The weather today couldn't have been more different than for B2B in May. I wore sweat pants and a hoodie to the start, and just after leaving the apartment went back to get my windbreaker to wear during the race itself, which proved to be a wise move. My wonderful soulmate boyziggy walked with me to the starting line, then got a City CarShare and took photos at various points throughout the race, despite having been out very late the night before.
I felt great for the first few miles, running my familiar route through Aquatic Park and up McDowell Road, which I would have run up easily had my walk break not come up during that time (I ran 9/1 intervals and did not eliminate any walk breaks till near the very end). I had hoped to do 12 minute miles, figured I'd probably go slower than that, and ended up actually going faster at first, around 11:30 min/mile pace. But once we got to the bridge, it was so foggy and cold that I was feeling rather miserable. I didn't enjoy running over the Golden Gate as much as I thought it would; I couldn't see anything, people kept stopping to take photos, and I missed seeing Ziggy who I later found was waiting at the visitor center to get my photo. I put my jacket back on as I was coming off the bridge; I was cold and my hands were getting numb.
I took one Clif Shot before the race and two during, along with plenty of water; the rest stops were well stocked but the cups were tiny, so I was glad to have my Camelbak. After the bridge the rolling hills kept coming, which I didn't expect having not run in this part of the city, though I was warned that the first half marathon would be hilly. My knees were hurting and I was huffing and puffing by the time I passed mile 10 at 2 hours. Ziggy was waiting around mile 11 1/2 and snapped more photos, which cheered me up. After that I slowed way down, feeling in pain but not enough to resort to stopping or walking (other than on my walk breaks).
I didn't speed up again until the finish line was in sight, at which time I sprinted in for a 2 hour 41 minute finish. Official stats:
Place: 6303 (out of 7953)
Division/Place: F 30-39/1194 (out of 1573)
Sex-Place: 3295 (out of 4495)
Age Grade: 42.33%
I stumbled through the finishing area in Golden Gate Park, received my medal, and in awhile Ziggy came to meet me (we were both confounded by the course map trying to figure out where the 1st half actually ended; we couldn't find the specific link to appropriate detail map on the web site until after the race, grr). He took more photos, we walked a long way to the car (which was good for my post-race recovery, though tiring), and drove to Herbivore to pick me up a yummy breakfast burrito and vegan donuts. When he dropped me off at home the power was out (which didn't completely surprise me as a nearby friend had tweeted that his was off); I simple ate and then napped much of the afternoon until the lights came back on. Later we feasted on stuffed cheeseless pizza; yay for Paxti's now offering delivery to our area!
My legs are quite sore; I didn't ice them like I should have, and probably waited too long after the race to eat as well. (They had run out of bananas so I only had granola at the finish line.) I'll probably pay the price tomorrow, but I am glad I did this race. Next year, though, I think I'll do the 2nd half, unless I'm strong enough to deal with all the hills and decide I don't care so much about the fog and early start time.