Race Recap: Rock n Roll San Francisco Half-Marathon 2015

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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.

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Really great pre-race day strategy.

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.

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Start line.

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!

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Photo of the bridge from Marin I took last weekend during my 20-miler.

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.

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Typical looking terrible post-race-ness.

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.

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I sent this to my dad and his response was “That’s great Cassie”. My family is unimpressed by me.

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.

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Housemade biscuit with honey butter.

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We both got the plow – two eggs, sausage, lemon ricotta pancakes and subbed salad for potatoes.

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I ate this entire plate. #onlyvagueshame

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?

47 comments on “Race Recap: Rock n Roll San Francisco Half-Marathon 2015

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Tina Muir on March 30, 2015 6:38 am

I didnt know you were running this!!!! Sorry I didnt wish you good luck, but now I can say congrats! Looks like it is a wonderful course, one I would love to do someday…..maybe we can both do it next year….Ill ask steve :) Congrats for finishing so high in your age group! As for lemon ricotta pancakes….that sounds amazing! Oh, and I love that you went on the hunt for beets….you make me smilee :)
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:26 am

Haha no worries girlie, I don’t think I mentioned it to anyone! I was way more excited about that placement… I thought about you and the DC race when I saw the first runners looping back around the bridge :) My beet craving was fixed today!!

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Susie @ SuzLyfe on March 30, 2015 6:55 am

You waited for 2 hours for a table? Even with a reservation? HELL NO. Snack or no, great meal or no (unless it was frealing Alinea or Grace or L20 here), I would not be ok with that! I worked in restaurants for long enough to know that there is always something just as good out there. And also that it is usually a sign of something else being awry in the system.
Congrats on the race! I am with you–the RnR races are very well organized, even if the Chicago one was a huge disappointment (well, there was no entertainment, and the course is boring).
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:24 am

No reservation… they don’t take them because they just love watching people wait 2 hours for a table. If there isn’t a wait somewhere in SF I don’t trust it!

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Amanda @ .running with spoons. on March 30, 2015 9:12 am

Congrats on the awesome race, lady! You’re making me want to visit SF :P I have no idea how you managed to wait 2 hours for a table, though. I.would.DIE.
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:22 am

Haha we went and had coffee for a while… and lots of good people watching. AND YES COME VISIT! xo

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Davida @ The Healthy Maven on March 30, 2015 9:22 am

you killed it and are amazing. Something to be seriously proud of! If you have the patience to run with a slow-poke non-runner like me, let’s hit the roads next time I’m there :)
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:21 am

You aren’t slow at all girlie… I would love to hit the roads with you anytime! xoxo

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Pragati // Simple Medicine on March 30, 2015 9:36 am

I ran the RnR race in Seattle and it was awesome. One of my favorite races! Congrats on a great finish!
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:21 am

I’ve been thinking about Seattle, especially since I’ve never been… and I am obsessed with all your Washington suggestions… hmmmm.

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val on March 30, 2015 9:54 am

Love this post! and I LOVE SF! I went to college in Stockton, so it was my weekend get away quite often! You are blessed to live there..I miss it! Your pictures are great!
Best to you!
Valerie

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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:20 am

Blessed to live here is exactly right!! I am so thankful every day :)

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Whitney Carney on March 30, 2015 10:00 am

I totally want to run one of these races! It looks awesome. Congrats on the PR! I would have totally been stoked about the stats and sent them to my parents. I feel like they would have been like “that’s great” too.. the fact of getting old! I still think you rock girlfriend! :)
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:20 am

Thanks girlie!! You need to run one – maybe come out to Cali and run one with me??

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Amber @ Caleighs Kitchen on March 30, 2015 10:22 am

Congrats on the PR!!!! And in San Fran! That’s awesome. And I’d really like those pancakes in front of me please.
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Chris on March 30, 2015 10:31 am

That’s a solid piece of hardware from your race… and heck yes to a PR! …that’s great Cassie.
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:18 am

Thank you!!!

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Marisa @ Uproot from Oregon on March 30, 2015 10:40 am

You run like the wind, Pocahontas. Seriously impressed by you (even post wine day)!!! Those lemon ricotta pancakes at Plow are worth the wait. Glad you made it there!
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:16 am

YES. They were totally worth the wait. Not sure I would do it again but glad to cross it off my list :)

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Lindsay on March 30, 2015 11:58 am

You are a rockstar!! Congrats on your race! I have always wanted to get into running… you have inspired me :) Let me know if you have any tips for me on how to start running and maybe someday run a marathon!
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:16 am

Have you ever looked at a Couch to 5k program? http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml I would say the number one thing would be to go to a running store and get fitted for running shoes!

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Sarah @pickyrunner on March 30, 2015 12:03 pm

WOooooo congrats on the PR!!! That’s always exciting, especially when you’re not expecting it. I love that realization at the end of a race. Looks like so much fun- I want to come run in Cali!
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:15 am

Um you need to come run a race here!!!

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Bain on March 30, 2015 1:44 pm

“Carb-loading with wine”! I’m totally stealing that one! Congrats on a great result for a tough race–those hills are no joke. Is that good training, or just being naturally part Kenyan?

P.S. you probably don’t want to mention when you buy someone else’s bib, especially if the race has a stated policy forbidding it and banning bib transfers. I don’t think Rock ‘n’ Roll has someone whose job it is to troll social media for that, but some other races do.
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:14 am

Haha I would say just running for a long, long time.

I didn’t buy a bib for this race – it was another one! But thanks for the pointer :)

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Isabel on March 30, 2015 1:48 pm

Wow!! You did an awesome job. That breakfast looks delicious too!
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:14 am

I’m still thinking about it days later!

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Jill on March 30, 2015 2:00 pm

Congrats on a great race. I’m not so sure I’d have such a good time if I carb loaded with wine! Haha
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:14 am

I’m not the best at decision making haha.

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Jenna K on March 30, 2015 2:06 pm

Yay for the PR!!!!

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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:13 am

Thanks!

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Meredith @FitNiceRunner on March 30, 2015 3:03 pm

Congrats on the PR! That course is tough. The wine carb loading definitely paid off.
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:08 am

Thanks so much! It definitely was a harder race!

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Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine on March 30, 2015 4:04 pm

Congrats girl! You rocked it! XOXO
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:09 am

Thanks pretty lad!! xo

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Jo @ Living Mint Green on March 30, 2015 5:02 pm

Well done, little lady! I’m super proud of ya – did I tell you I bought the same training journal as you? I can’t remember if I commented or not. In my mind, I told you, but who knows.

Brunch wait times are similar in Calgary – although, yesterday I waited until 2:30pm to go & didn’t have to wait. I ate mimosas & salad.
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:08 am

We thought we missed the rush… not true. womp womp. I also had a grapefruit mimosa.

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Jo @ Living Mint Green on March 30, 2015 5:03 pm

Ps. I carb load AND refuel with wine. Hahahaha
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BlocNotes Lifestyle on March 30, 2015 6:03 pm

Congrats on the race!!! Last weekend my family and I went to lake Albano, near Rome (Italy).
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:08 am

Whoa that sounds amazing!

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Debbie on March 30, 2015 6:51 pm

Congrats on the great race! I love running in San Francisco even if it is hilly.
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:05 am

Yes, it’s so gorgeous you kinda forget about the hills… sometimes!

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ganeeban on March 30, 2015 7:41 pm

I have no clue how you waited two hours, post race for brunch. Those pancakes sound amazing, but damn…two hours! Oh those SF hills. I’ve only done Nike Women’s Half once and I don’t think I ever have to run in SF again ;) Congrats on your PR! xoxo, ganeeban
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:04 am

Well… I had a chocolate milk and a slice of pizza after haha. I should have admitted to that one :)

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Arman @ thebigmansworld on March 30, 2015 10:57 pm

Congrats buddy! That is impressive, but moreso may be the fact that you carb loaded on wine. RESPECT.
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Cassie on March 31, 2015 12:00 am

Thanks boo! It’s a winning strategy :)

[…] a better runner this past year, especially focusing on nutrition, I have been eating a lot of beets. Beets are a great source of nitrate which basically increases your endurance (you can read more […]

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