Sunday, July 23, 2017

San Francisco 1/2 Marathon (Troy)


7/23/17, San Francisco, Ca


13.1mi R




29th AG / 360


Robin Soares

WP_20170722_17_44_06_ProWP_20170723_04_18_29_ProWe wake up to much quieter city (The City is a crazy place!) and job slowly down to the Embarcadero.  Robin and I are celebrating our 15th anniversary by running the San Francisco Marathon together!  Except that I’m injured, and therefore out-of-shape, and so doing the 1/2 Marathon instead.  The plan, Lord willing, is that I can still run 1/2 of the marathon together with Robin.  Robin is strong and will run about 8:15 pace.  Normally not hard for a 1/2 marathon, it will challenge me this time for sure.  But, of course, the excitement of running with Robin in this famous race will mask a lot of the pain.

With 27,000 people in the race, I’m expecting mayhem at the start.  I’m pleasantly surprised to see open streets and easy pickings of the bathrooms.  We stretch and jog and calmly plan eveything out… but then the droves of people start arriving, and the trucks to pickup our gear bags aren’t there, and the entrance to our wave is .3mi away!  People are just piling their bags and leaving.  Instead I chooe to be Robin’s sherpa and wrap our clothes around my waste.

We meet a gal who has done over 200 marathons.  We actually pray together with her which was great.  After the National Anthem, we’re off!

We see our friend, Jesse Ellis, taking pictures at the start.  After a mile, there is no thinning of the crowd.  There are a lot of runners! 

Mile 1: 7:57. Robin’s gotta go so I run a little ahead at each bathrooms checking if there are openings. 

Mile 2: 7:59. We go through Aquatic Park…

Mile 3: 8:17. Marina Blvd…

Mile 4: 7:49. Chrissy Field, and then I find her one.  I’m so glad I did my job, that I forget to use one!  We’re off again and see our 3:35 pacer not too far ahead.

Mile 5: 8:20. We’re looking forward to the Golden Gate Bridge but can’t see it because of the fog.  We start climbing and I know it’s close.  Robin pulls a little ahead on each climb because she’s very good on hills. 

170723_sfmarathon_troyMile 6: 8:43. Finally, we’re on the Bridge!  We have the Northbound to ourselves.  It’s a little chilly and damp but beautiful. Glad to have long sleeve shirts.  I’m watching our pace and it’s slowing.  It’s hard work and I look forward to getting to the bridge center where we can start descending again.  I watch the huge cable structure sloping down, knowing that when it hits street level, it will start going back up and we can start going back down.

Mile 7: 7:51. Now we circle a visitors center before returning across the bridge.  I stop at the porta-potties but it’s too long of a wait so I go catch up to Robin. Back across the bridge now.  I’m trying to work hard to keep a good pace for Robin, check that she’s eating and drinking (which she’s doing very well) and encourage her (which helps me because it’s getting hard and 6 more miles seems long but nothing compared to 19 more miles for Robin!)

Mile 8: 7:58.  Almost off the bridge.  This is my first time doing this part of the SF Marathon.  I’ve done the 2nd 1/2 before and I’ve done the bridge during the Napa to Santa Cruz Relay, but running this part with Robin and hopefully  being able to help her meet her goal has been great!

Mile 9: 8:01. I’m actually looking forward to getting off this incredible landmark.. to be out of the wind.  Now we climb up through the Presideo.  It’s peaceful.  Perfect temperature.

Mile 10: 7:58. Running along the cliffs and ocean is great. Especially with a downhill.  I’m praying for Robin’s hamstrings, quads and toes because downhills are hard on her.  She says she’s doing fine.  We’re on pace.

Mile 11: 8:05. In the neighborhoods now, gradually climbing to the Park.  I’m looking forward to being done but trying to focus on Robin.

Mile 12: 8:31.  No stopping for bathroom breaks now, only a mile to go.  Robin is doing great and says she’s ready for a 10k through the Park.  I will be able to see her enter and exit the park, and will pray the rest of it goes well for her.


Mile 13: 8:31. I give Robin my love and have to split off for the finish.  Robin tells me to sprint the rest of the way so I try to pick it up.  It’s almost a half mile and with .1 left I’m completely drained and my achilles is hurting and I have to slow down which is a strange way to finish a race.. slowing down.  But I’m thankful, Lord, that I made it this far, being able to run with Robin.  Now I get to rest and stretch and wait for Robin to come running out of the park. 

I’m at the 17.5 mile mark and when I do see Robin she says her right side is really tight and painful but she’s still smiling.  I run with her for little bit and then pray for her as she continues on.  I know how painful the last 6mi can be with legs seizing up, I pray for a miracle.

SFMarathon Robin & Troy5

I catch a shuttle to the end and look forward to seeing her finish!