Oct 22, 2013

Nike Women's Marathon 2013

The plan :: 
Go easy the first 12 miles, then focus on staying on pace, then fight for when it gets hard.

Saturday :: 
A 6a flight means stupid early alarm clock but we did get into San Francisco early enough to avoid crazy traffic thanks to the BART strike and beat the lines for bib pick up. It was even better that a a good friend and crazy awesome runner friend Faye was on our flight as well and we shared a cab to the expo. We walked right into get our bibs and it was so much more real. 

Then the fun began we met up with Katie & Nico, dropped our bags at the hotel and headed out to explore San Francisco  and headed straight to the Fisherman's ward to get some fish and chips via china town. It was so nice, warm and sunny out it was hard not to keep walking around the waterfront and we even just sat at a ark for a while and soaked in the sun. 

Looking back we probably sure have taken a cable car but oh well. The fish,chips and some yummy soar dough were amazing but after then walking all the way to Ghiradelli's and then to the Ferry terminal and then back to the hotel my feet and legs kind of were throbbing. So I filled a garbage can full of ice and took an ice bath to try to make the legs and feet feel a bit better.

The place we had planned on going to had a crazy line so as we walked back we found a place that had breakfast. It was perfect, I eat breakfast for dinner a lot so a pancake, some eggs and some super yummy fruit was beyond perfect. Of course I had to also get a strawberry and nutella crepe as well, which was sooo yummy! Kyle, Nico and Katie grabbed some rental bikes so they could ride and at least see me a few places on the course. 

The rest of the night I stayed off my feet and just prepped my stuff. Well I had to still decide what exactly I would wear.. you know small details - black tank with bright colored skirt, or sparkle skirt, or bright colored tank, black skirt, tri shorts.. way to many options… First choice was ok lets go with sparkle skirt, and I love the pockets in my Zoot tri shorts.. so it came down to black tank or bright yellow nike marathon tank…

 After talking with Kyle, texting with Katie and Rossane I went with the yellow both because easier for them to spot me, and well bright colors are just more fun. lol

I layer everything out, twice just to make sure I had everything and then taped my feet, set my alarm and went to bed.

Race Day ::
Alarm went off so early… took a very quick shower to help wake up. Ate a Powerbar energy blend, a cliff kid fruit twist and 2 MetaSalt pills. Got ready, used the bathroom a few times and headed out to the start which was literally right outside our hotel.It was 5:30a so the streets were still pretty empty so it was easy to drop my dry cloths bag off and then hung out with Kyle out of the wind. Katie and Nico met us out in front of the Westin. The street started to fill up so I gave hugs and got some final encouragements before I headed across the street to line up at the front of my coral. 

I was in the sub 8:59 group which is the 1st late coral, but after the last time I raced here I got caught so far back behind walks and everything i made sure to be at the front of my coral. I ate my pre-race blackberry gu and then they started to let our coral move up closer to the start. At least it was more out of the wind. 5 min later they moved us even closer to the start. i hung back because I really did not want to be on the front line, since that would not help me go easy. Now it was really crowded. Lots of people taking pictures with their phone and the announcers going on about stuff, they had some girl lead a warm up which was kind of funny because no one could even move around much we were so packed in.  Finally it was 6:30a they shot off some fireworks and I was off. It took me about :10 seconds to be across the start line which seems crazy for such a huge race. 

The first 2 miles are down hill mostly so I just tried to settle in and roll with it and not worry about other. I mostly just kept repeating "keep it easy", "keep it easy". The best part of getting out in front was it was crowded but not that crowded. in past years i would run on the side walks it was so packed but I was able to just run, and had space to pick my line no big deal. it was awesome. 

I knew Kyle, Nico and Katie were planning on being at about mile 1.5, wear the course turns onto the waterfront. so I stayed to the outside so I would see them. Actually I was worried because I had to told Kyle I would be on the left side but also outside so was not sure.. but luckily since it is well known I am not good with left/right he was on the outside and as I turned onto the waterfront they cheered me on. 

It was still very dark out, darker than I have ever remembered it. The rest of the waterfront I just tried to stay loose and keep it easy. I did realize I grabbed the wrong headphones, that did not have a inline controller so I couldn't skip a song, or adjust the volume with out pulling my iPod out of my shorts pocket.. which was annoying. I told Katie as she rode by and asked how I was doing. Kyle then gave me a new set but they were actually the same, no controller.. so oh well.. just go with it. 

The first short hill off the waterfront is short and steep but it felt easy, no big deal. which made me so happy. So the next couple miles just rolled by like that. the crew would ride by or some ahead and cheer me on, maybe take a photo and I pretty much just kept telling myself keep it easy. easy. easy. 

I was surprised my garmin was more accurate than it had been in the past, getting pretty close to the mile markers. So I trusted the pace, and always kept an eye on it. staying between 8:20-9 but not stressing on the up hills if it went up a bit. I felt great, good energy, just stayed loose. Was glad I decided to run with a small hand bottle with osmo in it. Tasted great and I was able to get though the aid station crowds with out slowing at all. 

Ate my first gu around mile 5ish as planned in preparation for the first big hill is at 6.5 ish. It sucks because as you can actually see it switch back in front of you. But before I knew it I was running up the hill and it really was not that bad.. Kyle and the crew cheered me on. I think they all said something about how much it sucked ridding up the hill.. i mostly just laughed… 

Around this point I started mostly telling myself to stay strong on the hills but don't push it, I knew I would be able to run downhill faster. It was finally light out but was crazy foggy which was alright except you don't get to enjoy any of the usual views that this course has, no golden gate bridge, no ocean…. The fog also kept it nice a cool, I loved it. Usually by this time I would have already be dumping water on my head but I was perfectly comfortable especially with all the hills. 

The miles kept ticking away, I took another gu at mile 10. I am not very good at math so after I would cross a mile marker I would ask Kyle for my pace so I could compare it to what the garmin was saying. They were mostly pretty close, but it was nice having someone else do the math. I have been know to try doing the math for miles before i get anything. I mostly just know the major distances and what pace is what time, vs actually calculating it myself.. good thing I am designer… 

As the half marathons started to turn off towards the finish, it was crazy to see how few marathons there were in comparison. Which was kind of cool really. But at the same time it sucks because you are running up a long hill. It wasn't hard but wasn't as easy anymore either. I was starting to estimate my half marathon time.. and knew I was somewhere around 1:55 isn which I was super happy about since that gave me some time in the back on the second half but at the same time I was hoping it would be enough….

I had another gu at 15 miles and as I headed back down I tried to pick up the pace a bit and shake out the legs but it was starting to get harder especially as I got to mile 15ish. It is almost mean when they have the half rejoin the full marathons. They wet all picking up the pace to finish and I tried to use that energy but at the same time it is hard knowing the finish is so close but you still have another 10+ miles. 

I think it is 16/17 miles where the full turns onto the waterfront, it feels up hill both ways even though I know it is supposedly flat. As i came onto the flat my legs really started to tighten up and ache. Nothing really hurt, but it was no longer easy. So time to start trying to stay on pace.. I knew if I kept it under 10 and closer to 9:30 I could still make 4 hours. So the fight began. I tried to keep it positive, and focus on good form, light feet and staying after it. 
They changed the course to be an out and back, but I had no clue when you would turn around and started to struggle with staying positive and got a bit sad that it felt like it was slipping away.. 

Luckily Kyle, Nico and katie stayed after me, kept encouraging me and I got my head straight and focused on fighting for what I wanted. I also reminded self slowing down would just make my legs hurt longer. The best plan is to run faster so I could be done. I ate my last Gu around mile 21. 

I saw Faye just before the turn around and she cheered me on which made me smile and really helped motivate me to stay after it. Kyle also did his best to reassure and encourage me to get moving because he "knew I could do this". I really wanted to believe him but it was hard … 

Finally reached the turn around and headed back to the finish. I snapped out of it a bit and realized I really needed to keep the pace up because I had slowed a bit so I had to dig deep, and get aggressive. Luckily it was a downhill so I tried my best to take advantage of it to get my legs moving. But then you turn and have to go up one last steep little hill ugh.. 

Now I was with in range that I could do the math and I knew I would be close.. so I dug and got angry at myself and tried to make my feet/legs move faster.. it worked some but wow that last two miles felt uphill even though it was totally flat, and the last mile felt like it took forever.

My lower back started to seize up a bit which did not help. But the crew rode with and cheered me on as long as they could to help me get though. Because of the fog you could not even really see the finish till you right on top of it. So I ran as hard as I could and crossed the finish line at 4:01:49.. I will take it! 

Post Race ::
I was so happy to be done but wow my legs hurt way more walking lol. I got my necklace, finishers shirt, food, extra chocolate milk, mylar blanket and headed to where Kyle & I said we would meet. Even though it was crazy crowded we managed to find each other. I handed him all the finishers stuff then went and got my dry cloths bag. Then found a place to sit down and Kyle helped me get changed, the longer I sat the more clod I got. At some point he insisted I was shaking and made me put his sweatpants and sweatshirt on along with the mylar blanket. Then went and got me a beanie and found a second mylar. At this point I finally started to warm up, drank two chocolate milks and enjoyed just standing in the soft sand. 


Data ::

Official race data
Time 04:01:59    Chip Time 04:01:48   Pace 9:14
Overall Place 500   AG Place W30-34  82/742

25k 00:25:48
10k 00:52:53
15k 01:21:31
21k 01:55:46
25k 02:17:27
30k 02:46:19
35k 03:17:59
40k 03:48:55