I ran a 2:20 yesterday for 13.56 miles. Yes, I took a wrong turn. More on that later. My average pace was a little over 10 min/mile so adjusting for the extra distance, I figured I am looking at about a ~4 minute deduct. So I ran this thing in 2:16 (2:12 on my watch accounting for the handful of times that I stopped).
Not terrible, considering the following:
- Hilly Course. Hilliest course that I've ever run aside from the Running Of The Monk (and that's only a 5k).
- 10 weeks of training with no base. Like zero. No joke. I didnt start running until May. Before that, I did shit. No running, no biking. Zilch
On a flat course (like Philly R n R), I think I could have done it around 2:10. With more training, maybe 2:00. I think my PR days are over (1:44). That was 10 years ago when I was 32 and about 30 lbs lighter than I am now. But I think a sub 2 hour is doable at this point.
As for the race itself, although the course is hilly AF, it's a beautiful course. The first five miles are flat as a pancake. The remaining 8 are mostly up with a few decent downhills. But mostly up lol. Long, not necessarily steep climbs. The kind of climbs that make you think that they'll never end.
We start straight down the Embarcadaro, through Fisherman's Wharf, through Crissy field, then across the Golden Gate Bridge. Ironically, I've never driven across the Bridge. The Bridge was covered in fog which was really cool, yet really surreal at the same time. I couldn't see shit in front of me or on either side of me. By the time we got back across the bridge, we were at 9.5 miles.
Kyle gave me some good advice that in all of these years of running, I've never thought of myself: run the first third of the course with your head; the next third with your legs and the last third with your heart. He couldn't have been more right. The last third of that race with all them motherf*cking hills is all heart.
Weather conditions were PERFECT: 55 degrees at the start and it never got about 60. The sun started poking out around mile 9.
The only complaints that I have are minor:
- TONS of people taking selfies- which wouldn't be a problem if they didn't either come to a complete stop or slow down to a walking pace without any warning. I had words with one dude on the GG bridge - the course is very narrow, so stopping or slowing creates a big bottleneck for anyone running behind that guy.
- I made a wrong turn at mile 13. There was a split on the course - half marathoners got one way. full marathoners ho another way. One guy at that split with no signage trying to direct 25,000 runners. I wasn't the only one who went the wrong way
- Water stations were completely undermanned.