2015 – San Francisco Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Recap

I did it! I ran my second half marathon.

screenshot_551

This race was a big deal for me – for a number of reasons.

1. I was doing it by myself.

2. It was a super hilly course – from the start there were numerous hills. I made sure to run on hills during my training – but still, I was nervous.

3. In addition to the there being a pace requirement (16:00 per mile – just like RunDisney) there were also a few course diversions – which meant if you weren’t at a certain mile by a certain time, you would be diverted.

Early Sunday morning, I got myself up – had a light breakfast and a cup of coffee and hopped in an Uber to be dropped off at Ocean Beach. It was pretty chilly, and I was wearing only running shorts and a tech tee, so I brought an emergency blanket to keep me warm. Those things work!!!

I was placed in the last corral, which again, made me nervous about possibly being diverted. Once I crossed the start line, I found myself at a nice easy jog. I was pretty close to the 2:45 pacers, but I told myself I probably would not be able to keep up with them. I started my Galloway 30:30 intervals once I started encountering those hills. When the course turned downhill – I kept a steady run. I found myself meeting up with the 2:45 pacers again, and played a little back and forth with them for a mile or so, until I passed them – never to be seen by me again.

In case you didn’t know – San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the country, if not the world. This race took us along the Pacific Ocean, across the Golden Gate bridge, along the San Francisco bay and finished at City Hall. The entire time I kept thinking how lucky I was to live here.

At the 10k mark, my time was 1:18:15 – I began to think I might be able to finish in under 3 hours. At the 10 mile mark my time was 2:01:46 – at that point, I knew I would finish in under three hours.

The last stretch of the race had us going uphill again, and boy, it was tough – I kept my 30:30 intervals on the uphills and flat surfaces, and held a steady jog downhill.

When I saw the finish line it felt so close – yet so far. As I approached it – I saw my husband and brother in law cheering me on. And – then…I did it!

My final time was 2:40:51 with an average pace of 12:17 per mile. I have a new PR and I achieved my 2015 goal of completing a half in under three hours, which I did not expect with this race (given my previous half marathon was completed in 3:17 and this course was so hilly).

This race gave me so much confidence and a proof of time I can now submit to RunDisney!

I am glad I got to experience a non-Disney race. The Rock’n’Roll races are also targeted at the “fun runner” group – but they are a lot smaller, and definitely have a lot of people who are pretty speedy. I plan on writing another post about this, but despite completing two half marathons, including one with a time I believe holds its own in my slow runner mind – I still don’t feel like I’m “part of the crowd” – I feel like I’m a racing outsider.

I have a 12k scheduled for May, and am contemplating another half at the end of May too.

I plan to rest for a few days. I’m having a little pain in my foot, that I want to make sure is nothing serious. I plan on keeping up my weekday 5ks in addition to my weekend long runs to maintain condition for a few more races this year – and also because I love to run.

Training Reflections – March 2015

My half marathon is in less than two weeks.

Last Saturday I ran my longest training run – 11 miles.

I have started to employ the Galloway method to my runs, and I have noticed an improvement in pace. I am running/walking 30:30 intervals.

After my run this weekend – I felt great. I didn’t feel worn out or exhausted. I did start to feel sore later in the day, and that evening I slept like a baby. The day after my long run, I even ran again – 3 miles (I’m starting to run back to back on some days to get myself ready for the Dumbo Double Dare).

This is the second time I have trained for a half marathon – and the first time I did it alone. Both ways have their benefits. When I was training with my husband for the 2014 Avengers Half, it was great to have someone keep me accountable and to share the joys and pains of training. This time I had no one to get me out the door, just myself, but I did it, and knowing I can push myself is very empowering.

As I’ve stated before, my goal is to finish in less than 3:15, based on my training pace – it’s a possibility I’ll finish in a sub three.

I’m a little nervous for the race because it is my first non-Disney race, and I don’t know what to expect. I assume there will be many more fast paced runners and less slow joggers and walkers.

I am excited to enjoy the course, cross the finish line, and (hopefully) revel in a new PR.