Posted by Lauren

A few months ago I was dining at Tacolicious in the Marina with two sorority sisters, Suzie and Katie. We discussed signing up for the Giant Race and I tried to convince them not to fear their first half marathon. You can Fear the Beard, but it is silly to Fear the Half.

winetastingsilly e1314643023127 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Suzie’s got her hand up in the air, Megan’s third from the left, and I’m wearing a gold sweater acting like a teapot!

Later that week, registration opened up and I immediately signed up. I forwarded the info along to two other AOII’s, Megan and Taylor. Unfortunately, Taylor was recovering from a skydiving accident so she didn’t think it was a good idea to sign up. (Thank goodness I didn’t break any bones when Kyle pushed me out of a plane!)

While Katie and Suzie decided to skip this half, Megan, however, signed up! Megan is my AOII friend who just got engaged (remember when we went bridesmaid dress shopping?) Well, she’s been training for this race for a while and we were both PUMPED to run!!

Friday Night Lights

Friday night at AT&T Park – aka home of the 2010 World Series Champs – aka the San Francisco GIANTS! – was Runners Night. The Giants took on the Houston Astros (boooo) and they won!

giantracegame 01 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

  1. A half hour before the game, Megan sent me a text informing me that her fiancée Paul scored two extra club level tickets. This was my first game at the club level and it was definitely an experience! I never knew they had memorabilia displays up there!
    Check out the bobbleheads throughout the year…
  2. …and lots of World Series gear!
  3. Dense fog coated the stadium all night.
  4. Yup, that’s what #winners look like.
  5. Megan + Paul convinced me to walk around the stadium. I’ve never been near the giant glove and coke bottle. Surprising, no?
  6. These were great seats! When I interned for PWC we sat one level lower, but the club level had a way nicer, enclosed, area full of the best smelling food!!! (see below haha)

giantracegame 02 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

  1. Megan + Paul split a gourmet baked potato. The baked potato bar had everything from chili to brisket to garlic butter to bacon to jalapenos to…. etc!
  2. The finished product. Oh sweet heavens.
  3. But me? I ate some oatmeal I prepared at work. HA! Oatmeal/oat bran + flax seed + banana slices + blueberries + Oikos greek yogurt. I also brought some pre-popped kettle corn for game snackage.

giantracegame 03 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

We walked around the stadium during the bottom of the 6th… it was chilly out!

giantracegame 04 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Megan + me

giantracegame 05 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Megan + her fiancée Paul :)

I owe these two for always being so accommodating and letting me stay in San Francisco with them! Thanks you two! You’re better than family ::cough::

The Giant Race

giantrace 01 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Friday night’s oatmeal was a great segue into Saturday morning’s oatmeal! I cooked up some oats, stirred in crunchy peanut butter (thanks for sharing, Paul!!) and drank some coffee brewed by Megan. Paul also lent me the awesome orange + white sweat band you see there so I could be a BO$$ on the course.

giantrace 02 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Paul drove us to the starting line and I just didn’t have enough time to go to the bathroom. Before the race started I already had to tinkle. Well, maybe this technique would make me go faster?

The start line was “powered by” PG&E, one of the official race sponsors, meaning everything  their solar cell generator powered it all. Nifty! A choir sang the National Anthem and 3… 2… 1… we were off!

giantrace 03 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Runners darted under the bay bridge, up the Embarcadero, and past the Ferry Building.

giantrace 04 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

For the San Franciscans eager to get to the Ferry Building’s Farmer’s Market, it was basically a realistic game of Frogger!

giantrace 05 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Above is the only hill of the race.
Before this hill I went to the bathroom.
I think it took me 43 seconds.
I am terrible with hills.
I took it nice and slow.
What goes up must come down.
I rocked the long legs on the downhill to catch up with my pace.

More Facts:
I keep my camera app open on my phone while running.
I can easily snap pictures.
I saw this studly man below….

giantrace 06 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Me: OMFG Brian Wilson!!!
Me: “Will you take a picture?”
[not even waiting for his response] SNAP.
Me: “Oh, wait. It didn’t take. Sorry!”
Me: “Cool! Thank you!!”
The 1:40 pacers: “Was that the beard man?!”
Me: Yeah!
[Texting picture to Nicole and Kyle]
Other runners: “How cool!” “Did you get a picture?”
Me: “Yeah! Uploading to Facebook right now!!”
Me: Focus, Lauren. Where did those 1:40 pacers come from? Hurry your tookus up!

giantrace 07 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Best Mile 5 pick-me-up I could ask for :)

giantrace 08 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

I reached the turn around point and was feeling good. In the background of that house you can just barely see a shape sticking up, that’s the Golden Gate Bridge. Good job with the fog, San Francisco. Not.

giantrace 09 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

On my way back, Wilson had a significantly larger crowd.

giantrace 09b The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

The race culminated on the Giants’ field! Running on to the field was amazing, I just wanted to hide in the dugout and wait for Saturday evening’s game!

The Expo

After the exciting finish inside the park, I tried to catch my breath, drink some water, and take in the glory of the field.

giantrace 10 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Hey race volunteers, would you take my picture? The sweat band does a good job of making my ears stick out, doesn’t it?

giantrace 11 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

On the field, San Franola Granola and Chobani treated runners to yogurt parfaits. I chose strawberry chobani with two helpings of granola (raisins, roasted/salted & unsalted almonds, flax seeds, wheat bran, whey protein powder, rolled oats, and other amazing stuff!)

giantrace 13 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

San Franola is a health-minded granola company, specializing in a hand-crafted snack, presented in an iconic package, representing the most food enthusiastic city in the world.

I already ordered a bag of it online and I’ll share more info on these glorious clusters when the bag comes in the mail :) Seriously, amazing.

giantrace 14 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

I followed signs up the stairs to the concourse, where there were more goodies to stockpile. Safeway sponsored the recovery food zone (apples, bananas, bagels), aptly named Safeway Finish Line Market. I picked up my goodie bag, t-shirt, and of course the coveted Timmy bobblehead!!

giantrace 15 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Continuing the walk through the park, I found myself in runners utopia. Clif Bars, Pop Chips, Snyder’s pretzels, fresh ground honey-roasted peanut butter, donuts, wine, gear… and the list goes on!

giantrace 16 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Paul and I kept our eyes peeled for Megan, who emerged smiling with her Timmy bobblehead in hand.

giantrace 17 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

This race was amazing!!!!!! I can’t stress it enough.

Compared to Rock n’ Roll marathons, which are much more $$, this pricey race is one I will recommend 100%. On their Facebook page, a lot of runners gave negative feedback on the availability of medals (apparently they ran out of 5k medals so they were giving 5k finishers half marathon medals – but then the half-marathoners didn’t have any) as well as the traffic jam of the 5k finishers and half-marathoners in the last 2 miles. It looks like the organizers are taking the feedback, ordering more medals, and making notes for next year. Problem solved!

giantrace 18 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Thanks for signing up Megan, glad you had a fun race! Looking forward to many more!

giantrace 19 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

BTW, my finish times keep switching around from gun time to tag time. I don’t really care what my official time is, but if I am top 3 in my age group, I hope I can get some swag from Athleta, another race sponsor. A week or so ago they sent an email out saying: “all women who finish top three in their age-group (1st – 3rd) will receive a special congrats from Athleta“… we shall see.

screen shot 2011 08 29 at 12 41 34 am The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011 screen shot 2011 08 29 at 12 41 45 am The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

I am glad that I didn’t die out during the last 3 miles (like I sort of did at the Salinas Valley Half). I tried really hard to stay sub 1:40 and I am proud that I met my goal of the day.

The 1:40 pacers licked my heels from the hill at mile 5/Brian Wilson photog moment until the very finish. For the last three miles, I listened to one of my favorite bands, Play It By. Something about the electric guitar, Kyle’s voice, and the fact that I know everysingleword by heart puts me into a good running groove.

giantrace 12 The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

Giant Race, I loved you.

Question: Are you a baseball fan?

Question: What’s your favorite kind of granola? Any great recipes? Link away!



7 Responses to The Giant Race Half Marathon, 2011

  1. HELL YES! You killed that 1/2! I hope you were top 3. . . that is AWESOME!

    Um I am so, so, so jealous you got a picture with BWeezy! I contemplated it for a minute then kept going. . . major regret!

  2. Omigosh this looks like such a great weekend! First the fun game on Friday night and then an awesome race on Saturday! It sounds like you did *AMAZING*! You should be so proud of yourself!! I hope you get something super cool from Athleta! And I’ll have to try that granola!! I actually have never made my own granola (somehow this seems wrong) but plan to make some of Julie (PB Fingers) recipes soon!

  3. [...] is back! Where did the last seven days go? Nicole joined a sorority, I ran a bit, and that’s about it! Last week’s southwestern quinoa salad lasted FOREVER and I [...]

  4. [...] might remember me mentioning Megan + bridesmaid dress shopping (part 1 and part 2). We also ran the Giant Half Marathon Race together (her first!!) Instant friends since our first days in Alpha Omicron Pi, I’m lucky to [...]

  5. [...] run ~1am 2. Technically not a “medal,” but I love the Tim Lincecum bobble-head from the Giant Race in SF. 3. After a race? 3/4 of a water bottle and then a cup of beer. 4. I’m a country girl. 5. [...]

  6. [...] end of August… now that it is December 1st, I might as well blog about it, right? After the Giants Half Marathon, I went to 21st Amendment + Red’s Java House with Megan, Amy, Paul, Kyle, and two of [...]

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