It’s 3:55 AM and I wake up 5 minutes before my alarm, eagerly anticipating my race. Even though it’s early, I feel rested and awake – a pleasant surprise.
The Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon began at the intersection of the Great Highway and Fulton st. The race started at 6:30 AM so I left my house early, thinking it would take time to get there, but I ended up waiting at the start for 45 minutes in the freezing cold! But cold is good, I don’t run well in the heat.
In the meantime, I had a stranger take this photo of me below. No shame.
Now let me tell you I had very low expectations of my performance for this race. In fact, I thought of skipping it because I didn’t train properly. However, much to my amusement I set a PR (personal record)!
Let’s take a closer look at the race itself:
Start – Mile 3: I had no intentions of “racing” this half so I ignored all pacers and started near the back of my corral. I was in the zone with my music and I trotted along at an easy pace. I had to remind myself to slow down quite a few times so I don’t lose fuel too early.
Miles 3-6: The infamous Lincoln hill was approaching and I was mentally ready to conquer it. I was happy to see that was near the beginning of the course (unlike Nike, where it was at mile 10 – so cruel) but nevertheless, the hill was no joke.
Running up lincoln I saw a line of boards with pictures of military men in uniform. I ran a little closer and realized they were photos that honored the service and sacrifices of the American Military. I am awfully emotional when I race so I felt my eyes get a little watery running up that hill. Thinking about them made me push through.
After Lincoln, it was downhill for a while until we hit the Golden Gate Bridge.
Miles 6-9: Running on the GG bridge is always fun but it can also be frustrating trying to dodge people. But the frustration went away pretty fast as I focused my energy on the fast runners running back from the end of the bridge. It’s hard to imagine that their half-marathon pace is faster than my sprinting pace -_-.
My body felt good and I hit a sub 9 min pace while running on the bridge!
Mile 9 – 12: Most of this stretch was pretty flat but I honestly thought I was going to hit a wall at this point. But much to my surprise, I still felt pretty damn good! We were running by Crissy Fields, my training grounds, so being in familiar territory made me feel at ease.
I knew there were hills awaiting me at mile 12 so I was pacing myself in preparation for those bad boys.
Miles 12 – Finish: The last mile or two of a half-marathon are usually hardest and it didn’t help that there were hills at the end of this one. I conquered the last set of hills and picked up my speed for the last half mile until I reached the finish line!
This was my first time running a Rock N’ Roll event and I really enjoyed it! There was a lot energy on the course, and plenty spectators to keep you going. MS MR performed at the end and I love their music – extra bonus!
I’m still shocked by my PR (2:02:09 for the curious ones) but I think there are a few things that lead to it:
- I felt relaxed & happy during the race instead of nervous & intense.
- I rested well few days leading up to the race
- The weather was perfect (53 degrees or so)
- I’ve been running consistently the last few months & cross-training with spin. So even with a few weeks, my body was still in relatively good shape.
Did anyone else run the Rock N’ Roll SF? Anyone else experience an unexpected PR?
P.S. I know I’m a little late but I finally caved and starting using Snapchat on the reg. Let’s be friendsss (@kansha9).