Ok, so I was supposed to run the full. My foot on the other hand, had different ideas. So I stopped at the half. Finished in a little over 2 hours. Ran with friends. Took some pictures. Shared some beer with chums. Basically, had a blast!
The start of my weekend started when my girl and I flew in on Friday night. My cousin, Sara and I hit up Little Star, our favorite deep dish pizza place in San Fran. Had to wait about an hour plus, but man it was worth it. Had some delicious New Belgium Abbey to chase it down with.
The next morning, we hit up the expo which was moved from the Embarcadero to some warehouse/convention center in the city. It was pretty packed but since we had some time to kill, Sara and I took our time checking things out. I was registered for the full marathon and wanted to downgrade to a half due to my persistent foot issue that I've been having, but the 1st half was sold out so I said the hell with it. If it held up, I'd try to finish the full. If it became painful and felt like I'd do more harm than good, I'd call it a day at the half. Got some ART (Active Release Technique) and kinesio taping at an expo stand which helped a little, but pain was still very prevalent.
We also ran into some blog buddies in Danica, Maritza and Tara which was cool because I'd never really had a chance to meet the latter two in person. After chatting it up a bit, we left the stuffy and crowded expo shortly thereafter for a bite to eat and then a meet up with my fellow friends and forumites from Runner's World for a carbo-load dinner.
And by "carbo-load", I mean beer. And wine. Sprinkled in some food in there somewhere.
Yup, that's how we roll. What pre-race jitters?
Ok. Bedtime? About 11:30pm. Wake-up time? 3:45am. Ouch.
My cousin Frank, his girlfriend Leslie, Sara (who wasn't running) and I all took turns getting ready before heading out the door a little before 5am. When we got there, there was mass congestion at wave 2 and so it took me after the 2nd group was let go before I finally made it out to the start. Almost immediately, I knew that my foot was not up to the task of pounding out 26.2 miles on a hilly course in San Francisco. Even had my doubts about running 13.1 miles.
Thankfully, a little under a mile into it, I hear female voices calling out my name and I see my aforementioned blogging gals again, this time with Aron in tow. I am relieved to see them to take my mind off my foot and pretty soon, the 3 of us (Aron, Danica and I) are running together and would pretty much run the entire 13.1 miles together. It was great fun running at a relaxed pace all the while chatting it up and taking some pictures of each other along the way. Definitely took my mind off of my foot for the most part.
Some pics we took along the way:
The mis-matching twins.
Stride for stride, mugging.
Danica demonstrating the "rope-pull" technique of running up a hill.
Our buddy Ryan running with the 3:10 pace group...dressed as Harry Potter. Seriously.
A much welcomed (and rare) downhill portion.
The girls approaching the finish at Golden Gate Park.
Man, forgot how hilly that first half is. Ended up finishing in 2:02:01 (officially). My slowest time since...well, my first one probably. But no doubt the most fun I've had running a half, that's for sure. My thanks to the black + pink twins for the great company, Sara for the one gal crowd support, my RWOL peeps for the great pre/post-race festivities and my cousin Frank for letting us crash for the weekend and buying us that great post-race Korean BBQ.
I leave you with a picture of a Sunday afternoon BBQ at Dolores Park to cap a near perfect weekend in SF...all race weekends should be like this! (thanks for putting it together Heather)
No running for me for awhile...need to rest my aching left foot. Talk soon peeps.