Tag Archives: San Francisco

Kaiser 5K Race Recap

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{Photo credit: Kaiser Half Marathon and 5K Facebook Page}

I love the Kaiser Half Marathon. In my opinion, its one of the best half-marathon courses in the Bay Area (it also holds my PR for this distance so I’m biased that way). I signed up for this race when registration opened last Fall but ended up dropping down to the 5K. This was my first time running this distance.

A Week Before the Race

A week before race day I went out for an 8-mile run. Unfortunately I developed a “hot spot” on my foot, right where I tie my laces. It was painful but I was stubborn and completed the distance. It bruised my foot and had me limping for a few days.

I was still hopeful to run the half, but I wanted to see what my options. I emailed the race organizers to ask if I would be able to drop down to the 5k.

They responded immediately with this note:

“No problem! You still wear your white Half Marathon bib, listen to the announcements so that you will be in the correct place to take the 5K cut-off. You will be scored in the 5K and receive your medal. You will notice that there are many other white bibs doing the 5K with you (many don’t even decide until race morning that they are not in the mood for the longer distance. See you on Feb 1.”

This race has 10,000 runners. If only more races could be so accommodating.

Day Before Race Day

I had to skip Tuesday’s run because it hurt just to put on socks. But I managed to get in some miles on Thursday. I tried to go out for my shake out run on Saturday but I couldn’t even walk to the end of my street without limping. At this point I was questioning even being able to run the 5k. But I really wanted the race medal of Kezar Stadium. So I scrapped the shakeout run and hoped for the best on Sunday.

Race Day

My foot still hurt on Sunday morning. So I wrapped my foot in athletic tape and put on some knee high socks (ankle socks were still painful). I had to rig my left shoe so that it was only laced halfway down. That seemed to relieve some of the pressure on the bruise.

I drove to the City and parked in my friend’s neighborhood in the Sunset. The beauty of having runner friends who have babies is that they are up early! My friend was kind enough to drop me off near the start.

The weather was perfect, in the low 50s. I ate half a banana, used the port-a-potties, then lined up with the 5kers.

The Race

Mile 1:

So. Much. Weaving. This race doesn’t have any corrals. In fact, the only instructions given at the Start were “half marathoners on the left, 5kers on the right.” I thought I had positioned myself closer to the front to avoid the walkers. But that first mile was all about maneuvering myself around walkers – people who should have been further back.

Mile 2:

I have no idea how to run a 5k. I rarely run them. I had my Garmin set to display only the distance so I didn’t know what pace I was running. Was it too fast or a 5k? Too slow? No clue. I felt like I was working hard but not at puke level. My half-tied shoe also felt like it was going to fly off at any moment. So it was surprising to see 8:51 when my Garmin beeped at Mile 2 . The last time I ran a mile that started with 8:xx during a race was five years ago.

Mile 3:

By now I switched my Garmin to show lap pace and distance. I had less than a mile left but couldn’t hang. My foot was on fire so I walked a bit and tugged on the tongue. I had been holding the same pace as Mile 2 but lost about 20 seconds doing that.

Official Finish Time was 29:10. Not close to a PR but much better than I expected. With the way my foot felt that morning I thought I would have to walk most of it and hoped to finish in under 40 min. Seriously.

Thoughts:

This is my favorite race. Its a hometown race. Both courses are PR-friendly. Its has a larger-ish race feel with 10,000 runners (though given this size they should have corrals at the start).

Besides the start, the rest of it is so well-organized. They give you the option of having your bib mailed to you so you don’t have to waste time going to an expo the day before the race. The finish area/expo is spacious enough so that so no one is crushing into each other. There are useful vendors at the Finish Line expo. I learned about two new races in the area! Its also spectator-friendly.

RhodyCo Productions does a great job putting on a fun and simple community event. I hope to run this every year.

On a personal note, I surprised myself and enjoyed the 5k experience. I’m revamping my race plans for the year and plan to spend more time on this distance for the next few months.

Coco Pop: A Doggie Meet-Up

A good friend of mine dedicated Mondays to posts on her pet rabbit, Mario. Sadly, Mario has passed and so has “Mario Mondays” but I’m going to adopt her idea and designate Mondays for a weekly pup post.

A few years ago I went to my first “Runners Meet-Up” and met some awesome people who have since become good friends. Some might find it strange to meet a bunch of people from the Internet who you’ve never met in person before. I found it a great way to make new friends.

A few friends complained that I posted too many photos of Coco on Instagram so I created her own account. Through her account I discovered a community of pet owners equally (if not more) obsessed with their pets. A good number of them live in the Bay Area, and one of them organized an “Instagram Doggie Meet-Up.”

This was a little different than the Runners Meet-Up because I had no idea who the humans were but I decided to go for it. The meeting place was at Crissy Field, so if it didn’t work out, we could always venture off on our own for a long walk.

The designated meeting place was at the Beach Hut. From there we would go on a pack walk across Crissy Field to the Warming Hut. It would make for about a 3-mile round trip walk.

We ended up having a delightful time! There were about 20-25 dogs – doodles, shih tzus, labs and more!

Along the walk we made stops at the beach. Coco wanted to be off-leash but I didn’t want her running into the ocean. The big dogs enjoyed the water while most of the little dogs just watched.

We continued walking and as we got closer to the grassy area, she seemed more tired (less hyper) so I let her off her leash. She was tired enough not to chase after the bicyclists, but still had enough pep in her step to make her way to the front of the pack (always has to be front).

We stopped at the grassy area where the pups got to chase each other around and the humans tried to organize a group photo, but wasn’t very successful.

By the time we got to the Warming Hut everyone (canines and humans) was hungry. We attempted another group photo then stopped for lunch.

A photo posted by Coco Pop (@littlecocopop) on

Coco caught her second wind and started getting crazy. I was getting tired (not good with a race the nex day) so we said our goodbyes and called it a day.

It was a fun day to enjoy the sun, sites and make lots of new friends! We are looking forward to the next one!

My 16th Californiaversary

golden gate bridge

I used to celebrate the anniversary of my move to the Bay Area by calling it my “San Franciscoversary.”

Except I’ve never lived in San Francisco proper…

So when I heard Kimra refer to the anniversary of her move as her “Californiaversary” I decided it was more appropriate.

***

After 16 years I still sometimes have to pinch myself that I live here.

When you grow up on a small Hawaiian island like I did, living near the big city can feel daunting. But over the years I’ve been able to build a community that’s been as large or small as I’ve needed it to be.

So what do I love most about living in the Bay?

My list can go on forever, but the top of mind ones are…

– That I live near iconic places that I read about in books or saw on television or in movies. Muir Woods, Berkeley, Big Sur are just short drives away…

– That I get to go SF Giants games all summer long and not bake in heat…

– That I can see the brand new 49er stadium from my office…

– That I get to run across this majestic bridge whenever I want (and I still get butterflies every time…)

– And that Karl the Fog is {almost} always here providing mild to chilly weather 95% of the year.

And even though its so expensive – SO EXPENSIVE – to live here, there is no other place I’d rather call home.