I headed over to the expo to pick up my bib and check out all the vendors. Except I had the wrong closing time and I got there just as they were closing up! If I had gotten there literally a minute later I think I would have missed it, they were locking the doors when I walked in. I was bummed to miss the expo but happy to have my bib and shirt.
I paused on the way out to take a picture with the route map. Then it was off to dinner. I had bread, pasta with clams and yes, dessert, even though I'd had the cream puffs. You can get away with stuff like that when you'll be running for over two hours in the morning :)
After dinner I went to an art theater across the street to watch The Labyrinth, one of my all-time favorite movies. I know, it's kind of cheesy camp fun, but I love it. It's kind of like my personal Monty Python and the fact that it was playing in the city the night before my race, when I had to be right across the street to get my packet, was just too perfect.
|Just like Sarah and Hoggle, I'd be running soon.|
I stayed in an SF motel just a couple miles from the start. When I got up I realized I'd forgotten to plan for breakfast. Despite still feeling the weight of yesterday's eating, I knew I needed breakfast. The coffee place around the corner didn't open until 6am, which was cutting it close but really, it was my best option for food.
Warning, poop-talk ahead...I was hoping to go #2 before the race, aside from the physical concerns, knowing all the food I'd put into my body the night before was messing with my head too. I had some coffee and oatmeal (more food! more need to poop!) but nothing happened in the bathroom department. On my way to the starting line I glanced longingly at the porta-potties...wish I had a need to use one but my system was just not budging. And I had no time to wait, I'd have to run the race and just hope my full system wouldn't be a problem.
I was in corral three and I got there about 10 minutes before the first wave took off. It was still dark out but considering we were right on the ocean, I wasn't freezing. I had sweats and a zip up jacket over my running clothes, I'd planned to toss both at some point during the race. But since I wasn't freezing I took the sweats off before the start. I did a couple knee raises and then, before I knew it, my corral was taking off.
|My view in corral three|
|Turning inland, and heading uphill. Photo from sfgate.com|
|My Garmin of the first few miles|
|I can relate.|
I hadn't carefully studied the route map and I was terrified that we'd have to run down the hill on the other side of the bridge, then back up and over...I've run (and walked) that hill and it is a painful spiral uphill. I sighed relief when we turned around in the vista parking lot...no hill! I ditched my zip-up jacket around this time, the weather was just perfect. I mean, really, look at that sky.
|on the return trip|
|An official pic from 2014...runners on the bridge, I love it!|
|A pic of the lead runner (courtesy sfgate.com)|
After running along the Marina we turned inland toward our big downtown finish.
The last mile of this race was the best last mile I've ever run. Ever. It was a series of downhill blocks and I was running my heart out. People were lining the street screaming for us and I was filled with a love for running, a love for what my body could do, a feeling of overwhelming gratitude and happiness. Yes, running can feel this good.
|the last mile|
I looked down at my Garmin and saw 11:07 pace...no way! I couldn't believe it.
|took me 20 seconds to remember to stop my Garmin|
No matter...I ran the race in 2:27:33...still faster than my first ever half-marathon, which is always my minimal time to beat.
I got my medal and headed toward Muni. I wasn't interested in listening to music, being there on my own, I just wanted to get to a shower and lunch. But boy oh boy was I happy!