The annual race travel 12k (7.3 mi) from one end of San Francisco (the bay) to the other (the breaking ocean waves). In 2009, on a whim, I decided to walk the course which was my first long distance walk/run exercise in 5 years and my first large race experience. Considering I prepped in no way I am surprised that I didn't collapse within the first few miles.
After a year of running for fun I decided to do the race "officially" (meaning I paid money and got a race number). I put on my trusty Five Finger shoes and ran my heart out, then as a bonus got my picture taken:
When I crossed the finish line my time was texted to me: 1:16:00! I ran over 7 miles in about 75 minutes! A few items to note:
- My 2009 time was 2:15 which means I knocked an hour off of my (unfit) time; awesome!
- While my overall average mile for the race is just over 10 minutes in execution it was even faster. I underestimate how large 80,000 people really is (see below) and spent the first 3 miles running 11-12 minute miles as I tried to pass the slower people in front of me. By the 4th mile I was running with people traveling the same pace as me. So to average an overall 10 minute mile I likely ran 8:30 miles for the last half of the race! And 8:30 for a mile used to be my "fast single mile" speed, not my pace speed!
- The Five Finger shoes feel amazing, but they pretty much are like running barefoot. And running barefoot on street concrete for over an hour does not feel good. I normally run my 5ks on dirt paths, my heels were not prepared for this race. Luckily, the last 2 miles were in Golden Gate Park and I did a lot of "off road" running.
- Any food consumed after running for 75 minutes tastes like the best food ever. They gave out free yogurt at the end of the race and it was like manna from heaven. I bought it at grocery store later and it tasted like... plain yogurt.
- Whoever decided to set up the bus stop (to get back to the start line) almost 2 miles from the finish line needs to be shot.
- At 5:30 AM on race day I had everything ready to go (cell phone, water bottle, running clothes, sun screen, race info, etc). EXCEPT: I didn't realize the racing bib did not come with an adhesive. I always assumed they had sticky backs, but you actually use a clothes pin to attach them. Seeing as I am a guy (ie: I don't sew) I had no way to attach the bib the day of the race (I was out of tape too). Luckily, my first aid kit provided a solution: band-aids! I'm not sure why I needed 30 band-aids in my first aid kit, but now I only have 25...
- Sports photos are a racket. The company offered printed photos for $20+ but if I wanted digital copies they cost over $50. Most. expensive. blog post. ever!
(I'm that white dot 354th from front about about 24th from the right)