Packed goody bag with food, clean dry clothes, bottles of drink, etc.
Took Clif Shot Bloks-- I like them because I can space them out better than gel packets, so, better blood sugar regulation.
Put map to race start on iPhone GPS.
Ate a bowl of oatmeal and most of a peanut-butter-banana sandwich on spelt bread on the way there.
- Pin number to shirt first. Standing in the parking garage, pinning the race number and repinning it? Ugh!
- Suss out the parking garage situation better. I paid $35 for parking in Ghirardelli square. Never again!
- Slit open the Clif Shot Blok plastic wrapper before racing.
- Eat conscientiously the day before! One large oatmeal cookie does NOT constitute lunch. I know better!
Planned: Run 10 minute miles the rest of the way, sticking firmly to plan. Start with the clif shot bloks 10 minutes into the racing and eat one every ten minutes. Take water and gatorade at aid stations.
The gun went off at 7:03 AM by my watch. I ate a Blok at 7 AM, then ate one every ten minutes after that. My math was bad here, though; should have started ten minutes in. At mile 7 I had a momentary panic that I had eaten too many, and had actually only brought enough to last me for 90 minutes of racing which would leave me bonking at the finish. (No.)
I assumed there would be aid stations every mile. Hahahaha. No. There were maybe five of them. I took two waters at each one and sipped slowly. In this respect, my long run training fueling strategy (stash a bottle in the car and pick it up halfway), which meant I never really got enough water or fuel during my long training runs, adequately prepared me for what I'd find here.
I ran a 15 minute mile the first mile, which was OK (warmup). I then ran sub tens after that, but by mile 4 or 5 I'd caught up to my self pacing plan, and was more-or-less hitting mile markers at each ten minute mark. Why? I was wearing my spiffy take-to-work neoprene-band sportswatch with hands, no lap timer. My bad! If I'd been tracking laps conscientiously, I would have run 2:13, on plan. Um, okay.
Training and psychology:
I have not done a lot of speedwork, and I certainly should have. I did run hills every week, though, so I was steaming up the hills (3-4 of them, big ones) while other people were walking.
I started running with everyone else, and I managed to keep myself on-plan (e.g. I let lots of people pass me at the start, figuring they were noobs and they'd be much slower later, or they were 10k runners and I didn't care) with the following mantra: Stick to plan. They'll come back to you later. Stick to plan. Be disciplined. Stay on plan. This race is won at the end, not at the beginning. Stick to the plan.
Goal 1: Train and finish race without injury. Goal achieved.
Goal 2: Finish in 2:15. Goal beaten with a 2:08.
Goal 3: Finish under two hours. Not achieved. See above about the speedwork.
Late edit: I forgot, I crossed the timing mat after the official race timer started. My actual finish results (already on race website) were these:
... which means I was 73rd of 223 women in age group, 391st out of 1106 total women, finished in 2:06:57, and ran an average of 9:42 miles. For comparison, I ran my first 1/2 marathon in 1998, finished in 2:13, (I think). I was average in my age group for that race and ran 10 minute miles.