Archive for July 26th, 2009

San Francisco Marathon with Prez Steve Yee (Marathon Maniac # 1)

San Francisco Marathon with Prez Steve Yee (Marathon Maniac # 1)


Chip time: 3:29:27 OA 406/5036 Gender 353/3326 AG 45/470 (Unofficial)

I ran well, and got a good time! The end.



I was a little concerned about running this race after the crazy running I did two days out on the hills of SF. Turned out the concern was for nothing. My legs were fine.

My goal for this race was a time close to my SFM PR which was 3:36 two years ago. SFM is a hilly course, and is really not a good place to try to PR unless you are a hill runner. Temps were about 55 from start to end, but the sun did warm things up at the finish line afterwards. Great food after the race.

I wore a new Zoot tech T (dark/light blue combo), my usual white Maniacs hat, arm warmers, and black running shorts. I wore my Asics Kayano-15 for this race.

Race day:

Since I stayed at a hotel one block from the start, it took me forever to get out. Had to rush to get to my wave corral (one fool was blocking me for no reason. I had 4 minutes to get in and didn’t have time to argue.)

Positioned myself near the front of my corral. I decided that I’d be happy with sub-8s for this race. I didn’t know if it was possible because there are some hills.

Since I was running a slower pace, the 3:30 group caught me early (around mile 1). The pacer was a bit talkative, and the steady drumbeat of foot strikes from such a big group was hard to ignore. I heard that he would wait for his wards at the aid stations, but for some reason I saw him bolt on the first climb right after the first station. I kinda laughed–not all pacers are created alike.

I ran next to a good-looking girl listening to her ipod. Her pace was good, but then I lost her at the climb to the bridge near mile 5. Shame. At this climb, I resolved to be more opportunistic on the downhills because it was going to be rare to run up hills at 8:30 or less.

Seemed to be running through a lot of people today. I was in Wave 2, so Wave 1 probably had 300+ people. Had to be conscious about keeping pace, so it was necessary to weave through as much as possible. It thinned out in the second half though.

Only one guy would run around me the entire race. I didn’t see him again after mile 20, but it is conceivable that I passed him because SFM does this crazy thing about using alternate roads on the same course. Must be something to do with allowing the locals to sleep.

I felt great the entire race. My Garmin was on the wrong display again, but it was okay–used it mostly to check my pace. Just used wall time to check against mile markers.

Did put the SF hills running experience to good use. I used the modified running form and got up the hills much faster than most. Still slow, but my HR never red-lined midway like it usually does.

Tried something different with nutrition. I gulped Gu at miles 6, 12, 18, and 22. The interesting thing is that the feedings at miles 18 and 22 was like a bolus injection of energy–I was surprised that I felt like the Energizer bunny late in the race.

I knew I might come in sub-3:30 because I passed the 3:30 pacer with only two guys in tow at mile 25. The announcer did do a countdown to the 3:30 wall-time. I wasn’t concerned because I was only about .2 miles away. I had 33 seconds to spare when I crossed!

The Marathon Maniacs president finished 3 seconds in front of me. It struck me weird to be calling his name in the finish line chute. We had our photo taken together (official photographer). The Prez did remark that I’m definitely getting faster.

Here are my splits (turned my GPS on a bit early):

mile 1: 8:29 (warming up, but not too slow)
mile 2: 7:53
mile 3: 8:04
mile 4: 8:01
mile 5: 7:54
mile 6: 8:34 (climb from Crissy Field to Golden Gate Bridge)
mile 7: 7:37
mile 8: 7:54
mile 9: 7:42
mile 10: 7:49
mile 11: 7:06 (fast downhill)
mile 12: 8:03
mile 13: 8:06
mile 14: 7:25
mile 15: 7:47
mile 16: 8:06
mile 17: 8:26 (got really confused with the GPS signal under the trees)
mile 18: 7:45
mile 19: 8:02
mile 20: 8:05
mile 21: 7:48 (the course starts to flatten down to sea level at 26.2)
mile 22: 7:39
mile 23: 7:48
mile 24: 7:44
mile 25: 7:37
mile 26: 7:47
mile 26.2 average 7:41 (was a bit surprised by the low numbers since mile 21)


This race was a thing of beauty. Everything worked. Listened to the course, listened to my body, and just worked on pacing as best I could given the race profile.

I completed the race feeling like I just went for a morning run. Guess I didn’t expend the energy that I should have. Ehh, leave the time goal for later.

I’m glad I went. I ran well, and got a good time!

Thanks for reading!

Read Full Post »