San Francisco Marathon Recap- Part II


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For Part I of the SF Marathon recap, click here.

After waking up a gazillion times during the middle of the night because I was too hot or worried that I’d overslept or because I was annoyed that my giant of a husband had rolled over and was sleeping on his back smack dab in the center of a double-sized bed or because Club W Hotel was raging, I finally conked out right before my 4:15 alarm. I set out for the bathroom to make my oatmeal using hot tap water. 

It didn’t go over well.


I couldn’t even muster up the strength to snap a picture of it. I was desperate, the hotel room did not have a coffee maker, and I was pretty sad that I also couldn’t find the chia seeds that I SWORE I packed! Chia is part of my game!

After eating half of my “oatmeal,” a banana with a little almond butter, and drinking a half of a small bottle of room temp Powerade (<-YUCK!), I grabbed my handheld filled with Cherry Limeade Nuun, put my phone in the RooSport I purchased at the expo, and went down to the lobby around 5 to snag a cup of coffee from the bar. It was a little weird to be dressed to run 26.2 among a small crowd of clubgoers!

I walked the 1.2-miles down to the start line. By the time I got there, I didn’t have enough time to use the port potties down the block, so I made my way towards the second corral. Because I arrived with 5 minutes until the start, I was forced to make my way through a lot of other runners and spectators trying to figure out where they should be. Runners were having a hard time getting through the corral checkpoint, and at one point, a beast of a security guard barked out that the corral was going to close and that we should make our way to the third corral.

That was not a big deal to me, since I was “funning” it, and the time begins when you cross the start mats, but within a split second, before I could turn around, I was shoved forward into a gate in between the corral and the entrance gate with another lady yelling at me to “listen to her orders.” It was really scary! I couldn’t move, and I was taking elbows to my side and my back! Finally, the big man at the entrance shouted that the gate had been shut and the lady needed to let us in. I was never so happy to have my personal space back in my entire life!

The morning was spectacularly beautiful!



Over the course of 26.52 (whoops!) miles were these notables:

1. I used the portapotties twice. I NEVER stop to use the portas, but I was “funning,” and my tumtum was all “Heck no, you’re not going to pass those bad boys without using them!”


I had to wait in line both times. Weird!

2. I made the decision to walk up every hill. 


I did a lot of walking, sometimes faster than people were running, always unnecessarily, and only because I had somehow convinced myself that I could save my legs for hard training this week. <-That doesn’t work. I wasn’t at all sore, but I still feel like I need to take it easy this week.

For reference, every time there’s an incline on the chart below, you can bet I was walking (at least 80% of the time) on the side of the road!

sf marathon elevation


That’s a heck of a lot of walking!

3. Taking selfies while running is really hard. Also, I need to work on my race face. 


Also, the Roo Sport that I bought at the expo does not work with the bum wrap. Unless, of course, I wanted to run with my bum exposed for the world to see. Holding my phone definitely was not fun.

4. Since the photos were free, I decided to try different “looks.” Like the “gaze away into the distance” look.


Nope! That looks terrible! I’ll have to study the Kim Kardashian guide to selfies and see if I can figure it out.


5. My legs/hips ached like crazy from mile 1. That was not normal. Was it because of my foot issue? By mile 10, I was contemplating dropping out. I’m glad I didn’t because by mile 17, my legs felt a lot better. Isn’t it usually the other way around?

6. I was strangely starving by mile 4, but I managed to hold off on taking my gel until 6.5. I’m pretty sure that was a result of my Sour Patch Kids/Hi-Chew snackish lunch the day before.<-Note for Ventura: HAVE A HUGE LUNCH THE DAY BEFORE!

7. Running on the Golden Gate Bridge was pretty rad! Because we were running on the road, we were far enough away from the walkway for me to notice how high we were. Also, I saw Kristina on the bridge! Seeing her totally lifted my spirits and temporarily moved me out of my quitting funk.


8. Funning allowed me to focus 100% on where we were running instead of on my splits! We ran through some beautiful places!IMG_0933



9. Proof that I didn’t walk all of the hills. Just most of them. I had to remind myself that what goes up must come down.sfmile10


10. Around the halfway point, where the First Half runners were finishing and the Second Halfers were partying/warming up/having fun, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I wished that my best running friend Veronique (she moved to Austin the other day) was there with me. Up until this point, we have trained for all of our marathons together, and I lost it. My eyes welled up with tears, my throat began to close up, and I felt like I was going to hyperventilate. I employed the #1 labor and delivery strategy and focused on breathing in through my nose and out through the mouth. Folks, it worked! This went on for a little more than 2 miles. No joke. Luckily, I was “funning,” so I was cool with mid race meltdown!

11. I filled up all of the memory on my phone by accidentally taking a gazillion videos of the inside of my bag, the inside of my pants, and the inside of my Roo Sport over the course of the weekend, so by mile 17, when my legs were finally feeling better, I couldn’t take any more photos. Whoops! 

Also phone related, I need to make a new playlist. I put the music on around Mile 20 and quickly became annoyed with the playlist that I hadn’t listened to. I cannot CANNOT listen to Icona Pop 5 times in 2 miles. What the heck was I thinking? I don’t love it! I wanted to crash my phone into the bridge, to watch, to let it burn. It’s over!



11. To the dude and chick who shouted “Get your ice cold beer here,” you had me at beer. Thank you for changing my life! My new thing when “funning,” and possibly when running, will be to take these kind folks up on their offer! Not only was it the most awesome thing in the world, but I was already so spent physically and mentally that it was a welcome boost! 

12. It also helped me take some terrible, terrible pictures. 


It doesn’t look good on Miley. It DEFINITELY does not look good on me. And you, dear readers, can go on with your life knowing that even your worst race pictures will never ever be as bad as those ones, courtesy of the deliciously cold chugged beer!

13. “Funning” is rad. Despite the pain during the first 2/3 of the race, I loved every second of not worrying about my pace or what my time would be. I also felt lazy and super lame walking, but for running my first marathon for 100% fun, I think I was successful.

14. Being part of the Oiselle family is rad. From the meet up the night before to hearing Paulette cheering at the finish, it’s really a neat thing to feel so supported in my running game!


Photo by Paulette

15. I really like when my family is there at the finish. Like, REALLY like it.  It doesn’t usually happen, for some reason. It didn’t happen this time. There’s nothing better than hearing your name and seeing your family as you run down the finish chute. So, if you’re reading this, Husband, please don’t sit at the Starbucks a mile from the finish. The walk down there wasn’t really fun, and I’d much rather see you and the girls before I cross the line. ;)


Yes, I was that excited over boxed water!

Official time: 3:56:41

After I finished, I chugged 2 boxes of waters and a bottle of chocolate milk (<-Always a good choice!) and picked up my California Dreamin’ medal/bottle opener from running both Surf City and SF!


I’m not really big on medals, but I am totally going to use this one! Everyone knows I love a good brew!

Then, I walked down a couple blocks to the Starbucks, where my husband and kids (5Kers!) were waiting!


Together, we trudged back to the hotel:


Mini Me and I put our legs up the wall while the huz prepped the ice bath:


We packed up, checked out of the hotel, and then spent the best day ever at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where the highlight of Blodie’s day was watching the cow eye dissection!


She swears that they eye squirted her!


We could have spent two days there! All of us, not just the kids!

At 4:30, I still hadn’t had a meal, and I was about to bite someone’s head off, but we really needed to get on the road back to the Conejo, so we opted to eat at Starbucks, where the spinach feta wraps always warm my belly!

I drove my sleepy family the 6.5 hours home, stopping in SLO for dinner and SB for fuel, and finally arriving at our house at 12:30am. Now THAT’S a long day!

Overall, I really had a great weekend! I would totally run this race again, probably for fun, but without walking. And I’d definitely go to Ghirardelli again for another one of their salted caramel, hot fudge sundaes.

Things I need to change before Ventura:

-I definitely think that I need to rethink race day breakfast. Maybe a sandwich? No cooking necessary would have been helpful here!

-I need to have a big carby lunch the day before. It’s really worked in the past, and I just overlooked it this time and paid the price.

-Playlist overhaul. And hopefully find the nano that I bought right before Ventura last year and subsequently misplaced. The phone sitch just didn’t work.

-Put in quality training and prepare to NOT WALK!!!

What are your favorite running songs right now?

Will you meet me at mile 25 of Ventura with a beer?

If you’re running Ventura, will you meet me for a beer after?<-The answer better be yes!

The San Francisco Marathon Part I


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After this past weekend, I really think that I need to add more “funning” (a combo of having run and running) in my life! Funning the San Francisco Marathon, in fact, was pretty rad!

I chose to run SF for fun after winning an entry from Nuun (<-THANK YOU!!!), knowing darn good and well that Ventura, my goal race in September (def. going to reevaluate my goal), would be 6-weeks around the corner. Then, around mid-June, I started feeling this weird ache in my right foot that I haven’t discussed so far because I, well, just don’t want to talk about it, but that foot issue convinced me to hold firm to my “funning” plan.

Early Friday morning, we loaded up the truck and headed up the 101.


The Hotel

About six hours later, we arrived at the W Hotel in San Fran. It was located a little more than a mile from the start/finish line.

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The room was super clean and hip! Also, the bath products are provided by Bliss!

IMG_0825<–Nice touch!

The sunset gorgeous the first night!


The Expo

The race Expo was held at Fort Mason, about a 5K walk from the start/finish area. We went Friday to avoid the crowds. I’m not big on driving in the city, so we hoofed it to the race shuttle at the Hyatt located about a mile from our hotel.


Mini Me was super excited to be on a school bus! I was excited because 78-year old Richard Williams sat down next to us! He and his wife flew in from Coronado (he’s a docent!), and he was pumped to hopefully place in his age group. He also voiced his frustration at race directors for always grouping dudes 70+ together for AG prizes “because there’s always some hot-shot 70-year old who comes in to compete, and it’s silly” because he puts in the training to compete, too!

So, if you are an RD, please note that 5-year AG categories should be consistent for all ages!

BTW, Mr. Williams placed 2nd in his AG this year!

The Expo was not crowded at all on Friday!



The best part of the expo was brainchild Josh’s collaborative mural project! 

The picture:



Our square:


The process:



The man behind the madness:



Pretty cool, huh?

Then, Mini Me added walking across the Golden Gate Bridge to her to-do list after we strolled out of the expo and up to the park above Fort Mason.


After picking up our bibs and shirts and staring at the bridge for forever, we walked over to Fisherman’s Wharf, where we grabbed food from one of the stalls, a recommendation I read in the LA Times Travel section.



I’m a sucker for sourdough!

And we HAD to have hot fudge sundaes at Ghirardelli! Blondie’s life was changed by the simple act of devouring a hot fudge sundae the size of her head!


Sleeves rolled up. This girl means business! She needed to refuel!

Finally, after a long day of walking around town, we walked back to the hotel.


That picture was taken earlier in the day when little feet were fresh and excited. 2.1 miles uphill later, we hit the sack hard! By my estimates, we logged around 7 miles walking, and Blondie only asked to be carried for 2 of them! Progress, people! Also, Mini Me never once complained!

The Day Before 26.2

Saturday rolled around, and I couldn’t figure out any easy way to get back to Fort Mason to run the Bart Yasso shakeout run (the Hyatt shuttles weren’t scheduled to run that early and I didn’t want to keep doling out $5 tips to the valet and racking up public parking charges–that’s good beer money!)(also, I MUST meet that man!), so I ventured out on my own to run along the Embarcadero!



The spawns and a hot cup of coffee were waiting for me when I got back! That’s the best combination!

Per Blondie and Mini Me’s request, we then drove over to the Golden Gate Bridge to test my fear of heights!



No pictures were taken on the bridge because I was putting all of my energy into trying to be brave for my spawns. Also, it was super windy and I didn’t want the wind to blow my phone out of my hands.<–I know. Totally irrational. I LOATHE heights, though. American Ninja Warrior, I am not.

After another day of walking around town and on the Golden Gate Bridge, I met up with some of the Oiselle girls back at the expo!



Bret, Michelle, me, super speedy and 1st Woman in the 2nd Half Mary(!!!) Jen, Robyn, and Paulette

I also ran into the amazing athlete/speedster Kristin for the second time this year! (First time was at Boston.) She is such an inspiration! And she’s seriously the nicest chick ever!


We decided to skip out on dinner with the Oiselle ladies because my littles were SUPER done. Instead, I peer pressured the nicest Kristina (our kids went/go to preschool together AND she’s an SFM Ambassador) to have dinner with us!

She had the inside scoop on the best place to carb up, so while we spent 45 minutes driving 3 miles back to our hotel from the expo, she walked over to Tommaso’s and put our name on the list!

IMG_0886IMG_0877IMG_0878It’s really worth the wait, people! 


They are known for their pizzas, but their pastas are also delish! It’s the type of place where you order what the restaurant Mom tells you to and you don’t question when she dishes out slices of pie without asking. I’d highly recommend eating there!

Thanks for the company and for the dining experience, Kristina!

IMG_0881After dinner, we walked back to our hotel, I painted my nails as per my usual pre-race ritual, and I pinned bibs on everyone’s shirts and tagged everyone’s shoes for the races the next day! I always forget how long it takes to put together all of my race stuff and get the kids’ stuff ready… especially when Princess Palace Pets go missing and two small people are competing in the best bed-to-bed leap!

Part II will be up later!

Where is the best place to stay in San Francisco?

What are your pre-race rituals?

When is your next race?






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