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RunGirl 13.1 Race Report

So, this was a bit unplanned but I ran with Kristin, and since she wanted to go sub-2:00, I thought, sure, why not?

Pre-Race: Gotta love smaller races where you can show up 15 minutes before the start and wait in your car until 5 minutes before the start to walk over! It was a cool morning at 54 degrees and a little bit windy, being next to the lake. There was a small crowd at the start, and it didn’t take long to pass the starting mat!

rungirl2Miles 0-10: Kristin and I ended up running the whole race together! As predicted, we were dressed appropriately for the parts where it was windy, but whenever we were further from the lake, there was no wind, and it felt a bit warm. In any case, I had only run up to 8 miles in the past few months, and it was pretty obvious today, lol. I was able to keep a pretty good pace for 9-10 miles! The start might have been slightly more congested, but it didn’t take long for the runners to spread out (see the background in the picture?). I also did grab water at every water station, quickly slowing down to sip, and then picking up right where we left off.

Miles 11-13.1:During that last 5k, my legs tightened up, unprepared for those extra miles! Luckily, Kristin started feeling good around mile 9 and kept us going the last few miles to hit our sub-2:00 goal. I seriously just wanted to slow down and walk, lol. On a side note, we tried to high-five for the camera a couple of times, but the photographers only got our first (failed) attempt!

In any case, it wasn’t bad for a last minute race, although that last 5k was tough! Oh yeah, we also stopped at every water stop, haha. I didn’t cramp up during the race tho, so I was pretty happy about that.

Splits:
8:34
8:49
8:50
9:01
8:57
8:56
8:46
9:02
8:54
9:07
9:17
9:06
9:01

My app recorded the run to be a little longer than 13.1, but that seems to almost always be the case.

Official time: 1:59:32.6
Pace: 9:07/M

San Francisco (Half) Marathon 2012

This was, by far, the best race I’ve ever done.  I was unsure about what to expect with the hills and all.  Like many other runners, I’ve been shy to share my race goals, but since I actually hit my goal, here they are:

A) Sub-2:00
B) 2:08
C) 2:12

I really didn’t think I could hit A, was really hoping I could beat my first half-marathon time (2:08:03), but I felt there was a chance that the hills could slow me down and in which case, under a 10:00/M pace would be great. I suppose D was to just finish, haha. I was ecstatic that I finished in under 2 hours!!

Splits:
1) 9:08
2) 9:01
3) 8:57
4) 9:07
5) 9:22
6) 9:38
7) 8:52
8) 9:05
9) 8:34
10) 8:44
11) 7:51
12) 8:48
13) 9:05
13.29) 7:58

Pre-race: I jogged/walked the 1+ mile to the race start early in the morning when it was still dark outside. It was exciting to see all the other runners! While I was looking for the UPS truck for my bag drop-off, I heard a voice yell out, “RUNNERS COMING THROUGH! MAKE WAY!” I was confused until I realized the ultra-marathon runner’s were coming through, approaching the finish! Their race started at midnight. Wow, so hard core and very inspiring.

I turned in my warm-up bag and headed towards the Wave 5 start. When I registered, I had put down 2:15 as my estimated finish time, putting me in the 2:11-2:20 group.  Someone else had told me that I would feel better starting in a slowing group and speeding past people than starting in a faster group and getting passed up.

It was in the 60’s that morning so I wore my new Athleta shorts (with a pocket in the bag for my Gu), a gray tank top with pink edges from Target (haha), Pearl Izumi sleeves, Drymax socks, and my Brooks PureCadence. I can’t believe I didn’t take a pre-race photo!

Miles 1-4: The start was flat and as usual, everyone was going out fast. I had to REALLY make an effort to try to ‘slow’ my pace and while my plan was to start around 9:30, I ended up going faster. Then I reminded myself that the course was flat in the beginning anyway so I would likely slow during the uphill. I let myself go a little faster.

Miles 5-8: Water break in mile 5 and big hill in mile 6, as clearly reflected in my pace! 309 feet of elevation, 65 feet of descent in mile 6. I had decided that I was not going to walk any of the hills. I was determined to keep running, even if I had to slow down a lot. There was a girl that was yelling out encouraging words on the hill, “Almost there!!” or “High knees!” and once she reached the top, cheered! Despite the burn in my legs, it did put a smile on my face! If I hadn’t felt the need to conserve my energy, I would have cheered too. I sped up once it flattened out in mile 7 on the bridge. It was an amazing feeling, running over the bridge. The fog prevented us from seeing very far ahead, but there was just something majestic about looking up and seeing the famous bridge. It was on the return portion of the bridge that I realized my pace was faster than I had expected and there was a chance I could hit sub-2:00. It was a little tricky maneuvering around people on the bridge since the lane wasn’t that wide, but I did the best I could. I just kept telling myself to keep my turnover up and take smaller strides. I took small gulps of my Triple Espresso Gu once I got past the first half of the bridge, knowing that there would be water soon. It was just a slight downhill but I took advantage of it and let my speed pick up. I can’t even remember who told me now, but someone had told me to just let gravity carry me downhill, so, I did. Quick water break in mile 8 once we were on the other side of the bridge.

Miles 9-12: I was feeling pretty damn good about how things were going in the last third of the race and my motivation was high. I knew there was another big hill, a downhill, and then rolling hills with a gradual ascent to the end. Again, I wanted to speed up to prepare myself for the hill, and I ended up keeping a pretty good pace! Mile 11 Had the long downhill and I just flew down, again, keeping my turnover up. The last mile or so was the toughest. My legs were getting tired and going uphill was definitely a mental challenge. My pace would slow down going uphill and the second I had some relief and was going downhill, I’d let my speed go back up. I had to tell myself, “just another mile!” Once I was past 13 miles, I pushed myself to pick up the pace. And of course, once I neared the finish line, I pushed it harder to finish strong! I even posed with my arms up as I crossed the finish. 🙂

I was so elated when I looked down at my watch and saw my time!!! I got my medal and a blanket thing before grabbing a water and walking over to get my photo taken. You know what was the most awesome feeling? I saw a crazy long line for the bag pick-up and realized it was for Wave 4. As for Wave 5 pick-up? NOBODY. Hahah, sweet. The people in my wave were mostly still on the course! I felt pretty bad-ass, not gunna lie. Then, I went through to pick up food and Irish coffee. They had bananas, apples, mixed fruit cup, cereal, Zico water, chia seeds, packets of nuts, Lara bars, and yogurt. I drank some Irish coffe, ate a banana, put on my warmup clothes, snapped some pictures with my phone, returned some texts, and walked to the bus line. It hit me how tired I was once I was on the bus, almost falling asleep, haha. I picked up some chocolate milk once I got to the marathon start/finish but couldn’t get into the section with the jamba juice! It was just as well though– my stomach was starting to hurt. 😦 I did talk to a marathon runner who had run SF a few times and had hit his goal of sub-4:00! Haha, one day…

By the way, NO BLISTERS!! These Brooks are a keeper. 🙂 Anyway, I stuck around to wait for my friend Alice to finish the second half– she ended up finishing it just over 1:50!! It was finally time to go and her boyfriend drove us back. Unfortunately, my stomach was not feeling great for a few hours and I had to skip the celebratory brunch, opting to curl up on the couch and snack on French bread and ginger ale. Eeks. How do I prevent an upset stomach post-race??

Reoccuring Dream

It wasn’t until this morning that I realized I have a dream that has reoccurred a few times.  Well, okay, correction– it’s not an identical dream that keeps occurring but there’s a reoccurring theme.

I’ve had this dream a handful of times, maybe more.  Depending on how I wake up, I usually don’t even remember what I dream about.  Of the dreams I do remember, generally, if I don’t write it down, it becomes a haze that quickly disappears from my memories.

In last night’s dream, I was in the girls’ locker room in high school, preparing for some drill team performance.  The gym and locker don’t look the same, but I don’t seem to notice.  In fact, I was desperately trying to remember my locker combination.  12-38-42?  38-12-24?  I don’t know why these numbers came to mind, but it didn’t work and instead I figured out an easy way to pull the whole locker out and access it that way.   Regardless, my efforts are fruitless and I panic. I left my drill team outfit at home and I need to go home to get it.

I tell our instructor that I need to go get it and I’m worried that I might not make the performance in time.  The dream gets hazy after that.  Like all the other similarly themed dreams, I never actually get my outfit (at least not that I can remember).

This time, I can’t say exactly how it happens, but the storyline shifts.  I’m still on high school campus, but I’m getting in a car with a female and male coach and we’re on some important mission, even though the football game is about to start.  But then I look up and the car is driving off and I’m still standing there.  It doesn’t make any sense and in that moment, I’m lucid. I close my eyes and try to imagine myself on that car.

And then I’m in a strange vehicle with a friend/ex-coworker.  He’s driving and at some point he puts his arm around me.  There’s a car with drunk kids.  Are we following them?  We lose them for a second, but then there they are, stopped mid-turn.  As if they suddenly, mysteriously all passed out.  There’s a drunk girl that’s stripped off her clothes stumbling around next to the car.  She’s giggling and unaware of the absurdity of her actions.  There’s puddles everywhere (it may have been raining) and there’s a naked guy passed out on the ground next to the car.  She thinks its all fun and lies down on top of him.   As this strange scene unfolds, I watch in shock, sensing a feeling of impending doom for this clueless nude girl.   As if this girl’s actions are undoubtedly going to result in her acquiring some deadly disease.  She’s just lying there, giggling, and it’s too late to stop her.  The end.

I don’t know what it all means but perhaps part of it is my subconscious expressing a fear of being unprepared, of failing.  As for the rest of the dream, no clue.

The Singing Butler

Of the many apartments I’ve lived in, they have ALWAYS lacked decor.  Given that I’ll probably have to move sometime in the next year, I really don’t want to collect MORE stuff, but I’ve really been wanting to decorate my living room wall.  So far, I’ve found that I really like this painting, The Singing Butler by Jack Vettriano:

Isn’t it nice?  I actually really like Jack Vettriano’s style.  I don’t care if some of his paintings are based off pictures from a manual, haha.   Anyway, the problem is, I have a big wall and the painting size I want is a bit expensive.  For a framed version that’s 41.75 in. H x 35.25 in. W, $324.99 on Overstock.com!  Pooh.

Any other ideas for wall decoration?  I know there’s some cheap art at HomeGoods but nothing really stood out to me when I went.