Thursday, April 6, 2017

San Francisco Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon Race Recap 3/26/17

San Francisco Rock'n'Roll Half Marathon Race Recap 3/26/17
This year was my second year running Rock'n'Roll San Francisco's half marathon. You can check out last year's recap here. It was a blast then and this year was even better! Not only did it land on my birthday weekend but I also got my sister to come out from Oregon and my friend Lenora to run it as well!

PACKET PICKUP: We left for San Francisco Saturday after lunch. We were hoping to get to the expo in time for the 3pm #werunsocial meetup, but didn't make it due to really bad traffic. We got there close to 4pm and bib and shirt pickup was fast and easy. After picking up our bibs we hurried to see if there was anyone at the meetup location.
RnRSF expo 2017
Luckily we were able to catch both Ross and Laura still at the expo. So happy we were able to see them since we didn't see them for a pic at the race on Sunday.
Here's a pic of the shirt we got. I really like it and love that the design is on the back this time. It's something different from other RnR race shirts I've gotten.
RnRSF shirt 2017
RACE DAY: We woke up pretty darn early. I think it was around 3:15am so we could eat something and get to the buses to shuttle us to Golden Gate Park. The course is a bit different this year starting at Golden Gate Park. Last year it started by the ocean so I was excited to see how different it would be. Anyway, we stayed at the Marriot at Union Square so we had about a mile jog/walk to the buses at Civic Center. My sister wanted to get to the buses early and that we did. We managed to get to the buses around 4:30am. We knew the shuttles would take about 25-30 minutes to get to the start line.
Shuttle buses at Civic Center RnRSF
We got to the start area right around 5am, so we had lots of time before the actual start of the race which was 6:15am. The great thing about arriving early to the start area was there were absolutely no lines at the porta potty.

RnRSF no lines at porta potty
There was a meetup for those wearing Pro Compression Gibblers at 5:50am at the back of corral 2. Here is a pic of those rocking the awesome socks! :)
Gibbler pro compression socks shot RNRSF
 Here is our pre-race pic. We're excited. :)
The race started a little late but it wasn't bad. We were at the back of corral 2 so we waited for the first corral to start and before we knew it were off. According to my Garmin we started the run at 6:25am.
Start line RNRSF
It was pretty crowded at the start of the race. But once we started to hit the inclines the crowd thinned out a bit and there was more room to run. The first mile was pretty slow especially because of the hills. While mile 2 was pretty fast due to the downhills. It's hard not to cruise down the hills fast especially when I was feeling good early on.
Mile 1 - 10:10
Mile 2 - 8:11
Mile 3 - 9:47
One of the most touching parts of the run was the Wear Blue Run to Remember mile. This was a tough part of the course because it was uphill but seeing the signs and the volunteers holding the flags was very touching and inspirational. It was fun to give them high fives and their cheers helped push me up the challenging hill.
Wear blue mile to remember hill RNRSF
Wear blue mile to remember hill RNRSF
After the hill we headed towards the Golden Gate Bridge.  We were so excited, the marathonphoto camera guy even caught a great shot of the three of us and it was even featured in some Rock'n'Roll emails and in their slideshow.
Happy shot Golden Gate Bridge RnRSF
credit: Rock'n'Roll Marathon Series
Golden Gate Bridge RnRSF
From what I recall miles ~4-7 were on the bridge. It was an out and back.
Mile 4 - 8:33
Mile 5 - 8:54
Mile 6 - 8:33
Mile 7 - 9:01
After the bridge was another hill but then it was a nice downhill towards Fort Mason.
Running RnRSF
Another favorite part of the race was seeing the Golden Gate bridge from below. This pic is on the turnaround but you can get an idea of what we saw heading in. See, we're having fun! :)
Awesome RnRSF shot with Golden Gate Bridge in background
photo credit: @happyrunningmom
It was flat for a while but I was sorta struggling because I was going faster than I was planning on. My training plan from Coach Dawn called for going no faster than 8:50 pace but I clearly wasn't following it since I wanted to stick with my sister and Lenora. I felt myself lagging a bit at parts on this flat section but seeing these guys on stilts made it fun again.
RnRSF stilt guy high 5
Mile 8 - 8:17
Mile 9 - 8:40
Mile 10 - 8:45
Mile 11 - 8:49 
Around mile 11 was when the hills came back. I remember struggling even more to keep up with my sister and Lenora at the hills here.
Heading up RnRSF hill
Photo credit: @happyrunningmom
Mile 12 - 9:25 
After mile 12 it was a nice downhill from there. I was so happy that we were done with the hills and it was so great to see the finish line. We ended up sprinting towards the finish.
Mile 13 - 8:22 
.18 - 7:05
I was very happy we finished and with smiles! :) 
happy finish pic
My time turned out pretty good for what was supposed to be a training run. Ran it in 1:56:44. I think it was a second over my time from last year and I think this course was a little harder with more hills at the beginning but that's just from what I remember. This wasn't a goal race so I'm very pleased with the run. We had lots of fun on the course taking pics and just taking in the sites.
Here's some of our many finisher's pics with medals. :)
finisher pic
RnRSF jump pic
It was pretty cool to catch Brian aka pavementrunner in the finish area. Of course I had to get a selfie with him.
  Selfie with Brian aka pavementrunner
Group pic with the Gibblers on.
RnRSF pic with the gibbler socks
 And of course here's the bling shot.
Rock'n'Roll San Francisco Half Marathon medal 2017
Post race goodies were similar to other rock'n'roll races with the water, chocolate milk, etc. Overall, the race was awesome! I liked the change they made from starting at Golden Gate Park rather than the ocean because it wasn't as cold and windy. The Golden gate bridge is always a great highlight of the race too! Running the race with my sister and my friend Lenora made it so much fun and they both pushed me when I wasn't feeling it. This is one of those races I will do year after year. And yes, I've already signed up for 2018. Who wants to join me? :) 

Happy running!

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