Friday, January 22, 2010

a very, very late marathon race report

october 18, 2009: nike women's marathon, san fran:  i didn't have a blog back when i ran this very cool marathon unfortunately, but felt like itwas worth writing about. this was the nike women's marathon in san francisco, california. to get in to this    marathon, you have to fill out an application by mid may and then much like the NYC marathon, the runners are picked out lottery style. much to my surprise, when i registered for it, i thought i probably wouldn't be one of the chosen one's but by the end of may, i received an email with the good news. my thoughts at that moment...COOL! then i remembered that since this marathon is in mid october, most, if not all of my long runs would be run in the dead heat of summer. and guess what, they all were run in the dead heat of summer!! funny thing is, the weekend of the marathon, the weather in florida was colder than it was in san fran. anyway, so back to the summer training. my strategy was simple, get up by 4am, out the door no later than 4:30am and git er' done before the sun comes up, so that's exactly how i did it and i did this during the week before work so that i could ride, ride, ride all weekend long and not have to have that "long run" weighing on my mind. worked like a charm too.

we got to san fran on friday, october 16th, 2 days before the marathon. we went directly to the expo to retrieve our race packets and pick up some freebies like luna chews, smoothie samples, and of course ghirardelli chocolates (lots of em').

inside the expo, under the tent, there were big screen plasma tv's showing the guest speaker of the hour. it's hard to see, but joan benoit samuelson is the guest speaker up on the screen. i thought the expo would be cream of the crop but it wasn't. when you've been to the boston marathon, nothing, and i mean nothing compares to boston's expo, to the city, and to the marathon course itself.

this is the view from one window of our hotel room on the 23rd floor. if you look at the bottom, middle of the picture, you can see the red wall at niketown with every participants name on it.

not the most flattering name was so far up that i just pointed up to where it was. i couldn't get close enough to the wall because there were so many people crouching down to take pictures at the very bottom. it was wall to wall people, totally not my scene.

race morning!! me and 20,000 others. first mile sucked. i had to elbow 2 runners going around a corner. felt like i was in rush hour traffic on 275. anyone who knows me, knows i'm a raging lunatic when i'm stuck in traffic. i hate feeling trapped. anyway. got past that crowded up first mile and set my pace at between 8-8:30's the whole way. one of my fav parts of the run was at mile 4, running by the famous boudin bakery near the wharf. those sneaky bakers pipe that fresh bread smell out to the street and it smelled so good! shameful that they weren't handing out samples. mile 6 to 7 was probably the hardest as it was all uphill and the downhill was off the chain. i felt like a runaway freight train barreling down the tracks. no joke! overall, the first half of the marathon was the hilliest.

this is me at mile 16 feeling AWESOME. my friend bella took this picture of me and i remember looking at my watch, looking at her and telling her, i feel great, i'll see you in about an hour and a half. i stayed true to my word but about 2 miles after i said that, my quads started to cramp up. the downhill effect was now starting to kick in. i wanted to stop and walk so bad. i knew that if i did that, i might never be able to get running again so i trudged along.

that's me with the white cap on finishing strong. i finished in 3:39:37 and was very happy with that time considering the way my legs felt. as a side note, this race is a huge team in training/leukemia & lymphoma society run so you see tons and tons of TNT chapters out there...a sea of purple. many of the walkers/runners who ran for TNT started the race 90 minutes before everyone else, thus the 3 ladies in front of me so NO, they did not beat me to the finish line.

bella and i at the finish line! yay! she was my photographer, my cheerleader, my mule (she carried all my stuff), and my chauffeur around town. her reward, an official race shirt. somehow i ended up with an extra one but i won't say how. thank you bella!

the best race reward ever: a finishers necklace designed and made by tiffany. it's silver and on the front it says run like a girl and on the back it says nike s.f. 2009. much better than a useless medal that would have gone straight into the shoebox with the rest of em'. it is so beautiful that i'm scared to wear it because i may lose it. it's only for special occasions.

and it never fails, brand new pair of running socks with no holes 4 hours before...and after 26.2 miles, with holes.

my overall impression of the race on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being boston marathon was a 6.5. san francisco is a great city, my 2nd marathon there, but i still think it's such a pain in the a$$ to travel there from the east coast, the city is so expensive, the hotels nickel and dime you to death and getting around isn't that easy so you are kinda forced to either take a cab or rent a car. if you are on a budget, this is not the marathon to do. if you want to PR (run your fastest time), this course is too hilly for that. pick a race in florida like jacksonville marathon. will i do it again? probably not. once was enough. for me, boston marathon is where it's other marathon will ever compare to that. perhaps that's where i will be april 2011. until then, i have an ironman to train for and i'm in it to win it (ok, not to win it, but finish it which is winning in my book).

to the hills tomorrow for a glorious ride with some fabulous friends.

much love and peace out!



  1. great post, love hearing about events that support a cause! my years events are in honour of cancer patients! Have a great workout tomorrow and enjoy the weekend! Cheers

  2. great rr :) and sweet gift! thanx for sharing. it's nice to read one this time of year too!

  3. you inspire me, KC. thanks again for all your moral support--and stair climbing support : ) i'm liking your behind-the-scenes entries a lot. hugs-hw

  4. What a cool finisher necklace!! congrats! Good luck with your IM journey!