I thought today was going to go something like this:
We did cross the finish line, but we did NOT cross it last. About 10,000 people actually crossed it AFTER us.
Note: Please excuse the fact that either my Nike Running app is not calibrated correctly or I did amost an entire mile of zigging and zagging; we did not run an incremental 0.9 miles just for kicks.
Here's a rundown of our journey:
Last night we busted out the muscle tape and went to town. I taped up my back and my right foot. N taped his IT bands. We'd never used kinesio tape before, but we were willing to try anything. Again, we were totally untrained and I had never run more than 5 miles in my life. We did not think that the world was going to smile upon us. We went to bed early and got up at 5am for a 6:30am start.
Step one: Get dressed
Step two: Pop a Vicodin just in case (Note that i'm not recommending anyone else take this approach, but it seemed like the best way to mitigate whatever was about to happen on the course)
Step three: Grab some yogurt and a banana
Step four: Walk a few blocks to the fourth corral where we would start the race
Step five: Wait.
What I didnt know, because I had never run a race before, is that the corrals leave in 15 minute increments. I actually didn't start running until almost an hour into the race. No worries, because it was actually a BEAUTIFUL DAY in San Francisco. It was, in fact, the perfect day to run. At no point during the nearly three hours I was on the course did I feel hot or cold. I've lived in San Francisco before and the weather is never this perfect in one spot in the city, let alone consistently perfect across 13.1 miles of cityscape. I feel like Nike must have slipped a few bills to Mother Nature.
At 7:21 off we went. The slowest pacer on the course was holding a 12'40" pace sign. Our Nike+ apps said we ran at almost that pace, but due to a bathroom stop we ended up with an official pace of 13'24". We ran 2 and 1s the whole way (run 2 minutes, walk 2 minutes) and only deviated from that method on the mile 10 hill where I "took a knee" and walked through one of the run cycles. I was worried that if I pushed myself too hard then I would never make it to 13.1.
Did the Galloway Method pay off? This is us crossing the finish line. The look on my face is exactly how I felt. Triumphant, exhausted, and in a minor state of disbelief.
Post-run recap: We were only mildly sore in the few days following the SF Half and we're already looking for our next race. This time we will train :)