I’ve had this marathon in my sights for the better part of 2016, but I didn’t think that I would get a chance to actually run it. Callie and I are getting married in less than a month, and that shouldn’t change your ability to run a race, but it does. There’s a large time cost associated with training, and I’m thankful every day that Callie is patient with me and encourages me to chase my new found passion of running.
Things fell into place just right so I pulled the trigger and registered for the full marathon. My good friend Justin also registered for the full marathon, and this was my first time being able to run a race with a friend, so my stoke level was high. Callie also registered for the 5k race, so I was very proud of her for going after that as well. She has probably improved on her running as much or more than I have in the last year.
We rented an AirBnB for the weekend, which was a few miles from the starting line, but we were able to make it work with public transportation. There was a fair amount of walking, which wasn’t ideal since we were there to run a marathon, but you can’t just sit around and wait for the race, so we went on some adventures while we were there.
Friday night we were able to catch a Giants ballgame against the Nationals. That was my first time at AT&T Park, and although I’m a Dodgers fan, I’ve been wanting to go there for a while, so that was a fun time.
Saturday morning we caught a Lyft ride to the Race Expo and shake out run at Fort Mason. The shake out run was supposed to be 5k, but it was just a touch over 2 miles. It was probably a good thing though. After picking up our bibs and race swag at the expo, we met up with Callie’s parents down at the Ferry Building and began walking the embarcadero. We did the whole tourist thing, checking out some street performers, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli, and Lombard Street.
Sunday was race day. I felt really good about the race, but I was worried that maybe my training wasn’t good enough to reach the goals that I had set. Justin was there, and he’s a bit of a clown at times, so that helped to keep my nerves in check. My goal time was 3:40 and I ended up finishing in 3:37:03 so that worked out well.
I use a Garmin watch to help me keep track of my pace, heart rate, etc. and by the finish line, the watch told me that we had covered over 26.5 miles, which is .3 too far. The only thing I can think of that would cause this is the alternate routes on the course to help alleviate traffic. Without the alternate routes, they wouldn’t be able to relieve traffic build up. The last 1/3 of the race cuts across the heart of the city, so there’s a good stretch of the city that would be essentially an island for 6 hours without the alternate routes. But, in this case it added quite a bit of distance to the race. Justin’s cell phone also found this to be true. We were pacing at about 8:20 per mile, so if you take a 1/4 of that (2:05), maybe we could have finished a couple minutes faster. I’d be pissed if I missed Boston because of something like that.
The rest of that day, we drank beers and just hung out. Good times.
Monday was our day to fly back home, but before we did, we set out on foot to explore some more of the city. We found a community garden, which I think is an awesome idea, where basically the residents of the area get a small section of the garden to plant whatever they want and harvest the results. The public is free to visit the garden, but you’re not allowed to pick anything.
We also went to Dolores Park where we just happened to come across the biggest water balloon fight I’ve ever seen. All kinds or random people showed up at “high noon” the announcer dubbed it, wielding a mega phone. Some were even in their business suits seemingly on their lunch breaks. Some people had shown up with buckets full of water balloons, and at the end of the bucket is a water that leaked out or from busted balloons. One chick in business attire felt the wrath of the bottom of the bucket in the waning stages of the fight. It was a good time and pretty hilarious.
I love going on these short weekend vacations, especially when we center it around an event. I feel like we get a lot accomplished and there’s less time sitting around asking each other what the other wants to do.
In exactly two weeks, Callie and I will be getting married. We’re very excited for it, and looking forward to seeing tons of family and friends all in one place. After that, I’m ramping up my training again for the California International Marathon in Sacramento. December 4th, here I come.