Day number 3 in San Francisco was race day! But that deserves a post of its own so you are going to have to wait a little longer for the race recap. Day number 3 is also the day that Mr. Sarcastic tried to kill me but we will get to that in a bit.
After the race we hurried back to the hotel so that I could shower, change and pack. We checked out of the hotel and checked into our new hotel for out last night in San Fran. After checking in we headed to Ferry Plaza for lunch. We ate at the American Eatery. It was sooooo good.
Don’t I look content?
Next up was a stop at Blue Bottle Coffee which Mr. Sarcastic had marked as a must stop on our trip after reading rave reviews about their coffee. I don’t like coffee but I sampled one of their double chocolate cookies. We both gave Blue Bottle Coffee two thumbs up!
Blue Bottle Coffee
Now to the part of the day where Mr. Sarcastic tried to kill me. We headed back to Pier 39 for a little bit of souvenir shopping and sight-seeing and walking. Lots and lots of walking. Keep in mind that I ran a half marathon, 13.1 miles, earlier in the day so walking wasn’t something I was interested in doing.
We then tried to take a trolley to Lombard St. but there was too long of a wait. So what did we do? We walked up a giant hill so we could see Lombard St. How giant was the hill? So giant that it would be wise for them to install a rope to aid people in the ascent up. It was so steep that I worried if I made one false move, I would barrel roll all the way down to the bottom. I’m not joking.
This was the bottom half of the giant hill!
Luckily Lombard St. was worth the climb to see it. It is the most unusual street I have ever seen. So unusual that we felt to get a better view of it, we should walk down it. And then back up it and then back down it again. And then we walked back to Pier 39 to get something for dinner. Meanwhile my legs were literally shaking from everything I had subjected them to. At dinner I think I was pretty much sleep eating. I was frickin exhausted.
We went to bed extra early with no complaints from me! And I slept like rock!
On Saturday morning Mr. Sarcastic and I discovered that one of the “perks” of traveling to a different time zone is waking up at six in the morning feeling wide awake. We started our day off by having breakfast at a cute little cafe. Sadly it did not live up to our expectations as the cashier didn’t understand or speak English very well and neither of us ended up with what we actually ordered.
This is my annoyed look. Can you tell?
After breakfast we headed to Pier 39 to utilize another ticket from our CityPASS. We did a one hour bay cruise that took us by the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz.
After the tour we headed to the Aquarium of the Bay. It was by far my least favorite attraction that we visited. I definitely would not have paid full price to have gone there, but it was part of our CityPASS so I didn’t feel like we lost anything by going.
We had a quick lunch from a hot dog cart and then we, er I should say Mr. Sarcastic, set out to figure out the Muni system (San Francisco’s public transportation system) so that we could get to the California Academy of Sciences and figure out the best route for race day transportation. Mr. Sarcastic did such a good job of getting us around the city that I just left it to him, freeing me up to focus on the race.
The California Academy of Sciences is a MUST DO when you are in San Francisco. It was definitely my favorite attraction that we visited and it was part of the CityPASS! It has something for everyone there! Inside is a four-story rainforest, an aquarium, planetarium and much more! We saw a video in the planetarium about earthquakes and it made you feel like you were right in the video. It was awesome!
From there we headed to the beach so Mr. Sarcastic could see an ocean for the first time ever!
The night ended with dinner at a diner and a dessert from a little cupcake shop. Since this was race day eve, I laid out all my running gear and went to bed early. Another “perk” of traveling to a different time zone is that we were ready for bed by 8:30pm, so going to sleep the night before the race at a respectable time was super easy!
I had great intentions of having a post today recapping part of my trip to San Fran. However, when I sat down to write it I realized I was overly tired because it went a little something like this. “Trip to San Fran was awesome. Race was amazing. The End.” I figured you would want more details than that, so I will write it once I recoup a little. In the meantime I thought we could just enjoy a little Tiffany & Co. souvenir I picked up while I was there.
All right, someone needs to poke me because I think I might be dreaming. Today I am heading to San Francisco and Sunday I will be running the Nike Women’s Half Marathon!!! Woot!
As with any big race I set an A, B & C goal. So let’s take a look at the ones I set for this race.
A Goal – Finish the half marathon with a smile on my face. I want to enjoy every step of the race, take in the beautiful scenery, be empowered by the women (and men) running alongside me and be grateful for the experience. I want to focus less on time and more on enjoying the journey to the finish line.
B Goal – Finish the half marathon. Even if I don’t cross that finish line completely smiley and happy, I want to cross that finish line. I want a firefighter to give me a little blue box with a Tiffany’s finishers necklace inside it. I want to prove that all the weeks I spent training were enough to propel me to the finish.
C Goal - This is going to sound contradictory to my A goal but I can’t help but have a time goal in the back of my mind. It’s just ingrained in me as a runner. Yes, I am competitive and I can’t help it. With that being said I am well aware that big races are not necessarily designed for PR’s and rockin times so I would be content with a time of 2:36:46 or better. That was the time that I got at RnR Las Vegas last year. That event was a nightmare of a race, so I can’t imagine that I wouldn’t be able to match that time.
A BIG thanks to everyone who has supported and encouraged me during my training for this race! Muah! The race is on Sunday the 14th at 7am San Francisco time. I signed up for live tracking which will post to my personal Facebook page. (I wasn’t able to select my blog’s Facebook page or Twitter unfortunately.) You can also go to the Nike site to track me as well. All types of support and cheers are welcomed and encouraged!
My training calendar!
This is my last full week of training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon! Seems like just yesterday I put my training plan up on the refrigerator to get started with week 1. Next week will be my taper week and race day is on the 14th! The countdown is on!!!
This will be my 3rd half marathon and I am happy to say that I feel like I am heading into this half marathon mentally and physically stronger than my last two. Having a little experience under my belt is certainly a plus when training for this or any distance. With that being said, I recognize that the Nike half is going to be a tough hilly course unlike any that I have experienced before. And I say, bring it on!
Since my training is winding down, I thought I would take this time to celebrate some of my accomplishments!
1. My first 10 mile training run - Going into both of my previous half marathons my longest run was 9 miles. For Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas that was due to runners knee and for the Rock CF half that was because I was actually training for the half relay and not the full half marathon. I’m pretty excited to be able to approach the Nike half with a 10 miler already in the bag.
10 miles of happiness right there!!
2. I am more in tune with my body – I’ve learned to listen to my body more by giving myself an extra rest day as needed or scale back on my training if I am feeling worn down. It has done me a ton of good and I still feel ready to take on the half despite not following my training plan to a T.
3. A strong support system - Mr. Sarcastic has not once complained about my running or training or the amount of time I put into either one. Not even once. It’s nice to have that kind of support, especially since I recognize how much time my training does take up. I’ve also have several people who have helped me by watching Little B when needed so I can get my training in. And of course, Little B is my BIGGEST cheerleader. My two days of cross-training are done at home when he is with me and it simply does not phase him. Exercise is just a part of our lives and he is accustomed to it. My training would not have been as smooth sailing without the great support system that I have!
Speaking of Mr. Sarcastic this will be his first experience at a race! I would love to get a bunch of spectator tips for him so I can not only pass them along to him but also share them on my blog later this week. I’m looking for all sorts of tips. From how to best support the runner you are at the race to watch, to what to do to pass the time during the race, etc. etc. Leave your tips in the comments below and if you have a blog, leave me your url so I can give you credit for the tip!
If you follow my blog on Facebook then you probably already know that I love motivational quotes and pictures. I get most of them from other Facebook pages (mostly I <3 to Run or MotivateHopeStrength) or from Pinterest. Since this is the first week of my training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, I thought I would take the time to share some of my favorite motivational pictures to get the week started!
My all time favorite!
What are some of your favorite motivational quotes?
I’ll be honest, I am in the very beginning stages of learning to love the treadmill. In all reality I pretty much loathe it. For clarification purposes….. I L-O-A-T-H-E the treadmill! I try to trick my brain into liking it by calling it cute names like the happymill or the thrillmill but let’s face it, it’s still the dreadmilll.
I find the treadmill to be incredibly boring. It doesn’t matter if I watch TV or listen to music, I still find myself thinking that stabbing myself in the eye with a sharp object would be a less painful undertaking. My longest run I have ever done on a treadmill was 10 miles. That was TOUGH! Even the treadmill thought that I should have thrown in the towel as it turned itself off after 60 minutes. But I was training for my first half marathon and I was determined to get my long run in despite the snow storm that was brewing outside.
Now that it is Summer in Michigan, I am dealing with a whole different kind of weather debacle. Heat and humidity! I like running outside when it is warm but 80 degrees is my cut off point. Lately it has been in the 90′s and that is just not smart running weather. My choices are either to get up early in the morning to run (I already get up at 5am for work so that is not an option) or to enter into a truce with the treadmill. Obviously I have picked the latter option.
Knowing the tumultuous history the treadmill and I have had with each other, I knew that I needed to do something to dull the boredom of it and get me on the path of at least liking if not loving the treadmill.
Here are my 4 tried and true tactics to take the boredom out of running on the treadmill.
1. Race on the treadmill - Find an open treadmill next to a runner and race them. The person doesn’t even need to know that you are racing them but if you are competitive like I am, that will be enough to get you through your miles.
2. Speed Work – Speed work is very simple to do on the treadmill and it helps break up the run!
3. Hill work - Again another thing that is easy to do on the treadmill and it helps break up the monotony. The Nike Women’s half marathon is just about 4 months away and it is rumored to be hilly. The heat is a great opportunity for me to start training for hills!
4. Get in the zone – Pick a spot on the wall or some other stationary object in front of you and just get lost in your running. This is easier for me to do on the treadmill than outside as I tend to get distracted by the sounds and sights of the outside world and it is important to be aware of what is happening around you when you run outside. Running on a treadmill frees me of those responsibilities. I would like to think I look focused when I do this but I may just look possessed.
So what about you? Do you love or loathe the treadmill? What are some ways you beat the boredom of treadmill running?
Just in case you are not connected with me on Facebook or Twitter, I got some big news last week! I won the lottery! Well, the lottery for the Nike Women’s Marathon that is!
I am super excited! This will be my third half marathon and my first ever trip to California! I love using races as an excuse to travel!
I’ve already started checking into hotels and airfare. I may need to win the ACTUAL lottery in order to afford this trip. Geesh! But I figure, I have 6 months to plan and save for it. I can do it! Right?!?!
I am hoping to make a mini vacation out of this destination race.
I can’t wait to see this.
And ride this.
And go here.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
And lots more stuff!
I will also get to meet this girl! And run another race with one of my Tough Mudder team mates!
It’s guaranteed to be a good time! Especially since I learned two very valuable lessons from my race in Vegas. 1) Do not walk all over the place the night before the race. 2) Do not ignore my “no drinking the night before a race” rule.
Have you been to San Francisco? What are some things that I must do while I am there???
Or do you have any tips about competing in destination races?
Registration for the Nike Women’s Marathon opens on April 9th! ***Insert your choice of happy dance here!*** You probably already know that I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to get into this race. It’s in San Francisco with a bunch of kick ass women runners. The finisher’s medal is a Tiffany’s necklace which is given out by Fire Fighters wearing tuxedos. And it is an oppurtunity to meet some friends in real life that I have only met through various social media platforms! What could be better than all of this?!?!
Now I just need the Nike Running Gods to smile upon us so my group gets selected in the lottery. Yep, it’s one of those races. We register and then play the waiting game to see if our lucky number is drawn. We should know by the end of April whether we get in or not. *Sigh* More waiting….
I think you should join my group and run this race with me and my friends! Yes, you! If you are interested let me know and I will send you the registration info so that you can be included in the group. Luckily entering as a group means that it is everyone or no one that gets in. And gals AND guys are welcome to join!!!
I think my Wordless Wednesday post was pretty easy to figure out last week.
If you guessed that I added another race to my race schedule, you are correct! You may remember that I did the Dirty Dog Dash in Hell last year. This year I will not be in Hell, but I will definitely be enjoying 3 fun filled miles of mud and obstacles! Here is the course from last year. I am guessing it will be pretty similar this year and I am pretty excited to tackle this course in June!
In addition to the Dirty Dog Dash, I have also signed up to do the Run Like A Mother 5k. I am super excited about this race for two reasons! The first is that it will be my running friend’s first race EVER! I am super stoked that I get to pace her through her first race. And the second reason I am excited is because the apartment complex I live in is the sponsor of the race and the race begins right outside my front door! How cool is that?!?!? After the race, my apartment complex holds a barbecue for all the runners and their families in celebration of Mother’s Day. Did I pick an awesome place to live or what???
I am still waiting on pins and needles for the lottery to open up for the Nike Women’s Marathon. I really really really really want to get into that race. And no, it’s not just because I want a fireman in a tuxedo to give me a Tiffany’s finishers necklace. No . . .. who needs any of that??? LOL
So as of now, this is what my race schedule looks like for 2012.
3/25 – Rock CF Rivers Half Marathon Relay
4/14 – Tough Mudder
5/12 – Run Like A Mother 5k
6/9 – Dirty Dog Dash
7/29 – Warrior Dash
I still need to sign up for a “normal” 5k so I can rock that PR goal that I set for myself this year!!!
Have you added any new races to your race schedule for 2012? I want to hear about them!