Nike Women’s Marathon 2011 (Half)

First, let’s talk about the expo, excuse me, I mean the expotique! Since this is my first Nike race, I’ve been looking forward to this expo for months!! It is very chic and stylish. Not that I don’t like the other expos, I can only hoard so many GU samples and cliff jars. It’s a nice change to get your hair set, complement from Paul Mitchell or foot message!

Found my name on the board!!!

Posting in front of those cute signs. I’m obsessed in taking these pictures because I was so jealous while reading 23647 blog post about the race!

RACE DAY

My niece who ran the race with me stayed with us, we started decorating our race shirt to remember those who are important in our lives. Her father passed away when she was 3 and the day of the race was his birthday, I rant in memory of my grandpa and honor of my grandma who raised me. I am not crafty, so it took a lot out of me to make those letters….

We got up at 4:30, ate breakfast, got ready, head over to my bestie Susan’s house to pick her out and head to union square. When we got near union square, all of a sudden, I HAD TO go to the bathroom. Made my husband stop in front of Westin so I can go. GOOD decision, no line, clean bathrooms!! We then head down to union square and saw massive amount of people!!! I had no idea where the coral line up is, eventually, I found 9-9:59 and saw a pacer 4hr. I stayed close to her. I am fairly close to the start line, only took me about one minute, but doesn’t mean that the crowd wasn’t there. It took quite a lot of energy to weave through people, but I did not encounter as many walkers in my area.

THE COURSE

Going into the race, I know this would be a tough course, I either underestimated how tough this would be, or overestimated my ability, Let me just out this down, in writing, My goal was to get a sub2. While my training wasn’t ideal, I did train. But I failed, epic failed. Did not reach my goal and this made me very upset. I PRed, but I still failed,
Okay, now that it’s out of the way, let’s talk about the course. Here is the elevation chart, and my heart, lung, legs falls apart whenever you see the line goes up. I know I am bad with hills, I just didn’t know how bad I was as evidence in my split chart below.

Mile 1-3: going through downtown fishermans wharf.
Weaving through people, running slightly faster than my goal pace, pulling anticipating that I wi ll not make it running up the hill. I intentionally talk to people around me, so that I know my pace is still somewhat conversational. But I still cannot stop worrying about the hills from 6-10.

Miles 4-6 Crissy field heading towards that giant cliff/hill
Honestly, this hill looks daunting, it was quite massive. But this was NOT the hill that killed me. very slowly, tiny steps, I ran up this hill with minimum walking. Was rewarded with great views and a good portion of downhill. my lung loves downhill, but I was also slightly worried that it will shred my quads later.

Photo borrowed from http://spiritofthemarathon.tumblr.com

Mile 6-9ish
I am seriously having some mental block here. All I can remember is “what the fuck, is this ever gonna end?”. I had told myself to learn to love the hills, and I’ll get through. I remember none of that, The hills weren’t steep, it was just there, long an never ending, You think you are done with one, another one is coming up. Athen you are greeted with more and more. My legs refused to move even at a slight inclination…I think my brain just froze when it see any type of hills at that point. I walked, I walked a lot. I am so mad and angry at myself, I’ve never walked this much in a race,

Mile 9:
I think this is where the great highway downhill run was. Happiest part of my race. I love downhills. I didn’t care if it’s gonna tear my quads, gotta make up some time here!! Slightly worried that I may face plant, I flew down as fast as I could. I can e the finish line! But sadly, I know we still have 3 miles to go. 5K, I can do this!!

Mile 10-12:
Why the hell am I in the golden gate park again? Seems like all the races I’ve done in SF gets me in this park, I never realize GGP has rolling hills until now. I was not happy. Legs were like lead and would not move. Finally made it to mile 12, and I refused chocolate. This is the famous ghiradelli chocolate mile and I had zero interest in it, I just want to dash to the finish line and get my freakn necklace.

Thoughts that went through my head during this last 3 miles:
Why can’t I just buy this necklace from the store?
What excuses can I use to not run the US half marathon?
Hot dang, I hate running.
Never, never sign up for hilly races
If I decide to walk right now, how long is it gonna take for me to finish?

Mile 13
1 mile- c’mon, I knew at that point that I have a chance to PR, but obviously my A goal was an epic fail. I really wanted to a push myself to make sure I finish within 2:05, but my legs just doesn’t want to move, breathing was harder. I wanted to cry. I forced myself to run faster, but sadly, it didn’t happen. I made it to the finish line. 2:04:10
PRed by merely 55 seconds.

My husband said I did a really good job, I smiled, but deep inside, I was very disappointed that I failed. If you look at my mile splits, and compare that with the elevation chart, I basically fail at running hills.
The sad thing is that I do train running hills. I do trail runs with my friend, I run the Stanford dish for torturing myself. But you seem those are different, when I run with my friend, I run them really slow,and we walk alot. when I do the dish, I run them somewhat hard, but in my heart, I know it’s only 3.6 miles, and if I run them hard, I won’t bonk. I have a constant fear running this Nike Course that the hills will kill me to a point that I might bonk and DNF!

Oh well, lesson learned. I need to train more hills. Will I do this again next years. Maybe. I’m still very traumatized by the course, but I enjoy the energy and the necklace of course!!

And of course these cute fireefighters!!

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10 responses to “Nike Women’s Marathon 2011 (Half)

  • denise:)

    I read in another Nike race report that this race “isn’t for racing/runners, it’s an event” – which I hope helps you feel better about your Freaking Awesome Time! I think the Tiffany Bling attracts more “normal people” doing good for a cause vs serious, goal-oriented runners.

    (I was 2:50:33! SOO SLOOOWWW! It took FOOOOREVVVER! I was smack in the middle of the 22,000 and my age group. I also passed on the chocolate just wanting to be done!)

    There are soo many people at different levels making you zig-zag more than normal races, taking your precious energy away from those hills! Pat yourself on the back because us slow gals are very impressed!

  • lazy chick

    Denise, thank you so much for your kind words! I never knew I have this competitive side of until I started running! I wish I can blame it on weaving around people, but it wasn’t all that bad because I was standing close to the 4:00 hr marathon pacer and she wiggled us all closer to the front! But definately some zig zagging going on. Someone stepped on the back of my one shoe and it came right out!
    Congrats on your finish too!! Any other races planned this year or next year?

  • denise:)

    You’re welcome! You earned that necklace!!

    Running brought out my previously undiscovered competetive nature also!
    I have a 10k Mud run on the the 30th (Merrell Down & Dirty Sacramento), a 10k weekend after that and a 5k in Dec. Those 2 will be PR goals ;)

    In Jan/Feb I’ll start training with Fleet Feet for the SF Marathon- training for the full with the option of the doing only half! I’m subscribed to your blog so maybe we’ll meet at a mutual race sometime. I’ll shake your hand and hope some of your speed rubs off on me!

  • lazy chick

    awww…… Thanks!! I’m running the SF Marathon as well! I was planning to do some runs with the Fleet Feet in SF (I work from home but alot of times I’m out in the field in SF). I am doing the first half so for sure we will see each other! I have a 5K turkey trail run and haven’t decided on New Years run yet (either a half marathon or 10K) but trail runs takes alot out of me!!

  • Julie @40buckets

    I really enjoyed reading your race recap! Don’t worry…I felt the same way on those hills!!! I trained for hills also but those were just never ending! Also passed on the chocolate…who wants chocolate so close to the finish! They should move it closer to the beginning of the race. I guess the only upside of the second 13 miles of the course is very little hills. My legs were already dead from the first half! Don’t beat yourself up…you did AWESOME! My best half is a 2:02 and that was on a flat course! You must have really been moving! Great job!!

  • lazy chick

    oh Julie, thanks for the kind words! The fact is, I don’t know if I can even go faster on a flat course, I think I went fairly fast on the downhill, especially that great highway stretch…but I think the hills just made my legs dead!! Congrats again on finishing this tough tough course!!!

  • Naomi

    You ran an amazing race! This was my 15th half marathon and by far, the hardest race of them all! Be proud of your race – you nailed it! BTW – GREAT photo with the firefighters!

  • lazy chick

    Wowza!! 15?? Which one is your favorite?? That’s some inspiration!!

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