Tales From the Back of the Pack

Tales From the Back of the Pack

Monday, July 27, 2015

San Francisco Weekend, aka Christmas in July, aka Praise the Lard

Last Christmas (2014) my sister gifted me a race registration for the (first) San Francisco Half Marathon 2015. It was a super thoughtful runner's gift. When it's December, looking at a race registration for next July sounds totally doable....but a hop skip and jump later and it was time to pack my bag for San Francisco. Gulp.

My buddy Val was gracious enough to agree to be my "rabbit" for the race and motivated me to train by putting his own sweat into the game. We left LA around 5am Saturday morning and finally drove into the City around 10:30am. I puffy heart San Francisco. If it weren't for the va-Giants playing there, it would be my dream city.

We had a room at the Hyatt Embarcadero, the race's host hotel (one of them). I can't recommend staying in the host hotel enough. Staying at the LA Bonaventure when I ran the LA Marathon was a fantastic experience for me and sealed the deal about host hotels. Always gonna do it if I can afford it.


First order of business was the race Expo. There were free shuttle buses from the Hyatt to Fort Mason where the expo was located. #hosthotelperk

We pretty much zipped in and out of the Expo. I amazingly seem to have matured past the point where the energy at the Expo causes me to make impulse purchases that I'll regret later.

I did find a new flavor of GU: Maple bacon. I LOL'd when I saw that! Can you imagine eating a GU breakfast at mile 9 of a half marathon? I sampled a bit of it but it actually didn't really taste much different than the Salted Caramel flavor. Salted Caramel GU is amazing.




 Typical beautiful San Francisco views from the Expo (Fort Mason).

While I didn't buy anything at the Expo I DID pick up dozens of these free bags of Kettle chips.

After the Expo we explored the Embarcadero a bit and met up with a friend for dinner at the Ferry Marketplace.

This is now our new expression
Then to bed early after setting out everything I'll need for tomorrow.
The race officially started at 5:30am for those fast corrals and marathoners. For us Back-of-the-Pack-ers, the gun wouldn't go off until 6:30am. Still a pretty early race start, but I'll always take an extra hour's sleep--don't have to ask me twice!
The awesome host hotel had a coffee & bagel bar set up starting at 4am. How awesome is that? #hosthotelperk We stopped there first at 6am before walking out the hotel doors to find our corral, which was about a block away.

SF Race Recap Here

After the race we limped back to our room, showered & packed & headed back out for breakfast.

By this time it was around noon, so technically we'll call it brunch. We found a cute place called Kate's Kitchen in the Haight District and ordered whatever we wanted, promising not to judge each other. I wanted eggs benedict AND  pancakes.



After brunch we made one more stop in the Mission (Gourmet Ghetto) to pick up some goodies at Tartines because I can't go to SF and not stop at Tartines. Can not. If you haven't been, go there and order a banana cream tart and brioche bread pudding. Then your life will be complete.
After Tartines we said goodbye to the beautiful City, promising to return soon.

Both Val and I were entirely satisfied with our performances in the half marathon. We're both kind of at the same place where we have every desire to recommit fully to running and training but are struggling to figure out how to fit it into our lives. This weekend getaway from our daily grind was exactly what we needed to recharge and remember why running is important to us.

And so on the drive home we sat in silence and listened to Born to Run on audio tape, exactly how we wanted to end a great weekend. 

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