SF Marathon Weekend/Expo

Marathon weekend has come and gone but 3 days can feel like a week when it is filled with making memories with new and old friends and running 26.2 miles.  I planned/started to write this post as one big race recap but as I got writing, I realized that the race itself needs to be separate because this race was a lot different from my other marathons and I have a lot to emotionally and physically reflect on.

So lets recap the weekend…

For being such a ‘chill’ city, the trip did not start very ‘chill’.  I left Massachusetts at 4:45 pm and faced some layovers and delays causing me to arrive in San Francisco at 11:30 (2:30am EST)  By the time I got my bag, found the Shuttle and dropped everyone else in the shuttle off, I made it to the apartment at 1:30am (4:30am EST).  I dove onto the air mattress and tried to be happy and relaxed that I was finally in bed but really I was just overtired and anxious over the fact that I was going to bed so late.  I finally was able to fall asleep and to my surprise, was not even phased by the time difference because I woke up at 8am on Friday morning.  I was refreshed and ready to start the weekend.  I found a super cute, plant-based cafe that became my daily go-to cafe for just hanging out.  I ordered avocado and chimichurri toast on GF chia bread and almond butter and chia jam on a seedy bread.  It was the perfect way to start the day and kill some time before the Expo opened.

The San Francisco Marathon was and still is my favorite Expo to date.  They have such great booths….and by great booths I mean they give great samples.  BUT this year they outdid themselves with the Normatec recovery booth.  I have been eyeing the Normatec recovery system for many months but the $1,5oo price tag is just not in my price range.  However, being at the expo doors when they open so I can literally jog to the booth and be first in line is a little more feasible.

I was hoping to be disappointed so I could put my desire of wanting one to rest but that was the opposite of what happened.  It was heaven.  I stepped out of the boots and felt so refreshed.  Price range even with the $200 off was still not happening so I made sure to get to the front of the Expo line the following day as well.  Even if that meant my shakeout run was going to be more of a sprint…and maybe sneaking up to the front and cutting 100 people! SORRY.

The Expo was also more amazing this time around because I finally met my Instagram friend Meredith and her friend Jewel.  She is just as cute, nice and funny as her profile makes her look!  She invited me to join them for an afternoon of driving around the beautiful city and getting lunch.

We met up again at the expo Saturday morning for the shakeout run with Dean Karnazes put on my FitBit.  Unfortunately, we did not get to run together because I had a date with the Normatec recovery machine and had to get there as fast as I could.  She was very understanding and even did a sneak attack on me to catch me in my Diva status 😉

After the expo I met up with college friend/ fellow Union laxer and her boyfriend.  She is amazing and rented a car for 3 hours and drove us around the city.  We explored all the different areas and the culture connected to each area.  Cruising around with a best friend, catching up on life while touring the city is better than any sightseeing tour.  We dropped the car off and headed to devour some pizza.  We went to Paxti’s restaurant and avoided the wait by getting a seat at the bar which was a smooth move because even with avoiding the wait, I did not get home until 9!  I may have had a slight panic when I got home.  My 3:30 am wake-up call was fast approaching and I still needed to lay everything out and roll out.

Not very picture worthy but getting into bed by 9:30 was more important at that point!  The slight panic continued into the morning when I woke up at 3:30 and realized that I had 45 minutes to get everything done.

In my frantic rush, I managed to snap a quick pic of my oatmeal (oatmeal, chia seeds, almond milk, almond butter and sliced banana) which did not want to go down after still being full from a late dinner.

I also managed to totally dismantle my Garmin which is probably not what most people do an hour before a marathon…

When I went to put my Garmin on, one of the straps just decided to rip off.  I had 0.2 seconds to figure out a plan to repair it which as you can see was an epic fail.  The only solution my flustered brain could come up with was to just rip off the other strap and tuck it away in my sports bra…sorry Mom, even though you have a fancy new Garmin, I have a feeling you just internally said OH NO! when you saw that.  

Everything was all so very different from Boston where I felt like I had so much time. There was good 5-6 hours between waking up and actually starting.  I had so much time to eat, digest, stretch and get mentally prepared during the drive to the Hopkinton and the endless amount of time in athletes village.  Man, I could have used some of that extra time at 3:30am…

I was supposed to walk and meet Mere and Jewel but was running late (shocker) and decided to Uber to them and then have the Uber driver take us right to the start.   The Uber driver was on board with the plan but after 5 minutes of driving what was supposed to be .5 miles, I realized that he was heading to the start line and not to Mere and Jewel.  In a ‘panicked but trying to be nice tone’ I told him his mistake and between the both of us, the car was filled with stress, confusion, panic and fluster.  We managed to get to the girls and Mere did a great job helping me calm down.  We got to the start and had plenty of time to go the bathroom and stretch.

Once I realized I was there and ready, I just had to keep telling myself to relax and just embrace everything.

Reflecting on it now, I think the anxiety I had as I made my way to the start line was from knowing that I made crucial mistakes in my last-minute preparation/fueling and I felt strongly that the 3:15 goal I had and was confident could be attained was slipping away with each obstacle I was facing.  It may/I know it does sound crazy because a marathon is SO much more than the 10 hours leading up to the race but those final hours are also extremely important. I felt amazing Saturday morning and the shakeout run was so relaxed, smooth and comfortably fast.  This relaxed feeling of amazingness was just not the way I felt at night and I knew that  some of the choices I made caused the change in feeling.  Late dinner, a little too much walking and a ton of stress. Live and Learn

I guess this is where I should recap the race but since I am saving that for my next post, I will skip right to the finish line.  I had my amazing friend from college and her boyfriend meet me at the finish.  They were so helpful and literally made me feel like royalty by offering to do whatever I wanted.  I was not very needy but did have one request…

img_0086 Not just because that quart is filled with pure amazingness but because…


I guess I felt I had to make it a tradition…or there is nothing better than fresh fruit after spending hours of just Gu, electrolytes and just straight sugar.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out at my friend’s apartment and just enjoying each other’s company and picking up right where we left off.  She is one of those ‘lifer’ friends.  It doesn’t matter how long we go without seeing each other, she will always be in my life because our friendship is too strong.  She had a dinner to attend so said our goodbyes and I found myself back in my favorite cafe for a solo dinner!

I ended the night with a perfect vanilla soft-serve and was curled up in the apartment by 7:00

something I probably should have done on Saturday night rather than Sunday night.  

That pretty much sums up the weekend!  Today has just been spent killing time before my late flight by cafe hopping and trying to cross streets at an expected fast pace that my legs are not fond of. I don’t think I made very many cars happy today… but the effort was there!

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