Monday, July 31, 2006

San Francisco 1/2 Marathon: 1hr 38min*

Dean Karnazes, author of Ultramarathon Man, signs Julie's copy of his book.

1 hour 38 minutes and 7 seconds*.
*includes an emergency approximately 9 minute potty break.

102 out of 3859 runners overall.
89 out of 1744 men.
26 of 611 in my age group (35-39 males).

The Whole Story (Mostly)
The weather was perfect for an early-morning race. With just a few high clouds and a slight chill to the air, we headed down from our room at about 5am. The race was scheduled to start at 5:30am, but our wave was for 5:40. The five of us who stayed the night (me, Julie, Jenny, Tamara, and Jenny's kid's soccer coach, Tom) met up with our other running friends who had driven in from Pacifica (Michelle, Vicky, and Carol).

Running across the Golden Gate Bridge, glancing out over the Bay as the sun rose was wonderful -- beautiful!

I'm not sure if it was something I ate or drank, but I had major gastrointestinal problems and had to take a 9 minute emergency potty break. I "held on" for as long as I could until I had to make a mad scramble up a hillside for a bit of privacy. I couldn't even make it to a porta-potty. So, if I could subtract that 9 minutes, my time would've been a much more respectable 1 hour 29 minutes. I didn't have any other problems really although I felt a bit sluggish and had a hard time breaking 7 minutes / mile, even on the flatter sections. Also, the battery apparently went out on my foot pod even though it was a recent replacement and it has a multiple hour warning where it flashes red instead of green, so maybe it got left on by accident, but it was useless deadweight during the race. So, I didn't know what my pace was at any given moment.

bib #16778

Other interesting things: there were many runners dressed in costume. One was wearing a Roman warrior costume that included a breast plate (front and back), shield, and spear. Another runner was carrying a serving tray with a fake bottle of wine glued to it. Another was a clown. Our local celebrity, Dean Karnazes, the ultramarathon runner, also ran the marathon in just under 4 hours which was very respectable considering he ran the Badwater 130 last week.

Besides the race, it was fun relaxing and visiting with friends and enjoying myself without having to be concerned about Claire. Thank you, Jennifer, for watching her this weekend. We also got to see Dean Karnazes talk about his experiences and try to inspire others towards challenging themselves.

For a brief picture tour of this weekend, with commentary, please visit:

My splits were:
Mile #1: 7:36 weaving way through crowds
Mile #2: 7:24 avg. with mile #3 due to not seeing mile marker. crowded.
Mile #3: 7:24
Mile #4: 7:09 somewhere around here I started feeling problems "down below"
Mile #5: 7:05
Mile #6: 8:08 some hills getting on to the bridge
Mile #7: 7:05
Mile #8: 6:58 finally broke 7 minutes.
Mile #9: 17:06 emergency! stopped for a while behind a bush. #$%! What did I do wrong?
Mile #10: 6:21 had a huge downhill.
Mile #11: 7:42 hills?
Mile #12: 8:02 and more hills?
Mile #13: 6:38 picking up the pace towards the end
Mile #13.1: 0:34 had a bit of a sprint for the last couple hundred feet

Food diary: In spite of our best efforts, we had a really late dinner. I think we started eating at 9pm. About an hour before the race, I had a banana and a chocolate flavored Power Bar, and then a few bites of yogurt. I was thinking as I was running that the yogurt was a mistake as was a little bits of dried fruit the day before. In hindsight, I wish I had skipped some of the fruit from the day before and gotten up earlier and had coffee (caffeine has a strong laxative effect on me) and tried to get things "cleared out" earlier.

Of our group:
Ron: 1:38:07
Tamara: 1:56:46
Vicky: 2:01:33
Julie: 2:03:35
Michelle: 2:05:33
Jenny: 2:07:34
Tom finished somewhere in there in the middle.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Pacifica Trail Run 21km - 3rd place

I participated in a nearby running event this morning in the neighboring city of Pacifica. They had four different races going on at the same time and the one I decided to enter was 21 km long and consisted of climbing and descending 3 sequentially taller hills / mountains. The 3rd climb was to the very top of Montara Mountain. I felt like I should have done better -- I walked 4 or 5 times on the climb up Montara Mountain, got fatigued, and felt like I was over-heating. I think the lack of running in the last two weeks (yeah, even though I hiked Mt. Whitney) hurt me. I got passed by a bunch of people on this final climb, but then I passed some of them on the way down. I narrowly missed coming in 2nd place overall in the 21 km race. Surprisingly to me, there were several runners entering the longer 30 km race and 50 km race who ran the first 21 km faster than I did. That really makes me want to get better....

It was fun seeing many of my running friends there. I knew: Vicky, Michelle, Stan Jensen, George, Ben, and Chris.

My final time was 2 hours 1 minute 28 seconds to cover the 20.6 km (12.8 miles) and 2,930 ft of elevation gain. 3rd place. The results have been posted.

Mt. Whitney or Bust

This 4th of July holiday weekend, our little family flew down to Fontana to see my parents and for me go on a hike that my Dad organized. Our crew consisted of me, my sister Jessica, my sister Molly, her fiance Jared, and my Dad. We all returned safely and had a good adventure and 3 of the 5 of us (me, Molly and Jared) successfully hiked to the top of Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the continental U.S., at 14,495 feet.

For pictures and some of the narrative of the hike, please visit: