I rode my bike to the race as I normally commute by bike everywhere without even thinking twice about it. This year, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition provided a bike valet service near the finish line so I wanted to take advantage of that. I rode down to 47th and Fulton and racked my bike with the nice volunteers. I had my rain jacket and some dry layers saved inside my handlebar bag, so didn't have to worry about bag-check. I was able to jog 2 1/2 miles to the starting line with time to spare and my pre-race warm up was done. Looking at the start line though, I got a bit worried about my PR. No waves and everyone starts at the same time. I tried to move up front but was pretty crowded. I decided to just do my best for all the good causes the race supports. I had already signed up for the Oakland Running Festival 5k as a backup.
The first mile was really slow as I tried to push my way past the crowd and get up front without getting struck in the face by someone's elbow. It was a bit easier as the 5k route diverted and we were siphoned off. I tried to find my 5k pace and stick with it, running by feeling and without gadgets. I never once looked at my watch to see the time. I didn't see any halfway marks, maybe it was that aid station I just passed. I kept passing as I could and the crowd kept thinning out more and more to the point where I felt like I had lots of breathing room. Tried to stay focused and not zone out. Took advantage of downhills and never slow down. Before I knew it I could see the finish and kept pushing till the end. Gladly, the "wall" I usually experience in the last 200 meters didn't block me. I wonder if it is a mental block.
Anyway, I could see the clock, and didn't look like a PR time for me as predicted, but, ended up being 3rd place Masters AG award (gun time), first place AG (chip time) and in the top ten females. The winning girl, Emma, wasn't older than 12! Very impressive! I picked up my T-shirt and goody bags and jogged to the finish for the long cold ride home into a headwind. Hands and feet were numb and took a long time to defrost, but got it done. Getting ready for the next one. Thanks to all the volunteers who stood out in the cold rain for 3+ hours!
KP Half Marathon
Results: 23:50 (the chip times changed to 25:24, to match the gun time)
Last PR: 21:09 DSE St. Patrick's Day 5k 2012
Wet and wild!