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Nike Womens Marathon - RunMarathon

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San Francisco, California
United States
60F / 16C
Total Time = 6h 27m 39s
Overall Rank = 3710/4382
Age Group = F 50-54
Age Group Rank = 190/263
Pre-race routine:

Woke up at 3:50 am. I got dressed, made myself a cup of hot tea, and ate cereal. Met up with my two other teammates who were doing the early start with me.
Event warmup:

The three of us walked over to start from our hotel. We got rid of out extra gear. naturally our bus was the furthest one away from the start. That was okay it was just once more chance to get the legs moving a bit.

They did some group stretching before hand. Renee, Vici and I moved right up the front. The early start is for walkers who feel they're going to take 6:30 + to complete the race. We were planning on being around 6:30.
  • 6h 27m 39s
  • 26.2 miles
  • 14m 48s  min/mile

Vici, Renee, and I started out together, and kept up a pretty even sub 15 pace. A number of people went blowing past us. So much for being required to stay at 15 minutes a mile or slower. The so called pace vehicle was certainly going faster then 4 mph! Even the cycling pacer was faster then that. The early start is nice because it doesn't take 20 minutes to cross the starting line like it does in the regular start. Also it's very cool running through the streets past Fisherman's wharf in the dark. Even at that hour you can hear the sea lions barking. We all needed an early porta-potty break, but just wanted to get it over with since there were no lines.

The three of us stayed together for about 13 miles. When Vici and I did our 20 miler together I discussed the possibility that at some point during the marathon we may need to split up depending on how anyone of us was feeling. I felt it was an important issue to discuss ahead of time so that there would be no misunderstandings or hard feelings when the time came. It became apparent on the hills that our staying together wasn't going to work. Vici and I would get ahead of Renee, slow down to let her catch up, and then she caught up, we pick the pace up again. I finally told Vici we needed to walk our race, and let Renee walk hers. Once she realized that our dropping back and speeding up wasn't helping any of us she was more willing to stay at our pace, and let Renee focus on a pace that was going to work for her.

The views in this race are amazing. You go up a hill, and when you come down the other side you get a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean. Either it was foggy last year or I was too dazed, but I didn't remember that view. How did we ever do marathons without cellphones? Vici kept taking pictures of some of the views and sending them to friends as we walked. I have a camera in my cellphone that I never use, and I wasn't about to try to figure out how to use it and send pictures to friends in the middle of the race.

My time on the cell phone was trying to figure out where the hell John was, and where he'd finally meet up with me. I had started with a tee shirt under my singlet, and finally got too warm. I wanted so much to be able to toss it to John, but that wasn't going to happen any time soon. Unlike NY most of San Francisco's mass transit is above ground, so our great plan of John taking the train out to the Zoo didn't quite work out. Trains stopped running where they crossed closed off roads so John had to walk, and missed me at the Zoo. I was long gone by the time he got there.

We had passed the 1/2 way mark in 3:19. My marathon math told me we were going to have to pick up the pace for the second half to break 6:30. Even though I kind of had to pee again, I decided I would hold off if possible. I had gone twice earlier so isn't wasn't urgent. I kept looking at my time on my Nano at each mile marker, and could see that we were picking up time and getting back to walking sub 15 minute miles. I had set my Nano with the marathon program, but since I had not re-calibrated, it kept telling me I was at such and such a mile well before I would actually get there. It got worse as the race progressed. (Note to self: Calibrate before race, and don't use the marathon setting. Use basic workout.)

There is a point in the race where the 1/2 marathoners finish, and the marathoners continue. It's also where one sees marathoners that are way ahead finishing their race. The advantage of the early start is getting to see the lead runner on her way back. This is the sort of thing that as a runner would have depressed me, but as a walker it doesn't quite phase me in the same way. I guess knowing that I'm walking a 15 minute mile and that I can't compare that to someone running a 6:55 mile makes it easier to deal with.

Even though I had slight shin splints pretty much from the get go they weren't stopping me from keeping a steady pace. Last year I remember cramping up around mile 21, but this time I was feeling very good. Vici's friend managed to find us around the 21 mile mark, and I know that gave her a nice boost. I knew I'd see John around mile 23. He finally got to a spot with an identifiable landmark. (Chocolate station!)

At mile 22 I started doing marathon math and knew if I could complete the last 4 miles in an hour I could still break 6:30. I think Vici could almost sense my antsiness because from mile 20 onward she kept saying she was holding me up. I really didn't feel that way since I was enjoying her company, and I knew she was now into the unknown territory of the final 10K. We didn't talk a lot. Every once in awhile I'd ask her how she was feeling, and I'd dump water on her head.

It was somewhere between 22 and 23 that she started drifting back, and I was feeling a second wind. This was the point where I decided I needed to go my pace, and let her do hers. I also knew that I was going to have to pick it a bit. Marathon math told me I had 45 minutes to play with. I finally saw John and he took a few pictures of me. He started walking with me, but I knew he couldn't stay at my pace. (He didn't even have sneakers on!) I told him to wait for Vici and walk with her.

As TNT coaches would come by me with a group of TNT runners, I'd jump on the back and run for a little bit with them. Then I'd ease off and go back to walking. The last couple of miles are amazing. There are lots of people along the road cheering. Since I had my name on my singlet I heard a lot of "Go Polly!" "Looking strong Polly!" It was a great boost. The only annoying thing was the Nano marathon program telling me I had completed the marathon when I still had a mile to go.

Looking over to the other side I could see many people who had done the regular start and still had 8 miles to go. I was glad to be heading to the finish knowing I'd be done in less then 15 minutes. I jumped in with another group of runners, but now I didn't want to stop running. Running around a 12 minute pace was easier then walking a 14:30 pace.

I was totally in the zone for the last mile. I knew I was going to break 6:30 and hearing my name from the crowd got me really pumped up. I ran all the way in. I didn't do any sort of sprint to the finish. I think that's kind of boorish behavior especially for someone who entered the race as a walker. I walked most of the race, but running just was easier for me at that point. Someone went shooting past me, but I ignored them. I was going to enjoy the finishing moment. 6:27:39. YES!!! 3:08 second half. I still have a negative split left in me. :)
What would you do differently?:

I'm not sure if I would do anything different. Perhaps I could have split off from Vici earlier, but who knows whether or I would have hit the wall along the way. I had a little extra energy at the end which I don't think is a bad thing.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around for a bit, and then got stretched out by some PT student working in the TNT tent.

Event comments:

I'll be back for the 5th edition of this race. I love the course. Maybe next year I'll break 6:15.

Profile Album

Last updated: 2007-10-23 12:00 AM
06:27:39 | 26.2 miles | 14m 48s  min/mile
Age Group: 190/263
Overall: 3710/4382
Performance: Good
5K:45:58, 10K:1:33:08, 15K:2:20:36, 13.1 Mi:3:19:28, 25K:3:55:55, 30K:4:41:08, 35K:5:29:07, 40K:6:12:25
Course: Loop along San Francisco water front, Presidio, Golden Gate Park, Great Highway, Lake Mercede, and finishing back along Great Highway.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 5
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2007-10-28 5:34 PM

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Westchester County NY
Subject: Nike Womens Marathon
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