Mermaid San Francisco 5K + 9-mile Run

This past weekend was an all-running weekend for me. I ran a 5K on Saturday and a 9-miler on Sunday. Mermaid San Francisco 5K I wasn't planning on doing any racing leading up to Vegas (in 3 weeks!), but my friend Belina has been doing a Couch-to-5K program and this was going to be her first 5K. I wanted to show my support and run the race with her. Unfortunately, she got the flu and had to bail on the race. I contemplated not running the race, but this was a commitment I made so I decided to run it anyway.

Bib/goodie bag pickup was on Friday night at the Sports Basement in the Presidio, with the race being at 8 am (or so I thought) on Saturday at Crissy Field. To make life less chaotic, I stayed at a friend's place in the City. We went to pick up my bib/race packet, which I think is the best-looking bib and race t-shirt I've seen.



I will actually use this race shirt for other than running and cleaning. They were giving racers 20% off at the Sport Basement, so I got a new headlamp and stocked up on some GU. I also got a Passion Fruit Zico Coco Water which tasted great after the race! After shopping, we had dinner at Yabbies, dessert at TuttiMelon, then just took it easy for the rest of the evening since we had to wake up so early the next morning.

I "thought" the race started at 8 am, so we got up, had breakfast and was at Crissy Field by 7:30 am. It was cold, wet and windy.


At a few minutes before 8, I realized that the 5K wasn't going to start until 8:30 am. It was the Mini-Mermaid Race that started at 8 am - I read the email wrong. Tina was not happy about it - and I don't blame her. Did I mention it was freezing?

The Mini-Mermaid Race was my favorite part of the whole event. It was a 1.5 mile race for little girls! It was so heart-warming to see these little ladies running - most of them with their moms, a few with their dads. I wish I had participated in something like this when I was their age. As the girls came racing back to the Finish Line, we lined the sides and cheered for them. As Tina said, "The whole thing was very nurturing."


Back to the 5K. I really had no plans or goals for this race. I had intended just to run alongside Belina, taking pics and videos to document the occasion. I was planning on running 9 miles the next day so I definitely wasn't going to go all out; I thought, just a nice easy run.

Well, then I shouldn't have lined up in the front. I got caught up in the hype of the race and ran it faster than I would have liked. In fact, shortly after the race started, I had a "Rob Greer Moment", where this little girl was trying to go all out to beat me. I thought, "Oh no, I'm not letting this kid get the better of me", and sprinted to leave her in the dust.

Its funny, it was just a 3-mile race, but it was hard. I pushed myself the whole time and it seemed like it was never going to end. At the turnaround, I counted the number of ladies ahead of me. I was 35th, which is where I ended up finishing. Oh and I must mention that I did get schooled by a 10-year old (not the one who tried to beat me) who finished 10th overall.



After the race, they had a pancake breakfast for us. I'd never done a race that served breakfast before; I was stoked! I was starving so everything tasted good!


And I didn't know there would be a Finisher's necklace. Like the bib and race shirt, its pretty cool -- I'll wear it proudly!


Results: - Time: 28:18 - Pace: 9:08 min/mile - 35/203 Overall - 9/33 in Age Group

Click here for Race Results.

Click here for workout details.

Click here for Racevine Review.

After the race, we hung out on Polk St and I had my customary post-race burger (have to have one after every race). I'm on a mission right now to find the best burger in the City (like how Sarah and Carter did that when they lived in New York); so far, Polkers is the best I've tasted. The Chow's also sent me free tickets to the Aquarium on the Bay, so after lunch, I met the Greer's there so the boys could see the aquarium.



It was a long day, so I turned in early to get ready for the 9-miler on Sunday.

9-Mile Sunday It was deja vu all over again...cold and foggy! I got to Sawyers Camp a little after 8 am. I wore my Lulu running pants and long-sleeved shirt. I left the running gloves at home because I can't use the iPod if I have gloves on, and I didn't have time to redo my play list, yada, yada, yada. Bottom line -- my hands were ice cold during the entire run.

Its funny how the approach to a long run is night/day to a 5K. I stuck to the plan of starting out slow for the first two miles, then getting into a nice stride. I wasn't sure how I'd feel after racing on Saturday, but surprisingly, it wasn't too bad. Other than being cold. I really thought that my hands would warm-up as I ran, but they didn't. I had Grape Propel in the two fuel belt bottles and when I went to grab them (every two miles), I had a hard time because of my frozen digits.

At Mile 3 I had to laugh to myself. On Saturday I thought I was going to die at Mile 3, yet here I was at Mile 3 just starting to get my stride. I was feeling good, not winded or tired at all.

At the halfway point, Mile 4.5 (which was completely uphill), I reached for a GU in the fuel belt pocket and had a little disaster because my fingers were so cold that I couldn't feel anything. I ended up getting tangled in my earphones and GU - if you saw me, it was quite the spectacle. Anyhow, the rest of the run was pretty uneventful, until the last two miles. At Mile 7, my left foot went numb. I don't know if its because it was cold, or I had just been on my feet for so long. I stopped to walk twice to see if I could shake feeling back into my foot, but no such luck. It didn't hurt, it just felt weird. So from that point on, I was distracted. To keep myself calm, I put the two Keane songs I have on my play list on repeat and just listened to that until cool down.

Results: - Time: 1:33:02 - Avg Pace: 10:20 min/mile



My favorite part of the run, was stretching out on the bench afterwards. I took up a ton of room on the bench, which I know annoyed some people there, but I didn't care. I had to stretch; the usual spots were tight. By then the fog had burned off, the sun was out and it felt awesome to feel it washing over my body. After stretching, I just laid there for about 15-minutes just soaking up the sun.

When I got home, I made myself a banana-peanut butter-chocolate milk smoothie, then took an ice bath. Full tub of ice this time. Yeah, way more intense than last week's half tub of ice. The numbness in my feet came back and I had to get out of the ice bath a couple of times until I finally acclimated to it. I lasted in it for one Crate & Barrel catalog and half an issue of Fitness Magazine. It really isn't so bad once you get used to it, and I must say, I felt fine afterwards. My legs are a little tired, but no soreness at all. My hamstring is a little tight (of course), but in much better shape than I expected. I am kicking myself...if I had been brave enough to try the ice bath ages ago, I could have saved myself a lot of really painful days.

Click here for more deets on the run.

Manic Monday The natural body alarm clock had me wide awake at 3:16 am this morning. I could not go back to sleep for the life of me. I have a very long and intense work week ahead of me and this is not the week for sleepless nights. I hope this isn't the start of another bout of insomnia.

I sat on my couch in a trance watching Cops before the news came on. The weather report said, "frost warning" for this morning. I dreaded heading out for an easy run. By the time I left, around 5:30 am, it was 45 degrees which actually was not too bad! I guess after two days of freezing, I've finally acclimated to the morning weather.

I used my new headlamp too!


Click here to read more about this morning's run.

Its a good thing I won't have time to run again until Thursday night, my legs definitely need the rest. My colleagues and I are putting on a large event at work this week so I'm not going to be able to workout much at all till then. Funny, I normally would be freaking out about it, but I'm actually looking forward to the rest - especially since I'm planning on doing a 12-miler on Saturday.

Only three weeks till Vegas!