Bay Breeze Half-Marathon

I’m too lazy to write a proper report, so here’s what happened in list style:

1. The Bay Area has been having monsoon-like rain for days and I obsessively checked my Weather.com app for the race day forecast. It changed every few hours.

2. After work on Friday I went to Lululemon to get a waterproof jacket to wear and walked out with the Willpower Pullover (on sale) and the Cross Training Cap. Both in black; both held up very well.

3. Carb-loaded on sushi and ramen and was in bed by 10 pm. Checked the weather one last time and it read partly sunny skies.

4. The rain woke me up at 5 am, 30-minutes before my alarm.

5. Ate my regular breakfast (oatmeal with blueberries, almond butter and sliced almonds), dressed in tights, a long-sleeved t-shirt, the pullover and cap.

6. Packed an extra bag of dry clothes, slippers, Gatorade and banana.

7. Grabbed my iPod (with my newly updated Burn List), and new iFitness hydration fitness belt filled with Ultima drink and 3 Hammer gels.

8. I received an email from iFitness announcing their new belt a couple of weeks ago. I ordered it immediately after last Saturday’s run and it arrived a couple of days ago.

9. Walked out the door, only have to run back in to grab my Garmin (foreshadowing).

10. Clearing skies in San Mateo, looming dark clouds over the East Bay, and heavy rainfall at the San Mateo Bridge.

IMG_0133
IMG_0133

11. When I arrived at Marina in San Leandro, it was P-O-U-R-I-N-G. I sat in my car contemplating downgrading to the 10K. I was not in the mood to run in this weather for 2+hours.

IMG_0137
IMG_0137

12. Met Tara and picked-up our bibs, timing chips, goody bag and shirts. At this point, we were already soaked from the rain.

13. Tried to put on my timing chip, but my fingers were already frozen and it was so wet, the adhesive wouldn’t stick so I had to loop it through my shoelaces.

IMG_6188
IMG_6188
IMG_6192
IMG_6192

14. Met Mark, Ron and Katie, Tara rejoined us and we chatted for a bit. Then with 10-minutes left Mark and I headed to the port-a-potties for one last bio break.

15. I dropped the Hammer Gel I was going to eat before the race start in the port-a-potty.

16. Half-marathoners assembled at the start line. I turned on my Garmin only to see “Low Battery” flashing.

IMG_6253
IMG_6253

17. Half-marathon starts, Garmin dies less than half a mile into the race.

18. THANK GOODNESS Mark ran with me the whole time. Without his Garmin, I might’ve just walked off the course and quit. He paced me and kept me from going out too fast. Every time I started to speed up, he’d signal to slow down (we both ran with music).

IMG_6762
IMG_6762

19. Stopped at Aid Station #1 (1.55 miles) for water.

20. Stopped at Aid Station #2 (3 miles) for sport drink. Passed the 10K turnaround point and wished I had downgraded. Although I noticed that the rain had stopped, but it was still windy.

21. The terrain turned to gravel, which is REALLY unpleasant (I’m being kind here) to run on. And I even wore my trail shoes. I really had to watch every step.

22. Walking break at 5-miles to eat Hammer gel #1 (chocolate).

23. The fast people are on their way back so we have to run in a single file on the narrow bridges. Got stuck behind the lady in purple several times.

24. Finally reached the turnaround at 6.5 miles. Stopped at Aid Station #3 for a sport drink and a handful of pretzels.

25. Felt REALLY good for miles 6.5-8.5 (despite the gravel). There was even a downhill where I didn’t remember an uphill.

26. Walk break at Mile 8.5 because that’s usually where an aid station would have been. Took the first drink from the iFitness belt. The bottles and pouch are on the front, which is opposite from how I wear the Nathan belt. This was a little weird for me. And the bottles are also narrower, but other than that, the belt was great! Minimal bounce age and no pulling on the back.

{Somewhere around here it started pouring again.}

27. Stopped at Aid Station #4 (same station as #2) at Mile 10 for sport drink. Ripped open my Hammer Gel (orange) but couldn’t get anything to come out of it. Dumped it and grabbed a handful of gummy bears instead. Mark announced that Mile 9 was at a 9:25 min/mile, a full minute faster than the previous walk-break mile. I tell him that I usually fall apart during the last 3 miles so we slow down.

28. Somewhere on Mile 11 Mark needs a walk break because both his knees are killing him.

29. Another walk break somewhere at the beginning of Mile 12. His knees were really hurting.

IMG_6086
IMG_6086

30. We can see the finish line so I don’t mind people telling me, “You’re almost there” because we really were. We crossed the Finish Line at 2:15:05 – 2+ minutes faster than last year. We grab our medals and were greeted by Ron and Katie.

BayBreezeMedal
BayBreezeMedal

31. In my car, I press the clutch and feel a potential cramp coming on so I wait a few minutes, and change to dry clothes and slippers.

32. On the drive home it really starts to downpour and I contemplate what to eat for lunch.

33. I find myself at the In ‘n Out drive thru ordering 2 double doubles - dry with no sauce or cheese, cut in half – with fries.

InnOut
InnOut

34. At home I decide to take an ice bath, using tips from Aron. Except I’m teeth-chattering cold so I sit, fully clothed, in waist deep ice-cold water (just couldn’t bring myself to add ice). I can only handle it for 6 minutes – my feet felt like they were developing frostbite.

35. I park myself on my couch for the next 5 hours, eating 1.5 double doubles and watching 3 episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Modern Family, Who Do You Think You Are and Blue Blood.

Summary:

• This was my 3rd weekend in a row of running with other people, and the first time in ages I’d run an entire race with someone else (the other person being Veronica at my first half-marathon).

• Mark was the perfect running partner. Not only did he SAVE me from the Garmin debacle, but he also paced me really well, preventing me from starting out too fast.

• I have to admit, I liked not having the Garmin to look at every .62 miles.

• I hate running on gravel, yet this is the 3rd time I’ve run this course. The next time I am tempted to do so, please remind me of how much I hate it. At the very least, limit me to only running the 10K, which isn’t as harsh (gravel-wise) as the half.

• Confession: This morning I taped my left foot arch. I’ve been having hints of plantar fasciitis pain for the past 2 weeks but have been in denial about it. In fact yesterday was the first time I even said the words out loud. I blame wearing pointy-toed shoes and unsupportive flats. Gonna have to go back to wearing sneakers and sleeping with the boot on for a while.

• Other than my left foot arch, and slight piriformis aches, the rest of me felt fine and I didn’t feel like death at the end of the race; in fact, I felt really good the whole time!

• I am sad that I missed seeing Jess, who ran the 10K and placed in her Age Group again! Congrats Jess!

• I love seeing friends at races, which is probably why I’m signed up for so many of them.

BayBreezeGroup1
BayBreezeGroup1
BayBreezeGroup2
BayBreezeGroup2

Next one is the Run for Ryan House Half-Marathon in Scottsdale, AZ in 2 weeks – Spring Training baby!