Monday, February 04, 2008

Race Notes: San Francisco Half Marathon

What a race.

The day started beautifully for an event. The weather was crisp and lightly windy, but no rain. It was a little bit of a hassle getting to the race location, because the cab driver couldn't figure out the directions. I had to walk over a mile to get to the race and missed the start by a little bit.

I was pleasantly surprised that it was a Team in Training event. There were a lot of purple jerseys out there and I met tons of really wonderful people.

It was a good race for the first 6 miles. That changed when I turned onto the Great Highway. It's right along the ocean and I expected the winds to be intense there. What I didn't expect was that the skies would select that moment to open up a downpour. I had bought a bright yellow plastic rain poncho the night before the race. It was so windy I couldn't get the thing on me. The poncho kept blowing all over the place and I couldn't find the spot for my head. The cold, wet plastic was slapping me. My efforts to continue walking while putting my poncho was like a Jerry Lewis sketch. Nice to be the comic relief for the runners.

The rain and the wind got to be so yucky that I squatted down and made a sort of teepee out of my poncho and tucked the bottom under my sneakers to that the wind couldn't blow it away from me. Why I bothered, I'm not really sure. By that point I was completely drenched - my hair, pants, shoes and socks. I got rid of my gloves because they were soaked and making my hands even colder. I squatted there in my yellow poncho teepee and ate my Chocolate Powerbar gel. That was the closest I've ever come to just giving up during a race.

When I got myself going again, the skies mostly cooperated. There was some light rain, but nothing horrible. I finished the last few miles in relative ease.

  • It's long past time that I learn to run my own race. I love walking with people and encouraging them, but I'll slow down to support them. It's not good for my own finish times.
  • The weather did not bother the San Francisco locals nearly as much as it bothered me. They were trained for it, while it was a completely new experience for me. There's nothing that can replace training in the same conditions as the event conditions.
  • I'm not sure what my actual time was for the race. Between the late start and the teepee, I was slooowww. Unfortunately, the race didn't have chip timing, only gun timing so I'm not sure how long I was on the course. It was slow.
  • As wet as my feet were, I did not get blisters. All hail the miraculous Injinji running sock.
  • Feel great today. The tendons in my right knee were tender yesterday, but today I'm fine without ice or ibuprofen. I'm going to try to baby my knee this week.

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