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#WeRunSF Round 2

Well, I’m usually better at blogging right after an amazing event but life is busy!! & a lot of my friends ran the Snow Canyon Half today so I thought.. why not tonight? Also, the NYC Marathon was last weekend & I literally shed tears watching the snap story because WOW.. people are amazing. With that said, I ran my 2nd Nike Women’s Half Marathon race. Nike seriously knows how to put on an event.

When I ran my first Nike Race last year (you can read it here) I knew I was going to sign up to run in 2015. I just had to.. because I had the most AMAZING experience when I ran it my first time.  The months before this year’s race.. I was ready to sign up & get training started! Every year, Nike sends out the sign-up email in June & everyone has to enter through the raffle drawing unless you’re a college student & you get in automatically.  I was tempted to use my college ID since it hadn’t expired yet but I felt bad so I decided to sign up through the raffle.  I posted on FB to let everyone know that I have signed up and I wanted to create a team so other women can experience what I experienced last year.  Surprisingly enough I had a total of 10 girls on my team sign up for the raffle!

I kept checking back on Nike Women’s FB page to read comments & posts on what was going on and when they were going to announce who got in.. Finally in July everyone started commenting on their FB page saying that they got charged $200 (which meant.. you were in!) but no one officially said that they got their confirmation email. So I checked my bank account, I got charged $200…. Then in the afternoon I got my wonderful confirmation email!!

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Plus my whole team got their confirmation emails! Some friends were stoked, some friends were nervous and thought “what the heck did i just sign up for?!” But, I reassured them that it is the BEST THING EVER. Flights were booked, Steven & I had a place to stay & we were ready for SF!!

Then we got our training schedule… that’s what I dread most is training for a half marathon.  It takes up soooo much time, I’m always hungry, and i just want to avoid it.  But, I started slow since I haven’t ran since my last half marathon (2014). I ran 2 miles, then 3, then 4, then 6 & I went all the way up to 12 miles before the race. So I thought if I could do 12 miles I definitely won’t die at 13.1.

RACE WEEKEND

I got to leave work early on Friday and then Steven & I caught a flight from Provo to Oakland! We got in early and since we were staying with Brittany & Joram, they were still at work! So our plan was to take the BART to the station closest to their house & then take an Uber to their home. Not gonna lie, I LOVE public transportation.. well really I just missed the city life back in Boston & NYC.. but I do LOVE the luxury of taking Ubers & Lyfts. We took the BART and I was so happy!! To be in SF, to be traveling with Steven and to be running this race again. Life was great.

That night, we had a chill night with Brittany & Joram. We all went to dinner at The Counter Burger  & it was SO GOOD. Then we went back to their house & played Sequence & girls vs. guys & Brittany & I won AHHAHAHAHA!! So we won back massages from our husbands!!!

SATURDAY

We woke up early so we could explore the city all day! We took the BART to downtown Union Square to pick up my race bib & run the 2 mile shakeout run with Nike.  But…. we got off the wrong stop (my fault) & the 2 mile run already started cuz right when we got out of the station, the runners ran right past us. hahaha we were hungry so we went and got breakfast bagel sandwiches & went to go pick up my race kit!! We walked by Nike Town Union Square and I saw my name on the wall!!! It was exactly like last year’s & I was so happy! I picked up my race packet & sadly there wasn’t a huge expo this year, but instead they had an earring scavenger hunt. There were 7 earrings that you could collect if you went to all of the different locations where they sell Nike apparel/shoes.  We only waited in line for one of the earrings because all of the lines were like an hour long.. so no way haha. But, being in the city was so great!

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We met up with Kim & her husband Steven Houghton & we got our one & only earring at Union Square! They had a crazy night driving to Vegas & then flying from Vegas to SF… One hour of sleep.  I know how they felt because I did the no sleep thing because Jaime & I drove through the night from Provo to Palo Alto.. Crazy. I’m so glad we got cheap tickets months in advance! They were hungry so we went to this cute brunch spot that Steven H. knew about from when he interned in the city some summers ago.. I don’t remember but it was a really cute, healthy spot! Since we ate already we didn’t eat much!

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The view outside the restaurant!

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Fancy fancy toast

Then I wanted to take Steven to the Fortune Cookie Factory in Chinatown & we made our own fortune cookies with our fortune inside it.. I think I said something like “You will have cute babies one day” LOL But, then I think we left our fortune cookies at Brittany’s place when we left hahaha.

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Ancestors would be so proud 🙂

Unfortunately, when we were in Chinatown a pigeon pooped on Steven so we ran to the Nike store back in Union Square to meet up with Brittany & Joram so we could buy a shirt for him! While we were there, I had to get all of the photos from the Nike Half Marathon! It was worth the wait because that’s what I came to SF for! & we got cool Nike shirts (Thanks Brittany!)

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After Union Square and all of the Nike festivities, we went to Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf since Kim hasn’t been there! We had mini donuts, clam chowda in a bread bowl, saw the bush man and took lots of pics!

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Alcatraz right behind us! (One day I will go!)

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Clam CHOWDA (This is the only thing Steven wanted to do on this trip.. eat this)

After the pier, we went to my favorite spot of the Golden Gate Bridge.  It’s on the Sausalito side called Battery Spencer & the view is AMAZING.  It was actually a perfect day with no fog & a perfect sunset. & we got prime parking because Kim & steven rented the perfect little pink car for us to drive around the town with.

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LOL

It started getting dark, but i really wanted to show Steven, Steven H, & Kim Seward Slides. Ammon said they closed at 5PM but I didn’t know they actually barricaded the entire slide…. Next time haha. We got hungry so we went to the Mission District & met up with Ammon at La Taqueria!!! I was so happy to see him even if it was just for a little bit!! I’m sad I wasn’t able to hang out with him in the city the entire day since we had it planned for months but La Taqueria super tacos & Bi-rite creamery was perfect. We were all tired so we drove back to Brittany’s after a long day of exploring the city to get some shut eye before the race!

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RACE DAY

Woke up at 4:45AM… Still dark outside, made a bowl of oatmeal & left the house at 5:20AM to make it to Union Square for the race!! SO MANY WOMEN. SO MANY RUNNERS. It was just like last year & I was stoked. Brittany, her friend Aimee, Kim & I were all in wave 3. Kim decided to stay back behind us so she wouldn’t feel she needed to catch up with us so it was just Brittany, Aimee & I in the middle of Wave 3. Wave 1 & 2 had started & we were on our way to the starting line. Then we were off! We started the race at 6:58AM & there we were running with 25,000 other women in downtown SF. Miles 1-5 were kind of a blur. I remember at mile 2 or 3 there was a gospel choir!  I was following right behind Brittany & Aimee from miles 1-5 and before I knew it, we were running a 9:55 min/mile. In my mind, I was like “crap, I am going my fastest..” I started getting thirsty & hungry so at mile 5 I had to stop and get some water and eat the granola bar the volunteers were giving out.  Brittany & Aimee kept running when I was getting water so I was behind a little bit. I knew I had lost them, so I started running at a slower pace.  I ran to mile 7 and my mind just kept saying you’re tired, you need to walk.. I didn’t want to walk but I had to.  I had blisters on all of my toes and i was in so much pain! I felt like the bottom of my soles were so close to the concrete and it felt so painful. So I started walking & by that time.. I just knew I wasn’t going to beat my time, I want to just finish this race no matter what and that I’ll never want to run a full marathon EVER. Those were the thoughts in my head while I was walking.

I finally started getting the energy to run again & ran all the way to mile 10 and my goal was to not walk on mile 10 because that is the steepest & hardest mile of the race. Sadly, I walked, ran, walked, ran that stupid hill. But, the view was AMAZING. There was no fog & you could see the Golden Gate Bridge perfectly. Nike knows that it’s the hardest mile, so they have volunteers, family members, pacers, & coaches all lined up mile 10 & while I was running I just felt this spiritual experience.  First, I saw a sign that said “Jesus Christ Loves You” & then another sign that said “They cheer because you inspire them” & I just started crying. It was so crazy and weird because I’ve never cried during a race. EVER. But with all of the pain and adrenaline and just wanting to finish this race all of this emotion just happened all of a sudden.  I got this random spurt of energy almost at the top of the hill & I started high fiveing everyone at the top of the hill! It felt so great to be done with that dumb hill!

I ran all the way to Mile 12 with lots of energy & Mile 12 was the chocolate mile. Yeah, I definitely took a bite of that chocolate & then I started walking haha by that time, I was so sore & tired.. I just wanted to enjoy that dang chocolate! I found Steven at Mile 12.5 and he started running with me and he kept cheering me on saying “You got this Liz, you got this!” But, I was in so much pain!! I turned that corner & finally saw that beautiful finish line. I finished at 2:25 and I was so happy that it was over.  I took a ton of chocolate milks, got my Nike water bottle & Whole foods bag with tons of snacks & got my Tiffany & Co Finisher Medal.  I met up with Steven & everyone to take our photos (but not with the guys in black suits haha). After the race, we went to Hollywood Cafe & ate the yummiest french toast & delicious HUGE fruit bowl!

Our flight wasn’t till 9PM that night so we relaxed at Brittany’s, took a sunday nap & made crepes before we had to go to the airport. Our flight got delayed so we didn’t get home till 2:30AM.  Shout out to Kyle Bergsma for picking us up & taking us back to Provo!

This race weekend was so much fun & I definitely learned a lot.  I don’t think I’ll ever be fast enough to qualify for a Boston marathon or to beat my PR by a ton… I think I made the mistake of going my fastest in the beginning and that’s why I got so tired.  Maybe next year I’m just going to stop at every photo opp just to enjoy my time throughout the race. I saw a lot of women stop in front of the golden gate bridge, a waterfall, all of the Nike signs, and everyone looked so happy! I know for sure I’ll sign up for this race every year!! Until next time, SF!

Xoxo,

Liz

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Course map

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25,000 women about to crush the hills of SF

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Thanks for being the best host, Brittany!!

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Steven was the cutest & got this pic of me running. I had the chance to see him at mile 4, 8 & 12!

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This was at Mile 12!!

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Top of the hill at Mile 10

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Brittany’s husband Joram got this perfect pic of us 🙂

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No matter how hard you try to look cute for the photographer, it’s impossible.

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All of the signs that kept me going!

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FINISH LINE

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I love him so much!

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WE DID IT!!

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New & old friends 🙂

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Our Tiffany & Co Finisher Medal

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Union Square

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My Results.  I didn’t beat my time but, it’s alright!! I finished!!!! HOORAY!!