The weather reports for this race weren’t looking good for the start of the week. But I run in the rain all the time. It’s not always the most fun when it is rain coupled with wind, but once you are wet, you are wet. So I didn’t think much of it.
John and I stayed at his apartment in San Francisco so that I would only need to Uber to the race start, and skip having to park. The tricky part about this race is that I would be running a warm up and a cool down (to get a total of 14 miles for the day), and no one would be with me, so I couldn’t use gear check (didn’t want to count on how long they’d be there after the race with the weather) and couldn’t bring anything that I couldn’t carry on my person during the race.
John and I had spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce for dinner. I had a glass of wine too. Because YOLO ha. The next morning I had a banana with peanut butter and Generation Ucan (Cocoa Delite flavor). I put a gel in my coat pocket.
As I was in the Uber heading to the start, I got an email from the race saying the 15k distance had to be shortened to 5.7 miles. About 4 miles of the race would have had the runners along The Great Highway. There would have been no shelter from the rain and wind, so they felt it was unsafe and kept us in Golden Gate Park.
This threw me off a bit. My plan had been to run 2.5 warm up miles, race the 15k, then another 2.5 cool down miles for a total of 14 miles.
Once I got to the park the wind was blowing hard and making everything appear much more pell-mell than it really was. I decided to run 3 warm up miles around the loop where the shuttles were dropping people off. While I ran, I thought about what I should do. Should I stick with 3 miles on either side of the shortened race distance and chalk up the lowered mileage to sh*t happens? Should I run more miles on either side of the race? I eventually decided that I would run 3 miles, race 5.7, put the medal in my pocket and turn around and run back to the start line. That way, I wouldn’t get lost in Golden Gate park and I would still get my 14 miles.
I apologize for the lack of pictures in this post. There were no race photographers and it was really raining too hard to take many with my phone. Even though the iPhone 7 is “water resistant” the screen doesn’t really work when it’s wet.
This is the jacket I wore – it is the same one from the New York City marathon – and it did a great job of keeping my dry.
At 8:00 am, I headed to my start corral. There were people in the corral that didn’t know the distance was shortened, as they hadn’t seen the email. Although I think everyone knew the weather was especially bad. The first three miles I felt great and ran 7:23/7:10/7:04. Then I started slowing way down. I could tell the wind was coming in. Around mile 4, a fire truck and ambulance came through the middle of the race course. I’m not sure why they were there, but it was kind of shocking to see haha! Hopefully everyone was ok.
I finished the race and got my medal. I didn’t take a gel before the race, or during. And didn’t really think about it before I started running back to the start line. Probably a bad move as I was VERY hungry by the time I finished. By the time my stomach was growling, I was only a couple miles from being finished.
My thought process was to just follow the course backwards. The problem with that was there was a sweeper truck already out picking up barriers and we had done a couple loops to make up the mileage. I did the best I could recreating the course backward with no guidance. You’d think having just run it, it wouldn’t be an issue – but with the wind and rain, and the blockades being continuously moved to block off different streets, it wasn’t quite so straight forward. Still, I was able to get 5.4 miles in and get back to the start area where they were handing out hot chocolate.
I grabbed some and called an Uber. I usually don’t drink/crave hot chocolate, but this tasted HEAVENLY. The Uber took FOREVER to get through the traffic to get to me, and I needed to stay where I called it from to wait so he would be able to find me. It was really raining by this point – I was very very wet. I was honestly worried he wouldn’t let me get in the car lol!
By the time I got back to John’s house, I was very cold and hungry. Bennie has his dog bed in front of a space heater – and I might have joined him in there for a while until I was warm again 🙂
I think the race did a great job of handling the weather. They kept everyone safe and still let us enjoy the race. I was really impressed with the race hoodies that came with our bibs this year. The last two year’s, in my opinion, haven’t been very cute. This year’s is a good one.
The medal is also my favorite of the last three years. It is the furthest on the right.
If it is raining at a goal race (cough, Boston, cough) – I will remember back to this day. I didn’t give up and got every mile done and done well. My coach told me she knows I will always get the job done, and that felt like a win.