Friday, July 31, 2009

San Francisco Marathon~ Post Race Thoughts (Delayed)

Sorry for the delay. This week I started my new job and I've been trying to catch up on sleep from this weekend all week! Also-- I've taken an indirect challenge from a fellow blogger and I've obtained a Wii! I plan on using this to help me in my fitness goals for marathon training! I'll keep you posted when I've settled on what those goals are. Anywhoo...
Post Race Thoughts...
Double Pacer Snaffoo...
Well my first attempt at pacing had some issues. My fellow pacer and I were unable to meet up before the start. We had one of the largest waves to go off and couldn't connect. This meant there were two, 3:50 groups running at once. You can see how this would be difficult mentally for runners who pass him then approach my sign saying they're still only running a 3:50 pace. Well obviously that didn't work. And that's just the start...

Garmin Issues...
How is San Francisco? One word... FOG! And boy did Garmin NOT like it. Garmin hated the fog and started flipping out then eventually reset itself. This happened on the golden gate bridge (actual race pictured left). Garmy was probably getting too wet from the dense fog :( Poor Garmy. Luckily the last I checked (about a minute prior) I was just about exactly on pace (phew). So after it reset I had to try and make sure I was as close as possible to the pace we needed ... even though it would be adjusted for 18 miles instead of 26.

Leg Cramps- Just what I needed...
I had my group on pace (for the second time) and hit around mile 18/19 then I started getting those same strange leg cramps I've been getting in recent races. I assumed I was getting cramps because I was attempting to run 8 min/mile pace but even after slowing to an 8:45 for this race, the cramps were still there! A horrible stabbing pain starts poking at my hamstrings and it puts me in unbelievable pain.

Now I know what you're thinking... "Stephanie, maybe it has something to do with running 26 miles... just a thought!" Yes I agree, you do get leg "pain" normally but this was something different. My legs weren't sore, just cramped. I'm going to make a post next week regarding this, but I'm looking for a solution to this dilemma! MB has suggested pickle juice-- claiming the leg cramps are a result of low sodium and the pickle juice is a good source. We'll see... I'll try anything because I have a goal marathon coming up!

Delirious Miles...
Anyways... along with the leg cramps we were hitting what I like to call "delirious miles"-- starting around mile 19/20. I don't know if its the miles, the heat, lack of water, or lack of oxygen to the brain-- but after about 20 miles people get a little loopy and its sort of like being REALLY drunk but still functional. Remember the people I mentioned above that were thrown off by the double pace group??? Well that mixed with water/oxygen deprivation really got them confused. At this point you could probably convince a person running a 11 min/mile race that they are actually running an 8 min/mile race just by holding up a sign.

Enough is enough...
So right about now I have leg cramps, a faltering garmy and about a million people and their brothers freaking out-- "OMG I thought I was going faster than 3:30!!!!!" I told my group where they were and that they were going to coast downhill and flat for the rest of the race and slowed up to meet back with my other pace partner. Once I had my pace goal off my mind the cramps set in even more. I met back with him and he has a small contingency following-- mostly young girls. Hmmm... that's a shocker. I was a little surprised that there were no 35- year old women as that is the BQ pace for that age group. I think most of them were up with me and looked pretty strong! I hope they made it!!!

Bascuse me??? Now keep in mind I was pacing for a 3:50 and I backed off. Soooo... clearly I did NOT run a 3:25. I'm no math major, but even I know 3:25 is less than (faster than) 3:50. This is the wrong direction. They still have no idea what happened to my time and I'm not even sure myself what my time is. I guess this is a mystery that will stay unsolved. :(
Would I pace again? Yes, but not in such a large race. I feel like there is so much more that can go wrong and the pacing group can get a little crazy.
Other post race thoughts...
I mentioned in my Race RUNdown that this race was going green, which included earth friendly cups. Well but this they actually meant earth friendly shots of water. The cups were TINY. This made is especially hard for me because I was carrying a small fuel belt bottle and planned to fill it up once or twice. Since I was only able to get a shot of water in it at a stop, I needed to slow down at nearly every water stop!
More to come in my official Race Ratings!!!... (Coming soon)


  1. I 100% respect anyone who is willing to pace for take the stress and CONFUSION away.. Great job on your race, wonder what your real time was??

  2. What? You have a JOB? How do you have time for that with all these marathons? :)

    Holy, that's a lot of mishaps for one race. Sorry to hear it didn't go down as planned, but congrats on another marathon! Personally, I'd take that 3:25... :)

  3. Hey Steph! What are the times of the folks in your group? If they're around 3:25, you were probably around 3:25. They couldn't screw up everybody's time, could they? If your groupies were around 3:50, well, that's something BAA just won't have to know about!

    Good luck with the Wii!

    - Greg

  4. So sorry to hear about all the mishaps!!! That really sucks. My SF marathon was really foggy (I hated that I couldn't see off the bridge when we were on it), but I was fortunate in that my Garmin did fine.

    What happens to you as a pacer if you don't meet your time? I'm always scared I'm not going to make it and they're going to blacklist me from pacing in the future or something!

  5. New to your blog and I have to agree with the previous post. Check the times (perhaps some bib numbers are in the pics) of the people in your pace group. Your gun time seems to line up with your chip time, which makes it seems highly unlikely that your chip and the gun would be incorrect, let alone for just you. Is it possible you were going faster than you thought and that also is why your hamstring was acting up? Garmin can get really out of wack with fog or skyscrapers.