I did it! I ran my second half marathon.
Sadly, I didn’t really train for it. I know, I’m terrible. Why sign up for a run if I’m not going to train? Because I like to torture myself, apparently!
The furthest I ran prior to the half was 4 miles. I was running 3-4 miles 3x week but that doesn’t really matter come race day. You need the stamina to continue running for two and a half hours (in my case, 2:37 and that is SLOW for me – 12:04/mile pace!) and you get it by training. Running. Cycling. Weights. Cross training. Building up your strength and training your body to have the ability to run long distance. So, I learned my lesson. No more races unless I plan on devoting the time and energy to actually train the right way. My knee had been giving me problems leading up to the race and after mile 3, it was in a lot of pain. With 10 miles to go! I had to walk a few times and slow WAY down. The last 3 miles were terrible and I lost A LOT of time by slow walking, slow jogging, slow walking, slow jogging because of the pain I was in. When I passed the finish line my knee was completely swollen and I was limping. Not. Fun. I limped the rest of the day. And the next two days.
The race itself was decent….! Not as fun as running in gorgeous Estes Park but it was fun & SF is a great place to visit. The race was well coordinated & HUGE — thousands of runners!! Would I run the San Francisco Half Again? No. The first few miles were spent inside Golden Gate Park doing LOOPS! I am not a fan of short loops. I couldn’t wait to get out of there. But once we managed to make it out of the park… There were several downhills including STEEP downhills that were extremely hard on my knees. A few small uphills but not many at all. It was the steep downhills that were killers. I will take 2 miles of uphills for two miles of gradual downhills any day. Unfortunately, SF has steep hills so that’s what we got. Finally- I wasn’t a fan of running past all of the funky smells. I much prefer the beauty of nature and running with gorgeous mountains as my back drop than stinky (although cultural, historic, funky & fun) streets of San Francisco.
In any case – I’m glad I ran it, finished my second half and did it all in San Francisco. Great trip. I flew in Friday night with a handful of friends from my Bible Study. Our hotel was a couple of blocks from the Wharf. On Saturday we spent the day at the race expo, shopping for any necessities for the race (I got a new running skort – it’s fab!) And yes I said skort 🙂 After, we ate lunch on the wharf and explored a bit (I bought a Yankees hat to wear during the run! Had to show my Yankee pride amidst all those SF Giants fans!) and then spent a lot of time relaxing. Those of us who were running were all pretty tired/nervous for the big day. That night we went to a super cute little Italian place in North Beach for dinner followed by a relaxing Starbucks before heading back to the hotel to watch You Tube videos, laugh our butts off and attempt to sleep.
At the finish line on race day I was greeted by my mom, dad and little brother. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the Wharf & found a Mexican restaurant for lunch. Later, we took Bart back towards the valley. I spent the remaining 2 days with my family in my hometown – eating, relaxing, visiting and sleeping.
Overall: Trip was a success! I am looking forward to my next race (whenever that might be). And training this time, of course 🙂