Chat with me:
How was your weekend? Have you ever waited two hours for brunch? Are you planning on running any Rock n Roll races this year?