The Giant Race Recap

Sometimes you just don't have it. We're runners, there are good days and bad days. Often you can point to specific reasons why you don't have your "mojo," other times you really aren't sure why. It just happens.

This past weekend I ran The Giant Race and I feel like it was a combination of multiple small things that collectively disrupted my mojo.

The morning started off typical. I was well organized the night before, left the house on time and arrived in San Francisco about 30 minutes before the race. Plenty of time, at least I thought. The organization of trying to get everyone parked was ridiculous. This is usually common on most races, but we were being parked at AT&T park. A new stadium that handles 35,000+ fans without blinking. I assumed handling a few thousand runners would be a breeze. We waited in line for about 20 mins moving almost a block. It was now getting close to the start of the race. Luckily, I know my way around downtown SF, so I left the line and tried to enter through behind the stadium. Still a line, but much faster.

This left me very little time to prep before the start of the race. I was supposed to meet my friends around 7:30, which didn't happen. I also planned to meet up with my co-workers, who I helped train, before the start. Once I reach the start line, the race is about to begin any minute. I'm weaving through the corrals to find my friends. Found them, gave them a quick "hello," promised to be back and continued to weave towards the back to find my co-workers. A couple phone calls later, I find them, wish them luck and head back towards the front to find my friends so I can run a few miles with them. That's a lot of "excuse me" and "sorry" as I try to move through the corrals.

That leaves me zero time to stretch and get my head straight before we start running. Oh, and did I mention that my Garmin wouldn't turn on? Yep, that happened too. At least it didn't die halfway through the race. I charged it the night before, but I must have messed something up or didn't click it all the way on the charger. It wouldn't turn on at all. Oh well, left it in the car so at least I didn't have to carry it. I've become so reliant upon that thing keeping my pace. I knew it was a major factor in my attempting to PR.

Once the race started I ran the first few miles with my friends. I was hoping to run a similar pace as I did in Davis last month (read here), but without my Garmin, I had no idea what my "exact" pace was. I took my normal walk break after each mile (about 30 sec. to a minute) and continued on. A friend of mine decided to run with me the whole way. He is much faster and not being concerned with his finish time, decided to help pace me and keep my time. We were cruising at about 9-9:30 most of the way. He'd give me our total time every few miles and we'd discuss if we could finish sub 2-hours. I wanted to finish the first half around 1 hour that way if I had the energy, I could pick it up on the way back.

Oh ya, around mile 4, Brian Wilson, the closer for the Giants, was on the course high-fiving runners. I gave him a high-five and said "Get em B!" That was pretty cool. Brian Wilson is a huge part of the San Francisco community and very accessible. (I heard that Matt Cain was at the start for the 10k, but haven't confirmed.)

Here were my splits for the first 6.5 miles:

5k: 29:30, 9:30 pace
10k: 58:32, 9:26 pace
Turn Around: 1:03, 9:25 pace

Pretty good. Definitely got faster as the race went on. I wasn't as well trained as I would hope, go figure, right? My pace was fine. I was happy with the first 6.5 miles knowing that if I wanted to come in sub 2-hr., I would have to squeeze in a couple 9 min. miles or faster. I have it in me and given the right song, its possible. But around 10 miles (1:33, 9:22 pace) I felt my legs pretty much quit. I knew I didn't have the last 3 miles at a 9 min pace left in me. I slowed down at just cruised in for the final leg.

I finished at 2:06:59 with an average pace of 9:42. As you can see, those last three miles destroyed my average. But I was happy with the outcome. Here is the finish line inside AT&T park. (I'll have to dedicate another post to the final mile, finish line and post-race expo fiasco that followed.)

Overall, I enjoyed the race itself. The organization (before and after) could have been significantly better. The shirt, medal and Lincecum bobble were fantastic. I can't be disappointed with any of that. I'd be open to participating again next year, but prepared for what to expect, or not expect.

If you participated in the race, I'd love to hear your comments about the race.


The Giant Race Playlist

Tomorrow morning I'll be running the The Giant Race: Half Marathon. So what do I do the night before? Find music that gets my toosh moving, of course.

Here it is. It's a mix of songs that are certian to quicken my pace. Listed in alphabetical order and it will be on shuffle race day. Its about 2.5 hours, but I'm anticipating a sub-2 hour run. That should give me plenty of wiggle room to skip a song, if it just doesnt feel right. Enjoy. AND yes, it does have some guilty pleasure songs on there.

(Click to enlarge)

Feel free to share in the comments what you think of my super-speedy playlist... if there is something I'm missing that works for you, let me know, I may add it.

Fact: A friend recommended Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA, I thought it was a lame choice, but I added it, gave it a road test, and it has been on there ever since. Who woulda known?!?


The Most Interesting Runner In The World

Just for fun, i decided to have fun with the DOS EQUIS commercials about "the most interesting man in the world." If you are unfamiliar with them, then this post really wont be that funny, but he is a YouTube Video if you are looking for one:

To put a running theme to it, I changed it to The Most Interesting Runner In The World and started sharing on my twitter feed. Here are some that I came up with and here is the hashtag if you want to join in on the fun. (Click here to read more)


Every marathon he runs is ultra, regardless of it's distance.

He's been known to win races, before he starts them.

He wouldn't walk a mile in your shoes, but if he did it would take him half the time.

He has been known to finish marathons in 10 kilometers.

He's allowed to tweet about running in more than 140 characters.

It is true that Runner's World was named after him.

Marathons follow a strict training program to prepare for him.

Runners register to be in his corral, regardless of pace.

If a bib could run a race, it would run with a picture of him attached to it's chest.

He qualifies for Boston, even when he jogs.

If you have some of your own, please share on Twitter and include the hashtag or add them in the comments below. They're fun to come up with. Thanks for reading.


Finished SF, Now run Oakland

There is something special going on across the Bay Bridge in Oakland and inviting you to come and experience it.

If you just finished running the San Francisco Marathon or Half Marathon, there is a 50% OFF coupon in your digital goodie bag.

THAT'S right, 50%. There is a link that directs you to the Oakland Marathon web site, fill out a short survey and BOOM. You are set to run the March 2012 event for under $40.

If you are looking for more of a reason, let me share this with you. Everyone that I know that has run Oakland in the past couple years, has LOVED it. Here are some other course highlights:

  • Scenic Course, Lake Merrit, Jack London Square, Temescal, Montclair
  • Finish Line strecth includes a run past the Historic Fox Theatre
  • Unique Finisher's Medals (not your typical coaster medal)
  • Raiderettes at the Finish Line
  • Greenlight Apparel - environmentally focused finishers shirts
  • Voted the Best Endurance Challenge in the East Bay
  • 98% approval rating from participants
Oh, and you get to run through a gate of fire. 

Here is my (almost PR) 2010 recap and some FUN photos from my Incredible 2011 race.

Offer ends this Friday, so register today!