San Francisco's US Half Marathon - The Prep

My first half marathon in almost two years came up on me way faster than expected. Marci and I had five weeks to train in between the TriRock triathlon and this half marathon. No biggie, right? Well, I had good runs and bad runs, long runs and short runs, and less cross training than I had planned, but suddenly race weekend was here and I just had to believe in myself and my training and know that I could get through this run. 

Our mantra for the weekend.

Our mantra for the weekend.

Massive disappointment after a crappy seven miler.

Massive disappointment after a crappy seven miler.

The Last Long Run

My last long run, a week before the half marathon, was a total bust. I planned on going for eight, but by seven miles I was just wrecked. I was exhausted mentally and physically, and I had a hard time just getting through that seven. I came home very disappointed in myself and sent Marci this picture.

Being the best training partner that she is, Marci immediately laughed at me, told me I got out there and gave it my all, and then to just get over it. Most of the time we take our runs way too seriously and need the other person to talk us back into accepting that we did our best and to be glad we even got out there. Yet another great reason to have a training partner!

 

Nourish, Rest, Hydrate

I went on three easy three mile runs the week before the half. Nothing hard, nothing fast, just maintenance to keep everything from tightening up. Then the weekend was upon us.

Strategically, we wanted to eat super clean, rest as much as possible, and hydrate like crazy. The day before the race, we had a breakfast smoothie of chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, pineapple, mixed berries, kale, cucumber, beets, and coconut water. It was delicious.

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Then we headed into San Francisco to pick up our bibs. It was a beautiful day, clear and cool, and we could only hope for the same conditions the next day.

Of course we were hungry about two hours after our smoothie, so we headed back over the Bay Bridge and into Berkeley to visit Cafe Gratitude for lunch. Cafe Gratitude is a haven for vegans. It is a completely plant based restaurant with raw and cooked options and everything is AMAZING. They have restaurants in Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Venice, and Los Angeles and I urge anyone who is out here to plan a visit for a meal. Their menu items are named as such: I Am Bonita, I Am Dazzling, I Am Transparent, I Am Hearty, etc. Now, for all of you who think, what a bunch of hippy-dippy silliness, try and push that aside and be open minded. The food is SO GOOD. We split the I Am Fulfilled Salad (mixed greens, carrots, beets, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, sprouts, nut parmesan, and teriyaki almonds with tahini-garlic dressing), and the I Am Humble (Indian vegetable and lentil curry with coconut mint chutney served with rice). Insanely good.

We returned home around 1pm on Saturday and wanted to get set up for the next morning so we wouldn't be scrambling. Not only did we have to get up at 4am, DayLight Savings time ended that night and the clocks would have to be set back one hour. We knew our phones would automatically update, so to avoid any other confusion, I immediately changed all my house clocks back an hour that afternoon. We were already putting ourselves on the next day's time so we could just adapt and not have a freak out moment in the morning thinking we were late. Its funny, we get so excited to run a race, and then we start to freak out and part of us wants to find any reason to get out of it, like missing it because of a time change, but the other part of us would be so mad if we did miss it. Basically we were both basket cases leading up to the race. (Luckily our husbands were out of town for the race so they didn't have to put up with our insanity.)

Race Prep

To get organized, we first made a list of everything we needed to get ready and pack for the next day. Then we laid everything out and got pinning and packing.

It didn't take long and everything was organized, prepped, and ready to go. And we still had about seven hours until bedtime. So, we decided to settle in and have a movie marathon. Its funny, when we told people what we did that weekend we basically said, "We watched five movies, and ran 13.1 miles." Polar opposites. The movie marathon consisted of Young Frankenstein (it was Halloween weekend), Clue, Run, Fat Boy, Run (a pre-race tradition), and The Birdcage. (Our fifth movie came the next day.)

Midway through Run, Fat Boy, Run we started dinner. We both decided against eating anything pasta related (read The 11 Miles That Didn't Happen - Marci had a similar bad experience with pasta recently), and decided to make Burrito Bowls having the black beans, brown rice, and sweet potatoes be our super foods for the race. Topped with spinach, tomatoes, corn, onions, salsa, and avocados, we tucked in.

Then, we forced ourselves to go to bed at 10pm (9pm really) and attempt to get some sleep. We always sleep poorly the night before a race, but it is what it is, and as I was trying to fall asleep I just told myself, you've done everything you could, just have fun tomorrow, and I eventually drifted off.

Stay tuned for San Francisco's US Half Marathon - The Race!