Monday, August 2, 2010

San Francisco, the whole 5 days!

I absolutely LOVE the shirt with the bridge and 26.2 going across it. The medal is enormous and has little rubber thingies on the back so you can apparently use it as a coaster. Very cool!
5 glorious days in the beautiful city of San Francisco, with a marathon smack in the middle. Hang on, grab a cup of coffee (or a protein smoothie, as I have in hand) - this is going to be a longie (note: I write these race reports with maybe a lot of detail as I want to go back in time one day and read about my journeys. Feel free to skip though - I do like to get wordy!!). I apologize for the spacing fiasco, blogger is not being very friendly today! And I do not accept responsibility for botched spelling and the improper use of our language - this is way too long to edit - ha!!

Arrived Friday morning later than expected due to heavy fog in San Fran. Is there every a time in this town that is isn't heavily fogged in? In the 5 days I was there (4 actually, and one day in San Jose/Santa Cruz), I never saw the top of the Golden Gate Bridge. Ever. Just sayin'. Katie A picked me up at the airport - man, I love that girl! She is so much fun. So full of life. We had a blast in Boston and I knew we'd do the same here. We headed into the city, where my girlfriend from high school, Karen, has a beautiful apartment about 3 blocks from the waterfront (and start of the race. SWEET!). I haven't seen Karen since that day in May 1981 when we graduated from high school in the big town of Davenport Iowa (yep, I'm old!). I reconnected with her on Facebook last year and she has been so encouraging and supportive of my running and told me if I ever wanted to come to visit and run a marathon, I was welcome to stay with her. She actually lives in Washington state but has an apartment in SF as her partner has a lot of work there, so actually my choices of marathons to visit with her included SF or Seattle. I'm so glad I picked SF. It's a beautiful city - I totally love its charm and charisma. Not sure I'd ever want to live there but man, I love to visit. I've been to Seattle a few times, and though I enjoy it, I'd much rather run the streets of San Francisco.

Karen, Katie andI all hit it off great and off we go instantly to lunch. A cute little place called The Dive along the waterfront. I should state, for the record, I got a new camera and had not read the instructions on how to use it so I have some great pictures on the camera, but they aren't on the memory card (which I failed to bring and later had to go purchase - thank heavens for Walgreens on every other corner in SF), they're in the camera somehow and I have no idea how to download them to my laptop. A great pic of Karen and Katie at the restaurant resides on that thing - err. But here's a pic of Karen and I. We connected like long lost old friends! She's super cool and I had such a nice time getting to re-know her again. Totally cool chick. In fact, Katie told me she was going to dump me for Karen cuz Karen was so much fun. Unlike.
We then made our way to the expo to get our race packets. The one thing about this expo that will forever be stuck in my tiny pea-brain is when the packet-pickup guy gave me my safety pins for the race bib, he'd only give me two. And they were those tiny, itty-bitty gold ones. I asked for 2 more and he told me he was only allowed to give me two. HUH?? There was no way in hell that bib was going to stay on my shorts with two microscopic safety pins. Other souls around me were grabbing handfuls of pins. And what do these things cost...1 penny to mass produce about a thousand??? Karen gave me hers. So stupid!

The expo was fine. Nothing spectacular but we did meet a few running blog people there. Katie found Stacey and we stood in line together for awhile chatting. She's a total riot, you gotta click on her link and check her out. It was also her birthday the next day, marathon day, and she dressed the part during the race, donning a tiara and pink boa. Too funny. We then hit up Sports Basement in search of arm warmers I could wear and toss whenever it warmed up, but we had no luck. I can't justify paying $30 for throw-away arm warmers. Boston had some for $8, and that I can almost justify, but not $30. No worries, I had a long-sleeved T I could wear and toss (which I did, at mile 1).

Katie left after her car's GPS managed to get us majorly lost, and Karen and I walked the town and had a great dinner and turned in early. Not without a little new addiction to the show "Chopped" on the Food Network. Remember, I rarely watch tv and that's because I get so engrossed in the stupidest of shows and totally neglect my entire family. Just better I don't watch. But this show was so funny....I mean, so dumb it was funny and yep, I now have a new addiction. Funny, cuz I hate to cook and half the ingredients in their baskets I've never in my life heard of. I grew up in Iowa, remember - we ate corn on the cob, mashed potatoes and steak. Period!

Saturday brought me a little run along the waterfront, down to the famous Pier 39, about a mile and a half from the apartment. It was foggy and windy and my hamstrings were tighter than cello strings. But the heel felt good. I still have no idea how tomorrow's race was going to play out - if I tried for the full or quit at the half. In my mind, I knew the full was what I wanted, but I had no idea if the bod was going to cooperate. I was able to meet up with Running Green Girl and Rad Runner Girl at the Ferry Building, which is a cool little place and on the weekend's they have a Farmer's Market - which is just so freaking amazing!! Tons of fruits and veggies and flowers galore. I had a peach sample that just melted in my mouth - omg, that was awesome! I bought some boysenberries and some berry syrup, which was totally ridiculously expensive. Oh well.
Green and Rad girls were really fun and it was so great to meet them. We chatted awhile before we had to go our separate ways, but I was so glad to meet them. I hope our paths will cross again one day, I know they'd be so much fun to hang out with. Green Girl even gave me a little miracle treatment for my heel. THANKS, Greenie!!! (more on that later)
Me, Rad Girl, and Green Girl. You girls ROCK!!

Not long after meeting those incredible blog chicks, I got the pleasure to meet Anne Marie, from Goals for the Week! She was in the city for a bit with her family having lunch so I didn't want to interrupt them too long but it was so fun to meet her. Us moms with twins always have a very special connection :).

The rest of the day, Karen and I just walked around the water and had a late, carb-loading lunch. We discussed doing some touristy things, like the ferry to Sausalito or driving the little electric cars, but I just kinda wanted to chill and get to bed early-ish. It was a gorgeous day, about 65 degrees (and I got sunburned - eeks) - one of those days with a picture planted in my mind's laminated pages of a photo album. It was a tad windy in the city, as you can clearly see. Which was worrying me about the race.

When we got back to Karen's apartment, it was 6:00 and I had totally forgotten about the blog meet-up Glenn was hosting at an Italian place on the other side of town. We could have hurried ourselves and got a cab to ran over there but I was tired and really, I just wanted to get my race stuff together and go to bed early. I was bummed because it would have been great to meet more bloggers and to see Meg again, but I knew it wasn't the right thing to do. Next time!

I never sleep well the night before a race, which is probably normal for most runners out there. I woke up every hour on the hour until 4:00 came and I just stayed awake. Nothing like being 3 blocks from the start line, it's freaking AWESOME! No bus to the start line, no standing in porta potty lines for eternity. No shivering to death waiting for the start. I was shocked I didn't have to go to the bathroom when I got to the start but I didn't. Yay! Normally, I go 4 times before and still have an uncomfortable bladder by mile 2. I was in wave 2, start time of 5:32a.m. I have to say this is a first for a 5:30 start (have had a few 6:00's though)time, but I love it! I guess when I initially registered, I thought I'd run well...I mean, do we ever sign up thinking our heel would cause us to train half-ass and run accordingly? I was so glad I wasn't starting later - if I ever do this race again, I'd definitely sign up early to get that early wave start. Anyway, it was dark. Duh. Karen went down to the race start with me. We had about 20 minutes before my wave started so we just wandered a bit and had a guy take our pic. See, I told you it was dark. Later, I would be so grateful for Karen's bright green shirt...easy to spot apple green vs. something like say white, as the vast majority wears!
As I stood there in my starting line corral, I couldn't help but admire the Bay Bridge with it's lights shining way up to the fog. It kind of struck me here, for the first time really, what I was about to do. Most marathons I run, I can get over-the-top tense in the couple weeks leading up to the race. I question everything about my past training and if I'm truly ready to be on that start line. It was a relief to have a marathon where I didn't have that and could stand there and look at the bridge and admire it's beauty instead of a being a total lunatic over every single race detail.

In my total brilliance, I also brought Karen's half marathon bib along with me, in case I decided mid-way my heel wasn't going to allow me to do the full. Karen had registered for the first half some time ago but then started having knee problems and her doctor gave her the veto to running the half. So I thought I'd just switch bibs half way if my heel warranted it. I had her bib and her timing chip in my little pouch ... along with my camera and my phone. I usually don't bring those in a race, but I wasn't really "racing" so it didn't matter much to me.
I'm not a chatterbox during a marathon. Shocking, I know. But a guy started talking to me, telling me it was his first marathon ever and how nervous he was. I thought about a couple of my clients who are running their first marathons this fall and I told him it was perfectly ok to be nervous, and as soon as the gun went off, all those fears would subside and you just run...you just do what you've trained so long and hard to do. I know I get to be a basket of total nerves whenever I want a race to go well - it was iberating to be on the opposite end this time, just running to survive! We talked a long time, it seemed, and I think I'll always remember this guy and how nervous he was. By the time we took off, it was still pretty dark and I quickly shed the long-sleeved shirt I had worn to the start. It was cool, but 60 degrees in Denver is a whole different 60 degrees in SF. I am not used to the humidity so it was much warmer than what I thought it'd be.

Mile 1 and 2 brought us along the waterfront of the Embarcadaro and through Fisherman's Wharf. Pretty touristy. You could see a bakery making sourdough bread in one of the windows. Exit FW and now aong the bay at mile 2 1/2 and the famous Giradilli Chocolate factory.
I had some sort of allery to SF, evident by the severe sinus issues I was having here. By mile 3, I bet I Farmer Blowed my noise a hundred times. Mile 3 also brought the first of 500 hills in this race. Well, maybe not 500, but the Times Register certain pegged this race correctly when it called it "challenging." The whole time I was slugging up this hill, I thought this was only the beginning of a very long morning full of them. But I felt good, my heel was cooperating, my glutes weren't overly tight, as they had been for the past few weeks. All was good so I just pressed on up the hill.

Mile 4, we ran past Alcatraz. That place just gives me the creeps whenever I think about who was once housed there.

It's also the first time the Golden Gate Bridge came into view. It's top covered in a cloud. Of course. Make our way closer and close to the bridge. Mile 5 brought us up another big hill as we enter the bridge. There she is, in all her glory, hiding her top in fog. I was there! This was one of the main reasons I wanted to run this thing, to run over that dang bridge! My first in a race. I don't even like to drive over one and worse, be a passanger in a car over one, but I did want to run over one. And this was THE one to run!!

Official race photo below. Thanks to my friend, Mike, for spending a lot of time photoshopping the watermark "Proof" off of the photo for me. And lookie there, I'm ahead of the Kenyans - go me!

I hate to admit this but I didn't think running over the Golden Gate Bridge was all that thrilling and provided me with some grand glory my head thought it would. By the time I hit the bridge again on the way back (you run across, make a small loop on the other side - which, if it were a clear day, would be an amazing view - but it wasn't and you couldn't see a thing other than fog - then circle back to cross the bridge again), I just wanted that whole bridge thing to be DONE! I can't tell you exactly why...partically because it was crowded, you couldn't see anything, the traffic on the other side was soooo close, and it was long. I also knew that once I got across this massive thing, I'd be close to the 10-mile marker, and 10 miles = double digit miles. WOOT! Something kind of mentally adventageous knowing there's 16 miles left vs 17. It was also misting on the bridge and really, I wasn't enjoying the fact I was running in a cloud and couldn't see anything. Physically. I almost always mentally run in a cloud, but that's for another blog post. Anyhoo, the one thing I so looked forward to, running across the infamous GG Bridge, wasn't worth all the hoopla my pre-race mind thought it would be. I wasn't running high in suspension over a large body of water....well, I WAS, but with 6 lanes of concrete, it just felt like another road. It was sort of surreal at the start of the bridge but quickly became a game to see how fast I could get off it. Oh, and I did have a morbid thought that if this entire bridge collapsed, there'd be a sh!t-load of people going done. Time to move on! Or OFF - the bridge that is.

Off bridge - yay - and hit one of the hardest hills on this massively hilly course, and enter "The Presidio." Water stop. Jill stop. Ok, Jill "shuffle" but it wasn't because I was dying, it was because I had to wait for the volunteers to pour water into the empty cups on the table. I will never bash the volunteers - they are out there at ungodly hours serving us insane runners for no other reason than because they can - but can we just have water in the cups and not have to wait?? This was the only water stop, btw, where this was a problem. I've been in other races (ahem, Tucson) where almost every aid station was not manned properly. This was the only place I walked a little but with the brutality of this hill, I welcomed the reprieve.

Make our way down the other side of The Presidio, which is very pretty. An extremely steep downhill here and wowzie, my heel's letting me know it doesn't like the downs. So I tried to run on my forefoot here, but I noticed my pace was just so slow and everyone around me was taking advantage of this big downie - me, I was practically tip-toeing to get down this thing. This ended up being the case for the rest of the downhills thereafter - it just served the heel better to run this way. Which I'm sure totally messed up my calf. My hip flexors. My quads. Nose blow count here: 5938.

See??? I told you it was pretty here!!

Mile 12 brought us through this neighborhood below. Pretty houses, but the one thing that struck me is how vegetation-less it is. See a tree anywhere? And I thought Colorado was dry.. (I didn't take this pic, I stole it, so those walking in this pic is not the group I was in). Gotta love that rebel in the middle of the hill wearing black who's on the wrong side of the cones.

Now we start to enter Golden Gate Park. It's very green, lots of trees, very serene - a stark contrast to the last couple miles of non-green. This park is HUGE, made even huger by the fact you run loops, out and backs, and god knows what else just to tack on some miles. Alright, it's pretty, I'll give it that!

But good god, there were many times in this mile 12 - 19 park section where I literally thought I missed a turn and was now in one of the many other parts of this race. The first half marathon ends here, the second begins, the 10K is somewhere in here maybe and we're all mashed together at various entry and exit points; there's only two places I can recall where there were signs to get you on the right path. I'm not good at directions, I had no idea at times if I was in the right place. The only time I spoke on the course to another participant was somewhere around mile 15, "Are you doing the full marathon? Am I in the right place?"

To which he answered, "I am doing the full, and I have no clue if we're in the right place. I guess we'll be lost together" Look at that sign - what if I looked down to get a gel or something and missed it?? I was so sure I missed my friends at the half way point (Katie was running the 2nd half marathon and she brought my friend, Karen, with them to the half way point where I was to meet them), I drug out my phone and made my first ever "texting while running a marathon" text to Karen, "I just vrossed the haalf way. I think I missed you :( See you @ the finish. xo". Hell yah, I actually typed an @ sign while running - who cares I couldn't spell crossed or half. I rock at texting and running!! Turns out, in another two minutes I did see them and it was just heaven on earth to see familiar faces! I stopped here for about a minute and got high-fives from Ari, Katie's husband, who told me the 3:40 pace group was just in front of me. Hahahah....um, there was no way - and that wasn't my goal of this race anyway. Katie and Karen were full of encouragement and Karen wipped out a Diet Coke for me. OMG, I took a couple sips and wow, the bubbles and caffeine just did their magic!! A hug to Katie and off I went. No one even asked me if I was going to stop here and I never even gave stopping a thought. In the back of my mind, I knew I'd try to do the full marathon, just run it SLOW and steady and only stop if the heel misbehaved. It wasn't, so on I went. No questions asked. Karen later told me she said to Katie, "I guess she's doing the whole thing."
Karen snapped this beauty of me and the Diet Coke. I think it needs to be my new Facebook profile it's so freaking awesome!!! NOT!

FINALLY exit the GG Park at mile 19 - adios park. It's also about the start of my heel letting me know it wasn't very happy anymore and it's also the start of my body letting me know (screaming!!) I hadn't trained enough long runs for this puppy (thanks, Heel). Time to turn down the paceometer a few notches, whatever it takes to get this baby done, but DO NOT WALK. The problem with me and walking is that once I start, I have a very hard time starting back up running. My body just shuts down and the legs absolutely refuse to run. It's better for me if I just keep going, however slow.

(this is not a pic I took, I stole this from someone's blog since I gave my camera to Karen at the half way point as I was overly DONE whipping that thing out and trying to take a picture. Same thing happened in Boston. Why do I think I'm going to be photographer extraordinaire during a marathon when I know I won't bother with it after I get tired? Anyhoo, this marathoner guy totally posing for his pic at mile 19. haha)

Now we enter an area called "The Haight" - I think. It's an interesting place, full of colorful row houses
and just a wide array of total mishmash: Asian restaurants, eclectic stores, tattoo parlors, donuts shops, bars...you name it, it was here! Even a yard sale on the street at mile 22. In case you see something you can't live without and have to return later to buy. Yep, I see lots of beauties in there I need - especially that woman's bust!

This is also the area where the profile map LIED BIG time. According to that little online course profile I studied to death, the course was to be downhill from 17-18 and from 18 on it was to be flat. WRONG!! I can recall at least 4 significant hills in this so-called flat section, one trying to test my will and make me stop. Err. This is also the area I suddenly was having probems with my eyes. WTH!! At first I thought it was sweat getting into my eyes and man, they stung like craaaaazy! I thought to myself how ridiculous this would be to have to bail on the marathon because salt was getting into my eyes. But wow, they were killing me. I got to some aid station and grabbed some water and threw it in my eyes and rubbed the excess water off with what little piece of my shirt I could muster up to the ole eyeball. This did the trick...and I later realized it wasn't salt from my bod, it was the suntan lotion I applied at like 4:30a.m. Duh. Well, I got a pretty good sunburn on el nose-o the day before so was trying to be a good girl and not get burnt again. Note to self: either don't put lotion on your forehead or get suntan lotion that is sweat-proof. I think I'll vote for the first of those two options, just in case!

Mile 23ish, my pace is slowing to slightly faster than a crawl - and my constant nose dripping is really annoying me!! During the past few miles I was trying to get my pace/mile but mile markers were sporadic, at best (I will not wear my Garmin in a marathon. I get too obsessed with "time" and I don't enjoy the race. Killed one too many marathons when it became me against the watch so it's just better if I wear my normal Nike watch and take splits each mile. Only this race, I wasn't even taking splits - there was no reason to, this race wasn't about pace/mile). So I have no idea my pace here, but I felt someone walking might be able to keep up just fine with me. I can't say the wheels started to come off here, I never felt like I couldn't run anymore, but my lack of proper training certainly was evident! The view of the Giants stadium came into view here and yet another chance of scenery. I loved that most about this course - it constantly changed scenery (aside from the mini marathon in GG Park) and the diversity of things to look at was always interesting - and exciting in a sense.
Ok, I am dragging here...I almost tripped and bit it big time. I stumbled a few steps but thankfully never did a face plant. My motto for the next 3 miles, which I repeated endlessly: Pick up your feet! I think I was babying that dang right heel so much I was altering my form with my other leg because this was the 2nd time my left foot wasn't doing it's job in the past 2 miles. Pick up your feet. Pick up your feet. Yeah, how's that for motivational inspiration, huh??? Pick up your DAMN feet!!! If any of y'all need a bit of motivation for your next race, you know where to find me!!

Mile 24, we hop onto a curb that's like 15" high. WTH!!!! That took every ounce of stength I had in me - ouch, that hurt! Now we're running on the sidewalk in front of the stadium and along the water, which was kinda cool.

Mile 24-ish. Official race photo. Un-photoshopped.

I always think the worst mile of every marathon I've ever done is between 24-25. Kinda like when I do mile repeats and the 3rd lap comes with the most dread and the absolute slowest split. It was a total relief when I saw mile 25. And the below sign.

Finnnnaaaallly, I cross the finish at 4:18 and a bit of change. Far from a finish line PR, but I think I set a PR on the nose blowing! Dang that was the WORST! If you look real hard in the picture below, you can see me in the black shirt and pink shorts on the blue finish line in the left corner. Honestly? I couldn't believe I just ran a marathon on a crappy heel having run like one 20-miler (on a treadmill to boot). I was estatic!!

I'm always one of those emotional chicks who believes she's a better person by each marathon I've ever ran, and who knows more about herself at the finish line of every 26.2 miles than she knew at the start. SF taught me that I'm a lot tougher than I ever gave myself credit. Oh, I still have a ton of wimp in me, but if I can finish a marathon with absolute minimal training, 10 bs over marathon racing weight, and a crack running down the middle of my heel (that's only a guess, I still have not been to the doc due to an insurance snafu. Hopefully soon though), then good God, I have strength I never knew I had!

SF also reconfirmed I LOVE the marathon. Absolutely love everything about it. The training (when training properly), the agony, the challenge, the mental toughness, the physical transformation my body goes through, the pain, and the sheer joy of crossing that finish line. During the last year I worked with my trainer, he kept trying to point me away from the marathon, knowing the stress and anxiety of the race can sometimes overwhelm me, and focus on the half, knowing I can crank out a killer half marathon, if I trained for it....but that scenerio never sat well with me. Maybe one day, yes, but I am not done with the marathon - it's inside me. It's part of who I am. My talent for running marathons is minimal at best and it took awhile before it became a passion. But I think that’s why I love it so much – it doesn't come easy. Don't we love things so much more when we have to work hard to earn them?

But you know what I love most about the marathon??? The memories! I want exciting, inspirational, and loving memories. The marathon will always give that to me and I am not ready to give that up right now, I cannot. Not quite yet. My friend, Jim (recall Jim's emaill from my cry-fest on the massage table) told me the other day I had more determination than anyone he knew. I'm not so sure about that, I've met some pretty dang determined souls on my marathon journey....but I'm really glad I have it.



I don't have enough moments in my life. Check that: I don't allow myself to have many moments. I rush and I worry and I make cereal for dinner some nights and I e-mail and I sort laundry and I sometimes sleep. Having moments is not usually on my agenda. I smiled when I crossed SF’s finish line and I thought: I do have moments and here was one! Every marathon I've run leaves a lasting impression in one way or another and there are those I'm not sure you could pay me to run again (Tucson!) but SF is not one of them. I loved this race - the whole diversity of topography and neighborhoods, even the longevity of Golden Gate Park - I'd definitely sign up for SF again in a heart beat. Thank you, San Francisco Marathon - I had a total blast!! I hope to be back next year.

Ok, enough of the mushy, touchy-feely stuff. Yeah, I can be such a girl sometimes! Time to move on and back to the weekend....

After I got all my post race goodies (thank you Jamba Juice for those AWESOME post-race smoothies. I have never in my life had anything that tasted so good after a marathon. Ever!) I found Karen's green shirt easily (yay!) and then met up with Katie and her family. Katie ran so well, despite her tummy problems - so proud of that girl!
We shuffled back to Karen's apartment, showered and loaded up on banana pancakes at a local restaurant a few blocks away. Everyone was drinking mimosas, so of course I had to order one, but it just wasn't going down well. I felt bad wasting it but I just couldn't stomach it. Katie and fam departed and headed back to San Jose (whaaa) and Karen and I walked back to her apt. It felt good to get off my feet and just be a vegetable for awhile. We Facebooked and looked at pictures. She had to catch a flight back to Seattle so I was solo for the night. Very relaxing. I walked down on the waterfront and got some shrimp (yum!) down on the wharf. It felt good to walk down to the wharf, but oh lordy...my feet and legs were just in agony walking back to the apartment after I ate dinner. I think it took me over an hour to walk a mile and a half. I've never been so relieved to find a couch as I was after that walk downtown.

Monday, Katie came back into town to pick me up and take me back to SJ with her for the night. We had so much fun and managed to meet up with blogger LB as he and his lovely wife at the wharf as they were coming off a boat tour of the bay. LB is a wonderful inspiration; he's lost a crazy amount of weight - SF was his 2nd marathon and he ran sooo well with an incredible PR!

We grabbed some lunch after out visit with LB. Jamoosh, this pic below is for you!! Be proud!!

Katie then took me back to her place in San Jose and we played for a couple days. We had an excellent time!! She made me grilled BBQ chicken, her husband fixed my phone (never carry your phone with you in a marathon without putting in a zip lock bag. Just sayin'), we talked about blog world, and we just laughed and laughed. That girl touches my heart....despite our large age difference, we just really connect on some sort of level. Probably our passion for running, our crazy lives, our similar dispositions. On Tuesday, my last day in California, we drove over to the Santa Cruz area and walked the beach. I love the ocean. Absolutely LOVE it!! Me and Lilly, Katie's doggie, had fun walking along the sand, picking up shells, and just savoring the beauty.

The smiles say it all! Love ya, Katie!!

49 comments:

HappyTrails said...

Yay!!! You are the frick'in bomb! You did it in spite of your "challenges" (ahem). You should feel good! Fun, too, to meet up with so many neat people. I have to say, though, that I definitely prefer the photos that have some vegetation (greenery) in them (maybe b/c I am a trail runner???). I did like the shots along the water, too. Did you mind the gray day? Hey, how are liking our own humidity??? Yikes, we were just pouring sweat the past few runs and suffocating, not able to breathe! But the lawn is sure nice and green! Have a wonderful week! :-)
K

Jamoosh said...

Awesome race report. I have run in SF before (not the marathon though) and your pictures brought back some pleasant memories.

And indeed, I do approve!

onelittletrigirl said...

I would love to come meet you girls :)

I would do that race just for the cool shirt!

Congrats!

funderson said...

SO nice! I want to run that now. Beers, Coke and farmer blows...you're my kinda girl!

Johann said...

Well done, 04:18 is an awesome time! Fantastic report and photos! I like the Diet Coke one. You really had a wonderful time and race. The t-shirt and medal are also great.

C2Iowa said...

There are so many good things in this post. It takes more than one read to take it all in. Like Jim said, more determination than anyone I know.

The pics are so awesome. Esp the onw with you and Katie with the beer!!

Hope that the insurance issue is cleared soon - so you can get the heel to 100%

btw- you ran with all those issues much faster than I can at 100% health. You are BA and one tough lady.

Tara said...

OMG, when you made the comment about "being ahead of the kenyans", I could NOT stop laughing and I'm still chuckling over it! You crack me up; we need to swim, so I can hang with you!

Congrats on your race! I'm so glad that your glutes and your heel cooperated with you!

racing dawn said...

great race report! bay area running is my fave when i can make it over there! loved all the pics. i would be ecstatic with a 4:18 finish! hope your heel isn't as wounded as you think!

Katie A. said...

I read the WHOLE thing - you are an amazing writer, runner, friend...you get it :)
I wish I could have race memory like you! You did amazing despite all your issues - you sandbager! LOL!
I had a blast with you, too! It's so nice to have a friend who shares in all the crazy. Miss you tons and we have to make some dates for the future!

Tim F said...

Great race report. You did awesome fo having a bad heel. Way to complete the marathon. I was told that the signs were not goood by others (hopefully, they will fix that in the future). Great job!

AM-GoalsfortheWeek! said...

Woo-hoo! now that's a freakin' race report. dang.

i love seeing all the pictures. The course definitely took you too all the good spots in SF. A lot of the course looks the same as the Nike Half.

Great pictures, and glad us twinsies mom's got to connect- if just for a brief moment;-) next time we'll have to do the same race together!

Bethany + Ryan said...

great pics! love them all! i LOVE the race shirt, that's awesome! you look so happy! congrats on #17. Next up for us both is #18! :-)

Whitney said...

Congrats on the nose blowing PR! And yes, you SHOULD use that picture as your Facebook profile picture!
So jealous that you got to meet LB! Love him and his blog!

Jennifer said...

Look at that Swag! Wow what a report and great pictures. I love the crazy fog and that you got to meet, well, everybody in blogger world practically! I need to take a trip out West for one these crazy fun races. I was also really jealous as it looked so nice and cool! You guys had long sleaves on, holy cow! Cheers!

Jaime Runs said...

That Diet Coke photo is priceless. I think it should totally use it on FB.

ajh said...

There is nothing like the beach! You did great in spite of your heel! You are one determined lady! I enjoyed reading your post about the whole marathon. I would also have expected the bridge to be the biggest deal! And the part where you thought you were lost would have driven me crazy! But all in all it sounds like the good far outweighed the bad! Good for you! You truly rock. Fun meeting lots more bloggers and spending time with Katie!

ajh said...

Meant to say - I absolutely love the shirt!

Jamie said...

What a great trip! Awesome recap; love the diet coke photo:) Congrats on another marathon finish! You did awesome!

DRog said...

Jill,
This is so great. I love this post. I love your enthusiasm, your love for the run and everything around you. TOTALLY LOL at "Im ahead of the Kenyans GO ME" HAHAHA lololol - also great job texting and running -again LOL.

I'm glad you did this race, over the past three months you have inspired me (I now love the treadmill) and agree totally with Jim, you have showed serious determination. I hope your heal heels fully. great report, great race (on lack of sleep!) get well
Derek

DRog said...

flip flop
I actually hope your Heel Heals - haha
great pics
-D

Adam said...

Love all of the pictures! I'm really glad your heel held out. With those hills that would not have been much fun if it didn't!!

Sorry we weren't able to hook up while in San Jose. We'll have to make a point to do it when I am in Denver!

Mark said...

Great report and pics!!

Brian said...

Outstanding race report!!! The blow count of 5938 cracked me up as did the "Diet Coke" pic. I could tell you were having a blast.

Julie said...

Hi Jill,
God I am so glad that you got a new camera:) This race report was so awesome and I am so excited about all of the wonderful pictures! You did good! My favorite race reports are the ones with a ton of pictures:) I felt like I was running it with you! It was like a flashback to my trip to San Fran just one week before! Did you run past the Sports Basement when you were running through Presidio? That is where I picked up my racing packet and purchased my Asics outfit for the Napa race:) You had an amazing time and I am very proud of you for running with a sore foot and a runny nose! You rock Jill! This was a great race report that was so fun to read:) Congrats to you Lady!

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

Awesome race report! You ran a great race and i can say that from personal experience...that is a tough 26.2 mile course and you mastered it!

Kayla said...

I just found your blog, but this was a great race report. I especially love the picture with the diet coke and the comment about only eating corn on the cob, potatoes, and steak in Iowa. I grew up in rural MN and it was the same way! Great job on the marathon!

Petraruns said...

What a WONDERFUL report. I LOVE it. The only problem with it being so long is that there is SO much I want to respond to. First of all you are amazing running a marathon in that time with that amount of training and pain. Amazing! How is your heel now? And secondly you ARE about the most determined person out there. But thirdly the most important thing is you really really captured how I feel about the marathon AND about living in the moment - ie I don't do enough of it and marathons ARE my moments too. After 26.2 miles there is little else you can do than live in the moment. It's amazing. Big hug and you SHOULD make that your profile pic.

Scott Keeps Running said...

Awesome! I'm very jealous. I've never visited San Fran (drove through once), and I want to go bad. Almost signed up for the marathon this year...but couldn't swing it. Maybe next year.

Great report. :)

Marlene said...

What a fantastic trip! Love all the pics; thanks for sharing! (JEALOUS!)

saundra said...

Great race report, Jill. Sounds like a wonderful trip and a fantastic marathon experience.

Aka Alice said...

There is no such thing as a post that is too long...or at least that is the rule I operate by. I agree with Petra...many, many, many things to comment on.

I laughed at your observation that there is a Walgreens on every corner in SF. Why is that?

Sorry you missed dinner...next time, right?

Congrats on finishing another marathon. Thanks for sharing all the pix. It looks like you had a fabulous time!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

You captured your experince so well! I love that you put all the detail in there. I like to go back and read about my past races too. Before bloggy days I did it the old fashioned way - on paper! and it took forever. I'd get tired and leave stuff out. I know you'll be so glad to have it all recorded years from now!

Great photos! I wish I carried my camera during races more. I felt like I was along. Jealous of you and Katie. Looks like fun.

Finally, I told you that you would do the FULL. just saying! ;-) *hugs*

Rad Runner said...

Jill- number one yes please make that pic. your facebook picture!

Number 2 it was so cool meeting with you! I hope we run into oneanother again at a race!

Number 3 I am so glad the magic of Phiten helped achive a RAD time (in my opinion!)

Number 4- you are awesome.

Tricia said...

great recap, loved the pics

Badgergirl said...

Great job on the race! Loved the recap and the photos. And the race shirt and medal? Totally jealous.

Christi said...

Congratulations oan a great race! You did a fabulous job!

lindsay said...

Ok... How do you save pics on a camera? ;-) What a blogger-filled trip! So many meetups, I'm jealous.

Great race! Congrats! SF is definitely on my to-do list. I do hate that the bridge is almost always cloudy though. I want a sweet pic dangit!

I concur with the diet coke pic facebook posting. Hurry up with it already :)

Glenn Jones said...

Tremendous report Jill! So sorry we missed you at dinner.

Looks like you had a great time in SF. I love that city. BTW - you know that Haight is where the whole hippie movement started right? Bands like the Jefferson Airplane and Grateful Dead lived there....

Catch you soon. Time for you to heal your heel now.

AZ said...

A coaster medal, how'd you like to have a set of those?

T.C. said...

Your RR's are always so much fun to read! Love the part about being ahead of the Kenyans! Great pics too!

ajh said...

I think my heel issues are PF. That is how we are treating it. I don't have a treadmill and my gym has limited hours. By the time I gave up on outside it was too late to go! Should have gone earlier. But TS did not interfere with my race tonight! Yeah!

Sherri said...

This is Fantastic! I love Cally, but I have never been to San Fran..hope to go someday! Great race report...and great pictures!

Molly said...

Yay! You did it! I love what you wrote about how much you love the marathon distance, and I can never have enough details in a race report! So cool that you got to meet Rad Runner and have so many people to share this with. Congrats!!!!

NY Wolve said...

Wow, that is some race report. I love SF. it may be my favorite city to run in. I have run many places on your route (but not the bridge!), and it is hilly. For sure.

Great time, and great thought when you finished. Times like that make it all worth it.

COTY said...

Great race post ! enjoy your blog =]

Stacey said...

Congrats! San Fran is a fantastic city.

Tim said...

Nice post and pics, Jill. I'm jealous. At this time I'm generally only able to do races I can drive to quickly/cheaply and get back quickly. (Boston being the one exception.) Not to mention I lived in Berkeley for 5 years and so would really love to do this marathon. Some day...

Robin said...

Oh, friend... love the pics and anecdotal notes along the way, especially the texting. LOL Did that during my first half. Crazy.

LOL about the bib and pins. Seriously? They ARE green in CA, so maybe it was an environmental thing? Who knows!

So many bloggy friends and new memories, and a helluva run in spite of all the *stuff* you mentioned getting in the way. Hopefully, you are resting that heel.

Congrats on another fabulous marathon experience. You are TRULY an inspiration!

*HUGS* from Orlando!

Your post made me miss that city. Lived there LONG before I was runner. Saw it through different eyes while reading your post. Looking forward to a return one of these days....

Anonymous said...

Awesome race report chicklet!! You did GREAT! I love all the pics, but by golly the diet coke is my favorite lol..I'm proud of you! Way to finish strong :).. RC