Oh my goodness, what a weekend! I have to say, I have tried 3 years to get into this race (if you are unfamiliar, this race is by lottery, so you give them your credit card number and hope for the best that you get chosen), this year was the year!
I found out that I got in on the way to my bachelorette party in Disneyland, it was the cherry on top of the perfect sundae of a party.
Let’s start with the expotique.
The first day it opened was Thursday at noon, I went on my lunch break, so I didn’t have a ton of time to wander around, but I did get my bib, my corral bracelet and my race tank top. I just have to say I LOVE they gave out tank tops. I prefer running in a tank than a t-shirt, so I’ll actually wear this one.
I got some really cute pictures and then I found myself in the Nike store buying everything I could get my hands on…lol. I got myself a pair of shoes, a black half zip pull over and the race reversible bag. I got back to work with a ginourmous shopping bag. Whoops!
Friday, I realized I forgot to buy my shuttle ticket the day before, perhaps because I was busy spending my life savings at the Nike store, so I went BACK at lunch to get it and again…found myself in the Nike store, buying another half zip pull-over (different graphic on the back, so it made sense), a Tiffany blue sports bra and some socks. SOMEBODY STOP ME! My credit card was a little tired after this trip.
Saturday, I relaxed with my husband and friends at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. If you’ve never been it’s my favorite and it’s pumpkin everything! So, instead of carbo loading, I pumpkin loaded. It seemed to do the trick.
I went to bed early, sort of dreading the 3:15am alarm coming the next morning.
Sunday, the alarm went off and up I was! I had laid out my outfit the night before so I took a quick shower to wake myself up and had some oatmeal and an egg and off we went.
My dear husband got up with me and drove me into SF to drop me off so I didn’t have to worry about parking. He actually parked, went for HIS 6 mile run, got back in the car and got to work at 7:30am. Swoon…he’s awesome.
We got to SF fairly early, so I had some time before I wanted to get into the corral. I took a seat in Union Square and just people watched and chatted with some nice ladies. Before I knew it, it was time to have a last potty stop before I got to my corral. I was in Wave 2 on Grant Street. It wasn’t super crowded, I was able to do some jumps and warm ups before it was time to get going.
The first wave took off around 6:35am (start time was 6:30, so not too late) and wave two took off around 6:45am.
First mile started off at a slight hill, but nothing too terrible, then A LOT of downhill. then it was kind of rolling and then, I had to take a potty break at mile 3. Dangit. Kind of hurt my flow, but I got back into the groove and back on pace. We ran through a lot of city streets and then towards Golden Gate Park.
Before I go on, let me just say, the fog had basically taken over and there was a major mist surrounding us. It made for a beautiful run through the park and kept the temperatures nice and cool during the entire race. It was great!
Now, here is the not so great thing…mile 10. Oh goodness gracious! I mean, it’s kind of mean to put a HUGE hill that was mile 10 AT mile 10, right? I pretty much walked the entire hill. The worst is, there is usually a really nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge on that hill, but, thanks to the fog, you couldn’t even see it. Not even a little bit. It was never ending. The awesome thing was at the top of the hill was a HUGE crowd cheering us on, which definitely helped. I hi-fived a lot of people and am so grateful for them all to be there. It helped a lot.
After that, it was, literally ALL DOWN HILL from there to the finish. YAY! I picked up the pace and headed down past Fort Point, passed Crissy Field and towards the Marina Green, where the crowd was thick with cheering people. The best part of course!
Once we were across the finish line (I did a little jump, but the photographers are never ready for me…LOL), we were given some water bottles with cold water, soooo good. We were also given a Whole Foods bag, with Nike Women’s Half Marathon Finisher on one side filled with some yummy treats including a banana, which tasted like the best banana ever, since I was starving at that point. I walked through a chocolate milk stop and then we came to the (cue the choir) little blue box. My Tiffany Necklace!
I didn’t want to open it until I got my picture with the firefighters and still didn’t want to open it.
I wanted to savor the little white bow moment. I got into a long line for the Whole Foods tent, which, in the end I didn’t think was worth it. Bu they had some yummy soba noodles and little cut up hot dogs, which hit the spot for the moment.
I headed over to the Finisher Boutique, but the line was so long, I didn’t even bother going in. Honestly, my credit card is done working out for a bit, so it’s probably best I didn’t go in there.
I grabbed my gear bag I had checked that morning and headed to the shuttles.
The shuttles. They were sooooooo far away. It felt like running another half marathon. I may be being a bit dramatic, but they felt really far. In hindsight, it was probably a good thing I walked so much to keep the legs moving.
After what felt like the longest shuttle ride of my life, we were dropped off a few blocks from Union Square and BART. So I walked over to the train, hopped on and my mom picked me up from the station. Home sweet home.
All in all, this race was everything I imagined it to be. I am SO happy I was able to finally experience it for myself. The course was awesome (even with the mile 10 hill), the energy was amazing, the necklace was beautiful and the race was so well organized for having 25,000 participants.
Things I SUPER loved, obviously, the bling, who doesn’t want a Tiffany necklace? They also had wet wipes on the course, which was SO refreshing as well as orange slices. Oh, and chocolate truffles at mile 12! Can’t get any better than that.
I highly recommend you try this one if you can. It’s truly awesome!
QOTD: Have you done Nike half/full in SF or in DC?? What did you think?