Rock n Roll Marathon Series was my very first 1/2 marathon (Rock n Roll San Diego 1/2 when I was still living there) and now that I’m back up north, I’ve been able to run the Rock n Roll San Francisco 1/2 every year since they started – 3 years now. It’s a fun race with a hilly course (it’s SF, duh) and absolutely beautiful views. The first 2 years I ran the race myself, but since Kat bought a Tour Pass, this was one of her races. Don’t have to tell me twice for a #katbean reunion and friendiversary weekend! (In case you didn’t know, Kat and I were randomly paired together as college freshman in the dorms. We survived the dorms and have been friends since August 2003!)
I drove in, met Kat, her cousin Kristin and husband Ryan in SF for a beer and light bite on Friday night and then headed to Sausalito to stay the night at their house. We had dinner at Bar Bocce, which combined two of my favorite things: eating and people watching. Woke up at a decent hour on Saturday, showered and headed into the city for the expo. We decided to get a hotel near the finish line for the night before the race. If you’ve never run this race, it finishes in Civic Center. If you’ve never been to San Francisco, it is one of the most densely populated areas with homeless people, so there’s ALWAYS the chance you will get yelled at, money or food will be requested every block, and it will most likely have a faint smell of urine. This year Kat got the best one I’ve heard yet. We were walking down Market Street and some guy walking by yells to her “YOU GOT SOME GOOD LOOKIN FEET!” and just keeps walking. I ended up signing up for next years Rock n Roll San Francisco at the expo since it was crazy discounted + you know how much we love running shirts, so you also got a free longsleeve (you know RnR races aren’t cheap, don’t judge).
We then went on a hunt for delicious food. Since we’re both indecisive and were SO hungry at that point, we headed to The Grove because we love that place, know where it’s at, and both wanted an alcoholic beverage with our brunch. win-win.
Walked around a little more, went back to the hotel for a bit, met up with her cousin and husband, grabbed a delicious Italian dinner in North Beach, came back to the hotel and spread out our #FlatKat and #FlatBean on the chair and hopped into bed for what turned out to be a semi-decent night of sleep (I don’t sleep well on a normal night, and the night before a race is usually worse!)
Alarm always goes off what seems like 10 minutes after you fell asleep. We quickly got dressed and grabbed what we needed and headed downstairs to walk to the shuttles that would bring us to the Start Line (one of the BEST things they offer for this race. Incredibly convenient for people living in the city, those that are driving in, etc), and then you don’t have to worry about driving to the start and then having to figure out how to get back to your car after the race!
Start line photos = we look SO attractive. Sleep deprived and cold, but at least we’re not gross and sweaty yet?
I lost Kat (she’s too fast) and Kristin (I am faster than someone!) shortly after the race started, but was enjoying the view too much to care. Hills killed me big time. Or was it the lack of training? Either way, I walked the Lincoln hill with zero cares.And stopped for a picture on the other side of the bridge because I can NEVER turn down this view. When it’s clear, it is seriously one of the best views out there!
The race itself went a lot better than I was expecting. Since I hadn’t really run since the Hot Chocolate 15k in January (and also hadn’t trained for that), I knew my body would be really confused. But it felt semi-decent and I was ok with just running based on how my body felt and not what my watch said. When I needed to walk (hills most definitely), I walked. I pulled to the side to snap a few photos along the way, and even though I was trying to will my bladder shut, I couldn’t hold out any longer and had to stop for a bathroom break at Sports Basement around mile 9. When I looked at my watch after that break, I realized I was actually doing pretty decently and could easily get a SF 1/2 marathon best time outta this shabby little body. The bathroom break (and not the hills and photo opps surprisingly) were what kept me from an actually 1/2 marathon PR. BOOM! Even though I should have been so proud of myself for getting this time and getting so close to my 1/2 marathon PR time with a bathroom stop, walk breaks and photo stops, all I could think about was “IF ONLY I DIDN’T STOP FOR THE BATHROOM!!” and was so disappointed. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does that? :/
We made it! And I ran into my friend Brian, who I met through running and randomly happen to run into him at the finish of a lot of races in SF (even though neither of us live there).
It was absolutely beautiful that day (even a little warm/sunny for a 1/2) and the post-race concert was awesome! I usually don’t get to enjoy these very often since I normally do races alone and after a 1/2 marathon, a lot of people don’t want to sit around anymore than they have to. Rock n Roll can put on some good Finish line concerts, depending on the band, and it’s always nice to get a free concert with really good music and you’re literally 5 people back.
And because my jumping skills are sub-par, I’m going to suggest you to a few action shots. I clearly need to practice the simple task of jumping.