Race Preview: San Francisco 1st Half Marathon

Color_Logo_TSFMRace: San Francisco 1st Half Marathon (SF1HM)
Date & Time: Sunday, July 27, 2014

Course reconnaissance:1st-Half-Course-Map_Web_NEW-1024x6621st-Half-Marathon-Elevation-Profile-1024x252

According to the race website:

The 1st Half Marathon covers the first half of The San Francisco Marathon.  The race starts on the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building, traversing San Francisco. The 1st Half Marathon runs through Fisherman’s Wharf, the Marina, across the roadbed of the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Presidio and finishes in Golden Gate Park. The course is USATF certified.

Compared to the 2nd Half, which I ran last year, SF1HM is much hillier and has a crazy early start time, but it’s also much more scenic.

Weather forecast:
It’s been unusually hot and muggy in the Bay Area, and the weather doesn’t look like it’ll be changing before tomorrow’s race.  Tomorrow morning looks hot and humid, with temps in the high 50s/low 60s at 5am and creeping up to the 80s by noon.  The upshot of this?  No fog (most likely) and clear views from and of Golden Gate Bridge (GGB).  Oh, at least I’m running the 1st half and will be done by 8:30 a.m., before the real heat sets in.

Ha! Considering that, just a few weeks ago, I wasn’t sure that I’d stay ahead of the sag wagon due to ongoing aches and pains, I’m not sure that “time goals” are even relevant at this point.  That said, I think that 2:30 is very likely and doable, and sub-2:30 if I’m feeling spunky and energetic.

I plan to take plenty of photos during my walk breaks, especially across the GGB, which will be closed to vehicular traffic just for the race.  Having dealt with these nagging issues for the past few months has also given me the perspective of gratitude.  I’ve paid lip service to that in the past, but this time I really mean it.  It’s true of any race — my next race could be my last, so I’m planning on enjoying it!  (Though I really hope it’s not my last race — plus, I’ve promised the Gypsy Runner not to injure myself further!)

Going into race day, I’m feeling strong and rested.  I’m tempted to say “screw you!” to run/walk intervals, but the truth of the matter is that I haven’t run more than 4 minutes at a time for a while now, and I don’t think race day is the time to rock the boat (or is it??).  Seeing as I often start to feel my hip and low back tighten up around miles 6-7, my plan is to start out with my now-standard 3:1 run/walk intervals and if I feel REALLY good after 7 miles, then I’ll consider increasing the run intervals a bit at a time.  If not, I’ll continue run/walking until mile 11, at which point, unless I’m hobbling, I’ll aim to run continuously to the finish line.

I went to the race expo yesterday, which moved from the Concourse in SOMA to Fort Mason.  There are pros and cons to the change, but overall my experience was about equal.  Going on Friday afternoon/evening meant very short lines and a less hectic atmosphere, but it also meant missing out on the various blogger meet-ups and seeing a couple of friends who were working at the expo today (Saturday).

At the expo with IP and her adorable baby N. Ready to conquer our fears!

At the expo with IP and her adorable baby N. Ready to conquer our fears!

So, I think that’s it!  This is probably the most relaxed I’ve been pre-half marathon in a long, long time.  If you want to follow me (and because there are 7 Jen Lee’s racing), my bib number is 42133.  Here’s hoping for a fun, enjoyable, and pain-free race tomorrow!  If you’re also racing tomorrow – good luck!


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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Posted in Goals, Race Preview
14 comments on “Race Preview: San Francisco 1st Half Marathon
  1. Amy says:

    Thanks for including the bib number, because the Jen Lee(s) thing has been an issue in the past! Hope you have a great time!

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Amy! I was actually thinking of your too-many-Jen-Lee(s) problem from a while ago when I put the race bib # down. 😉

  2. Brianna says:

    Good Luck tomorrow Jen! I hope the hip/back holds up and you have a great time! So jealous you are doing the first half given the predicted temps. I’m running the 2nd and I’m just hoping I don’t melt somewhere around mile 10 🙂

    • Jen says:

      Thanks, Brianna! I wish I knew what you looked like so I could cheer for you — I’ll be hanging around the finish line for a while, waiting for a friend. Good luck!

  3. Cathryn says:

    There’s only one Jen Lee!! Crush it, lovely girl! Have fun x

  4. Kimra says:

    So, I am going to be on my bike cheering (orange SF marathon ambassador shirt/orange tank if it gets too hot, green dollar store obnoxious clapping hands) around mile 2 and mile 11. I’ll be roughly trying to follow my husband’s times, but I hope I can spot you too! Have a great run!

  5. Mike says:

    Great course, great weather, great people, great atmosphere… run/walk strong, and hopefully this will be the last race you’ll have to concern yourself with anything other than getting to the finish line as fast as possible!

  6. Angela says:

    HAVE A GREAT RACE!!! Your plan is solid & if you’re feeling really good I bet increasing your run intervals a bit will be fine. Hopefully I’ll get to see you after (unlike last year, stupid hip)!!

  7. Sherry says:

    Have a great race Jen! I think your plan sounds very wise, no point risking more down time. Have fun!

  8. […] goals/strategies/expectations:  Discussed previously, my goals were to do run/walk intervals, not hurt myself further, and hopefully finish under […]

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