The first race of 2012 is complete! (And I still can’t feel 2 of my fingers).
About a month ago, I crawled out from the rock I’ve been living under, and discovered the Dolphin South End Runners Club, San Francisco’s oldest running club. I also discovered they hold a race just about every weekend in San Francisco. For $8. (If you’re a member it’s $3, which is less than Starbucks charges for a Grande Nonfat Latte.)
This morning marked their 4th race of the year, the Waterfront 10-Miler and 5K. I’d never raced a 10-miler, but knew I wanted more than a 5K, so I decided to give it go.
The race had a more casual feel to it, and thus I had a more casual preparation than I usually do for races.
The race started at 8am. I rolled out of bed around 7:05 to gulp down a cup of black coffee. By the time I had inhaled my coffee, synced my latest running playlist (Glee’s version of “We Found Love”, “I Like It Like That” by Hot Chelle Rae, “Moves Like Jagger” and Pitbull’s “International Love” were some of the latest additions), and gotten dressed, there was no time for breakfast. I grabbed a Luna Lemon Zest Mini (in the dark, had I known, I would have reached for the White Chocolate Macadamia) and set off for the start.
Damn you Adam Levine and your stupid Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show live performance to make me like your stupid song.
My walk to the start was the epitome of a San Francisco morning – runners, bikers, people walking their dogs (oh how I envy you pet-owners), in the silent, fog-filled city. It was beautiful, calm and peaceful and it almost made me want to become a weekday morning runner. Then I remembered how much more I like my bed.
I got to the start around 7:45 and I could already tell it was going to be a great race. There were no lines to get bibs , everyone knew each other and were saying hello (aside from new kid over here), everyone looked like they were really there to run and the race had just the right amount of people.
The weather was perfect – overcast, a little foggy, and (completely ball-parking it) low 50’s. In my opinion, it doesn’t get any better than this for running weather. Luckily since SF has no summer (wah wah wah) it’s like this almost year-round.
I ended up running into one of my very speedy friends, Danielle, and then found one of boyfriend’s friends, Matt, who decided last night to run the race as part of a training run for his upcoming half-marathon.
Is there a saying regarding running with faster people makes you faster? If not, there should be. I had a secret goal for this race to run all sub-9 minute miles. I’ve been working on speed, intervals, and shorter distances so I wanted to put it to the test. Running with a faster friend is exactly what you need to make you run faster than you think you can.
Since Danielle could probably beat Kara Goucher in a 10-miler, Matt and I started off running together. I have no idea our splits for the first 1.45 miles because I forgot to turn on the Garmin until we were passing through the start, and then mixed in with 400 other Garmin’s, it had a little trouble getting situated. Oops.
That being said, the rest looked like this:
Welcome to my life, sub-9 splits. We are going to get along just fine.
I held on to the 8:xx pace as best I could, and it (strangely) felt comfortable. It was one of those runs that reminds you why you do this day in and day out. It felt fantastic. I kept up with Matt until around mile 3.5, when he took off in the 7:xx range, and then I just tried to keep him in my sights and keep my pace under in the 8:xx’s on my Garmin.
There was a Cytomax/Water stand around Mile 4 and then again as we passed it around Mile 6 (the course was an out and back) and I took a cup of Cytomax both times. Not eating breakfast = necessary sugar/carbs. I felt hungry the entire race, but never like I was about to run out of steam. In hindsight, I should have eaten more pre-race, and dragged myself out of bed a little earlier. Live and learn.
Right around Mile 8.5 we hit Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf area (aka tourist central) and a little weaving happened, but thankfully it also started raining around that time, so the droves of tourists were minimal.
With just under a half-mile to go, I picked it up as best I could and crossed the finish line in 1:24:11. I think that puts my average pace around 8:32, and I couldn’t be happier with that time. First 10-mile race is an automatic PR right? Now I have something to work towards beating in my next 10-miler in April!
The post-race highlight? The spread of goodies at the finish line! I inhaled a few handfuls of food before trekking back home (via Starbucks for a latte) in the rain.
Official Time: 1:24:11
Thanks for a fantastic race DSE – I will definitely be back for (several) more this year! Now it’s time to cheer on the Niners to victory! I’d love a reason to actually watch the Superbowl for the game, rather than the commercials/halftime show! 😉
Have a great Sunday!