Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Big Smile at Nike Women's Half


I crushed the hills of San Francisco this Sunday in the race! While I can't tell you official time (argh! Nike marathon site really needs help!), my unofficial time was about 1:50:17, almost 4 minutes faster than last year--and in 2008, I felt I had jammed. I felt good the entire way, comfortable in my intimate knowledge of the race course. I could tell the hills proved daunting to many runners, especially when the hills stretched on and on. But having lived--and run--in San Francisco for eight years (in the 1990s) and having done the course several times before, I knew the false crests, knowing slightly more hill lurked beyond it. I had started up near the front, so I was surrounded by speedier runners, but my confidence was boosted again and again when I passed runners near the top of a hill.

I worked my familiarity with the course to my advantage, cutting a true course through the turns and taking in gels on the flats before the two hilliest sections.

I tried to smile like Ironman phenom Chrissie Wellington but it didn't work too well until the final mile, a gradual downhill where I passed my pal Lindsey, who is about 12 years my junior. By that point in the race, I knew I had it in the bag, and I could let gravity have its way with me to pull me toward the finish.

This post is pretty scattered, but suffice it to say: I adored this race this year (as did Dimity, who ran a speedy 1:54 after much sandbagging). Such a blast. And I loved meeting some of you post-race. We're all awesome runner chicks!!

-Sarah
photo: L-to-R: SBS, good pal Dana Sullivan, Dimity

8 comments:

Katie A. said...

Great race report! You accurately described those hills! I ran on Sunday too, it was my first Nike but the course is a lot like the SF marathon I have done before. They just keep coming! Great time, too! My "unofficial" time also, was 1:47, I can't figure out the website to save my life! You would think they could get this straight!
Congrats again! Sorry we didn't get to meet up! :)

shellyrm said...

Glad to read you tried to work that smile. I loved that post and have been trying to enjoy my races more since reading it. Great race recap and great job in the half!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

GREAT smile and congrats.. Way to embrace the hills...I hope to have initmate knowledge of a race course one of these days..

jamie said...

I ran the full----started out very strong but then twisted my knee on a downhill in the first half. I loved the views and the spirit of the race but am still struggling with my time.....

Good job to you, though! Rockin' it out!!laz

marybob143@aol.com said...

Love your racing report, Sarah! Love the picture even more...that time before a big race...early and dark...the energy is just thick...I love that! Sounds like an awesome course! Way to go on your time!!!!

Kate said...

Knowledge of the course made this year's race so much easier! It was a great day to race and I enjoyed meeting you after wards.

KK @ Running Through Life said...

Great job! Awesome time!

Tina at Gotta Run Now said...

Congrats! Shaving four minutes off your time from last year is great!