San Francisco Marathon & Mr. Docket's First 5K

On Sunday, I finished the San Francisco Marathon and my husband ran the San Francisco 5K, his first.  We had tons of fun visiting the city and we came out with a nice stomach virus that has us still in bed for the last two days.  Yay.

This was my 7th marathon of 2013 and my 10th this season.  This marathon is part of my quest of a third star on the Maniac and I can say I am more than halfway done already.

San Francisco:
We arrived in SF on Thursday night.  We opened our eyes on Friday morning at 6am and DH wanted to wake up and I told him, don't wake me up unless you want to go out to run.  Next thing I know, I opened one eye and DH is all dressed up to run, so I had to get up as well.  We did a nice 2 miler down the waterfront.  He was surprised that he could keep the pace we were keeping and I reminded him about the 50F  and 40DP difference, which makes it all different.  We discussed his strategy for the race and he didn't believe he could break 40 minutes and did not believe he could run the whole way (longest run without breaks was 2 miles by then).  But I assured him he could yet I knew he didn't believe me.  He ended up running the full 5K and finishing in 39:08.  Very proud of him.

We spent the rest of the day in Vallejo and San Jose and came back to FE with lilflute86 for dinner.  We had a great time at the Irish Pub we went to (Elephant & Bar).

Saturday was spent on Chinatown and seeing the sights.  This was our second trip to SF so we visited the places we missed the first time.  We love the city.  Very lively, clean, and specially, COLD.  Paradise!  We visited the expo and DH went crazy buying everything in sight.  That is usually me so it was a nice change of pace when he is the one spending money on running clothes.  That afternoon, I started having stomach issues and thought it would be hard running the marathon stopping at every potta potty but fortunately, the race went better than that (I've been sick since the marathon, though).  We had dinner in Chinatown, where I ordered a vegetarian place that had tofu, green beans, and eggplant, so finding crab in my plate was not what I was expecting, especially when you are as lethally allergic as I am.  So, dinner was white rice.  Excellent source of carbs I will say.

The Race:
I woke up at 4:45am and waited for fellow forumite murphyO to text me she was on her way to my hotel to meet.  We met and walked the rest of the way to starting line, got our pics taken:

and used the potta potties before we started.

My strategy for the race was to walk the steep uphills and to run the rest.  My secret goal was to finish faster than the LA Marathon which is a hilly but much easier course than this.  I just didn't expect so many uphills here, as people told me the hills finished at Mile 16 but no, the last hill was at mile 23 and they were bad.  My finish strategy was to leave enough legs to finish the last three miles (flat) strong and running.  I succeeded.  I knew I was not going to break 5 hours because (1) this is the toughest course I've ever done; (2) I come from doing 6 marathons in 5 months and I'm exhausted; and (3) I ran 80 miles last week as part of the All Star.   Since I was OK with that, I felt a smart strategy was the answer.

Here is the elevation profile for the race:

Wave 5 started at 6:02am and off we went.  The first 4 miles are flat and I ran at easy HR and a nice pace.  I made a video of the Golden Gate bridge as we approached it but I don't think I can attach it here.  As we headed into Mile 4-5, there was this huge uphill that made me realize, I could walk it faster than run it (it was that steep).  We passed that hill and headed to the bridge.  It was lovely running over it (these were the only uphills I ran).

After the bridge (back and forth), we headed to the Golden Gate Park.  We spent approximately 6 miles there, 2 downhills and the rest uphills.  After that, we turned to neighborhoods with never ending uphills.  I've seen movies where they show SF streets with uphills of more than a mile that seem to take over the horizon but I have never seen them in person.  I looked up and thought: they are not going to make us go all the way, right?  And then I saw a tiny dot of a runner going uphill and knew it was part of the route.  This happened 3-4 times.

I have never seen so many uphills that steep lasting more than a mile.  San Francisco boasts about being hilly and it was.  1275 ft elevation gain.  But it was a nice course, a well organized race and I loved every minute of my suffering.

As we headed back to the waterfront, I am still running and walking strong.  The walking was over, as the hills were done, but I saw plenty of people that were walking and stretching due to them overdoing the downhills or even the uphills.  That's what I didn't want to do.  I wanted to run it smart and I did.

We head back to the finish and I keep passing people that cannot take a further step.  I finished in 5:17:19 and ran 26.70 (my longest marathon to date) which is close to 12 minutes faster than LA, making my goal, and earning me the fastest marathon since my PR in February, on the toughest course I've ever done.

I do not know what I am going to do with myself from now until Chicago.  I hope my coach has a great training cycle for me to keep me busy.

Since I did the LA Marathon and the SF Marathon, I earned an extra medal.  Here is a closeup of the medals:

And some "look at me" pics from the course, you know, rumor has it I am also a forum ho:

Basically, most of the time I got scared by the photographers so here is my typical face ^^.

Thanks for reading.


  1. Love those arm warmers! =) Nice race, too - that elevation profile is terrifying!


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