Well it’s been almost a week since I ran my 10th (!!) long distance race. I was so excited for race weekend. I can’t believe it had been my 5th Nike Marathon race weekend. Wow. Here’s my recap with all the ups and downs that come with being a runner!
I flew up to San Francisco on Saturday Morning. Irving drove me super early in the morning and I caught a 6:30a flight up. I tried to sleep a little bit, but I think I was just too excited. When we landed, I realized that the girl sitting next to me was also going to the Marathon Expo (Hi Crystal!!) So we rode the BART together to Union Square. It was so fun having someone to hang out with. We got our race bibs and explored the expo tent together!
The colors were super cute this year. Purple and Salmon.
They put everyone’s names on a giant wall that is as big as the whole Nike Store. It took me forever, but I finally found my name!
Niketown had some super cute clothes this year. I loved this half-zip hoodie. The color was actually a salmon-ish pink color. It looked so cozy!
Niketown was packed as usual. The store is 5 stories tall! And almost all of the floors had Nike Marathon gear on them. They must have made a fortune!
I signed this wall… not sure what it was for, but who doesn’t like to sign walls. ha! I signed small, it said “TEAM BOSTON!”
I love this “Pose Like a Girl” background. It’s so cute! We got there before the photographer was set up, so we could take our own pictures.
Then later, I caught up with Janet, and we had some professional ones done! (The picture itself is better quality, this is just a scan).
PS, I carried that backpack around with me ALL DAY!!!
Who can resist “runway” photos.
The red bag on the right was our Swag Bag!
Some of the goodies I got at the Expo. Say Yes to Carrots!
We “run like girls!”
This picture makes me smile.
Alex and I!
So sad she didn’t run this year. But she was with us in Spirit!
My sister-in-law EJ modeling the awesome Nike Sweatshirt that we all love so much! Isn’t it so cute!
Noah and Janet!
We have arrived!
At the expo, Joan Benoit and Karen Goucher did a short presentation to get us pumped for the race. They’re both running legends. Joan is a Gold Medal Olympian and Karen is a World Champion.
EJ and Sarah outside the Race Expo!
Me, EJ and Sarah!
Noah and Janet outside the Race Expo.
So I was starting to get the begining pains of shin splints and I was getting nervous because I didn’t want them to get worse right before I start training for Boston. So I went to the medic tent, and had the trainer wrap my legs with tape. They did such a great job, but it was cutting off the circulation in my feet, so I took the tape off and figured I could retape them myself in the morning. More on that later!
I had some time to kill before we left the expo, so I waited in line for an hour at the expo to have my nails painted. I picked “Team in Training” purple. lol
Then we all took the BART to Irving’s mom’s house (where we stayed for the weekend!) We had a really nice carbo load dinner (with Pasta and Salad). Then we came home and got ready for race day! Per usual, I laid out all my running stuff. Can you believe that I carry almost all of this stuff with me when I run?
We had to get up early, and I was up and out of bed by 3:50am!! That’s mighty early, but such is the life of a marathoner! But even with getting up that early, I still barely had enough time to get myself together. I just kept forgetting things and second guessing everything. I think I was just anxious? I just felt like I was missing something.
We drove to San Francisco and took the shuttle bus to Union Square. It was sooo crowded. It was nearly impossible to move around! We used the bathroom in the JW Marriott to avoid the porta-potties. SCORE!
We had just enough time to check our bags and find our pace groups. I got separated from all my friends, and this is when I started freaking out. I turned my Garmin Watch on… and it flashed “Low Battery” and then just completely turned off! Without my watch, I had no way of tracking my pace and my intervals. I rely on that for my whole race! I wanted to beat my time and push myself. I was almost in tears with the thought that my whole race would fail because of this. But I realized that part of running is rolling with the punches and not letting outside things affect the run. So I took a few deep breaths, and found my awesome friend, Janet. She was so excited, and her positive energy totally set the mood for me. It’s not always about “racing”, sometimes, it’s about enjoying the company and the atmosphere. I’m so lucky to be able to run with a strong healthy body, and I wasn’t going to let some stupid watch battery change that. We decided to run together for as long as we could. It was the best decision I could have made, I wouldn’t have changed anything. Thanks Janet!
Because we started in the wrong coral, it only took us 7 minutes to cross the start line! (Usually it’s like 20 minutes!)
Around mile 2, I realized that I taped up my legs too tight, and my muscles couldn’t flex enough to run! So I stopped and ripped all the tape off. It was so frustrating. I didn’t find my groove until Mile 4 or 5. Then I started to enjoy it more and more!
Janet and I surged up the hill at mile 6!
What a beautiful day for a run!
Motivational Signs along the route!!
The downhill at mile 9!!! WHEEE!!!!
I love my Orange Skirt!! It matches my LA Racers shirt. haha.
The course split around mile 12. YAYY SO CLOSE!
I walked most of mile 12 because I was getting pretty tired, but I sprinted the last mile because i knew my PR was within reach. I grabbed my free Ghiradelli chocolate square on the way and shoved it in my fuel belt to enjoy later.
As I rounded the bend for the final stretch, there was a Pop Chips truck giving away free bags of chips. HAHA I totally snagged one.
I ran towards the finish line and spotted Janet’s husband, Noah. He snapped this picture! (You can see my bag of chips in my hand. haha)
The guy didn’t take my finishing picture, so I stood there til he snapped this one. HAHA
I crossed thefinish line and got my tiffany necklace from these fine gentlemen in tuxes!
Can you find me? (I’m on the right in the hat).
Crazy hat hair!
EJ and I! She finished 16 minutes ahead of me!
Here comes Sarah! She ran the full marathon!
Go Sarah, Go!
Showing off my finisher’s shirt and my tiffany prize.
The finisher’s area was so crowded. But it was still fun to collect all the goodies and walk around. Safeway was giving away Tennis Balls to use to massage your muscles after the race! What a great idea!
One of my favorite parts of the expo is the “Pose like a Girl” station. These pics came out so cute!
We got these cool reusable bags at the finish line too. It was perfect to put all our stuff in. I loved it! Then we waited in the crazy long bus line to go back to our car.
The finisher’s’ shirt. It’s a teal dri-fit. I love it! Something different.
The Tiffany finisher’s necklace. It’s cute this year. I think the biggest one of all of them.So adorable.
My Tiffany Necklace collection!
All the goodies I came home with.The Diet of a runner. HAHAHA.
It was a race that started out good, got kind of bad, and then redeemed itself in the end. I didn’t end up getting my PR, but I came within 2 minutes of it. And considering the circumstances of not having a watch, having shin splints, not doing my normal intervals and letting my emotions get in the way… I think 2 minutes is really not a big deal. It was a fantastic race, and I am so glad I was able to run it this year with so many great friends!