A Not So Giant Race Recap

My mom always told me that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. That makes writing this race recap somewhat difficult. I don’t really want to write about the race because it was a hard race for me. It felt like my very first half marathon. Maybe even worse. Who am I kidding… it was worse!

I was an angry stubborn mule at this race. It was foolish and well, I don’t want to talk about it… it’s already past. I have no explainations to give you, mostly because it is embarrassing. I felt like I was battling some demonic being sitting on my back the whole race. It kinda sucked.

So this is what I will say about the race. The good stuff, I hope.

To start… I wore black and orange this year, instead of pink and white like last year. I know how to show my Giants spirit! I will also say, this is the first race I have worn running shorts and not a running skirt/skort. (Maybe that was the problem… I didn’t feel girly enough!! LOL.)

It was great to be with my coach/sweetie and with fellow Athleta employee and friend, Floriana, who has been coming to my run club and who was running her first race ever. We drove into the city together.

fired up ~ floriana and me decked out in our Athleta run gear

Floriana is a kick ass runner. She held a steady pace the entire race. I’m so proud of her! I on the other hand ran with her, behind her, in front of her and then with her (repeating this sequence multiple times.) My pace was all over the map!

it was cold that morning, but we tried to keep each other warm!!!

I knew from the get go, that I was running a much faster pace than what I had been training. I knew this not because I was glancing at my Garmin. No. I knew it because my nose was running. A lot. And it only does that when I am running around a 9 minute mile or less. I didn’t want to start my race at that pace. I really wanted to just run this race at a comfortable pace. And have fun. Use it as a training run. I didn’t have any illusions of granduer thinking I would PR. There was no way that would happen since I hadn’t been training for that. My training was only 6 weeks. But, we all started together and Floriana is faster than me and I didn’t want to disappoint my coach, so I tried my best to hold up with them.

There were a couple short hills that weren’t in the race last year. Even though I knew they were coming, I wasn’t happy about it. I slowed down and away from our threesome at this point.

Then, I felt great around miles 5, 6 and 7. I really wanted to push hard at this point and ran ahead of our little group, but my coach advised me to slow down (which made me mad), knowing that I would putter out near the end. (which I kinda did). I can admit when I’m wrong.

I tried to ignore those demons on my back, but they were annoying me most of the race.

By the time I got to mile 11 my legs felt like lead. My coach kept trying to pep talk me to push hard now, but I think I had blown my wad as I just mentioned. I was keeping pace just a few feet behind Floriana at this point.

Finally the end was in sight. I knew I was doing way better than I anticipated time-wise because I was peeking at my Garmin. Part of me wanted to push and get a sub 2 hour finish. It would have been doable, but my legs were NOT participating in that way of thinking. Strangely as we rounded the back of the ball park and entered the ball field, which is where the Giants race ended of course, I kicked it into high gear giving this race every last piece of myself. Floriana saw me fly past her and then she kicked into the same gear and we all crossed the finish within a second of one another. It was a special moment to cross at the exact same time. I wish I would have enjoyed that moment more than I did. Stupid demons.

post race on the giants field, glad it’s finished

My finish time was 2:00:06. That is actually 3 minutes and 1 second faster than my last half this past June. But not a PR. I know, I know!!! You can’t always PR. And not every race is a good one. I realize this. (enter those demons).

I finished 33rd in my old lady age group with 186 participants. And 1027 overall the field of 4421 runners.

Which is great!!! Considering.

Considering the fact that I have only been training for this half for about 6 weeks, and starting from scratch (after six full weeks of no running while I waited for my calf to heal.) I had a decent race. My coach keeps telling me I had a great race. In the back of my mind, somewhere under the stubborn mule that is sitting on top of my great race, I know he’s right. I barely had any long runs in my training. Only one at 10 miles. There just wasn’t enough time to gradually and smartly build up the mileage.

The week before this race I had told my coach that at the very least, I’d like to do it in under 2:05, the time I did the Giants Race last year. I even said I wanted to do it in 2 hours or just under if possible. When we talked about it, he cautioned me that I haven’t been training for that pace and it wasn’t realistic to pin my hopes on that number. Yet, I know he wanted me to be happy and did what he could to help me achieve that goal. Which he did. I was kinda mad (anger is sometimes good fuel!) at him thoughout the whole race, because this made me run at an uncomfortable pace. But that is what you have to do to improve. It’s taken me a few days to see that.

The thing is, I am capable of running that pace and even faster. I’ve done so in the past and even a tad faster~the Vegas half last December-my personal best. I’m not sure why I let those demons mess me up on Sunday. Unfortunately there are no do overs and we can only learn from our mistakes. I did learn a few things that day, about myself, and made a promise to myself to fix them.

floriana captures a special moment

Last year I really enjoyed this race. This year… not so much. But I think it’s a great race! It’s close by, mostly flat and in one of the most scenic and beautiful places on earth, the San Francisco waterfront. My only complaint… there were no swag bags left or any food–bananas and Chobani yogurt that they advertised–for us after the race. Still, I might have to do it again next year to redeem myself… Maybe the third time’s a charm??

The best part for me was the post race breakfast with my coach and Floriana at the Dipsea Cafe in Mill Valley. I ate buttermilk pancakes, which I never order, and even though they were tasty, I know why I never order them… heavy and too rich! But Yummy!

I also want to give a special giant thanks to my coach, my sweetie, for helping me train properly, putting my running needs before my kooky running ideas and supporting me by running this race (at an incredibly slower pace than he would ever want to run) with me. You are the best!! xo


2 thoughts on “A Not So Giant Race Recap

  1. Look at it this way…We learn something from everything…Sometimes good things (I am tough enough to finish this), sometimes bad (Protein sport drinks and Vespa = Vomit for me)…But no matter what, something gets taken away from it…Just like you said, you learned you can use anger as fuel (invaluable), that you can hold a hard, uncomfortable pace for longer than you thought, and that the training plans you have been using make sense (blowing out a 1:45 with the mileage you had behind you might have made you question your previous plans)…The days you cruise to a PR finish and feel great teach you very little…Doing what you did at this race is priceless…Congratulations…

    1. Andrew, you are a man of great wisdom! I appreciate your comments so much, and of course miss running with you. I might have to cheat on my company and join one of your club runs soon! Thanks again for your support!!

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