Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bay To Breakers - Race Strategy?

Embarcadero Bay, San Fran....Where the B2B race begins
When I first signed up for Bay to Breakers and honestly up until a week or so ago, there was no 'race' strategy.  I signed up because my friend Lisa (she lives sorta kinda near San Fran) put it out there and I took the bait, and it was always my intent that her and I would be doing it 'together' even though she is a bit slower pace than I, it didnt bother me one bit....she had hill training and I had more speed, so it would even itself out more or less, and even so, I just had it in my head that I would run with her stride for stride.

Then another girl came into the picture, one of Lisa's friends daughters (I think) from AZ was also coming.  It wasn't until the past month I guess, going off of FB information, I realized that AZ was not training (and I might even go so far as to say 'not a runner').  And not running.  I know thats not a big deal, but sometimes it kinda is  :O)...because in my head I am only thinking..this is not going to go well...getting through a 5K mud run is one thing with no running/training, but a 12K (7.46miles) is quite another.  With hills.  Big hills...And as much 'fun' as the event and the experience will be, at the end of the day, I'm a runner and its a race, and I want to 'race' it the best that I can.  The only other thing that was concerning was the sheer size of this event and not being able to find each other after...still not sure how we are going to do that, but worse case scenario is I will have a key to the hotel room and I'll find my way back somehow...

Another shot of Embarcedero Bay, San Fran; gonna be awesome!
 So, hoping not to mess anything up (what others might have planned), I kept stressing over this fact...that I really wanted to 'race' it, especially when I found out that the temps there in the morning are low by Texas standards this time of year, making it even more difficult for me to run 11:30-12:30 min miles.  And what might end up for AZ as quite a bit of walking.  I could be entirely off base with this, just a hunch...
So this morning I mentioned it and sure enough, my dear friend Lisa pretty much solidified it with 'run free my friend, run free'.
And I was elated!

Now after having said aaaalll of that, there is still the fact that I am not really conditioned for this kind of course, so yeah I expect to be huffing and puffing more than I would like...and well with 60,000 REGISTERED runners, and generally this race ends up with about 100,000 runners when you factor in all the bandits, its not like there is going to be a whole lot of room to 'run' ...  They do have wave starts this year...but still...its going to be ugly.  And those are 2 things I just cannot control and will most definitely affect the time that I can cover this distance in. 

Now as far as a strategy, well, all I know is that I want to not die in the first 3 miles.  :o)  Thankfully thats where it will be the most crowded and I will be forced to go slower than I would like.

I have looked at my little race distance/pace chart I have from RW, and oddly enough, they have a 12K distance on here...and I guess I would have to say I definitely would like to go sub 1:15, and its definitely doable for San Fran though?  and with that many people?  (although I will probably only have about 20-30K in front of me based on my corral placement ;o)...I dont know if thats doable.  But its definitely on my radar...I would actually prefer closer to 1:10, but I think the only way I am going to be able to do that is if from mile 5.5 on, during that continuous downhill to the finish that I dont have a buttload of people to get through and around.

So bottom line is of course as always:  try not to weave, try not to go out too fast (dont think this will be a problem here) and in this particular race, don't waste too much energy on 'the hill'.  I've heard how amazingly beautiful the course is so once I do start that descent towards the ocean, I plan to just soak it all in...and run my heart and legs out!!!

Heading down to Ocean Beach (where the finish line will be)

Ocean Beach


dixie :o) said...

looks absolutely gorgeous!!! Have Fun :o)

saroy said...

Just get as far to the front as you possibly can. I've only done B2B once, and it was in 2002 only a couple months after I started running, but it's the most crowded race I ever remember doing. There are just SOOOOO many people.

Junie B said...

there are corrals and wave starts. i want to be in the same corral as my friends at the start plus i dont want to have to figure out a time/place for me to leave before them to get to another street for a different wave when i am assigned to one already. i get pissed when people do that, so i wont be that person.

100000 people, only 60000 are actually registered. the rest jump in along the way and run for a while and quit.

Jim said...

Avoid the crazies and take in the experience of it all.