The Nike Women's San Francisco 1/2 Marathon was this past Sunday.
3 months of training leading up to 13.1 miles!
The race was on Sunday, but since it started at 6:30 am (YIKES!!) we decided to stay in the city on Saturday night. We headed into the city on Saturday afternoon & checked out all the pre-race activities.
It was a beautiful October day in San Francisco
My neighbor Steph & one of my best friends Jackie are the 2 ladies who somehow talked me into this race :)
The Nike Town San Francisco store is right in Union Square & on the windows outside the store, they had names of all the runners...there were 25,000 of us!
On the top of the Nike Town store:
When we were in the Nike store we ran into some friends who were also running (their kids go to our kids elementary school also!)
Inside Nike Town, they had the map of the course:
All around the city, they had awesome sayings....getting us pumped up & motivated for the race!
That night we went to dinner at the Daily Grill, I had salmon & brown rice for dinner.
We went to bed around 10pm, because we were waking up at 5am!!!! AHHHH!!
I set out my "outfit" for the race.
We stayed at the Westin St. Francis, which was right in Union Square, so for the race, we just had to walk outside the lobby to the starting line.
We woke up at 5am so that we could eat breakfast. I had toast with peanut butter & a protein Luna bar. I also had a cup of coffee because I knew I would get a caffeine headache if I didn't have my morning coffee :)
Here we are in the hotel lobby...it was still dark out! I always run in a tank top & shorts, so I didn't want to change it up for the race even though it was a little chilly.
It was so crazy at the start....25,000 ladies ready to run 13.1 miles! It didn't feel like it was 6:30 in the morning, I felt like it was midnight, which for me was awesome since I'm a night owl. I was pretending it was nighttime. LOL.
SOOO many people!
I snagged the next 2 pics from the Nike website:
I have never run a 1/2 marathon & I have certainly never run a race with 25,000 + people...I didn't realize how crowded it would be...especially on the narrow streets of San Fran. My first mile was slow because I was trying to get around people. It was nuts. It is probably a good thing I went out slow because I have a tendency to go out too fast which makes me tired!
There were some hills here & there, but nothing TOO steep. There was so much energy...people cheering you on from the sidewalks. They also had marching bands playing.
At mile 2, there was a gospel choir singing....I reached mile 2 just as the sun was rising...it brought tears to my eyes hearing gospel music & watching the sun rise over the city. So beautiful. It helped me get through mile 2.
I felt awesome the first 10 miles of the race...the weather was perfect & I felt great.
(Here is the elevation profile of the race)
I knew mile 10 would be rough....everyone talked about how rough it would be...it's a steep hill that is about a mile long.
Here is a pic of part of it (from the Nike website)
The hill just kept twisting & turning & kept going up, up, up for almost a mile.
I was worse than I thought. Ha!
I knew if I could make it through mile 10, then I could make it through the 1/2 marathon.
Mile 10 was lined with people cheering us on.
I kept my head down & told myself "just keep running"
As you are running up the hill, you start getting glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge:
Once you get to the top of the hill, this is your view (I got this from the Nike website)
As I reached the top, I got tears in my eyes...it was so amazing running that hill...it was awful...but amazing. And, then to see the massiveness of the Golden Gate Bridge....it took my breath away.
Mile 11 was all downhill...I was not prepared for how much that would hurt my knees.
Once you got to mile 11.5, it was flat until the finish line.
I got these pics from the Nike website...this is at mile 11.5
The next 2 pics are from mile 12.5.....I am seriously winded & kept thinking...where is the finish line?!?!
The look on my face cracks me up...I was in so much pain & couldn't wait for the race to be over...the hill at mile 10 was rough, but the downhill for mile 11 was killing my knees.
Crossing the finish line!!!!!
Post race selfie...I totally teared up when I finished...I was proud of myself!
My goal was to have fun & run the whole time.
My official finish time was 1:59:11 (race was 13.37 miles...a little longer than 13.1 My time at 13.1 was 1:57:01)
At the end, you don't get a medal....you get a Tiffany Necklace!!!!
Isn't it pretty?
This race is known for the Tiffany necklace given to you by San Francisco Firemen in tuxedos.
I'm a 1/2 marathoner!!!
I loved this sign...this is what this race is all about.
3 months ago, I started training for this race after not running for 10 years. 10 years!!!
In fact, it was 10 years of not working out either. Last summer I started playing indoor soccer once a week, but that has been the extent of my working out. The past 3 months training for this race have been so good for me. I feel so much better. I am fitter, I am faster & I am stronger. I am better for it.
So glad Steph & Jackie convinced me to sign up for this race with them!
I want to encourage you that if you want to get back into running or working out....JUST DO IT!!!
I took a 10 year break from running and with just 3 months of training, I was able to run a 1/2 marathon.
It was hard getting back into running...those first 2 weeks of running were brutal, I was really sore & tired....but stick with it!
If I can do it, you can do it!
The Nike Women's 1/2 was an amazing experience!
Thank you for all your encouragement, support and training tips over the past 3 months, I appreciate it!