Run, Cook, Eat!

2010 Racing: August through December

So, that blogging thing? Clearly I need to focus on having time for it. But I didn’t want to end the year without wrapping up the rest of the races I did in 2010 after the SF Half and did not write about.

After the San Francisco Half Marathon, I did a 10k and three more half marathons. Quick summaries of each:

The Big Gay 10k (8/14/2010) – This fun 10k was put on as a fundraiser for Greater Than One, which raised money for the SF Aids Foundation. I feel like my 10k efforts pale in comparison to those who raise thousands of dollars and do the Seismic Challenge bike ride, but hey, I do what I can do.

The costumes for this event were STUNNING. Also, the nearly-nude contingent was about a million times more attractive than Bay to Breakers.

The race was up at Crissy Field, and incorporated a bit of the Fort Mason hill. I finished in 55:07 (chip time), AG 8/53. No PR, just a healthy reminder of the fact that running short distances fast is a challenge!

Humboldt Redwoods Half Marathon (10/17/2010) – This was my goal race for the second half of 2010, and I was incredibly happy with how I ran it. In fact, I’d say this was my best-run race of the year. The course was an out-and-back along the Avenue of the Giants up in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and the entire thing was flat, treelined bliss. The weather was gorgeous (low 50s?), and it wasn’t even crowded.

I didn’t go out too fast, I didn’t psych myself out, I pushed as hard as I could up the two hills, and I earned myself a 2:00:46, AG 29/63. This was 2-3 minutes faster than my training plan predicted, and I was really happy with my time and effort. Honestly, I don’t even have much to say about it…it was just so great. My training and planning and fueling just CLICKED and I had a phenomenal race.

US Half Marathon (11/7/2010) – This race was a bad idea. The race was on Groupon, so I figured I’d do it as a supported training run. Bad plan. On the day of the race, it was pouring rain. Not misty San Francisco rain, but torrential downpour that you never see in SF. It was really COLD too! (The only time I’ve ever been cold while running in SF.) The course (Presidio, Golden Gate Bridge, Ft. Mason) was incredibly hilly, muddy, and we had to run through 6+ inches of standing water at least a dozen times. Part of the course was on a walking path at the north end of Golden Gate Bridge, which was so slippery (and next to a cliff!) that everyone had to stop and walk it.

The idea of doing it was a supported training run wasn’t good either. The water stations along the way were a mess. Many were out of cups, those with cups didn’t have them filled, and one of the aid stations had folks scooping water out of an open (bagged/clean) trash can, which was just…eeeeew. But despite bad organization, many many many thanks to the poor volunteers who braved the awful weather. (Oh, and bag check was non-existent.)

Cool medal, water bottle, and shirt, though. I guess that was worth the $30.

Big Sur Half Marathon (11/14/2010) – I was really looking forward to this race and was hoping to best the PR I set in October, but it was not to be. I managed to make a few bad choices which impacted me throughout the race.

I had friends fly in from Chicago to do this one with me, one of whom offered to pace me towards a sub-2. It was a nice idea, but I should have never let myself go out so faster than 9:09. I knew by mile 3 that I would have major trouble later on, so we parted ways. At that point I also discovered my iPod was dead. Bad news.

Around mile 5 I had an asthma attack/panic attack, and spent the next two miles walk-running in order to be able to breathe. Even after mile 7, I spent the rest of the race battling more breathing problems. Making it to the end was a real challenge.

I was disappointed that I had such a bad experience on a course I really love, and I really wish I’d gotten out of my head and been able to enjoy the scenery more. I finished in 2:04:34, AG 159/607. Despite the tough race, this was still my second fastest half yet (despite the walking!?!), and a course PR of 6.5 minutes. I had a great time with my friends, and I’m glad we got to do this beautiful race together.