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San Francisco Half Marathon

July 28, 2009
Runner Details Race Results
Bib: 30096
Name: Andrea Torng
Gender: F
Age: 22
Hometown: Playa Del Rey, CA
Overall: 551 out of 2815
Women: 173 out of 1675
F 20-29: 56 out of 527
Age/Grade: 59.63% Place: 514
Finish: 1:50:25 Pace: 8:26
Tag Time: 1:50:25
Gun Time: 1:50:32

Back from San Francisco! What a great trip with friends, family, and a race to top it off. The weather is so much cooler in SF than LA, which didn’t help when I arrived in shorts and a tank top, but was great on actual race day. Oh yeah, so I had a near panic attack back at the hotel trying to get a cab to the starting line. I tried calling 3 different cabs the night before to reserve a taxi, but they were all busy and no one was picking up. I dialed down to the front desk to ask them to make a reservation for me, but they said I could call tomorrow morning 15 minutes before I wanted to go and they would get a cab for me. Lo and behold, the next morning I call 15 minutes before I wanted to leave and the lady at the front desk informs me that it is impossible to get a cab that morning because of the race. I was seriously freaking because it was only 45 minutes before the race was about to start. Finally, the bell man came on duty and got me a “private car”, you know, the cars that celebrities take from the airport. Got to the race on time despite some traffic from road closures, damn those marathons 😉

It was really misty when I got to the starting line which was at Golden Gate Park and I was in a running skirt and tank. After moving around a bit and stretching, I quickly warmed up. The 2nd half marathon actually started close to where the 1st half marathon ended and merged right into the full marathon. The full marathoners had already been running for 14 miles before we all converged together. Before the start, I spent a couple minutes cheering the marathoners from the sidelines. They had run across the Golden Gate Bridge, which I was contemplating on signing up for, but decided last minute to stick with the 2nd half course, which included a 6 mile loop inside Golden Gate Park and ended on Embarcedero Street.The race started at 8:15am and I was placed in the first wave which is 1:45 or faster time. When they blew the horn to go, all us runners bombarded the marathoners who had been running for 14 miles already and nearly trampled them. We were like caged animals let loose to run in the wild with so much energy. I felt really bad for the marathoners as I would be kind of pissed having hundreds of people just start a race when I had been racing for over an hour already. I really had no expectations for this race, since I’ve been on a running hiatus since the LA Marathon. Hiatus meaning, instead of running 40-50 miles/week, I’d be lucky to reach over 20/week now. Surprisingly, my time spent working out has actually increased since I’ve stopped running so much. I’ve found other cross-training activities I enjoy doing, such as swimming, yoga-ing, tennis, boxing, cycling and my beloved ellipticalling (yes, I really do like the elliptical, it’s totally my guilty pleasure for watching reality shows). Since I have been lacking in the speed workout lately, I didn’t expect a PR from this race. I just wanted to finish in a decent time.

Flower Conservatory at Golden Gate Park

Flower Conservatory at Golden Gate Park

Anyways, Mile 1-6 were through Golden Gate Park which is HUGE. We didn’t run back and forth just to make up the 6 miles, we really ran 6 miles through the park. The park had tons of lakes, trails and huge trees. My only slight complaint about that part of the race was that they kept separating the marathoners and half marathoners with signs pointing in different directions. At one point, I wondered if I had gone the wrong way and ended up with the full marathoners. I don’t even know why they did that because we all finished in the same place. After we left the park, we began running on the streets. There weren’t that many spectators in the actual park, which was okay since the scenery was so peaceful. The last half of the race was spent running along the infamous steep hills of SF. Luckily, the race directors set the course so we would be running most of the downhills. There were a couple uphill climbs, but they weren’t too bad. The downhills really made up for the lost time running uphill. I actually took a couple pictures while running with the cell phone, and made a couple calls to the family to let them know where I was at! I’ve always looked at people who talked on their phones while running like they were crazy, but it’s not that hard especially when you get far enough in the race where you aren’t hitting those fast mile splits and your pace is slowing down. Another gripe about the race is that they had wayyy fewer water stations along the way than my past races. I remember at mile 11, 2 miles from the finish, the volunteers were saying this was the last water stop until the end. Really?!

The last mile or so were around Embarcedero Street, which is where the Bay Bridge is located. The sun started to come out and my legs were starting to cramp. I could feel my knees starting to tighten up and needed to be ice badly. It’s funny because between a marathon and a half, it’s a completely mental game. If I were running the full, I probably wouldn’t have felt like that halfway through because I knew I still had 13 more miles to go. I think it’s your mentality of breaking down the race into smaller, more manageable distances so you don’t feel overwhelmed. During a half marathon, I break it down 3 miles at a time, but during a full I break it down by every 6 miles. I don’t let myself start to think negative thoughts about how much pain I’m in until the last couple miles of the race or else I would just be miserable the entire time and forget to enjoy the actual course. Oh yeah, another thing that was pretty cool about this race was they had trivia along the way about SF. They would post a question on the side and a couple hundred feet post the answer, just another way of entertaining us runners.

The last mile I started to pick up pace again, despite all the cramps and really sprinted it through till the finish. I was passing a lot of people, but they were probably mostly marathoners, who were completely exhausted after running the full 26 miles. I give huge kudos to them because the first half of the race isn’t easy with all the inclines. Finished in 1:50, which is decent. It’s the slowest time for me compared to the other three halfs I’ve done, but I’m not complaining. Overall, great race and I would do this again next year. Now, I just have to prepare for the E.T Midnight Half Marathon next weekend in Vegas! Now, that’s going to be a completely new experience. Time to buy some headlamps and flashlights for the race!

Here are Garmin stats: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/9943367

Yeah..I so didn’t steal these from the website…Thanks B!

SF Marathon 2

SF Marathon 3

marathon 11

marathon 12

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With Grandparents after the race

With Grandparents after the race

Finish Line Area

Finish Line Area

Random pics from SF!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Brennan permalink
    July 28, 2009 2:33 am

    Congrats on another race! My mom will also be glad to know that your celebrity “private car” was actually a Lincoln Town Car (but black, not pink).

  2. runeatrepeat permalink
    July 28, 2009 4:58 pm

    Great Job!!! Loved all the pics 🙂

  3. December 11, 2009 9:27 am

    I’m frequently looking for new infos in the world wide web about this issue. Thx!

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  1. San Francisco Marathon « L.A. Easy Meals

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