Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 17:28:32 +0200
- Running Down My Dreams
Lovin' the Bay area -- San Fran Marathon recap
- Jen and I are back in the Chicago area after a wonderful jaunt in San Francisco and the Napa Valley wine country this past week. We had a memorable time touring the entire area. Some highlights:
We toured five different wineries and tasted countless delectable varietals of wines. (It pays to be in the industry.)
We saw Adam Duritz and the Counting Crows, one of my favorite bands, perform at the Greek Theater in Berkeley on UC's campus- after spending the day touring that interesting town. What a great show and a great venue.
We saw beautiful scenery in both rural and city settings - including breathtaking views of San Francisco from various angles; not to mention beautiful views of wine country from atop Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga, CA.
We stayed in a fabulous spa/hotel on Bodega Bay, which is a quaint little out-of-the way bayside town to celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary. We even rode horses on the beach looking out into the bay.
We saw all the major landmarks in the city. (The one disappointment was that the Alcatraz tours were sold out for the entire 7 days we were in the area.)
We saw the comedian John Heffron (Last Comic Standing champ) and laughed our butts off.
Oh, you asked about the marathon? I almost forgot!
Well, I finished in a respectable time of 3:06 after putting up a 4 1/2 min positive split.
I finished in 86th place out of 5093 in the total field. You can see my splits (which are quite jumbled due to missing mile markers) and further race finish details here.
The hills caught up with me late. The Golden Gate bridge out-and-back (miles 6-9) was the steadiest, longest up and down and, while I didn't know it at the time, it may have been my undoing. Unfortunately, the damn fog prevented any reasonable view of the city.
Tack on mile 10 right after the bridge which was a killer, steep downhill. I ran it in 6:28, which shredded my quads, then I had to pound back uphill on 11. Though the hills varied in size/grade, it seemingly was an unending cycle.
When a well-intentioned spectator tells you "it's all downhill from here" at mile 20, he or she is not telling you the whole story. While the total elevation change is downhill, there are still numerous ups and downs. I was slipping into the 7:30+ pace range the last few as I clung on for dear life.
I said I'd be surprised if I didn't put up a 3:05 or better and I came up short, so, there you have it... I am a bit surprised -- especially after a 1:31 first half! Nevertheless, it goes to show how the hills can zap you if you are not trained for them, which I simply couldn't do enough of where I live.
Anyway, that's three marathons down in 2009 and one to go. Here are my two remaining major goals for this year:
1. Put up a new PR for the half marathon on September 6th (www.halfmadness.com)
2. Break 3:00 again at Chicago on October 11th. I feel the need to tear up a flat course after San Fran and Boston on the last two!