Posted by Nicole
Let’s talk about that little half marathon from Sunday morning… you know, the one I was really stressing about? PS, how crazy is it that my mom & David, Lauren, and I ran half marathons this weekend, but all in different locations? I think that’s pretty cool.
I’m going to break it down into PROS and CONS because I just had 5 hours of class, a midterm, dance practice, and a sorority meeting. Here we go.
PRO: I got to sleep by midnight the night before the race, so the 5 AM wakeup wasn’t too bad. I made some oatmeal for breakfast and topped them with peanut butter, strawberry preserves, and a bit of almond milk.
CON: It rained a bit during my two-mile walk to the start line. It made me nervous because my Garmin isn’t waterproof!
PRO: The rain settled, the line at the porta-potty was short, and I was at my corral position by 6:15.
PRO: This beautiful view at the start line. I couldn’t wait to get started!
PRO: Creeping on the olympians at the start line! They were so close, but not as close as they were when Lauren saw them! I think Shalane Flanagan caught me.
CON: I wore my Nike Free Runs and my feet were kinda sore from standing on them for an hour and a half. In hindsight, I should not have worn those shoes.
PRO: The race started on time at 7 AM, I was at the front of my corral, I didn’t get trampled, and the crowds were cheering loudly!
PRO: The first 5 miles ran by the Embarcadero, through Fisherman’s Wharf, and towards the Marina. I loved that the race started on a decline.
CON: It took a while to get into my “running groove,” but I just stuck to a moderate pace and tried to enjoy the moment. Also, my Garmin had some issues and it was lagging about a half mile behind the whole race… kinda weird.
PRO: The ocean views were absolutely amazing. There was a lot of fog, but still! The air was so fresh, the attitude of the runners was positive, and the aid stations were frequent.
PRO: I took 3 Clif Shot Bloks at mile 5. They were berry flavor and they were mighty tasty.
CON: The hill at mile 6 was BRUTAL. My view doesn’t really do it justice, but the picture from the NWM ’12 website gives a better representation.
CON: I had to use the restroom at mile 7. That was just annoying because it wasted a bit of time.
PRO: Miles 7-9 traveled through the Presidio. Those houses were absolutely gorgeous and were a nice distraction from the hills. At mile 8.5, they were handing out orange slices (with hand wipes). FYI, it’s difficult to eat orange slices while running ;)
CON: At mile 9, I just wanted it to be overrrrrr. Hills at the end of a race always get to me. I was pretty burnt out and my knees were aching.
PRO: Miles 11-13 were on a decline through Golden Gate Park. I love that this race had so much nature, instead of just city buildings.
PRO: FINISHING! I sprinted across the finish line, chugged some water, took a photo of people crossing the finish line, and then headed to the men in tuxedos.
PRO: The San Francisco firefighters handed out the Tiffany’s necklaces (the “finisher medals”). It was so nice of them to volunteer their time for 25,000 sweaty women.
PRO: There was a lot of food at the end of the race. I grabbed a cinnamon raisin bagel because I was surprisingly hungry. Normally it takes at least an hour to get my appetite back, but not this time.
PRO: They provided emergency blankets for all the runners. This was a lifesaver because I was in a tank and shorts, and I didn’t have my mommy at the finish line to hand me a sweatshirt ;)
CON: Not having anyone at the end of the race, but that’s okay because I just asked a random security guard to snap a photo. The photo came out really dark… and I tried to lighten it… that’s why I’m orange.
PRO/CON: As for my finish time, it definitely was not a fast race for me. I had to stop to use the restroom, the hills were difficult, and my shoes sure were not helping. I’ll talk more about my finish time in another post.
PRO: The race expo had so much cute clothing!!!
CON: The clothing was disgustingly expensive. The cheapest longsleeve was $72! I got two tanks (same style as the black one I wear for races) for $30 each. Not too bad.
PRO: The neon green finisher’s shirt is really cute!
PRO: I got to stretch my legs out and watch some runners while I walked to meet up with my cousin. This was at mile 12 and the half-marathon runners were SO close to the finish!
PRO: How cool is this windmill in Golden Gate Park? I love that it had a Giants flag hanging with pride!
PRO: This chocolate milk hit.the.spot about an hour after the race.
PRO: It was so convenient that my cousin picked me up! It was a madhouse getting out of the finisher’s area. And, I made the noon bullet train back to San Jose, so I had some extra time to go say hi to my dad’s family before driving back down to LA.
All in all, it was a good race! I’m glad that I got to participate, and I look forward to hopefully running next year.
Q4U: Did anyone else race this weekend? If you ran the NWM, what’d you think?