On Sunday, February 2nd, I woke up to the sounds of rain. That’s great, right? We’re in a drought in California, we had one of the driest years in history in 2013. So you would think I’d be ecstatic that it was raining. Well… not so much, not at first. I was actually really annoyed. Didn’t Mother Nature know that I was getting ready to go out and run a half marathon? I was not looking forward to a soggy 13.1 miles through Golden Gate Park.
I had to get to the race early to pick up my bib since they ended up not having the Sports Basement bib pickup nights. Generally I like to pick up my bib ahead of time so I can have it ready with all of my race gear the night before. It was funny to see everyone camped out under the trees and near the bathrooms trying to stay out of the rain. I figured that once we were wet, we weren’t going to get any more wet. Some people were creative and had made themselves ponchos with garbage bags. Other people were wrapped in the thermal blankets from previous races. This was my first ever run in the rain so I didn’t think about any of that. Once we got moving it wasn’t so bad, it wasn’t pouring rain to begin with, it was more of a light steady rain. It felt worse when we were just standing still.
One of the great things about this race is that they get everyone moving and through the start line very quickly. The 5K and the half marathon start at the same time and once we get moving the half marathoners stay on the left and keep going east out of the park, the 5K participants make a turn through the park to end at the same finish line, the 5K is actually a 3.2 mile race in order for the finish lines to coincide.
The half marathon loops around the panhandle and back in to Golden Gate Park, then heads west out to Ocean Beach. We run south along side the beach past the zoo to the turn around and back north along side the ocean to a finish in Golden Park.
As we turned out of the park to run along the beach it got so much colder because it was very windy, we weren’t sheltered by all the trees in the park anymore. At one point I thought to myself “Why am I running in a hurricane?” The wind was making the light rain whip around too making it seem like it was raining much harder than it was. I noticed that my form was way off while running through the wind and rain, I had my shoulders up by my ears and I was running with my head down as if bracing against the wind. I thought that after the turnaround we’d be running with the wind at our backs and that it would get easier. Think again… The wind turned and it started raining a bit harder with the rain coming down at an angle instead. It was just a matter of buckling down and getting it done. After we turned back into the park I just wanted to get to the finish line, I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to see a finish line in my life.
My husband is a great finish line photographer! And this time we had to pay tribute to Marco Scutaro of the San Francisco Giants and his iconic photograph in the rain at the end of Game 7 of the NLCS in 2012 that sent them to the World Series for another championship. I like that Nike+ lets you add a picture to your workout and it will add some stats to it if you like. According to the GPS on my phone, I actually ran 13.3 miles at a 13’47″ pace. The official results came in at 3:03:41 – I missed my PR by 1 minute and 12 seconds! If only the bathroom stop hadn’t taken so long… Half marathon #2 of at least 14 in 2014 finished! I also didn’t realize it until I updated my information on the Half Fanatics site but this half marathon also bumped me up to 2 moons for finishing 6 half marathons within 6 consecutive calendar months!
One thing that annoyed and frustrated me was that by the time I finished there were a bunch of booths at the finish line area that had already packed up and closed down. It’s a pet peeve of mine, there were more people still running when I finished and it makes it seem like those of us who take our time and run a bit slower than others aren’t worth the trouble of waiting around for. It’s frustrating because we’ve paid the same race fees as all the faster people, we’ve covered the same distance that they have and maybe even worked harder to get there. Ok, off my soapbox now.
While running along the ocean, I felt a sharp pain in the arch of my left foot, it almost felt like I had a pine needle in my shoe that was poking me. After the turnaround, while heading back towards the Park it stopped and I knew then that it had been a blister that popped. I have never had a blister in the arch of my foot before and I could tell this one was a doozy. Once I got back to the car and changed into the dry clothes I thought ahead to pack I saw it once I took my socks off. I had formed a blister on the arch of my left foot, the blister had popped and the skin was moved around all over the place, leaving raw skin the size of a quarter exposed on my foot. I didn’t realize it was going to be so bad until I got in the warm shower. Yowza! I yelped so loud my husband ran into the bathroom to make sure I hadn’t slipped and broken my leg or something. I ended up having to shower while balancing on one foot with the other foot up on the side of the tub. Logically I knew that the warm water would sting but I was so desperate to get in a warm shower to warm up that I didn’t give it a second thought before I got in.
After the warm shower I pulled on my compression sleeves and got dressed because Mr. Snugglebunny had a basketball game. There’s no rest for the weary! Overall, a good race. I ran it this year because it’s the “runniversary” race of my first timed race. Kaiser SF 5K was my first timed race in 2013. At the end of that race I decided that I would be back in one year to run the half marathon. Mission accomplished!