Let me tell you a little story about the longest shower I’ve ever taken…eeeer…wait, I mean yesterday’s half marathon.
Thanks to a Groupon deal ($40 registration…sweet!), I trekked across the bay to run the US Half Marathon. While this specific race was new to me, it was a familiar course across the gorgeous Golden Gate Bridge and back. However, what was new was the torrential downpour that ensued. Ok, maybe it wasn’t torrential, but it sure as hell wasn’t any light sprinkle either.
Allow me to begin with an important fact: I love the rain. Really, I do. I even love running it the rain as that is usually when I perform my best. But I must say, this rain was different. This is the rain you want to avoid while running. It was raining when I woke up. It rained even harder while I was driving. It continued to downpour as we waited for the race to start. It rained solid, heavy, drops the entire race.
The race was sold out with 5,000 participants, but I managed to score convenient parking in Ghiradelli Square, which came complete with a no line wait for the restrooms. I thought that we were off to a good start, but that all changed quickly. When I arrived at the starting line, people were huddling under tents where the gear check was apparently supposed to be. Emphasis on supposed to be. I wondered around asking people where the alleged bag check was and they all pointed to the damn tents again. Soon I realized that there were no race officials or volunteers in sight, and instead, people were simply throwing their bags in a pile. WHAT?! I had to check my bag, but there was no way that I was leaving any valuables in this horribly organized pile. So as any good female runner would do, I took out as much as I could manage and shoved it all in my bra. And yes, this was the one race that I thought, “Nah, I don’t need my iFitness belt.” Perfect.
With more than I would like to mention stuffed in my bra and multiple layers that attempted to keep me dry, we were off. The course had a few challenging hills, the Golden Gate bridge was as beautiful as always and we even did a bit of dirt…eerrr….mud trails that always make you feel a bit rugged.
Despite the crazy amount of rain, I really enjoyed this race. I specifically recall a moment around mile eight when I looked around and saw the essence of what running is to me. It was challenging yourself despite whatever cards you may be dealt, and enjoying the ride. At that exact moment, I smiled an uber-cheesy grin and I could feel the endorphins kicking in. This race was also the closest I’ve come to “running naked.” My Garmin wasn’t working so I didn’t know my pace or time the entire race and I think I may have killed yet another iPod shuffle as it barely worked the entire way.
I will admit, around mile 10, I was ready to be done. Ok rain, you were fun while you lasted. But my tempo shorts are so drenched that they are literally clingingly to my ass and probably showing more than I would care to. I can only imagine what the race photos will look like; I’m envisioning a drowned rat.
I finished in front of Ghiradelli Square in 1:44:18, average pace of 7:58. Again, not my best, not my worst, but I’ll take it.
But in other good news, no GI or fueling issues this time around. SUCCESS!
And finally, congrats to all of the New York Marathon finishers and all of the other weekend racers. It was definitely a weekend to remember!