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San Francisco Kaiser Half-Marathon

Posted Feb 03 2009 1:03am
Whew, man that was hard! Send me back to the long ultra's where I can put other race skills into play that I don't get to use in these short fast road races. This half-marathon felt like one long track interval. I don't even remember the year I last ran a half-marathon, must have been 8 or 9 years ago but I remember the time was around 1:38. These days I only get to run the distance as the run part of a half-ironman triathlon and those numbers have been hovering around 1:45-48. So the goal for the day was to get to 1:30 or below.

The rest during the week worked, I recovered from my mini burnout and the rest also served as my taper. On Thursday and Friday, on my short 4-mile runs, the legs still felt sluggish and leaden but by Saturday they had come back to life. It's like they were sick but made a successful timely recovery. Besides resting them I had spent time in the sauna stretching and sat in the tub for a couple of ice baths. I went to bed Saturday with a smile on my face knowing that I would have a decent race in the morning.

I warmed up a bit before the race, caught up with some friends and ran like a thief with nowhere to hide when the gun went off. The first two miles were a bit fast but I let it go then backed off a bit the next two miles. Soon as I recovered from the faster than usual start I put the pedal to the metal for good. My heart rate monitor was pegged at maximum for the entire duration of the run from that point forward. I even saw numbers I hadn't seen before on that watch, crazy.

Ran into a lot of friends. Ultra running folk were out participating or spectating, so were the triathlete types. Quite a festive event especially with the good weather. Met up with a good friend, Stephen Goldmann, who ran a great race with a 1:21. I'm trying to convince him to come down to San Diego in June for the San Diego 100. Some have come up to me before and after the race saying that relative to the distances that I usually run this must have been a walk in the park. Well it was certainly short but by no means easy. It was hard and painful in it's own unique way. I can tell you that by mile 11 when it really started to hurt I stopped thinking about the possibility of running more of these road events in the future:) Hmm... considering the result maybe I quit ultra for awhile and dedicate myself to some marathon specific training to see if I can qualify for Boston...right, right, sure that will happen. Not sure if I can qualify anyway, I'd have to run a 3:10 and I wouldn't know where to fit the training for that in my future trail running plans. I would like to run Boston one day though, something magical about that damn unicorn logo on their finisher shirts and jackets, so select and prestigious. Unlike the Ironman brand, you can't go to a store and buy gear with the logo stamped on it. Maybe I suffer in another hard and fast road race to dispel all notions of running another marathon. Yes I think that will do the trick!

I gave it everything yesterday but when I finished I felt like I was capable of more. It was a good feeling to have. I don't think I could have run harder and faster yesterday but I know I have it in me and I'm capable of more. Anyway this was my first time running the event. I've never been ready in the past to run a fast race so soon after the holidays. This year I was ready and we were all fortunate with the weather; sunny, cool temps and no wind. The last two years it was cold, windy and rainy. I couldn't have picked a better year to join in on the fun. If I'm in the same shape next year I'll be sure to sign up again.

San Francisco Kaiser Half-Marathon
1:30:45

I got my goal of coming in at 1:30 but bemoaned for most of the day that I wasn't able to run just a bit faster to come under it. So close! That was quickly displaced however by the disappointment of the Cardinals falling short in the Super Bowl after a great 4th quarter rally. Again, so close!

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Looking much better from the back. You can't see me drooling and breathing hard. Photo courtesy of Lisa Abrons.

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Hanging with Steve Goldmann post race.

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Cosmo, Rachel and Andrew. Rachel and Andrew are personal trainers at Club One and Rachel has been the one who has helped me with my workouts.

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Veronica and Sandrine. Hanging with the triathlon club post race.

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With Jan and Jen. Jan ran a great race with a 1:24. At the cafe, post race brunch.

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My new race bike. Just have to figure where to put the water bottle holders. At the cafe, post race brunch.



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