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Posts tagged ‘Bay to Breakers’

(Not really) racing from Bay to Breakers

Last year, I ran Bay to Breakers. I really ran. I didn’t wear fun clothes or spend my time along the course just having a good time. Nope. I ran and finished in 1:25:46.

This year, I decided to not go all out. But I asked my brother to join me. And he wanted to go all out. In costume, of course. But also in running. He trained.

I ran an 18-miler the weekend before. My legs were still a little tired.

And my 28th birthday happened to be on race day this week. So this would be the second year my brother ran a race with me on or near my birthday weekend.

The day didn’t start out too well for my stomach. Instead of feeling as if I was ready to run, I rushed to the portable toilets immediately after getting to the Embarcadero. I ended up going to the bathroom twice before the start. And I still felt bad. My stomach hurt. I was getting cramps, likely from an empty stomach. But I couldn’t eat either.

I should have known it would be a bad run. But I kind of didn’t care.

In fact, I kind of figured I’d take it easy.

It was a warm morning. The tortillas were already flying.

We were already seeing naked people too. My brother made some sort of sausage-fest reference saying he’d seen enough naked nasty dudes for a lifetime, and probably more. They started counting down quicker than last year it seemed. In fact the whole thing seemed to go by more quickly in general.

At a little after 7 a.m. race officials released Corral C and we were off. I immediately felt horrible. My stomach was really turning.

Then, just like that, we he a stall. People had begun to gather along the road making it nearly impossible for racers to get through. This happened at .26 mile into the race.

It wasn’t all bad, but it was bad.

Mile 1: 11:17  — Started out strong, considering I had to stop and wait for the flow to get going again. I was likely running an 10:40 pace.

Mile 2: 12:29  —Legs are tried, uphills.

Mile 3: 14:16  — Hayes Street Hill and bathroom break. I kept thinking I was going to throw up.

Mile 4: 12:05  — Did a Gu, picked it up once over the hill and on the downhill.

Mile 5: 11:04  — Back in my normal groove, but it would be short lived. Toward the end of this mile, my legs felt better thanks to the Gu, but I was also starting to feel bad again.

Mile 6: 11:40  — Tried to hang in there, slowed a little.

Mile 7: 13:11  — Even though I had less than a mile, my stomach was cramping bad now. I kept considering stopping and slowing completely. I figured I’d walk it in. Finally picked it back up.

Mile .60: 9: 34  — Decided I needed to just be done. I just pushed it. I wanted the misery to end.

My husband got that great shot of me running it in. He complained that I wasn’t smiling. I tried to tell him the kind of misery I was in. My stomach hurt. I hadn’t fueled properly before the race. When I went for it, it was all I had at that moment.

Then it was over. It seemed quicker than last year. All around.

I crossed the finish and was handed my medal.

At the finish line, the announcer called it the “first ever” finishers’ medal. We received commemorative medals. The medals are nice and heavy, definitely a plus.

Then we had to go wait in a ridiculous line for our shirts.

The shirts were way to big. And we couldn’t trade. If we ever do this again, I won’t opt for the shirt. The disorganization at the end was amazing. Last year we had to walk past Polo Fields to get the shirts in an organized fashion. This year there was a tiny tent with a long, long line of people. I would have walked away had I not been charged so much for the shirt.

I ended up giving my tech T-shirt, a size medium, to my brother.

By the way, my brother the racer finished in an amazing fast 59:05. He did great. He was really excited about it. (Notice, he dressed as Paulie Bleeker from Juno.)

My final time was 1:31:34. Not horrible. I probably could have done better had I had felt better or ate breakfast and done the Gu beforehand.

But I don’t feel bad about it. I got to run with my little brother. And it was a fun run, even if it wasn’t a good one.

We did see lot of crazy stuff. And we made it to the breakers OK.

Then we headed away for an adventure to watch the eclipse. But that’s for another blog post.


Glaming up for the run

A couple months ago, on fear that the race would fill up like last year’s centennial did, I registered for the 101st Bay to Breakers run in San Francisco. I had a good time last year at it. I can’t say it was a mind blowing experience or anything, but it was a good time.

This year, it’s on my birthday.

So…I figured, party on the run? Wooo! I know how to live it up.

I invited my youngest brother to run it with me. I may have created a monster. He keeps sending me text messages telling me about how he’s running miles under six minutes. Great. He’s going to leave me in the dust. He doesn’t really “run” with me at all.

Since it’s a fun race and most people dress up, I thought this year I would to. Last year I wore regularly running clothes. This year, I’m going full out Holly Golightly.

Yep. I’m bring Audrey to race day.

The last parts of my costume came in the mail today. Everything else I had.

I’ll be wearing my Nike running skirt and a cheap Target fitness tank top as my main outfit.

Then I’ll glam it up a little.

First, I bought some inexpensive gloves at They are pretty nice too. And, if it’s a little cold in San Francisco, they’ll be nice arm warmers. Win win.

I’ll also be wearing some faux pearls. They look much more white than they are pictured. It’s an H&M necklace that only cost me about $4 at the time. I tend to wear it a lot with plain shirts. I figured if something happened to it, I can easily replaced it.

And I had to buy a princess tiara. This was probably the most experience item added to my costume. It cost $15 from with shipping. It fits fairly snug too. I don’t think I’ll have to worry about it falling off, which I kept thinking would be a problem with this costume.

Of course, Holly Golightly needs a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers. Everyone kept saying all I needed were over-sized glasses. No. Audrey would not settle for that. I actually have owned these for more than a year too. I bought them with my first paycheck from my teaching job at a local community college. I had one of those “OMG, I can afford Ray Bans” moments and just went for it. My dad has worn Wayfarers forever.

I initially bought the glasses thinking I’d never buy another pair of glasses again. So far, I haven’t. I love them. My only worry is losing them along the race path.

I was prompted to put this all together because my brother and I just got our race packets in the mail. Last year I ran it with my friends. So I think it will be kind of nice to have some support this year too.

I’ve also found out that people can still register for Bay to Breakers, meaning it didn’t sell out like I expected it to. Last year, entry was capped at 50,000. I’m assuming that’s the case this year. But a hefty raise in fees, and charging for an adidas tech shirt, may have turned people away. I mean there are other much more organized races in San Francisco (I’m looking at you San Francisco Marathon), but this one is fun.

I don’t really have a “goal” per se. My brother wants to womp me. He will, easily. This one is meant to be fun.

I’ve literally only ran two miles this week and it was tonight. On the treadmill.

I’m running an 18-miler this weekend in Fremont, which is about an hour away in the Bay Area. There’s a huge likelihood that I could come in last if only because I’m treating it as a training run and it’s a small event. The organizers also have a half marathon course, 10K and 5K options. But I signed up specifically because after a 21-miler in Big Sur, the addition of 18 seemed like a nice pre-marathon shake out.

I’m looking forward to it, despite the weather predicting it will be hot. The run begins at 7:30 a.m. I’m hoping I’m done by 11:30 a.m. at the latest. It’s flat trail run with an out and back at the nine mile mark.

An early present

After careful consideration and a lot of thought, today, I did it: I registered for my second Bay to Breakers.

It’s a little special this year because it’s on my 28th birthday. My friends don’t want to do it. So I’m running it with my brother.

And my husband is leaving town that weekend to watch a solar eclipse. (On my birthday, yes.)

So I’m not even sure how we’ll be getting to San Francisco quite yet, but we will get there. I’m thinking of dressing up like Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I already have the Ray Ban Wayfarer sunglasses and a Nike running skirt, so I’m well on my way.

My brother ran a half marathon with me for my birthday last year. Then he ended up in the hospital with stress-induced heart issues. I thought maybe I shouldn’t make him run another half marathon. And Bay to Breakers is kind of a nice, noncompetitive environment.

So we’re all set…kind of. We’ll figure out the logistics later.

But we’re registered. For Corral C. (Also my corral last year.) And I’ll be going back for a crazy year two.