Race Recap: 2018 Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon

I’m taking the microblogging format to race recaps, y’all! Let’s keep this brief and to the point. The day before the race, I carb-loaded like a champ, with pancakes, leftover spaghetti, and chicken rice porridge (congee/jook). I woke up around 5:00am on race morning, with the goal of getting to the Great Highway parking lot by 6:30am because I remembered that I waited until closer to 7:00 last year and it was almost full.

IMG_3535

All of the post-race drinks ready for consumption. The La Colombe triple latte was AMAZING — flavored with cane sugar and comes with lactase (so it’s lactard-friendly!) #NotAnAd

My strategy was to race by feel, with my Garmin displaying time of day rather than lap pace. I was glad that I didn’t have a time goal because it was going to be warm for February in SF — likely in the 70’s and partly sunny by the time I finished. Pre-race logistics went well, and soon I had managed to spot SP, KH, and Angela just by hanging out by the porta potties. 😉 We chatted for a little bit before getting into the start corral. No pre-race selfies — because I’m a #badblogger.

At about 8:10, we were off! It took me about 2 minutes to actually cross the start line. KPSFHM one of the largest half marathons in California, I think. I noticed that, even before I started running, I was already sweating. Yikes. Anyway, instead of giving you a mile-by-mile recount, here are the snapshots I remember from the race:

  • Mile 0.5-1.5: This race tends to be crowded at the start, so I tucked in behind 3 women running abreast. They were running at a good pace for me, so I kinda let them do the dodging, weaving, and getting people out of the way. I think this might be a good strategy in the future!
  • Mile 3: first Gu of the race (I ate one about 15 minutes before the race started). Salted Caramel, yum.
  • Mile 4.5: mental chatter/whining started – a bit early for negativity, I thought! I pushed those thoughts aside and forced myself to smile and be patient. As we’re always telling my 11 year old nephew, “We’ll get there when we get there.”
  • Mile 5.5: my absolute favorite part of the course! The elevation drops significantly as runners go toward the ocean. I saw a 9 (?) year old girl running with her dad, just chugging along, like it was NBD. I wanted to give her a high-five and tell her how cool she was, but I didn’t want to be patronizing.
  • Mile 6.5: I see and cheer for the first place male coming in to finish the race (the last 6 miles are out and back). As I turn left onto the Great Highway, I take a deep breath and finish the rest of my 2nd Gu.
  • Miles 7-9: I search for Angela and SP, who I expect to see coming back (on the out and back), but I only see SP. I also saw Devon Yanko and yelled out a garbled, “Go, Devon!” (my throat was pretty dry)
  • Mile almost-10: I made it to the turnaround! Woot!
  • Miles 10-13: death march, as usual. I focus on a few runners ahead of me with good form. I promise to try to stay with them. In particular, I stick with 2 guys with blue camo tees, and a woman in a red singlet. The woman and I run side by side for the last mile before we make the final turn into Golden Gate Park.
  • Last bit: That hill into GGP always kills me. As I climb up, I exchange a few cheerful words with an older gentleman, who kindly reminds me to focus on my form and use my arms. This seems like a good idea until I remember how weak my upper body is. Finally, I follow the gentle right turn of the road and see the finish line. I have no gas for a final sprint.
  • After I finish: The red singlet lady sprinted past me at the last minute, then thanked me — she had been using me to pace her at the end. I told her I had been following her too, on the Great Highway, so it was a two-way street. Good feelings all around.

Here are my splits (Garmin):Screen Shot 2018-02-08 at 2.58.37 PM

IMG_3542

Post-race selfie with SP

A few notable things (at least to me, anyway):

  • I think my splits were pretty even if you take into account elevation changes and weather. I think there was probably a slight tailwind on the “out” portion — miles 7-9, and a headwind on the back portion — miles 11-3… though I could’ve also been getting tired.
  • I finished 4 minutes faster than last year, despite the warmer weather and coming off a smaller fitness base (2016 vs. 2017 as a whole). I think running by feel might be my new thing, y’all.
  • This ranks 3rd out of 4 Kaiser SF Halfs in terms of finishing time, but I’m pretty happy with how I ran the race. I felt like I gave it my all.
  • I might have discovered a solution to my pre-race caffeine issues. It’s complicated and a bit TMI, but I’ve had bathroom problems if I have coffee before a race. Even tea can upset my stomach. But if I don’t have any caffeine, it leaves me feeling deflated and tired. So, I decided to experiment with one shot of espresso with a lot of almond milk (basically a latte). My theory was that the milk would balance out the espresso and hopefully not upset my stomach too much. And it seems to have worked (knock on wood!).
  • This was a productive race in terms of giving me a point of reference for Oakland next month and for practicing pre-race and race day logistics.
  • Post-race recovery has been kind of brutal. I was a little sore, but very, very tired on Monday. I’m still feeling a bit run down (pun intended) 4 days out from the race. I guess this is what being an older runner means??

After the race, Angela kindly hosted bRUNch at their temporary digs. There was great food and even better company. I neglected to take any photos because: #badblogger. But here’s a fun one from bt:

IMG_20180204_114532

Cheers! (Sweaty lens “filter” LOL)

Official race results:
2:01:19 (9:15/mile)
1862/4971 overall, 634/2404 F, 93/330 (F 40-44)

Logistics can be found on my previous race reports (here and here). They have essentially stayed the same except that the t-shirt and medal have both improved in design and quality.

IMG_3569

The little blue whale moves!

p.s. Did you run Kaiser? If so, post your review on RaceRaves by 2/18 for a chance to win a free entry into next year’s race and other cool prizes!

Advertisements
About

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.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Race Recap
8 comments on “Race Recap: 2018 Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon
  1. gracechua31 says:

    Nice work! Yay running by feel – that’s really my favourite way to race a half. Also, I bet that medal is made by the same folks who make the Baystate medals, which also have a little slidey piece that moves; either that or medals with moving bits is A Thing now.

    • Jen says:

      Thanks! I feel like medals are getting more creative. I don’t usually keep them, but this one is fun enough for me to put on my desk for a little while. I also like the ones that double as coasters, magnets, beer openers…

  2. bt says:

    Your quads are ripped in that race photo! Awesome.

  3. Angela says:

    Congrats on a great race! So good to see you at brunch! 🙂

  4. RoadBunner says:

    I agree, your splits are super even considering the elevation changes. Nice job! It was great to finally get to meet you. I haven’t run this race in years and it seems like it has gotten an upgrade in swag and participation. I never would have guessed it was considered to be so huge.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

Howdy! Welcome to my blog!

follow us in feedly
Follow on Bloglovin

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 345 other followers

RaceRaves
On the docket…

7/7/18: Dirty Dozen 6 Hour Race

Archives
Categories
%d bloggers like this: