Outdoors

I ran my first Half Marathon!

San Francisco Half MarathonOn the last weekend of July, I ran my first half marathon! 13.1 miles, 22 kilometers. I know a lot of people run half marathons these days, but to me this has been and still is a big deal! I signed up back in March and at that time I was in really good shape. It turns out after months of vacation, pollen allergy, starting a new job and lack of motivation, not so much! You can read more about my last weeks of training here. After a three day conference, stomping around on concrete floors with flat sandals, with limited sleep and some extra wine I set my alarm to 4.30AM on a sunday morning to run my race.

Before the race, I had run 10 miles at the most and even though I was confident I would finish, I was still nervous! Once you start telling people you’re doing something like this, they feel compelled to tell you all the horror stories! Why is that? I have heard stories of people getting injured, having the “runners run” both before, during and right after the race (Yes, it’s exactly what you think it is!) and many more disturbing scenarios. I was actually more worried about anything weird like this happening, than actually running 13.1 miles!

So back to my race morning, I got up at 4.30AM (why would anyone do that?) and after gobbling down an egg, I walked down to meet my friend Jenny at the starting area. We thought we would be running together but turned out we were in different waves, major bummer! I got lined up in my wave and took a look around me. It was 6AM and the sunrise was beautiful! I tried to just take a moment to really appreciate what I was about to do even though I was filled with butterflies. The start gun went off, and I started running.

San Francisco Marathon

San Francisco Marathon

The one thing everyone has told me was to go slow in the beginning. Go slow and steady, that’s how you win the race. So, I tried not to be discourraged by people passing me and held a steady pace.  Mile 1-3 was pretty easy, flat and comfortable. Then at mile 3, my knees started to ache. What was this? They hadn’t really done that during training. Probably those concrete conference floors…Not being able to do anything about it, I just kept going and tried to change up my stride once in a while. Mile 4-5 was pretty good and I felt like I had found my stride. The first hill was in front of me and I powered through it. The change in incline was actually doing my knees some good.

San Francisco Marathon

After mile 5, I started the steepest incline up to the bridge and decided to walk fast during the steepest uphill instead of jogging. I actually think I was able to keep the same pace as the rest of the people because I am 5.9, with long ass legs. Win! I had imagined in advance that running over the Golden Gate Bridge would be somewhat magical, and it was the first time it did it for training, but during the race it was a little different. They blocked off three lanes on the right side of the bridge for us to run both going there and coming back. In other words it was kind of crowded and so far down from the sidewalk edge that you couldn’t really see anything…

San Francisco Marathon

After the bridge I knew we were at 10 miles+ and it was just for me to finish! That’s really when the big portion of the uphills really start (insert face palm) Although, there is one long downhill in the middle there! People told me to go slow on the downhill so I wouldn’t hurt my knees, but I figured I was hurting anyways and I just wanted to finish, so I killed that downhill! This is when I started to realize that I was almost done! I had ran 12 miles all by myself!

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That’s San Francisco for you…

San Francisco Half Marathon

I had my Fitbit tracking my distance as I was running, but I knew it was a little off so when it hit 13.1, I still had a little to go. In my mind though I thought I had a lot longer than I did, so when I saw that finish line, I felt a huge relief! I was done! I had completed 13.1 Miles, a half marathon! And then all of a sudden I didn’t feel as tired anymore! Weird huh?

San Francisco Half Marathon

Key take-aways?

– It’s all mental!

– Unforeseen things might happen!

– Testing out the entire course in advance (in pieces) was the best thing I ever did in training!

 Have you ever done a half marathon? How was it?

The Color Run San Francisco 2014!

Yesterday I did the color run again! I did the color run back in 2012 and that was actually the first time I ran for more than 4 minutes straight! I had actually not planned on running the whole thing because we were just going for the color and the fun. Somehow I got “stuck” with two friends of my friends who were used to running half marathons so I don’t know what happened, but I guess the competitor in me set in because I ran the whole 5K with them! When we finished, I was so proud of myself. That’s when I started to believe that I could actually be a runner. Since then I have ran 3-4 mile (5-6KM) runs on a regular basis (and 10K over the holidays actually) and I am in much better shape. As I was running the course this time around, I took advantage of the moments and took some time to reflect for myself on how far I have come. If you are just starting out, I can really recommend the color run! There are people of all ages and all sizes participating and they don’t even track your time. Its a fun run, and the only requirement is that you have fun!

The color run this year was bigger and even better than last time around. We were also more prepared with a change of clothes, a towel for the seat in the car after and some snacks. After the run, they have a concert with music, dancing and lots and lots of color throws! And with San Francisco summer weather, it was a perfect Saturday!

Back view

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Front view

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Ready for the color throw (with a plastic bag on my phone)

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Outside Lands 2013

outside lands festival life

Outside Lands is an annual music festival taking place in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. It’s usually in August, involves around 80 000 people and this year we got tickets. I have never been to a music festival here before and didn’t really know what to expect, except that everybody was raving on about it so I was excited!

Happy Camper at Outside Lands

Happy Camper at Outside Lands

Heineken Outside Lands

Heineken Outside Lands

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We only had a Saturday pass, but to be honest that was just enough festival fun for me. Kris, Julia and I got there in the afternoon and then we met up with Linn and Kine randomly in the bathroom line, yes randomly?!?

 

 

 

 

 

Me and Julia

Me and Julia

 

 

Kine found a new friend!

Kine found a new friend!

 

Me and my favorite man, Kris

Me and my favorite man, Kris

The day was perfect! Started out with some casual Heinekens on the grass in front of “Youth Lagoon”, which I had never heard of, but ended up loving. We moved on the highlight of the day to be honest, Jurassic five. They were all together on stage for the first time in 6 years so we got lucky! They put on a really good show and it felt good to be back in San Francisco. After some dancing, Yeah Yeah Yeah’s, more Heinekens, Nine Inch Nails, some food and more fun we finished off the night with a Phoenix light show!

Outside Lands nightlife

Outside Lands nightlife

Outside Lands

Outside Lands

 

After getting safely back into the city, Kris and I really finished off the night with some desserts at Lori’s diner on the corner:)

Banana Split

Banana Split