The Kaiser Half Marathon in San Francisco was my first race of the 2014 season. It took place on Sunday, February 2, 2014 starting at Golden Gate Park and finishing by the Great Highway somewhere in there.
Short story: The weather was cold, windy and wet with down pouring race. On the bright side, I hit a PR.
Long story: I was really itching for a race to do, since for the first time in a couple of years, I had no races to do in January. The last race that I had done was the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10k back on Thanksgiving, 2013. I was very much injured and took my time getting through the course.
I was still slightly injured through the holiday season, and I unfortunately was constantly getting sick, also. Basically, if I wasn’t injured, I was sick. If I wasn’t sick, I was nursing an injury for some reason.
But I was determined to have a race to kick of my 2014 race season, and the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon seemed like a good idea.
Race morning, I was feeling pretty pumped, but anxious about the weather because we had been having crappy weather all week long. Like, on and off rain and all sorts of good stuff.
As luck would have it, our race morning was definitely not what I was expecting. The chance of rain was low, so I figured I’d be good to go in some shorts, compression sleeves on my calves, and a long sleeved shirt with a light jacket over. I was wrong. As we were carpooling up to San Francisco, it started to rain as we were nearing San Bruno, and the rain didn’t stop. Ever. It just kept coming.
San Francisco was dark, and gloomy. And ugly. I was not dressed for this race. I did get a garbage bag from the volunteer tent that I was able to wear while we were waiting around for the race to start.
The race itself was SO CRAZY. Besides from the weather, I was pacing my mom and her friend, Trang. Holy moly, I have to thank these women for putting up with me for the entire 13.1 miles. My mom was determined to get me to hit a PR, and while I wanted a PR as well, the weather made it seem undoable and I wasn’t as confident as previously.
I felt like I started the race out a little too fast: Somewhere around an 11-minute/mile pace. My calves were burning early on and I knew this was going to suck. Throughout the entire race, my mom had me focus on my cadence, my breathing, and my tempo. I don’t think she let me walk even for more than a minute throughout the entire race! It’s safe to say that I had nearly ran this half marathon without stopping. (I now know that I could probably hit a sub-2:45 if I work on my speed even more.) Luckily, my cardio wasn’t as bad as I thought, it was the physical endurance that my body was struggling with. I’m known to take walking breaks here and there, and there wasn’t any room for that.
My mom screamed at me to keep moving, and I screamed at her to eff off and just let me run my damn race. Honestly, I think I yelled every swear word known in the English language at them, and flipped them the birdies so many times I can’t even count. I was hurting, and they were not getting the nice end of the stick at all.
By around mile 3-4, my body was warmed up but I couldn’t tell because I was wet and numb in some places. I just kept moving on as best as I could. It wasn’t until maybe mile 8-9 that I started to struggle and slow my pace down. I kept running, but my pace was slow and my feet felt like they were dragging.
I don’t know about you, but the last .1 of a half marathon is always the hardest for me. My mom screamed her loudest, and I pushed my hardest and while I did hit a PR of 2:46, it was not my ultimate goal of 2:45. I was somewhat disappointed but then I saw some of my teammates and they hit me with, “A PR is a PR no matter what!” so I felt a little better about that. I know my time will come for a sub-2:45 half marathon! Hopefully sometime this year!
Anyway, after the race, my legs weren’t having it. They weren’t used to running nonstop for that long and for that far. My feet were also covered in blisters because they were wet. No bueno. I would definitely do this race again though. It’s for a good cause, and the course isn’t really as bad. I kinda liked it.
Despite the crappy weather and me swearing my mom and her friend out, it was a great time. I came home with a PR and that is that!