I didn’t know about the 12k & 415k until I saw Christina (aka LittleBeastling) post about it on Instagram. I am so glad she did because I was excited to get an opportunity to race again. Bay to Breakers was also a 12k, and also RIGHT after my stress fracture, so I wanted to see what I could do with the same distance. The right foot, which had the stress fracture, is doing well. However, I’m having some inflammation in my left foot, but active release therapy is helping A LOT and I am hoping we have the problem under control.
Packet pick up was a little inconvenient. I wished I would have registered early enough that I could have requested my bib be mailed to me. Since that wasn’t the case, I went to Fleet Feet on Friday night to pick it up. The only issue is that Fleet Feet is in the city and traffic was awful.
I laid out my flat runner plenty early on Saturday because I had a work event to attend on Saturday night. Lululemon speed shorts, arm warmers, and hat. Lucy tank and Nike Air Zoom Vomero.
The event for my job was at a winery in St. Helena – about an hour from my house. I am so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to attend this! However – it started at 7:30 and went until 10:00 pm, so I didn’t get home and into bed until about 11:45pm. It was so cool though! It was a lobster feed. They dumped big pots of lobster on all the tables.
My pre-race meal haha! I just had a few sips of the wine since I had to drive home. To be totally honest, lobster isn’t my favorite food and I ended up not eating much of it and having some rice cakes when I got home.
This was the amazing view from the winery and our dinner tables. Gorgeous.
Ok – onto race day morning! I woke up at 4:00am and had a cup of coffee with Bennie in bed. I normally always always drink Amino Energy from Optimum nutrition & Beet Elite before workouts. However, ever since I got food poisoning from the bad Honey Stinger chews I ate, I haven’t been able to enjoy that combo as much. So I decided coffee sounded better for my tummy. I also had a banana and peanut butter.
The race is a point to point course that starts in Sausalito and ends in San Francisco. You run up and over the Golden Gate bridge. There are no shuttles from San Francisco back to Sausalito at the end. So, even though I live really close to Sausalito, I needed to park my car in San Francisco, so it would be waiting for me when I finished. I was the most worried about finding a parking spot near the shuttles/finish line – as those were located right in Aquatic Park and near Ghirardelli square (aka tourist central and busy on the weekends). The shuttles were supposed to board at 6:00 am, so I got there around 5:00 am – I know, I know – I’m that person. I’m always way too early. BUT IT TOTALLY PAID OFF! I scored a PERFECT parking spot literally right next to the buses and the finish line. It was so perfect I was afraid I’d get a ticket or something.
So, I sat in the car for a half hour, then went and used a porta potty, then sat in the car (in the heater) for a little longer until the buses were ready for us.
They bused us to the start line in Sausalito and dropped us off at the top of a hill. The UPS trucks were waiting for our gear. It was still about an hour to start at this point, so everyone stood in the sun and chatted. This was when we saw hump back whales! They were spouting and you could see their tails, which was so cool. I have heard there are whales in the bay, but have never seen one in person.
The start line was in the shade and COLD. I slipped through the guard rails to the other side and ran some strides while we waited for 7:30 to get closer.
After going back to the start line, I saw Christina! I was so excited to meet her in person. She is so cool and nice and I loved chatting with her. She also sang the National Anthem. They needed someone to do it and she just jumped up and went for it! She was amazing and totally rocked it. I 100% do not even know all the words, let alone be able to sing them to a huge crowd of people on a moment’s notice without freezing from nerves.
I had a Honey Stinger waffle before the race started. Yes, I’m still eating the waffles even though the chews made me so sick and the company was HORRIBLY disappointing in their response.
For the 12k course, I initially thought I wanted to play it safe. However, when I woke up, my foot was feeling really good, so I decided to go out much faster than I normally would. Normally, I always go out slow and build. However, I wanted to try out going out faster and see what happened. I figured the worst that could happen is I’d blow up and have to walk the rest of the way in haha!
I took the first mile pretty fast because it was downhill. I let gravity do the work for me there. Coming out of that and into mile 2/3 was a big hill going up to the Golden Gate bridge. It was almost like a spiral staircase. It felt really steep and my nose got plugged up which always happens going up hills. I focused on looking for the top of the bridge and chicking as many dudes as I could LOL – which was not that many, but it gave me something else to think about.
I wore sleeves because it is almost always foggy and cold in the Bay Area mornings, especially up around the water. However, this was a super beautiful sunny day. I did not need the sleeves, but didn’t feel like pulling them off and messing with holding them.
From the bridge down on the the marina was a nice downhill. It felt really good and I just let my legs go. I knew I was going pretty fast for my normal pace in the middle of a 12k, but remember – worst that could happen is I would have to walk the rest of the race.
From the downhill we had about 2 miles of flat – I THINK. After having the up/down of the hills to help me, the flat was surprisingly hard. I felt like I was having to fight for my pace harder than I should be. I also had gone out quite fast – so that was probably part of feeling a little tired.
Around mile 7 there was another hill up Fort Mason through the park area. I do this hill all the time at the end of runs, but this day it burned haha! Going down into the finish chute was nice and I ran strides through the last piece.
Things I’d like to improve on:
- Hello positive splits?! I’d like to get rid of those.
- If I want to one day, eventually, run a 3:15 marathon, I’m gonna need to be able to run a 12k faster than this. My fitness should be at place where I’m not having to fight for that 7:30 pace.
- Figure out maintaining my pace on a flat stretch. Chicago is all flat, and I love that. However, the hills can sometimes help – because you have something to push up and then fly down. The flat, even pace will take a different type of mental toughness. I can do it on the treadmill no problem, but the treadmill also sets the pace for you.
Things I’m proud of:
- I was brave! I knew I might blow up and end up running a slow finish, but I did it anyway. Taking chances is the best way to learn more about yourself – and not just in running.
- By giving myself the opportunity to fail, I succeeded.
- I stayed mentally tough even when parts of the course felt hard.
- I pushed my body while still giving myself grace and being so grateful for what I was able to accomplish.
- I met new people. I can be shy, so sometimes it is really hard for me to introduce myself to new people like Christina, who I only knew from Instagram before. I am always so happy when I do it, and it motivates me to keep doing it.
- I got the best parking spot EVER and didn’t get a ticket HAHA.
I ended up being 1st in my age group!! How cool is that?! I was 10th woman overall, which was also very fun!
After the race, I went to pick up my medal and look around the finish line festival. They had tons of samples and some really cute gear. I picked out this sweat shirt and tank. They were a little pricey, but I love race gear!! Since I don’t show horses anymore, I don’t get all the horse show sweatshirts and tees – so I feel fully justified to indulge in running stuff/race gear. Oh the things we tell ourselves…
The gear pick up was a long line as they put each wave into a separate truck. So as all the Wave 1 runners were finishing together, EVERYONE went to get their gear at the same time from the same truck. However, it got sorted out quickly and I cannot say enough how wonderful and kind every single volunteer and race organizer were. Represent running is a seriously awesome company, and if you ever have an opportunity to run one of their races, I highly recommend doing that.
Fun fact: I always race with a leopard print hair tie at the end of my braid. It’s hard to see in this picture, but it’s there.
I walked back to my car for my recovery Picky Bar with my amazing Instagram friend, Elizabeth Inpyn featured on the wrapper. Peanut Butter Booyah is the best flavor, and naturally has the best wrapper.
I was home by 10:00 am. Just in time to wake Bennie up from his morning sleeps and take him for a walk. That dog loves to sleep in. Perfect dog for a runner!!
Here is the gear. The medals are very cool and a nice size. I am not a big fan of short sleeve tech tees, so I wish this was either a tank top, or a cotton tee. Either way, the design is great.
Did you race this weekend?
Have you ever decided to go out fast knowing you might burn out?