Ran past my usual turnaround point at the ballpark to 4th Street, then on to Mission Creek, where I took some great photos in my last weeks at UCSF, one of which ended up on a catalog cover. The crowds disappeared, and I enjoyed running in solitude. Couldn't figure out how to cross over the creek without doubling back and going over the bridge, which I did, figuring I should extend the run a bit here since I might be cutting it short to avoid the Wharf on the return leg. Really enjoyed this part of the run, especially the short dirt trail which was easier on the knees.
Back along the Embarcadero, turning at North Point rather than Jefferson to avoid the throngs of tourists. Turned at Hyde Street into Aquatic Park, enjoying the breeze but really getting tired at this point. Staggered up McDowell Road, constantly reminding myself that this was the last real hill of the run. Really starting to feel the burn in my legs. Somehow made it home, stopped the GPS and observed that the actual route ended up being 12.8 miles, which I completed in 2 hrs 43 min (with 9/1 run/walk intervals) for a pace of 12.5 min/mile: much better than I expected given the sun, fatigue, and pedestrian traffic.
So I'm definitely ready to run the half-marathon, which is one month from today and only a third of a mile longer than the run I just completed. I really don't think I want to run this distance or longer very often; though I'm sure I would get better with time, I certainly don't need it for fitness. Though I do appreciate some of the sensations I only get on my longer runs, like the the dried sweat on my face and lips.
Next time, I think I should bring some energy gel packs; I generally can't run with food in my stomach, but going three hours on water alone is pushing it. Sunscreen wouldn't be a bad idea either.