Monday, October 17, 2011

I Run To Be: Nike Women's Half Marathon



It was awesome.
It was hard.
It was fun.
It was done on three weeks notice.
And it is OVER.

Thirteen point one miles on the books.

Saturday, my sister and I headed into the city to the Nike Expotique to pick up our race packets and requisite hoodies and event T's. 

We hunted for our names on the wall of Niketown, but sadly only one Grover was listed, my name ain't Margaret. I think we were left off because of the last minute registration. Such a bummer because I was totally looking forward to that part.

But thankfully they had another wall to write your own message - so we tagged our names. 

We did some pre race training.
And by training, I mean shopping.

My sister did the Nike Women's Half last year, and started her own tradition.
Shopping followed by lunch at the Burger Bar inside of Macy's.
I like tradition.

After a few purchase crises involving standing in three lines inside of Niketown to return a sweatshirt, my sister found two of our old friends - Gabriella and Jacque! I went to high school and youth group with both of these girls, and we stay in touch mostly through stalking their running adventures on Facebook!

It was so fun to see them in real life.
They are REAL runners.
They have both done FULL marathons.
Gab ran the Nike Full yesterday, and Jacque ran the half, and after she was done, she coached runners in on the Full.
These three in the pic with me are the definition of LEGIT.

The night before I set up all my gear.
And took a picture of it.
Isn't that what runners do?
I think yes.

Then it was race day!
I woke up at 5am to get ready.
I enjoyed a bowl of my pumpkin oats, a glass of water, and a little bit of coffee.
Coworker Cary also got a last minute spot, so she rode into the city with us! Woo!
When we arrived it was just people EVERY. WHERE.
My sister, mom and I go to Union Square every Black Friday.
I have NEVER, EVER, seen it this packed.

If you don't like crowds, this may not be the event for you.

We took our time lining up to use the restrooms.
Which, uh, was great and all, but kind of made us late for the race.

We approached the start line and were told, you need to run NOW, and you MUST catch up with those buses.

Apparently we were already BEHIND the sweepers.

Not the best way to start.
I was so flustered and freaked.
And I saw the panic in my sister's eyes.

Thankfully the buses roll at a snails pace and we caught up quickly.
But I was still a bit shaken.

I promise you, this WAS actually me today:

Source: None via Kim on Pinterest

But about 3 miles in, or 5k, I started feeling a lot better, and was able to enjoy the race.
Sadly we had already passed the Transamerica Building and the Bay Bridge, oh and hey, Bay Delta Tractor Tugs - so no pictures.

But we busted out Snow White 2 as we approached Pier 39, and started self paparazzi-ing.

We went over the hill at Fort Mason, and on the other side we found our "Run Support" team - aka our dad!

It worked out so perfectly, he was able to ride his bike along the course, speeding up ahead of us and snapping pics of us along the way. 
He was with us for a good majority of the rest of the race!

It was an overcast, and cool, but not too cool morning in San Francisco, and I would say it might have been the perfect running weather.

Laura ran with the "pace bike" for a bit.
As I looked back on the skyline.
See, we started right near the pyramid, look how far we had come already!

We're halfway there!

Around Mile 8, I was getting some "Lava Feet" as Coworker Cary calls them, where the balls of your feet feel like they are burning from the friction.
So we stole borrowed some medical tape from a first aid station and wrapped my feet.
And then I had to adjust the tape, and look where we stopped - at the VA (holler, Cindy!)

And now we had past the bay, and were heading for the breakers.
(Is that how Bay to Breakers works?)
Anyway, downhill from here, although between lava feet and hip flexors of doom, there wasn't much run left in me.

As we headed along the Great Highway, we approached Golden Gate Park where Matt, who had already finished his Half (2:10 for the record. I don't call him my beast-in-law for nothing), was waiting for us with a sign!

It was so cool having a sign with our names on it!
I felt like a legit half-marathoner at that point!

We only had about 2-2.5 miles left at this point, can you say holler?

Do you know there are Bison in Golden Gate Park? 
I did not.
Until my family went one day to find them.
Without me. 
Thankfully, they were out there cheering us on today! 
(Laura's pointing is a bit off...we were focusing on other things, obviously)

So now we're in the home stretch.
We made it on the big screen.
While waiting for this whole Chocolate Mile thing they told us would be at Mile 11.
We we ran wogged (which is a walk jog, there wasn't much running left at this point) all the way through 11.
It's really at Mile 12. 
Thankfully it was Ghirardelli Truffle Squares.
That made up for the lies.
Well, maybe two of them did.

And then, we were seriously, THERE.
Laura's Garmin told us about .4-.5 of a mile before the finish that we had completed 13.1 miles.
In 3 hours and 19 minutes
But they weren't gonna give me that Tiffany necklace if I didn't cross the finish line.
So we were bling-bound.

And we did it.
We got our little blue box with white ribbon.
From a firefighter in a tuxedo.
Handing them out from a silver platter.
Yes, that's real life. 

Coworker Cary completed it too (we train hard at our office!), and met back up with us.
And we all headed home.
A little bit sore.
A little bit blistered.
A little bit achy and broken.
A little bit thrilled.

And by a little bit, you know I mean a lot.

Oh..and look who won ;)

We showered quickly, and headed back out for my sister's other tradition.
Brunch at Il Fornaio.
Specifically, their French Toast.
My mom and aunt joined us as well.
And we rocked our bling.

Did I mention that I love tradition?


  1. Wow! Congratulations on finishing. Marathon next? I am already glad if I run fast enough to catch the bus!

  2. WooHoo!! That's so exciting and something only a small percentage of people will ever be able to say they did.

    I really enjoyed your recap. Running in SanFran is on me someday list--and I'd LOVE to run the NIKE race--that little blue box is perfect motivation. :)


  3. 3 weeks notice?! You're a nut! Good for you!

  4. I am WAY impressed.
    Now go schedule yourself a massage.

  5. this was so fun to read the play by plays! congrats. I'm not sure I would ever sign up for that. dave's trying to talk me into a 5k and i'm dragging my feet! Way to go!!

  6. You are a-maz-ing! Only you could have such a blast doing a half. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  7. Rockstar! Love all the play by plays and the self-paparazzing. And your Dad. He's the cutest.

    I think I need some of that bling. Is it too early to start training for next year? That would be fun to do together, ya?!

  8. i am impressed. i'm glad you stopped for pix {a lot}.

    4 years ago i wanted to be a runner. tried. failed. maybe a tiffany's necklace would inspire...and lots of stops to take pix.

  9. Wow! That was quite the recap! LOVE it...and the fireman in a tux with a little blue box at the end ain't bad either! ;-) That's enough to get any girl to the finish line! You're awesome. Just do it......and you DID! XO

  10. even when i was a runner, i was a sprinter. pretty sure i would never complete even a half. although, tiffany's? i would attempt just about anything for that;)

    love you, and super super prouddaya!

    ps we have lots of bison here in the frozen prairie ;)

  11. You are AMAZING!!!!! The most I have run in my life is 3 miles, and I thought I would DIE!
    I even love your running outfit.

  12. wow! i can't do that. :) i have been a really bad blogger/commenter/internet friend lately because i've been so sick. but i've been reading! i promise!

  13. So scared to try to do this but I think I have to.

  14. Ummmm.....BEST NIKE RECAP EVER!!!! So proud of you and you are for sure a legit runner! Those hills are out of control! Marco and I have a tradition of going to Burger Bar after I pick up my race packet too! :)

  15. Phew!! Great job! That's a great accomplishment! "Wogged" that made me giggle! :)

  16. Way to go girl. My husband did one a few weeks ago and two of my girlfriends did this one. And I think you are all officially crazy. And in great shape.

  17. Wow! That is awesome! Congratulations to you lovely lady!

  18. tradition: run it every year, adding a friend or two each time. i think this should be adopted.

    oh, holler VA! my coworkers said it was a pain trying to get out of the parking lot after work that day.

    and now i just want to do it for the chance to talk with a fireman in a suit

  19. Can you say...ROCKSTAR?

    Love that you ran
    and love the little blue box at the end.
    Totally makes it worth the 13.1
    and the lava feet.

    I'm with Kimberlee.
    Massage...stat!! :)


  20. you are awesome!!!

    i love all the pictures.

    i always lay out my running clothes the night before the race. always.

    it looks like you had an awesome time. you should sport all your 13.1 gear... you earned it friend. so proud of you!