Race Recap: Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon

Going into Sunday’s half marathon, I was more than dubious.  Having felt burned out for the first time in 5 years, I wasn’t too sure that a half marathon was the smartest thing to do given my attitude problem.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

The Kaiser Permanente half was just what I needed to shake that feeling- it was such a great race!  As my 35th race and my 4th half marathon, it was the most mellow race experience to date.  With 10,000 participants, the course was not crowded, course support aplenty, the weather was gorgeous, plus I PRed by 5 minutes so, yes, I am completely biased.  I’ve got my mojo back- yaaaaaay!

My friend Anya arrived to my place at 5:40am on Sunday morning and off we trekked to San Francisco.  Even though the race started at 8am, I really wanted to get there early to avoid any parking or bib pick-up issues and thankfully Anya agreed- I was so happy to have the company!

We drove out, got parking, then walked to a near by Starbuck’s to get caffeinated for our race.  After coffee, we waked back through Golden Gate Park, I picked up my bib and we waited for the start.

Me & Anya trying not to pee ourselves from all that fricking coffee!

We waited and stretched and tried to locate the rest of our Team in Training buddies but with 10,000 participants, no one was easy to find… finally the national anthem was sung, the race began, and we were off…

Again, it was really a mellow race.  The course ran through Golden Gate Park which has ample room, not one bit of congestion like I am always used to.  Found my pace easily, pumped up my tunes, smiled at my fellow runners, and just enjoyed the beautiful day!  Even though it had been raining earlier in the week, the sun came out and we were met with blue skies and a slight breeze, which immediately reminded of how much I love to run in this great city I call home.  (Burnout?  What’s that???)

It felt just as good as it looks!

Like I said, this was my 35th race, so after about 20 races, I started to take for granted the route itself.  I check out the course map when I initially sign up (to be prepared for any hills) but then don’t give it much thought after that.  So, I had no idea that a portion of this race ran along The Great Highway– the scene of the crime for miles 22-26 of my first marathon.

The coast was just breathtaking, the waves were a peaceful blue, breaking and crashing over the shore very naturally but internally, I immediately recalled Nike.  I hadn’t been to this area of the city since the marathon so I had to work very hard to remind myself that this was actually mile 10 and NOT mile 23, I’m running great and NOT about to scream, cry and/or puke my guts out.  That was really weird.

At mile 12, I looked at my watch and was so surprised to see that I was on my way to a PR!  My last half was the US Half and as such a deplorable disaster, that one really doesn’t count AT ALL, and the one prior to that was Rock n’ Roll San Jose where I finished in 2:15.  At 12.88 miles, I was on my way to a 2:08 finish but my tummy started cramping badly and there wasn’t a porta potty in sight- if you have ever run while having to *go*, you know how difficult it is to ignore that cramping!  While I was ready to sprint it in, my tummy thought otherwise, and the last quarter mile was uphill.  Frick.  Once I hit that hill, I just had to take walk break.  Bye-bye 2:08, hello 2:10- new PR!  (I’ve got 2:08 in my sights for next time, though, dang it.)

I completed the race without much fan fare.  In other words, no medal.  Hmph.  Not sure how I feel about that as I am a whore for the hardware, but as it was a reasonable reg fee and such a great run, I really don’t mind!  (This time.)  Got my shirt and goody bag and then walked FOREVER to the shuttles to take us back to the parking garage at the race course start.  Really, that’s the only problem I had at this race- the walk was VERY LONG and the wait for the shuttles was also VERY LONG.  If I ever do this race again, I’m calling a cab.  Seriously.

Got home at 1pm (from a 5:40am start- whoa!), ice bathed, then feasted on many different carbs and proteins and alcohols while watching this thing every one tells me is called “The Superbowl”.  (I’m not a sports fan… could you tell?)  Highlight of the day was my PR, while the low light was watching Madonna at half time (I love her but what the heck was that????).

Anyhoo, I am very thankful that all it took was one good race to get me out of my funk- have you ever raced during a funk?  Did it effect your effort?  Have you ever accomplished a PR despite a bad attitude? 

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And, please join me in the Run For Sherry this Saturday, February 11th.  Print the bib, lace up, and go for a run/walk/bike/swim to honor her memory.  Take a moment to watch this video done by Olympic runner, Carrie Tollefson, about this Virtual Run for Sherry:


Finally, yet another reminder that my super huge Auction for a Cure benefiting The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society closes 12am PST on February 13th!  Check it out, bid today, and help save lives- it’s a good, good thing!!!!!

7 thoughts on “Race Recap: Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon

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