Thursday, October 18, 2012

San Francisco RUN NWM

The weekend in San Francisco more than made up for a terrible marathon.  Megan and I got in super duper late on Thursday night.  Like 3am CST late/early.  We crawled in to bed in a mega shady hotel and crashed.  We woke up, showered up, packed up and called a cab to take us to our hotel for the weekend.

An hour wait and a $50 cab ride later, we arrived at this adorable victorian 3 story home.  We were able to ditch our luggage to explore the city, despite not being able to check in for another 6 hours (and our bags were delivered to our room later that day, win).

A pic from our 'hood.


We walked down to the expo to pick up our race packets.



There was a Nike "styling" at the expo which was pretty cool.  Ignoring the fact that my outfit I'm wearing (shoes included) was probably $400-500.  But I do love the orange jackety thing.


After spending some time at the expo and then headed to our main Friday treat:  Bay Area brewery tours!  Someone *cough* Megan *cough* was somehow still on Mountain time (which is weird because we live in the central time zone) and thought we were going to miss our brewery tour, but in actuality, we were over an hour early.  Luckily there was a super cute coffee/bistro, Creamery, for us to hang out at. 

We got lattes and the most amazing strawberry crepe of my life.  I may or may not have debated licking my plate (definitely may).


After creating a nice base for our booze, we hopped in a van with a bearded dude and another couple, ready to embark on our brewery tours!

First stop:  The Thirsty Bear Brewery

Our first stop included 2 beers and lunch.  The food was amazing and so were the beers.


Second stop:  Southern Pacific Brewery


This brewery was in a huge warehouse looking place, and I was shocked how many people our age were hanging out drinking at 2ish in the afternoon on a Friday.  How do I get your jobs?!?!?  kthx  We got a flight of beers to sample.  Mmmm.

Third stop:  Speakeasy Ales & Lagers



The final stop of the tour was truly in a giant warehouse.  The serving area was a little window with beer, and 98% of the space was taken up by the giant brewing vats (vats? is that the correct terminology?  at this point I had too many "samples" to remember much, apologies).  We got 2 sweet poker chips to use for any 2 beers we wanted on the menu.

When all was said and done, we hopped back in the van and were dropped off at home.  Totally worth the money, and it was great to get to see a few different places and have a sober driver during the process.  :)

We did some shopping and finished the night with late night sushi.  Essentially past midnight as far as our stomachs were concerned.  Ooops.

Saturday morning we decided to get in to "runner" mode and do a shake out run.  Yay for us and being productive!  And responsible!  Also yay for my Saturday morning class being cancelled, because sitting in your hotel room with a mic'd headset on for 3 1/2 hours while on vacation is not so awesome.

As always, shake out run is code for running to stores to shop, and we ended up at a giant mall.  We did some brief shopping (ok we were there for hours, in our sweaty clothes, oops), until we finally decided to head back, shower up, and come back looking more presentable.

And presentable we did.
Had to look nice to meet our BFFs Allyson Felix, Shalane Flanagan, Kara Goucher, and Joan Benoit Samuelson.  Duh.  Insert runnergirl geek out here.


More expo, more shopping, MORE TIME ON OUR FEET (what was that about being smart responsible marathoners??  DOES NOT COMPUTE.)


We ended up back at our hotel room around 9-10pm, which made it a full 12-13 hours on our feet before race morning.  We're awesome.

You got to see how Sunday went, and then Sunday afternoon we headed to a corner bar that was close to our hotel to gorge on delicious foods and await the Packers Sunday night game.

Except "Sunday night" in San Fran is like 5pm.  It was awesome.  And still daylight.  And thus concludes our awesome time in San Fran.  Until next time!

And hint, it won't be to run.  Eff you hills.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Race Report: Nike Women's Marathon

Going in to the Nike Women's Marathon I was nervous.  My training had been sub par, at best.  The weekend before, I ran a 15 mile long run with the last 4 at MP, and hurt my knee so bad I couldn't walk normal until Friday.  Not exactly prime race week material right there.  Luckily Megan and I were doing the race for fun, and my intention was to do it as a long run for Dallas Marathon training.  Based on me and Megan's long run paces, I estimated that we would finish around 4:40-5:00 range.

We woke up crazy early and walked the 2-3 blocks to our race corral.  Megan's legit hotel planning FTW.

It took awhile to get to the start but pretty soon we were off!  And within a mile I already needed to use the restroom.  Thank goodness Megan was also on the "fun run marathon" page with me, or I would've felt terrible.  The hills were fast and furious almost from the get go after the first mile or two, and I found my knee hurting around mile 2.


Mile 2.

That... is not how you want a day in which you're running 26.2 miles to START.  We kept the pace nice and casual and tried to just take in the race and not focus on the pain.  Some hills we'd jog up, some we'd power walk, some we'd run, only to shuffle slowly down the other side to keep from hurting anything else.  We stopped and took pictures.  YAY.


It was a super humid day, but it was fairly cool out.  There was a nice hazy misty fog for the entire race.  So while I looked like a drown rat, I actually felt pretty comfy temperature wise.  I will say, thank goodness it wasn't a sunny day, because there was zero shade throughout the race course.  It could've been even more of a death march.  Whoof.


Lucky number 8!

I got to run along the ocean for the first time in my life, and it was so awesome.  I wish it had been a clearer day.  I'm super jealous of you Cali chicas who run along the ocean daily.


Around mile 12 I really started to struggle.  We were doing a run/walk combo, but every time we'd start running my knee would KILL.  The only thing that worked was to run excrutiatingly slow.  I knew that it was way slower than was comfortable for Megan, so I told her to go ahead.  She said no way.  We hit a water stop and she kept on trucking, thankfully.  No sense in being miserable with me.  :)

I crossed the halfway point in a PW half time, but knew the worst of the hills were behind me, and was thankful for that.  We started an out and back portion around mile 14 where we could see people finishing the full.  THAT. WAS. BRUTAL.  I love me a good out and back, especially in races where I have a bunch of friends running, because YAY friendly faces on the course, but when you can see people finishing and you still have 12 miles to go?  Eeew.

I strongly considered DNF'ing at the halfish mark.  I had never been in so much pain.  I kept thinking of how much money I had spent to do the race, and how badly Jenn had wanted to come and run with us, and knew that I couldn't DNF without feeling incredibly guilty.  Soldier on, I suppose.

I chitchatted with a lot of folks out there, especially during walk breaks to help the time pass.  I soaked up the gorgeous views and did anything to block out the pain.  I stopped to stretch my knee and hip to try to alleviate some of the pain.

I called Kyle around mile 20 or 21, wanting permission to quit the race.  He answered the phone and asked how the race went.  I told him I was on mile 20 or 21.  His response, "YOU'RE NOT DONE YET?!?!"

Dear Kyle,
you're not helping.
Sincerely pissed,

After talking to him and sniffling/crying, I came up to an aid station and asked for some pain killers.  Given my stomach issues, I'm super nervous to take a pain killer while running, but I felt it couldn't hurt.  Best decision I made all day.  I got a little bit of relief and was able to waddle through the remaining miles.  The last 4 miles were all along the ocean.  So gorgeous.

I finished the race and had never been so thankful to be done running.  I found the cutest tuxedoed gentleman out there and grabbed my little blue box.

Did it for the bling, obvs.

Megan did awesome and did NOT score a PW, so she clearly wins the day.  And she was able to find me super fast post-race.