The Green Girl represented Team Jamba Juice as she ran over the Golden Gate Bridge at the San Francisco Half Marathon this weekend.
Rad Runner Girl and I flew up to San Francisco first thing Saturday morning. My sister, Patti, picked us up at the airport and we headed straight to the Expo. The goodie bags were reusable drawstring backpacks with spaces for us to fill in our bib numbers on the back. The Half Marathon shirts were an aqua blue with a drawing of the bridge with either 13.1 or 26.2 printed on the deck.
We browsed the booths and collected free samples. I picked up some replacement bottles for my Nathan Speed 4 hydration belt. I also ended up purchasing a Neoprene Double Pouch from iFitness to use on shorter runs.
As we walked around, I handed out Jamba Juice coupons to the Expo participants and even to some of the exhibitors.
After the Expo, we checked into the Hotel Vitale. I had stayed there
last year and felt the convenience and ambiance were worth the price.
Next, we crossed the street to the Ferry Marketplace for some lunch where we got to meet up with another blogger, Jill.
After lunch, we walked around the Mission District. For dinner, our friends, Jackie and Janey, joined us for some burritos Papalote. For dessert, we stopped by Bi-Rite Creamery for some unusual ice cream flavors. I had a scoop of Balsamic Strawberry. My sister had her favorite, Ricanelas, which tasted exactly like a snickerdoodle.
When we returned to the hotel, we went through the usual pre-race preparations before we settled in for the night.
Rad Runner Girl and I were dressed and ready when my friend, Leah, from SparkPeople and her friend, Maria, knocked on our hotel door early the next morning. Downstairs in the lobby, we met up with Jackie and Janey before we headed across the street to the Starting Line.
I was in Corral 8 so my start time was an hour later. I hung out with Jackie, Janey, Leah, and Maria, for a bit and then I headed down to my Corral to meet up with the Sole Runners so I could cross the Starting Line with Babak, Betty, and Jim.
The race course started out northbound along the Embarcadero towards Fisherman's Wharf and then veered west towards Ghirardelli Square before passing Crissy Park and leading us to the Golden Gate Bridge.
I felt really good. My body was free of aches and pains - my hamstring soreness was completely gone.
Instead of using a set run/walk interval, I just ran until I felt tired and then walked until I felt satisfied. Since I'm a strong hill runner, I ran up every hill and walked down a lot of them. This strategy worked well for me.
I loved running across the bridge with the fog. The weather was absolutely perfect.
Before I reached the end of the bridge, the deck was re-opened and the runners were routed back up on the sidewalk. I was forced to maneuver myself between the oncoming runners and the walkers going in my direction.
By the time I looped back onto the bridge, the crowd had grown sparse. When I got to the streets, I discovered they were no longer blocked off and we were forced to obey the traffic rules. I may be a true back of the packer, but I never had to wait for the crosswalk signal to change before. Some intersections didn't even have signal lights or stop signs so we had to creep out cautiously and then sprint across.
Not easily discouraged, I maintained my pace and kept going. Despite the fact that it didn't even really look like I was still participating in a race, I knew I was making good timing.
As I was running through the Presidio, I spotted what appeared to be a large branch covered in pine cones.
Jackie, Janey, and Rad Runner Girl were waiting for me at the Finish Line. My official time was 03:10:02.
The post-race area was still well stocked with food and beverages for the runners. The blueberry scones in individual paper sleeves were amazing.
We took the shuttle back to the Embarcadero for the post-race party so I could stop by the Jamba Juice booth before heading back to the hotel for a nice, hot shower.
I was pleased that my second race representing Team Jamba Juice also went really well.