Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Guardsmen San Francisco Presidio 10 Race Report

Race report?!  What race, you might wonder.  Weeeeee!!  I feel like I'm on a fun roller coaster these days.  A little scared, but enjoying the ride nonetheless.  Thursday was a gym day.  I started with a 25 minute ride on the upright bike on level 8.  This is my first time doing my full bike since the pneumonia and it was plenty tough.  Fortunately there was a fellow triathlete on the bike next to me and he kept me distracted from the suffering by telling stories of races gone by.  After the bike I did chest/triceps/core.  Pushups and the whole routine and while it was a challenge, I met it with a smile on my face.

And on Thursday evening a friend posted on my FB page about a bib for a 10k this Sunday that her friend couldn't use (Thanks Danielle!).  Did I want to take it?  The bib was for the Presidio 10k in San Francisco (put on by The Guardsmen, an organization that raises funds for kids to go on adventures - so cool).  I did a quick review of the race, noted the route includes a trot over the Golden Gate Bridge and I was in!  Here's the course.  They don't show the bridge on this map for some reason.

More on the race in a bit.

So Friday was a gym day that called for a 25 minute run and legs/shoulders/core for strength training.  I wasn't sure this was a good idea considering I was doing a 10k on Sunday.  But in the end I decided it was more important for me to stick with my routine with all the change I've had lately.  The weather was gorgeous so I ran outside for 25 minutes.  I didn't have my Garmin on so no idea of pace/distance but I enjoyed myself and ran free and easy, which is just how I like it.

After the run I did legs/shoulders/core.  This is the second time doing this routine since pneumonia and things went smoothly.  I hoped that I wouldn't be sore on Sunday but since the race was so impromptu I had no expectations.  If I was sore, I'd have to run slower is all.  Saturday we took the kids to mini-golf and enjoyed the nice weather.  I packed my gear up Saturday night but went to bed a little later than planned.  Oh well, seems I never get a good night sleep the night before a race anyway.

Race day!  I was up shortly before 6am and getting ready.  I had my coffee and cereal, some ibuprofen (sore back) and an allergy pill and hit the road.  I wore a yellow top and a blue running skirt, yellow and blue being the colors of the Boston Marathon.  There were shirts, hats, handmade signs and bibs all honoring that beloved city.  I've never even been there but feel running connects us all.  Today's race seemed very well organized and included a 10-mile and a 5k option.  I used my inhaler and had an AccelGel about 30 minutes before we started.  A few words were spoken on the Boston tragedy (this being the first big SF race since then, it was featured in the SF Chronicle) and then the national anthem before we were off.

There I am!
I ran in the 9+ minute mile group.  I had no idea how I might do but figured if I can stay under 10 minute miles I'd be happy.  The weather was pristine, even better than when I ran the RnR half a couple weeks ago.  Much of today's race route was covered in the half.  We started out on flat road but were quickly climbing, winding our way up to the bridge.  Hills, inclines, hills and inclines.  Ugh. You can see by my 1st and 2nd mile pace that I was working hard.  The bridge is a steady, slight incline for most of the way over.

Mile 2 felt harder than 9:37 but I think that's because I was really pushing myself.  The run over the bridge was beautiful...

Navigating around slower runners adds a challenge during the narrow spots, though I'm not exactly flying by people so it's not so arduous.  On the other side of the bridge we went down some stairs, through a tunnel and back up stairs.  Everyone walked and it was so crowded it was hard to keep running but I tried.  I got a few snarky comments, "really, where do you think you're going?"  Past you. Oph, snark!  "She must be going for a PR."  Nope, I just don't like to walk if I can avoid it.  Once we were on the other side of the bridge I did my best to keep up my pace.  I was working hard, no doubt about it.  My average heart rate for the run was 165 so that tells me something. 

I hit the point on the bridge where you go from climbing slightly to descending slightly and I knew it was all downhill (or flat) from here.  I dug in and tried to keep the best pace I could maintain, reminding myself it was only 6 miles.  I hardly looked at my Garmin, not wanting to get too much in my head with the numbers.  But I was closing in on finishing mile 6 when I saw my pace for that mile was 9:01 - gotta get it under 9!  So I picked it up and finished that mile with an 8:58 pace. 

With the exception of mile 5 I got faster and faster, most of that being attributable to the route.  Climb, climb, descend, descend, flat.  Wouldn't want to do the reverse.

I was closing in on the finish line and really pushed myself to run hard.

I ran the last 1/4 mile or so with an 8:15 pace.  Go runner girl!!  So I finished with an overall time of 58:21, at least according to my Garmin (official times are not up yet) for a 9:23 pace overall.  I'll take it!  I was hoping to finish in under an hour and was happy to meet that goal!  I hope the official results show the same.  My full Garmin stats with route here if you're interested.

I have a lot of work to do if I hope to break the 2 hour mark for a 1/2 next year (closer to a 9:05 pace).  Hopefully my body will be up for it.  After the run I waited for a massage and had a nice bit of ART done on my quads.  Then I started looking for food.  There was a guy handing out ice cold oranges.  Yum!  Your race entry includes breakfast.  I got my food and found a shady spot next to the band to relax for a bit.  I think I could have had a free bloody mary too but I passed on that.

pancakes, sausage, eggs, orange and a banana (the latter of which I never ate).
Did I mention how nice the weather was?  Gorgeous!  I hung out for a while, chatting up some runner girls sitting next to me, picking up some runner swag (including a cool sign from Athleta) and just taking in the running love.  Then it was time to head home and pick up the kiddos.  My mom/runner friend Catherine was watching them (thanks mamma!) so I could do the run.

I give this race a big thumbs up!  Very well organized, a good deal - $45 for the 10k, breakfast, t-shirt and a great after party/band - and big enough to be festive but not massive.  I really liked it.  I might have to do it again next year.

The rest of the day is a blur as I shuttled them to the soccer field, then home for a quick shower, and then off to a birthday party in the late afternoon.  I had a couple glasses of champagne at the birthday party, probably not the best idea ever.  Oh, and I met a person who reads my blog but we'd never met.  That was fun (Hi Debbie)!  By the time I got home I was so tired I felt like I might collapse.  Thankfully Miguel took the kids to dinner with some of his soccer friends so I could rest a bit (while I write this post).   It's going to be an early night for me.  Tomorrow is scheduled to be a gym day, I hope with a full night sleep I'll be up for it.

Thanks for all the comments on my last post (and FB page).  It's nice to know I was missed :)

p.s.  don't I look kinda hard core?


  1. You look great! Awesome job on the race!

  2. You sure do! I'm impressed!

  3. Yes you do look hard core! But then again, I didn't need a picture to price that, I already knew it!!!

  4. yes, you were missed! and yes, you look hardcore! great job on finishing in under an hour!


If you don't want to login, use the Name/URL option (just type in your name...or any name for that matter). If you use the "Anonymous" option your comment won't get posted. - Michelle