Running longer and faster… a few thoughts…

Race Report – San Francisco Marathon 2012/07/29

Planned: 3:20/3:25 with first half at 3:20:00 pace (1.39.00)

Actual: Race report
Changed wave from 3 to 2 so to get to follow the 3:20 pace group. Morning fine – up as planned, drank as planned.

Race results:
Overall: 576 out of 6456
Women: 70 out of 4317
F 35-39: 18 out of 304
Age/Grade: 65.66% Place: 430
Finish: 3:30:34 Pace: 8:02
Tag Time: 3:30:34
Gun Time: 3:31:08


5:30am. Good start, following the pace maker for 3:20. A bit faster start than i planned but the pace group is aiming for same pace throughout the race. First hill at fort Mason going well (was a good idea to check it out the day before!). Second hill before the bridge is more of a surprise (did not count really how to “get to the bridge”-part), but going well pace anyway. The bridge under the fog was quite slippery, great part (even though nothing to look at!) Caught up w/ a guy planning a 3.20 as well). Good to run with someone with similar pace and similar step-bredth (i.e. as tall as me). The trick is that he was from SF and had run the marathon once before + trained in the neighborhood (+ participated to Ultras since last year…). Anyhow, he was great to run with. A little chat from time to time was good (especially as quite empty at this time of the day in SF!) After the bridge a bit tough as it is still hilly (Da!). But going fine and with a wing-man until the half-mara, all appears as planned. Crossing the half as planned.

Second-half started quite strange as the pace group changed pace-maker guy and he kind of accelerated the pace a bit after passing the 21.1K. I dropped the pace group around 25km in Golden gate Park. The second half felt much tougher than the first part (which is hilly-tough but twice or three times) the second part being hilly up&down during almost 60% of the route. From km25 felt not too happy and quite frankly thought about stopping. Tired (or bored!) with the hills. Decided from km27 to do 1km fast pace running, 1min walking. Held this until ca km 36 and then started to get REALLY ANNOYED by the hills. the second half was planned to be EASIER than the first one, right? Anyhow, walk/run/walk/run, whatever, just wanted to finish this boring race. km 42 (on my Garmin) I started to increase the pace, but just to notice that the flag “26 miles” was not there yet!!! It took a while before getting to it and thereafter it is still 0,2 mile to go!! Crossed the line smiling (I think), thereafter felt like laying down (which I did not do!). A bit dizzy, but nothing food and drink cannot solve.

Weather: Nice in the air despite the early hour – drizzling from the Golden Gate bridge onwards… Foggy as well until second half of the marathon

Food: Breakfast cereals/o’boy/soy-milk
km 11+ (mile 7.5) – 1 vitargo
km 25+ (mile 16) – 1 vitargo
km 33+ – 1 dextrosol drink
water throughout the race (maybe should check a bit more when to drink and how much. Definitely not drinking 2dl while taking the vitargo…)

Gear: ASICS Vesta shorts, Unicef singlet, wind jacket & cap (left in the bag), sun glasses (on the top of the head throughout the race as the sun did not show up!)

Body feel: Shoes were awesome, no toe pain (apart from downhills parts). Lower back a bit hurt (disappeared a few days after). Knees ok (left one felt a bit tired throughout the race, but no real pain – right knee fine)

Difficulty : a strong 18+ only for the second half as the first half would have an effort of 15+. The 2nd half hills part is definitely something to train as it was not expected!

Satisfactory time for a marathon which is “generally” 5-10 minutes slower than a “regular-flat” one (not a fast-flat one).

Lots of recovery walks/biking done during the following week

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