Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bay to Breakers (12K) Race Report (San Francisco, CA)

I don't even really know where to start, mainly because I don't want to be too wordy and bore you to I will try not to:
There were waves/corrals this year and if you sign up too late you are basically going to be in a later corral.  I ended up in a 7:30am corral.  Honestly though, now I know I could have just showed up and started whenever I wanted to :)  There were all sorts of lettered folks for corrals that were just filing in with what I thought was the D corral..anyway...

We left the hotel just past 6:30 to get to the corral by 7 (per the instructions).  Someone had told me day before our start intersection was about .5 miles away.  We were at Pier 39 at a hotel there just across the street.  Um.  No.  We learned on the way it was about 2 miles.

I ran to the Start.  Not something I normally would/like to do, but I did what I had to do (besides it was here that I realized it was going to be a good day...when my warm up miles feel like that?  Yeah it was going to be good)... My 2 friends were going to walk the B2B (for some reason; and we will just leave that at that)...I did meet up with a few folks about .5 miles away, and walked it in with them though once I knew we had the timing OK.  And then really you just move along until there is the Start and they stopped us for a few moments then off we went.

So here I go.  To be honest the only thing I can really tell you about this part is that you need patience especially being anything farther back than on the front line of the first corral.  It is slow going.  There are just so many people and no one pays attention to walk on the right, run on the left. 
Hell some dont even run in the right direction!!!
They run scattered.  They weave.  They stop running for no reason. 
And they are all slower than you are at that given time.
I almost lost it a time or two, but then would check myself that "you knew this was going to be the case".  Do what you can until you can break free of this mess.

I don't really remember much about those couple of miles at the beginning; it wasnt until I looked up and saw Hayes Hill that I remember from there on out.

I remember almost falling flat on my face, but the crowd was so dense that the girl in front of me broke my fall as I pushed my hand into her back (almost making her fall)...

I remember a slow slight (compared to the hill I work out on, to the ones I ran in Soledad 2 days prior) that I really wasnt that phased ... kinda reminded me of NYC marathon possibly...or not...

I remember seeing mostly costumed people.  Not a lot of runners even.
Where the runners were, were on the sidewalk!!
So I ran on the sidewalk with them once I figured that out.  By the time I did though, I was almost to Hayes.

I ran up Hayes as best and as far as I could until honestly it was just so steep that I felt like my face was on the pavement.  I stayed on the sidewalk and then just decided to walk it and eat a gel.  I would get to the top when I got there.

And sure enough I got to the top (2.9 miles at this point), took my time to look back down and was just in awe of what I saw below me.  And then it was time to go again...

There is a bit of a flat piece before you start slowly climbing again...No biggie.
In mile 4 I started getting rained on but it didnt last long; the sun would peek back out after about 1/2 mile.  It was also here where a man tapped me on my shoulder and asked me "you runnin' for your mom?"

Yes sir I am. (I had magic marker'd Mom on the back of 1 calf and 3/10/11 down the other just as I did in the last race (Angies Half Crazy Half Marathon)

Still climbing.  Ever so slightly though.  and the people were very thinned out by now (still in costumes though and some still naked)...  I had made it.

I knew that I had until around 5.5 before I started the descent that I couldnt wait for.  I was holding my miles after Hayes at about 10:15, 10:00 and then sub 10 (before that it was 11's due to crowds, stop/start/weave etc then ther 12:30 on the hill).  I dont have my splits with me (honestly I havent even downloaded; just going off vague memory...)

Once I hit mile 5 marker I just started going faster and faster...sub 10, sub 9:30, sub 9:15, until I knew I was going sub 9 and I looked down at my watch and it was at 8:39.  I know this because it was like a vision.
I was running 8:39 in mile 6 and I didnt even feel like it.  I am pretty sure I wanted to pee my shorts.

It would then fluctuate between 8:29 and 8:45ish etc., but always staying below 9min miles.

When I hit that 7 mile marker I knew I had less than 1/2 mile to go but I was content with my 8:30something pace...I was still going to finish upright and honestly wasnt even huffing and puffing.

So yeah...I left something out there and I am a-ok with that...a-fucking-ok.

My Garmin read something like 1:15ish, not sure now...and while that overall pace actually doesnt make me happy (well it kinda does considering the first 4 miles suuuuuck!!!)...all I know is what I did pace wise after that and that I ran some mofo hills like I have never run before and didnt die.

I couldnt be more pleased with my effort, my mentality and just how overall, as a race and a course, it was fantastic.  Just simply beautfiful and awesome.

I don't know where that girl came from, but I sure like her a lot...She's obviously a lot better conditioned than she gives herself credit for...

Would I ever do this race again?  I would love to...I hear there are at least 2 more years of it (Zazzle signed on for that; and they thought this 100 year running would be the last)...however I dont think I would do it if they didnt offer the medals again.  Its a long way to travel (for me) and its not cheap to get/stay there. 
But yeah, I would definitely love to do this one again...San Francisco is just a wonderful city to begin with...

Oh and after the Finish, just like with a lot of races its a long way to either get to the after party or the shuttles to take you back across town.  At LEAST a mile is what it is...I ran/walked this after getting my medal and such.  Then without going into too much blah blah blah, I ended up running after getting off the shuttle, bringing my total mileage to 11.76 miles for the day...

One thing to note is that there is no bag drop/pick up.  This can or cannot be a good thing.  For example, this time it was supposed to be pouring rain (but it didnt thankfully), and well, at the end, you wouldnt have anything dry to change into...and who wants to run in a rain poncho for that far and then afterwards as well?  Not me.  Or also in this case it was about 47deg at the start.  Normally I would have worn short sleeves however because I knew I couldnt change into a long sleeve or a hoodie at the end when I knew I would be cold, I wore long you have to think about that... a lot of people didn't....and I either saw or heard about it from a lot of folks... bag drop addition would be money...
OK so I didnt run with my phone or my camera (as I made the decision to 'race' this and not just be a part of it in general AND the threat of rain (heavy) just didnt want to chance ruining anything) but I did snatch some pictures from friends and random people that I found had taken pics.  Some of the pics too are just from random sites about Bay to Breakers.

I am working on 2 additional with costumed folks along the route and then also a post where I have pictures from the trip in general, from in Soledad, to the eating of such wonderful food, going out with the girls, and just overall San Fran sightseeing photos!!!!

Tortilla throwing at the Start.  Seriously, I was being beaned with tortillas left and right!  I dont know the story behind this, but there were people with tons and tons of tortillas (both corn and flour!)

Haight Ashbury...There were some craaazy stuff through here all along the route...Still seemingly 'flat'.  I wished I had had another day to go down there to just sightsee and hang out.

Hayes Street Hill.  I just want you to know that it IS just how this picture shows it.  Its around mile 2.7 or so, and I remember specifically looking up (not realizing I had gone that far to be honest) and it was staring me in the face.   You actually can see from about 1/4 mile away I am guessing...Its hard to miss because all you really see is a wall of people.

Looking back down once you hit the first 'top' of Hayes, you stop, turn around and just look.  I think it was much more intense than what this photo reflects.  You then go up just a wee bit more then you finally cross a timing mat at the very tip top.  Mile 3 was DEFINITELY my slowest mile (ever) at 12:30pace

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park (from the air)

Golden Gate Bridge

This waterfall is spectacular.  You are running along and then bam! off to your right its there...just as beautiful as it could be....

Another favorite!  At this point in the race you are so close to the finish you might forget to look for this, but then..unless you are just blind or have your eyes closed you arent going the photo below you can see it and where it is on the course...just before getting to the left hand turn onto Ocean Beach.  FANTASTIC!!!  You are running through some heavily wooded area, going downhill...all just feels UNREAL!!!!

You can see the route there heading towards Ocean Beach where you turn left and basically its um...about 1/4 mile down or so...

and then the FINISH!!!!

1 comment:

Mel said...

lovely :-)

I dont know if I am getting old and grumpy or what? But with each passing race, I get more and more frustrated with people who don't understand corraling