Before I start my ramblings – This race was SO MUCH fun! I can’t say enough how much I love the whole event. As you might have been able to tell from my previous post, I had a lot of training runs the last couple of weeks where I just felt off my game (I believe I used the description “like a piece of garbage”). I know enough by now not to let that rattle me too much. The thing is, you are going to run how you run on race day. Sometimes all the prep in the world, or the lack therof, doesn’t seem to make a damn bit of difference. I knew I had been dutifully depositing miles in my bank (garbage or not), and now it was time to cash out.
Friday evening, my parents came to town and my boyfriend came over. We had a relaxed dinner at Taco Jane’s in San Anselmo (I got steak fajitas), and hit the hay early. I also started eating intuitively on Friday. In a normal week, I hit my macros every day (with the exception of one untracked meal). Leading up to a race, I eat how and what my body is craving. For a half, I don’t believe you need to carb load or taper quite the way you would for a full marathon. That being said, I also try to be respectful of how my body is feeling. If that means eating all the fruit in sight, great. If it means I’m not hungry, I don’t eat until I’m stuffed and uncomfortable.
Saturday morning, I got up and did my shake out run near my house. Per the usual for me on a shake out run, it felt hard and like I have never run before in my life. Yes, I recognize I am being overdramatic given the pace below. I’m just saying, shake out runs always feel hard to me. My (extremely unfounded) theory is this why I like distance running. I can get into a nice cadence and get my speed up, instead of having to burst out the gate like Secretariat.
After my shake out run, I made everyone French toast, bacon and eggs. I had my favorite breakfast of egg whites with veggies and toast with peanut butter & banana. It is my favorite, and it was what I was craving 🙂
Everyone packed up their stuff and we headed to the city. My parents checked into their hotel. My best friend, Melissa, flew in from Portland for the race & we met up with her at The Grove on Mission. I got a turkey and cheese sandwich (plain & dry, just how I like it), with avocado and a small salad on the side (because, micros). We cruised down to Union Square to take pictures of everything, the way ex-sorortity sisters & life sisters from another Mister, are supposed to do.
Nike got rid of the expo this year. Instead, the had locations around the city that you could go get an earring. We opted out of that. Exhausting and most of the earrings were gone anyway. I did get a cute little wing earring when I got my packet. I’m wearing it all hipster, in just one ear. I’m 100% sure I can’t pull it off, and 100% sure I don’t care. After cruising around Union Square, I went to John’s house & my parents and Melissa went to their respective hotels. I napped, stretched and foam rolled until it was time for dinner.
I made a reservation at Trattoria Contadina a few weeks ago. I prefer to eat early pre-race night. That way my tummy can settle and I can go to bed early. It is my favorite pre-race spot.
My spaghetti & meat balls. Melissa, Mom, me, Dad, and naturally John is the one biting my ear hahaha.
Race day morning, my alarm went off at 4:10, but I was up before. I put on warm sweats and stretched (Romwod is now part of my pre-race routine- you can read my post about it here) and foam rolled. Ate a banana, washed my face, put on a little moisturizer and concealer HA. No red nose in pictures, thanks anyway! Then I got dressed, drank some Beet Elite with half a serving of Amino Energy mixed in. Put on a sweatshirt, picked up my back pack (pre-packed the night before) and grabbed an Uber to my parents’ hotel. We met up & walked down to Union Square (after several more bathroom breaks). We got to Union Square and found the spot to enter my pace corral. My parents took my stuff (love having them there for many reasons – not having to use gear check is one of them HA). I wrapped up in my space blanket (I order packs of them from Amazon and throw them away before the race starts). They set off to find a place to watch the start line. I milled around with the other runners & took a few more bathroom breaks before finding a spot in my pace corral & eating a gu. I like to have a banana and a gu before starting, since I am not much of an eater before I run. I was in Wave 1- Pace Corral 8:00-8:59. I even got to see a girlfriend I met through another runner friend of mine!
To avoid this post being the length of the final episode of Lost, I thought I would give you a mile break down:
Mile 1: “Don’t go out too fast. Omg everyone is passing me. I can’t even hear my music. Too dark. Can’t see.”
Mile 2: “I didn’t plan this as a water stop, maybe I will have some water anyway.” *Pours cup of water all over shirt.* NO water from that cup made it into my actual face hole. “This is why you don’t make unplanned stops, Jennifer!!!”
Mile 3: Ankle buckles in pot hole. “D****T! OW! Please don’t let that puff up or something weird.”
Mile 4: Planned water stop. Still douse self in cold water. Perfect.
Mile 5: Teflon armor of the runner’s high wraps around me. I LOVE RUNNING. I LOVE RACING. I feel great! Let’s go FASTER.
Mile 6: Sub 7-minute mile. *Jumps puddle.* “Parkour!”
Mile 7: Whoever invented salted caramel Gu is a GOD/GODDESS.
Mile 8: Covered in gu sticky-ness and more water I spilled on myself. “I’m so glad no photographers are here right now.” *Looks up and almost mows down a photographer.* Nice.
Mile 9: “Ok. The big hill is coming. This is fine. You didn’t get to train hills because of your knee, but just DON’T stop running.”
Mile 10: “S**T. I forgot the hill is really after mile 10 and until about mile 10.5-.75. I want to stop running.” At this point, my nasal passage felt like one of those plastic jump houses and kids’ parties when they collapse. I started thinking of what my friends and family would say. Mom, Dad, John, Kindal (check out her amazing blog here), Melissa. I thought about my dog. I thought about how we were going to be flying to London in less than 12 hours! I started to think about brunch, but then that sounded gross, so stopped that.
Mile 11: As I was approaching mile 11, one of the Nike coaches that was on the hill said to me, just run to that sign up there. LOOK UP! I thought, “I can do that. I can get to that sign.” It is funny how easy it is to forget something you have read so many times.
Mile 12: There was a chocolate “aid station” at this mile. “No! I do not want chocolate! I want a shower and a glass of wine. Oh and a loaf of bread.”
Mile 13: Boyfriend!!!! He came to meet me at the finish line! I pitifully shouted to him I was SO happy to see him. Parents! – saw them second. Mom has a cowbell – HA! So awesome.
After the race, we went to brunch at The Blackwood Cafe in the Marina. We walked from Chrissy Field, where the race ended. I got some kind of scramble with toast.
Once brunch was finished up, I went back to John’s to get cleaned up and packed up – my parents and I fly to London tonight! I am so excited. I will be there with them for a week. They will stay for one week longer for a business meeting.
This race is my fastest half to date. I have had so many struggles with injuries in other half marathons, and then didn’t quite to get to train hills as I had hoped, I have never come close to my training PR of 7:30 in a race. That being said – I’m a work in progress & I’m ok with that! As long as there’s progress, how can that be wrong? I get to do what I love with people I love.
With love & Tiffany’s,