"The Giant Race"

Monday, August 29, 2011

I have a lot to say about this, so it's going to be a long one...
I finally did it! A goal I've been wanting to accomplish for a couple years now.
I ran my first half marathon. 

I decided it would be fun to do a destination race instead of one just here in LA. Why not make a weekend trip out of it? So I searched for ones that were semi close & I found one in San Francisco! 
(AND it was on a Saturday which almost all races are on Sundays) 
We have been wanting to go up there and it was only a 6 hr drive.
The decision was easy, I signed up right away.

We drove up on Friday after Jason got off work...which was a nightmare in itself.
Long story short - my car failed me and died AGAIN on the freeway in the middle of the day. I was a stress-case in making sure that dang car got fixed as soon as it could (we wanted to leave at 2...didn't happen) BUT it all worked out and we got there safe & sound. 

Race started at 8am and we got up at 6:30 to make sure we got there in time to park & whatnot. We stayed with our friends in Berkley (thank you Gardner's!!) so all we had to do was drive across the Bay Bridge & we were there. When got there, the traffic was SO bad with every one getting to the race that I ended up just jumping out of the car and running to the start. It was PERFECT running weather in my opinion - overcast, a little foggy, & it was misty. Loved it. Jason ended up actually finding me before the race started in a crowd of 1,000+ people. I was so happy when I saw him. I was so nervous!!

The race started a little after 8. There were so many people that we didn't start actually running until a few minutes after they shot the gun. It was kind of funny. Then all the sudden to my left, there Jason was again! ha...he just kept popping up every where. He ran alongside me for a little bit & filmed me at the same time. It was hilarious. Then I was off to run those long 13.1 miles ahead of me.
Side note - this race was called the Giant Race because it was at AT&T Park which is where the Giants play. The finish line was home plate, which was really cool. Something I loved about the people of SF, is how into their sports teams they were..I was one of the few in the race NOT wearing orange & black.
Back to the race - so the first few miles were fun and not too bad. Mile 1. Mile 2. Mile 3. I was actually pretty entertained by all the runners - such good people watching. Plus, there were so many people along the way cheering us on, there was even a cheerleading squad doing routines and stunts as we ran by. It was funny.
We ran on Embarcadero, which is the street that runs along the bay with the Ferry Building, Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, etc..so I had plenty to look at while I was running.
Mile 4. Mile 5.
Then out of no where, we hit a hill that was literally vertical. What the!? I did not know about this. But I told myself I would not stop once, and I didn't. At about mile 6, guess who was just in the middle of the street...
Brian Wilson. 
I only knew who this guy was because I watched the World Series and I saw him interviewed on E! recently. Plus, some of the runners dressed up like him, i.e. wearing a beard.
Needless to say, everyone freaked out and stopped to take pictures with him. It was cool and a good little boost for everyone running. 
The race continued. Mile 7. We ran all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge, but I had no idea it was there because it was so foggy you couldn't see it. ha. Mile 8. Mile 9. They handed out some GU to us which was probably the grossest thing I have ever tasted. Vanilla Bean GU. Never again. Mile 10 my body started to get real mad at me. I could feel every joint aching and pleading with me to walk. No way was I going to stop. Only 3 more miles. I could do this. Mile 11. I. was. dying. But again, I couldn't stop. I was so sweaty I had salt crystals on my face. I could finally see the stadium in sight and it was the home stretch. Phew! Mile 12 - Final Mile. I just had one goal in mind, and that was to get to the end as fast as possible and get this thing over with. I couldn't necessarily sprint at this point. My body just wouldn't allow it. But as soon as I was almost there, guess who popped out of the crowd? My man! hahaha. He ran the last little bit with me and gave me a few last encouraging words to finish strong. I turned the corner and I was in the stadium running towards home plate. I sprinted to the finish line. Woooooooohoooooooooooooooo!!!!!! Besides the fact that my bones and joints were collapsing on me, it was the best feeling ever.
This is was happens to my long ponytail against my sweaty back. Pure nasty-ness and makes for a good hour of brushing that thing out. I have got to start running with a braid.
So happy to be done & with all my free goodies. 
He is the best. He was more pumped before the race than I was, which I needed. He was so excited for me the whole time and helped me get through it when it was the hardest. Thanks J for coming and supporting me & being the best cheerleader ever. 

Another side note - I heard about this movement called Operation Beautiful. The mission is to leave anonymous inspirational post-it notes everywhere & anywhere to other women of words of encouragement. Feel good words. So I decided to pin one onto my back as I ran and maybe give someone a little more extra motivation to finish..
  Stole this one from Audrey Hepburn.
But I was surprised by all the people who ran next to me to say, "I love that" "Thank you so much" "I've been behind you most of the time just so I can see this note"
Which was exactly why I did it. 

All in all, I had a great time and it was so fun. Besides the fact that it is day 2 since the race and it is STILL hard for me to walk, I will do it again in a heartbeat. I am already looking for my next race.
Who wants to join??


  1. you are so great. it is a DREAM of mine to be able to run 5 miles, let alone 13. So happy for you. I loved this post(: thank youuu!

  2. i love frisco!! that one looks so fun!! dang i've never gotten that many goodies after a race. im signing up for the wrong ones! i want to do this one next summer! looove the idea of putting the sign on your back. so awesome.

  3. love that jason ran the last mile with you. Pehrson did the same on my race a couple months ago and it made all the difference. Love you both! And i want to do one again. let me know what you sign up for.

  4. Way to go girl! That sounded like such a cool place to do a race. Sadly I haven't been running since the last time I did my first half marathon. I need to get back in the groove.

  5. Awesome Annie! I'm impressed!

  6. wow, a 10k? thats hardcore. I've done one 5k this year and i plan to do another. I would love to do a half marathon by end of next year :) we'll see - would love to have a friend to do it with. great job annie

  7. Well...I think I told you in person how proud I am of you. You can do anything now...once you accomplish such a task as a half marathon. You are my hero.

  8. Annie I'm so impressed! Love the note on your back and that's so great you made a trip out of it in SF! I ran a half marathon a couple summers ago so it was fun to read your experience and kind of relive mine- with out having to even get up! :) You're stellar.


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