63/255 Overall. 1:01:06.3 Official Gun Time. 10:02 Pace per Mile. 1:00:38.4 Unofficial Chip time. 1435 Bib number. polynesian_metal SAN FRANCISCO 53/120 Gender Place. 20/48 Men 30 - 39 9:15:28 Start time.
Race day, MG wakes me up when I'm still hitting snooze and asks me, "whats your goal for the day?". I murmur, blurber "finish in the top half overall and in my age group," and hope that he doesn't ask me anything else so I can sleep a few more seconds. Snooze alarm goes back on and I struggle out of bed saying" this is just like any other day, right? I'm just going out on the trail and doing a run and its 6 in the morning and I gotta go to work." Just like any other day, but today is race day and I've been training hard and really I'm excited as ****.
But you wouldn't be able to tell, at least until I got coffee. Started the pot and jumped in the shower. MG is still in m¥ bed. Got a cup of coffee, still toweling off and dripping wet out of the shower. Multi-tasking, trying to get it done all at once and still make it to the race on-time. Go in the room and turn on the light, realizing and saying to MG that maybe I should have warned him first. My clothes and crap are all over the bedroom. There's hardly any room to even walk around without tripping over beach bags, suitcases, worn and clean clothes, boots, hats, you name it. I've already admitted and probably have already disclosed that I suffer an extreme case of bachelor fratulitis, but still I can cope, its just an embarrassing situation, expecially at my age. From my baggage I brought back from the hot springs, I rifle and find all of the gear I'm looking for for todays race saying to MG, "today is all about wearing the things that I have already run in before," not knowing if he knows that what I mean is that everything I'm wearing has been ran in in that 12 miler from sunday and even before.
But I get all my gear, even decide to throw in a blanket just in case its cold and head off with MG to Starbuck's where I get a hot chai latte with an add shot, some mc muffins and a scone.
We head off to the Presidio to pick up the shuttle to the Marin Headlands. Timing is flawless btw. Good thing MG dressed up somewhat athletically so he didn't get held off the bus for being a spectator rather than a participant, but really everyone got on the bus. We sat in the back.
So being familiar with the Visitor Center in the Marin Headlands, I go and take a dump in the Unisex bathroom rather than waiting in line for either the ladies' or the men's and then we head up the hill to this open meadow where the North Face had set up the pavillions and the starting line that was inflated like one of those bouncy houses. I'm kind of stoked taking it all in. MG is sleepy and lost and I feel a little guilty about getting him up and out so early to indulge me in my obsession, but he said he was cool with that and he really liked being there. I totally appreciated the support but it feels weird cos this is me in my loner sport, but I'm willing to share.
Got my race packet and went to find a spot to ease out after finding a big handicap outhouse to take my craps and pisses in just to make sure I wouldn't have to void on the trail. That would definitely affect my times! Was thoroughly enlightened came back and we moved our little breakfast picnic operation to a sunnier side of the meadow.
Had to figure out how to gear up. I took a little excursion down the start and used a little bit of my weather witch prognostication. Since when I woke up and looked at the flags from the window of my flat and saw the wind blowing towards the ocean, and like wise when crossing the bridge saw Angel Island wrapped in a healing fog, I knew the wind would be blowing that fog over the ridge at Alta Trail. I decided to wear the shorty shorts with my long sleeve white NF top and my dollar tank over it with my bib safety pinned to the tank. Shades, ball cap, and I did my headband over my ears to keep them warm and my Ipod earphones snug. Camelbak, of course with one liter of water. Didn't need the pepperspray cos I doubt I'd see any mountain lions that day.
Stretched up a bit, and went to see if I could take another ****, but just peed, a very little and they started the pre race announcements while I was still in the sh i tt er.
Got pumped up near the starting line. I had to ask the announcer what ribbons to follow cos I was so pumped up I couldn't understand him. Red, Red, Red. Count down, the gun goes off, Race!
I started near the front middle, had to weave my way around people till I got to a place where I could run clear. Saw MG on the side of the track looking for me, but I noticed him before he did and scared him when I shouted at him and slapped him on the chest. That expression was priceless. Then the 10 k runners are going downhill and crossing the road and starting on Rodeo Valley trail westward to where we pick up Bobcat Trail. This course totally foregoes the Miwok Trail that I have been starting at for my training, but cool, I'm still familiar with this. So then we get to Bobcat and its flat for awhile and then the grind of the uphill switchbacks.
The sun isn't over the ridge yet, so it switches from morning shade to sun quite frequently. I'm able to adjust my cooling by either rolling up my sleeves or rolling them down. I think the camo bandana was reall¥ effective in keeping that chill from going down the neck. A quarter of the way up the hill I can see how the runners have stretched themselves out above and below. I figure since I can still see the leader thats pretty good. Found two guys to pace with, but eventually just let them blow. Halfway up the hill people were steadily passing me but I just kept my pace, running and never getting to blown out where I'd have to actually walk. I think in retrospect, running this entire race was the most important thing to me. So I'm getting passed and I have to remind myself: "Run your own race."
3/4 up the mountain, people are flagging and starting to break down and walk. They are doing brief intervals, but still running. I'm rock steady and I know the end of the uphill is in sight once I pass the ruins of the old abandoned ranch.
Then Bobcat connects to Alta, and I know I can start accelerating. I do and I'm catching and passing the group ahead of me, getting passed to, but the race is on at this point. I'm at the part that is an actual strength and it is part of the trail that I strategized and I'm following the war plan and getting really excited as I do. My Ipod playlist is flawless at this point playing martial Deuterror with horse clops and I can see the horseshoe prints in the mud before me so I'm totally in this moment of ambient metal synchronicity. And then at the summit there is a race photographer, so I barrel straight into the lens of the camera, working it like the supermodel I am. Past that and I'm accelerating down through the Eucalyptus to the gate and the aid station before the downhill of Rodeo Valley Trail.
I do stop at the aid station and grab a water. It really was a wasted stop because I had my own hydration, but everything I read recommend that one do, so I did. And then that double downhill jeep track is before me and I kill it because, this, my dear, is my specialty. My Adidas are gripping like no body's business and I'm taking a line like an alpine skier. I am blowing past whole groups and individuals that had passed me going up Bobcat. I flow as much as I could never really putting on the brakes, but just stepping off the accelerator when passing or coming towards the edge of a cliff. Then its getting flat at the point where I saw the cougar jump out on the trail and really I'm almost effin done.
Then this part gets tricky. This is the real part of the race. Some people were taking it slower and it got to this point where I was pacing, then chasing this young guy in a yellow long sleeve top. Then the bald latino guy my age was coming up on us. The 3 of us were exchanging places, then I had to let them go. We are crossing the road at this point and I'm running pretty much at max intensity, which felt kind of slow to me. I see this guy in gray shorts and I'm trying to catch him when I hear behind me "Let's beat this guy" and I turn around and its two women running together and catching me. We are on the uphill part of the road to the finish line and I'm just struggling to keep going and they do pass. Finally we hit the flat and I kick into my trademark end sprint and nearly mow down the two ladies at the finish.
Really the guy in the gray shorts, the two women and myself all finished within hundreds of a second of each other. I really should have caught them, but they took my line.
And for real, always you always see somebody just past the finish line, just hanging out talking and I'm already heading towards a collision with them. Should move out the way of my dramatic finish already.
So MG was at the finish line. That was nice. I was trying to get information from him like how many people finished before me, but he didn't exactly know because he took a nap wrapped up in a blanket but he figured I had probably been out there for an hour.
Joined him on the blanket and watched all of the other finishers, actually surprised at how many people were finishing after me and how widely the field was spread.
And then it was all about getting the race schwag and my race bag and wandering around the festival and calming down. I went to go check my race results and couldn't find my name in the middle then was stoked that I made it on the first page at place #63! I got a post race massage treatment for my leg tightness where they used a technique called 'grassing' which is using a convex metal blade to essentially disrupt the scar tissue in the muscles that causes tightness. Something new everyday.
Got back on the schoolbus to the city and I was ultimately stoked. Planning what to eat for a post race brunch I realized I wanted red meat, red wine and red vegetables. Raddichio, tomatoes, red peppers, red beans, red cabbage, anything red. Got all that made some awesome steaks drank some wine and watched Dreamgirls in a post race satiation. But believe it or not only got to nap for an hour before we had to go out to Elaine's for dinner and we were unforgivably already so stuffed!
So anyway, there is a lot to analyze about this race. I've posted the results above and I really actually exceeded my goals by alot being roughly in the top 25% overall and being in the top 50% minus 14 places for men overall and also top 50% minus 8 places for mens my age.
here comes the calculator:
Overall- 63/255 = 24.7%
By Gender- 53/120 = 44.16%
By Gendered Age Group (Men 30-39) = 20/48 = 41.66%
So I guess that I have a pretty good estimation of my abilities and have alot of room for improvement.
I'm stoked, yes I'm stoked, I'm stoked.
Now find and prep for a race in February.