Home > 1/2 Marathon, California Dreamin' Racing > San Francisco Second Half Marathon 2010

San Francisco Second Half Marathon 2010

I went up to San Francisco for the half marathon this last weekend. The team wasn’t with me because it was kind of far, last minute, and they have a run to do in Philadelphia in about two months. Even though money grows on trees, it’s getting a little scarce here. I drove up at about five in the morning and made a pit stop about half way to get gas. The gas station I went to was $3.03 and the one right next to it was $3.23, epic fail.

I went straight to the convention with two hours to spare, thankfully nothing happened or the whole trip may have been worthless. One great thing I learned about the conventions is that Information has maps on where the buses will take you and when they will take you. If I didn’t find this out I may have never found the bus stop in time nor the parking garage.

After that, I found my hotel as fast as I could so I could get some rest for the run the next morning. Watched some Scrubs on Hulu and ate a sandwich I packed for dinner. Didn’t have enough money for food so I packed everything I thought I would need to eat. Read a few pages in The House of God and passed out. The Hotel was alright considering the price. If the window wasn’t painted shut to the wall, it wouldn’t have been all that bad.

I got up at about five in the morning, did my morning ritual, and left the key on a closed desk without anyone there. Took about ten minutes for the GPS to start working on the road and it got me right to the Embarcadero center parking. A few people I knew were going in the same direction and we made our way to the buses with about five minutes to spare.

It took about a 1/2 hour to get to the starting line and about an hour of waiting in the freezing cold.  They had heating lamps but there were crowds of people already around them. I met two people waiting there that made it a little more bearable. They were from southern California and they had both completed the Huntington beach 1/2 marathon. One of them is up for being a legacy runner if she completes the event next year. We all ran together for about two miles, lost one of them in the crowd. Lost the other one at about 4 miles in a water stop.

I met up with a couple that was running at my pace about a mile later. It was the girl’s first time running in an event like that and they were native to San Fran for about ten years. She said that she runs in the park and doesn’t really do these. I kept telling her that she was doing really well for her first time and that she should think about doing the whole series along with Rock ‘N’ Roll. I have a feeling she’s going to look into these events a little more now. The guy said he found out the day before that he was going to do the run, I was shocked that he had kept up the whole time; we were on mile 8, running at a 2:30 pace, and he was still chugging along. You could tell he was serious because his whole shirt was a pool of sweat.

They kept me going for about five miles until I couldn’t hold in a bathroom break any longer. I went to a car wash that was open and ran to their bathroom. The five minutes it added to my time wasn’t the worst part, it was that I had lost a lot of my motivation and momentum to keep jogging the whole way. I met up with another couple after that and kept up with them the whole run. One of them was doing the full marathon and she looked dead tired, can’t blame her when she was on mile 21. She was crying, could barely run anymore, and her foot was bleeding into her shoe at mile 24. The other guy was helping her along for the last 6 miles, what a guy. Got her the Cytomax and water she needed and the salty snacks they had right near the end.

I kept telling her that she could do it and she’s almost there and he kept doing the same. When I was lagging behind, they said the same thing. My momentum got so bad that I could barely jog the flash finish an they took off to their side of the race. I ran in to see my time at 2:54, which is about 40 minutes better than the San Diego event.

I was happy that I finished and qualified and elated that I beat three hours, which is the estimated time of finish I put down for the run. I had no idea I would actually beat what I said.

They were handing out these large pieces of tin foil that was great for keeping warm, I hope they all do that when the event is expecting cold weather. Next were the medals, at this one I remember not even feeling a sense of accomplishment, only now do I feel it. I guess I was so tired, I just wanted to eat and sit down. The volunteer said congratulations which is always nice, they have to be tired of saying that twenty thousand times.

Next came the food. I grabbed so much of it that I had to get a cytomax box just so I could hold all of it. I was lucky enough to get a Bear Naked bag to throw all the stuff in to because all of it was getting really heavy. State Farm was offering a free photo, I’m assuming as a promotion. I’m not even sure if there was a catch, they gave me a very nice looking, laminated card to the photo. This was great because I didn’t get any pictures.

After that, I went into a hotel so they could help me find where I parked. I saw someone else trying to find parking and he was in the same boat, but kudos to him because he did the whole marathon. After waiting an hour for everyone to disperse, I hopped on the road for seven hours. Made one stop and then drove five hours home on one tank of gas and a very full bladder.

The team is going next year to finish up the series and I’ll definitely be going with them. 

Favorite parts? I ran nine miles without stopping and if it wasn’t for a bathroom stop, I may have run the whole thing. I’ve never run nine miles without stopping for any event or training, the most I had done I believe was six miles. I also learned a lot about doing events in other cities and driving for eight straight hours.

Favorite Freebies? I absolutely love their theme color, cyan, my favorite color. I wanted a cyan shirt they had at Road Runner but it was too much money, now I have one to run in. Maybe people won’t mind if it smells?. I also am very happy to get those string, bag backpacks. I had one from Donate Life but it broke a few months after they gave it to me.

Favorite Saying? “Yeah, you started off with the SF marathon as your first? Are you sure you want to do that?” Apparently SF is one of the hardest marathons around here. It’s like when we first started doing these events and found out the run we did was really a 10K, a lot for us back then.

Recommendations? If it’s your first time doing the SF marathon, choose the second half, it doesn’t have nearly as many hills, half the race is in a park. The first half is in the city and they were saying it was all hill. Plus, the second half you get 30 more minutes to get an official time.

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