NWM 2012 San Francisco! Race Weekend!

I survived!!!! Race day came fast and I can’t believe it’s over and I did it!!!! I survived in one piece and not a bundle of muscle spasms and blisters!! LOL….This was an awesome race and Nike did a great job of catering to us!!

Day Before Race: I checked in the day before the race, enjoyed the expo and headed over to Nike Town to shop!!! I think I went overboard but I had fun and this was my first 1/2 marathon. I later heard this was the biggest marathon ever!!! I was able to get my hands on the limited edition Tiffany NWM12 Lunar Glides!!! OH MY!! Sweeet!! I also picked up a NWM pull over top, hat, shirt and the new Yurbuds in the Tiffany color blue. 🙂 Even though they claim they don’t fall out even with running, I didn’t want to try them out on race day. New gear on race day is a NO, NO!!! I may not have been running long but I do know that! I haven’t tried them out yet but I will surely blog about it when I do. After spending the morning in San Fran, I headed home to pack and return later in the evening after my son’s basketball game.

Dinner with friends in the city. Then hubby and I headed to target to get bandaids for my pinky toes and to the hotel we go!!! All checked in!! I laid out my outfit for race day, decided what shoes to wear and began doing research!! What was I researching you ask? Funny…but I researched how to run hills and how to run a 1/2 marathon!!! I didn’t train hills AT ALL and this race is known to be a hilly course. I know your thinking crazy girl!!! Crazy girl!!! I really didn’t have time to train hills. I was more concerned about teaching my legs to run long distances. If you remember my training plan, it allowed me to have cross-training days. I thought this was important because these were the days I did resistance training or biking. If you have strong legs, the hills will be easier. You can train running hills all you want but I feel strong legs will allow you to run hills as if you had trained running hills. Great alternative if you don’t have hills around you to train on. I’m speaking from experience. I found a video on youtube that talked specifically about running NWM and the hill at mile 5-6. Great!!!!! I also found another funny video about crazy marathon runners. I had no idea with first person to run a marathon died. He was delivering a letter and when he arrived he died. Now thousands of people run marathon’s every year. This could explain why more black people don’t run!!!*kidding* I thought that was an interesting fact.

Race Day 20 mins walk from my hotel to Union Square. I get to my corral and it’s packed!!! I hear the gun at 0700. I get butterflies in my stomach. Here we go!!!! We slowly inch our way to the start line, I crossed the start line around 0715. I’m off!!!! I feel good!! I wanted to not start too fast. That was really important to me because that was everyone’s #1 advice. Start out slow and finish the 2nd half faster. I made sure to keep my pace between 9-10 min/miles. During my training I had a hard time with negative splits. Actually, I’ve always had a hard time with it. The course is crowded! Tons of people and I already start running into walkers. How is that? The walkers should be behind us. How are they in front of me??? We aren’t even at mile 2. Anyways, I figure at one point it would thin out the further I went. No such luck!! It stayed crowded the entire race. My first hill, people were walking up it. I had to squeeze my way around people just to get up the hill. I wish people that walked would walk on the sides and leave the middle for runners. The hills were killer. The last hill was the hardest or it could be by then my lil brown legs were tired. As I ran up the last hill, It felt like my butt was one mile behind me and I was dragging it up the hill!! LOL…It also felt like someone was holding my ankles or running in mud. The hardest part of the hills in San Fran, is you can’t see the peak. It’s nice to have a goal up ahead to shoot for. These hills just kept going up, up, up, up!!!! As we start down the last hill, I can see the finish line!!! What an amazing and much appreciated view!! I look down at my iphone and we are at mile 9.5!! What!! I still have 3 1/2 miles to go!!!!! I think to myself, you can do this. 30 more minutes!! I just opened up came down the hill, I let the hill pull me down. The advice I had rec’d the night before was let the hill pull you and lean forward!! Run on the balls of your feet. By this point, my big toes were really hurting! The down hills really hurt. I tried scrunching my toes back so they wouldn’t hit the top of my shoe. Finally, I round the last corner and I see the finish line up ahead!!! Yes! I can’t believe it!!! I love seeing “FINISH” Finally I see a clear path ahead with not many people. I quickly start running towards the clear path and this volunteer is pointing me to move right!! 😦 bummer knew it was too good to be true!! I cross the finish line!!!!!!!! Not far from the finish line are men in tuxedo’s (firemen to be exact) holding silver plates (like butlers) stacked with little Tiffany & CO boxes wrapped with a white silk bow. I received my little blue Tiffany Box! The long awaited box for such a huge accomplishment!!! 🙂

My time 2:17!! I really didn’t have a goal pace/time. With only 3 1/2 wks to train it wasn’t that important to me. I only said my goal was to finish between 2 1/2 to 3 hrs. If I took an average of my running pace the last year, I figured it would take me 2:10. I gave myself a generous timeframe to account for training time, hills, and endurance. I’m proud of myself and it’s such a huge accomplishment for me. Right after the race, I said I wouldn’t run NWM again because of how crowded the course was and how frustrating it was to run with all the people. The next day, after I was able to appreciate the experience of the race, the whole weekend, how Nike totally spoiled us, I told myself, I would do this a race again. 🙂 It’s really all about the experience and I must say it was an awesome one and if you ever get a chance to run NWM San Fran, you should do it!!!!

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