I started training at the end of July 2015 for this race, and I’ve kept myself motivated by posting all my runs on Instagram. I followed the Nike+ Running App’s Coach half marathon training program. It’s great because I just had to input the distance of the race I’m running, my level (I chose beginner), and the date of the race. It set up a 12 week program and each week had different number of miles to run per day, cross-train days, and some rest days. Every time I completed the activity for the day, there was a check mark which made me feel accomplished. 😀
On to the actual race! This was my third half marathon and second Nike Women’s half marathon SF. I spent the Saturday before the race doing the Scavenger Hunt (what Nike did in lieu of an expo). There were several locations around downtown SF, and if you completed an activity at each location, you get a special Nike/SF-themed earring. The lines were crazy and I ran around the city from 10am-4pm doing this, but I met some really cool ladies in line. It was fun chatting about the race, training, our personal lives, etc. After a long day of collecting these earrings, I headed over to my friend’s place near Union Square to rest up for the race.
I ended up sleeping at 1:30am and waking up at 5:30am. I’m definitely not used to the noise in SF, especially those cable cars! Despite my lack of sleep, I was actually really pumped for the race. I got dressed, ate a slice of bread with some peanut butter, said bye to my friends, and headed outside to the start line.
I followed my training plan very well for the first ten weeks, but I went to New York for ten days before the half marathon, which is when I slowed it down. I got stung by a bee at the end of my last long run (13 miles) on the Monday before New York, which also brought me down. All of this plus getting sick on my flight back had me feeling very nervous. But those ten weeks of intense training served me well. I was so motivated being surrounded by so many women who had the same goal of finishing 13.1 miles (in style and with a smile)!
Running next to all these women and passing by cheerful bystanders kept me going the whole way – even up those crazy hills. Since I ran this course last year, I was better prepared for the twists and turns (and hills).
Also, I’m notorious for going to the bathroom frequently. However, all my training and being in NYC (where a bathroom isn’t always available to me when I’m out and about) must have done something. I didn’t have to go to the bathroom at all, which was a major shock to me since I drank one or two cups of water and electrolytes at every station. I did end up going to the bathroom around mile 11 because I was concerned about long lines at the finish line. I sprinted the last part and definitely teared up as I happily crossed the finish line. 🙂
Here are my times:
5K: 0:34:29 (last year: 0:35:44)
10K: 1:07:54 (last year: 1:11:48)
15K:1:42:23 (last year: 1:48:35)
20K: 2:20:25 (last year: 2:29:28)
2:27:09 (last year: 2:36:36)
Avg. Pace: 0:11:14 (last year: 0:11:57)
I had no desire to wait in any and all lines. Luckily, my parents were on their way to pick me up. We picked up my brother and made our way to Stacks in Hayes Valley for breakfast, and I got a Soy Mocha from Blue Bottle as an extra treat!
And of course, I had to stop by Nike Running Stanford on the way home to get a comfy and cute Finisher’s hoodie.
This year’s race was a great experience, and I can’t wait to run my next half marathon. I’m going to have to sign up for another race soon to keep my motivation up for running frequently. Looking forward to when I decide which race that will be!