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Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K - RunHalf Marathon

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San Francisco, California
United States
Pamakids Running Club
Total Time = 1h 59m 51s
Overall Rank = 2493/6087
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 122/505
Pre-race routine:

I could not sleep at all the night before. Ugh. I didn't go to bed until 1, and then tossed and turned until who knows when. I was not happy when the alarm went off at 5:30. But after a few sips of coffee I felt much better. I picked up Shizu at 6 a.m. and we headed into the city. I ate a Clif Bar on the way over. We were running a little late and made a last-minute decision to not caravan with Shizu's friend. We got to the start at about 6:45 a.m. I think that was perfect -- we had plenty of time for me to get my race number and hit the bathroom and for both of us to check our sweats. We stood around chatting for about 10 minutes before Shizu dropped back to start farther away from the front of the pack (funny, since she ended up finishing five minutes faster than me).
Event warmup:

Nothing. Although everything was pretty spread out around the start (sweat check, registration table, start line) so we probably walked half a mile to a mile before the race.
  • 1h 59m 51s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 09s  min/mile

I've been dealing with some plantar fasciitis pain so my training has been less than ideal so far this year. I decided to do this race anyway, but I figured it was best to not "race" it. My main goal was to not injure myself (or aggravate the PF) and, hopefully, still manage to finish under two hours.

My plan was to go easy for the first seven to 10 miles, then speed up for the last three if the foot (and everything else) was feeling good. That sort of worked? Since I wasn't taking this race all that seriously, I never did get around to looking up the course or elevation charts or anything. The first half of the course feels like it's mostly downhill so I ended up faster than I'd planned, but I think that was fine.

First mile I definitely went out easy -- looks like I'm over that run-with-the-crowd mentality and able to hold my own pace. Which is both good and bad, honestly, since I definitely need to be more aggressive in races, overall. The second mile was mostly downhill, and then it felt like it was one long downhill after another. It was nice because I was going fairly fast but with hardly any effort.

I didn't slow down until we hit the Great Highway, around the halfway point. That was a nice change for about a quarter mile, and then I realized it was going to be one super long out-and-back, which is never fun. The highlight was cheering for the leaders on their way to the finish. I love that part! But once that thrill was over I just kept looking ahead and wondering when we were going to get to the damn turnaround. I could also tell we had a tailwind, which was going to suck on the way back. (Why is it that tailwinds never seem to help as much as they hurt when you turn around?)

I was holding a pretty steady pace here and feeling OK. I think I stopped at all but one aid station -- twice for Gatorade, and otherwise for water -- which was too much for a half. I stopped so much partly because I wanted to give my legs the brief walking break, and partly because I hadn't brought any fuel on this race and I wanted the Gatorade. If this had been a "race" for me, the lack of fuel -- combined with the fact that I ate horribly (as in, not enough) the day before -- would've been killer. Also, I had so much water that I ended up really needing to pee for the last four miles, which was pretty uncomfortable.

Just before the turnaround I spotted Shizu running the other way. She'd gotten ahead of me! That bitch! Kidding. She had an awesome race and I'm damned proud of her. We never figured out when exactly she passed me, but it must've been pretty early on.

As expected, the last 5k along the Great Highway was a pain. Everyone was complaining about the headwind, and it was starting to get kind of hot. I was very glad I'd decided to go with my cap for this race instead of my headwarmer. When I hit the 12-mile marker a couple of people next to me started talking about what they needed to do to finish under two hours. I glanced at my watch and decided I could probably pull it off, so I sped up. I'd been dreading the last quarter-mile climb to the finish, but it was pretty quick, and for the first time ever I was happily surprised to have the finish line come a lot sooner than I'd expected. I ended up crossing just a few seconds under two hours. Yay! I wasn't invested in that goal, but I'm still glad I did it.

Overall, I think I did a good job "racing" this without aggravating my PF or other problems I've been having. I could feel the PF in my left foot on and off throughout the race, but it was just a minor annoyance. It wouldn't have bothered me at all if I wasn't so worried about it becoming more serious. The right hamstring, which has been a problem for almost two months, never did bother me in the race.
What would you do differently?:

If I'd been really racing this half mary, I'd have done a lot differently. But since I wasn't, I don't think I'd change anything. Maybe drink less water.
Post race
Warm down:

Shizu met me right after the finish and handed me a bottle of water. I love her. Then we walked foooooooooooorever to pick up various goodies. You had to walk through a super long expo to get to the sweat bags, which was kind of annoying. But it was probably a fairly effective way to get people moving away from the finish, so I guess I approve (plus, it always feels good to walk after a race). We met a couple of Shizu's friends who had come to cheer her on, and they offered to give us a ride back to my car. We had to walk about a half mile to their car, which was good. For some reason I felt really nauseated after this race -- more than usual, for me -- and I couldn't even think about eating anything for a few hours.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Stupid minor injuries that are keeping me from training as much as I'd like.

Event comments:

I've seen some complaints about this race, and I know Shizu had some issues with it, but I actually thought it was very well organized and I was impressed with the various ammenities. I didn't mind everything being spread out at the start and finish, although I could see how if someone was pressed for time it would be annoying. There were tons of helpful volunteers. The course itself is very pretty, and while the Great Highway section is kind of brutal, it's hard to complain about a five-mile run along the ocean.

Last updated: 2010-01-18 12:00 AM
01:59:51 | 13.1 miles | 09m 09s  min/mile
Age Group: 122/505
Overall: 2493/6087
Performance: Below average
Splits: 9:11, 8:44, 8:52, 8:49, 8:55, 8:39, 8:55, 8:57, 9:13, 9:10, 9:12, 9:25, 9:12
Course: The first half is mostly in Golden Gate Park, and mostly downhill with lots of super fast sections. Then it's a long, flat(ish) out-and-back along the Great Highway and a short climb to the finish.
Keeping cool Average Drinking Too much
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2010-02-08 11:11 PM

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K

2010-02-09 5:01 AM
in reply to: #2662643

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Verona WI--Ironman Bike Country!
Subject: RE: Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K
Sounds like a good race strategy Erin. Now time to get that PF under control before your marathon!
2010-02-09 10:42 AM
in reply to: #2662643

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Melon Presser
Subject: RE: Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K
A perfectly executed race according to your goals--and still a whoppin' fast sub-2.

Nausea frequently gets me after races, too. During, even.
2010-02-09 11:14 AM
in reply to: #2662643

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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K

Way to go, Erin!!  Nice job going "easy" yet under 2 hrs!!

2010-02-09 6:06 PM
in reply to: #2662643

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Extreme Veteran
San Francisco CA
Subject: RE: Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K
Nice job out there!
2010-02-09 10:48 PM
in reply to: #2662643

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san francisco
Subject: RE: Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K
Great job, Erin!  Way to get it done especially with the is a beautiful course but that dayum wind at the turnaround was pretty brutal.  Good going

2010-02-10 5:09 AM
in reply to: #2664904

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Suwanee, Ga.
Subject: RE: Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K
Awesome race Erin.  Gotta love those up hill finishes.


2010-02-12 8:19 PM
in reply to: #2662643

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Extreme Veteran
Subject: RE: Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon & 5K
Nice finish! I always like reading your RRs.  Good job. 
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