"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Race Report: San Francisco Marathon - July 25, 2010

Alternative title: All I want for my birthday is a course PR.

SF Marathon 2009:

Total Time: 5:54:16
Total Misery:
Abject after mile 13

SF Marathon 2010:

Total Time:
Total Misery:
Very Limited, and mostly alleviated by porta potty stops 2 and 3

Yeah baby, 27:33 course PR


On Friday, hubby and I went to his radiation appointment and then came home and did an easy 12 mile bike ride together. After that, I went to the San Fran-land of fucked up traffic-isco for packet pick up. (Then I went to the store and picked up some milk... why do I feel compelled to include such uninteresting details?)

I had thought I would miss everyone, but I was lucky enough to meet up with my buddy Katie A. who had just picked up her Boston Marathon partner in crime Jill, and Jill's buddy (who I cannot remember the name of, and yes, I am aware that makes me an asshole. My bad.)

Then as I was leaving I got a text (because I am so TOTALLY a 17 year old girl and that is my main mode of conversation these days) from Ron, and I got to meet up with him and RoadBunner. (who is on a marathon rampage of epic proportions these days.)

Sappy side note:

Ron, you absolutely rock and thank you for being a good friend. It was really, really good to see you again. You never fail to make me smile.

Sappy side note over.

RoadBunner, Ron, and moi.
(Yes, I look stoned. No, I am not)

Race Morning

Truly dedicated athletes such as myself know that appropriate gear is integral to race day success.

Don we now our gay apparel! (Yes G, that was just for you)

I had made plans to meet up with my two oldest and dearest creepy internet friends, Penny and Willie, and meet for the first time another long time creepy internet friend, aka Alice.

Penny's niece, Penny, and Crazy Eyes

RBR and her brutha from another mutha

I was a little excited about meeting aka Alice. This is me being cool and reserved.

We migrated to our corrals, we were all in different ones except Willie and I. Now, Willie claimed to ALL that would listen that he was going to run this marathon with me.

Uh huh. Riiiiiight.

If you remember last year, Willie said the same thing and did not last 25 yards before he turned, waved to me, and said "Have a good race. Kiss my ass!" (Ok, I ad libbed the 'kiss my ass' part, but it was implied ;) )

The Race

Miles 0-5

This year, I will give Willie this, he started with me and he even ran with me for quite a while. He ran with me for a little over 4 miles to be exact, before he dropped my ass AGAIN!

To be honest, I could not hang. He is a sub four hour marathoner, he was running with a 4:15 marathoner from his hometown running group, and me, a 'barely can be called a' marathoner. I was huffing and puffing next to him and he was probably calculating just how old his children would be when he finished this godforsaken marathon if he stayed with me.

At about mile 3, Willie (aka Eagle Eye. If you need to find someone in a sea of people, you seriously need this dude with you) spots aka Alice in front of us. He says, "If I knew her better I would go smack her ass." Well, you don't have to tell me twice, and off I went to "say hello."

Once Willie saw me running with aka Alice, he tasted sweet freedom and off he went. I don't blame him, and he did make it farther at RBR pace than many other fast runners, but I will tease him about it for the rest of his days, 'cuz that is the kind of sweetheart I am. *gleaming, slightly sadistic, smile*

This is the only semi decent picture I got of Alice on the bridge. Pathetic, I know. My camera mojo was off for this race.

Miles 5-9: The Bridge

I have to say again, the bridge was not as fogged in as last year and still, I do not think running over it is nearly as cool as it sounds. I LOVE running over foot bridges, but when you run over a 6 lane bridge, it just feels like a road. *shrugs* You do not get the sense of being suspended over anything. It is pretty, though.

Me and the GGB from the North Tower Vista Point (taken by a sweet gal that had already waited half an hour for her buddy, that "did not train for this and started hurting at mile 2." I bet her buddy was a TON of fun at mile 10)

My tummy was getting a little wonky at this point. I stopped and waited in the line for Port-a-Potties figuring it was best handled now. Little did I know that this was only the beginning, Stage 1 if you will, of my San Franciscan Tour du Honey Bucket.

Miles 10-19

After crossing back over the bridge, we go up the biggest hill of the course. I was surprised how good I was feeling. My joints were feeling the stress of the pavement, but I was moving along at a pretty good clip.

At about mile 11, a young guy passed me and said I was "looking fabulous" I told him it was my birthday because, yes, I am an attention whore. Why else would I wear a hot pink boa and a tiara to run a marathon? to blend in?

He rallied the runners around us to sing me Happy Birthday. It was very , very cool! He said, "Have a great birthday, Birthday Princess!" as he headed off to finish the half marathon.

And the Birthday Princess was born.

Ok, she is not aging as well as one would hope. She does happen to have a certain fondness for the sun that is causing a map to the lost city of Atlantis to form on her face.... but she is the birthday Princess, nonetheless!

I was blown away by how many people cheered for me, said Happy Birthday, and would say "Hey! There is the Birthday Princess again!" In a marathon of over 10,000 people I felt like a bit of a rockstar.

Sadly, during this stretch was also when the Tour du Honey Bucket would hit it's toughest stages. I do not want to get too graphic, but my writing last masters thesis did not take me as long as Stage 2 of Tour du Honey Bucket. 'Nuff said.

Miles 20-26

My return to THE Haight. I can not believe how much better I felt during this stretch than last year. I was even joking with the locals (i.e a group of gacked out 20-somethings, that told me my boa was both "foxy" and "totally boss" Thanks, boys. You sweet talkers.)

Tired RBR and some street art. I do have to admit, the graffiti on THE Haight is pretty cool.

Then I ran up on a local aid station. I had to ask if I could take a picture for Ms. Alice. They were offering runners free Mimosas at Mile 21.

The young man of questionable sobriety asked if I wanted to get his ass in the photo. It would have been unladylike of me to refuse.

I kept running past runners that had dropped me when was competing in Stages 2 and 3 of "the Tour", and I got fresh cheers and birthday wishes. There was one more Stage of "the Tour." I was pretty damn ready to be done by time we hit the Embarcadero again. As expected my feet, ankles, and knees were totally OVER the pavement, but I was still running unlike the run 3 strides/walk 3 minutes plan I was rocking last year at that point of the race.

I came into the finish feeling strong, but ready to be done. Then the woman right in front of me stops to take a picture of the finish line before crossing it.

Seriously? What the fuck?

Since fine motor skills and quick reaction time had left the building about 10 miles ago I ran smack into her, causing her to give me a dirty look and raise her hands in the universal "what the fuck?" sign and me to say 'Dude!' (Eloquent, I know, but I HAD just run a marathon)

I am certain that both of our finisher pictures will be a thing of beauty!

Marathon 1o: DONE!

Afterwards, my tummy troubles continued and I kind of split early. Sadly, that meant I missed an opportunity to meet Ann. I am hoping that we will meet up at a PCTR trail race soon. I am sorry, girl!

Birthday Night

Hubby took me out to dinner and like any good husband he asked me where I wanted to go and like any good girl of fine white trash heritage I told him


Tired, but very happy at the 'Lobsta. We were in the minority of patrons at the 'Lobsta that were 1. Under 80 and 2. Under 300 pounds. (although, I have not weighed in at JC yet this week. I may have to amend that second statement)

To be honest, it was the best birthday I have had in a long time. Thank you all!


Generation X (Slomohusky) said...

Happy Birthday. Great photos's. Sorry I was not there to run it with ya. Next year!!!

Neil Zee said...

Laaaa-ove Red Lobster. Great Report!

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

Good job! Hey, I called the PR- do I win a prize? Actually, the tiara and boa pictures are reward enough!


Pahla said...

Happy Birthday!! What a fantastic race report, congrats on your awesome PR!!

Diana said...

Ya-hoo for a fantastic PR on your Birthday!
Sweet boa-something I'd never have around my neck!!

Turbo Photographs said...

Brings back great memories!! I LOVE that marathon. Congrats and Happy Birthday!

StephB said...

You are looking a lot less than 1/2 of the 300lb average Red Lobster patron weight in your birthday photo. Pretty darn svelte, if you ask me, PR Birthday Princess!

Tasha said...

Happy Birthday! Way to go on the SF marathon! Your recap was hilarious and inspiring! Love the Lobsta' and the feather boa!!!

Kate Geisen said...

Congratulations and happy belated birthday! If I hadn't already registered for the half version of the Lewis & Clark marathon here in October, your report would have pushed me over the edge to try the full. (Thank goodness I already registered. And I think registration for the full is closed anyway. At least, in my mind it is.)

SteveQ said...

Because commenting is all about me: the last time I went to Red Lobster, I was with a deaf diabetic dwarf... and, yes, it was a date.

Day before your race, I'd just received my early birthday present from the Canadian-Italian Pinecone, a collection of poems by Weldon Kees, who (and this is the creepy connection) jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge on July 22nd, 1955.

Imagonnahafta do that race next year, just to have my picture taken by you; Xenia's already demanding it.

Oh, and you're getting pretty speedy. You may have to move up to the longer races...

PunkRockRunner said...

Had I known you were going to be getting milk after the expo I would have hung out with you Mrs. Pat Boone. Did you buy brownie mix too? See there, I totally tied in the “I’m not stoned in the photo” reference with a stoner food reference AND gave anyone under 40 a reason to Google Pat Boone (he’s a national treasure people).

Always good to see you!


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

who I cannot remember the name of, and yes, I am aware that makes me an asshole

As president and vested partial-owner of the IBaSoUA (International Brother- and Sisterhood of Unregenerate Assholes), I regret to inform you that you'll have to do waaaaaay better than that to gain entry into our union.

Application DENIED!1!

And see? Saying THAT before I even congratulate you on completing a speedy marry is why I'm such a consummate a-hole! Learn from a professional, B*tch!1!

But, yeah, congrats on the marry thing. And happy birthday. And thanks for wearing the boa again. And thanks for that TOTALLY HAWT lesbian stuff going on between you and AQA Aleece! That made MY boa stand at attention!

Hahahahahaha! I'm not just a Professional Asshole! I'm also a professional PIG!1!

Great job on the PR, B*tch!

trailturtle said...

Really sorry that I missed you....AGAIN! Love all that pink! My pic of you near the end really does show that you were "feeling strong." Give me a shout so I can get it to you.
All the best to you and your hubby, Ann

Jo Lynn said...

A PR on your birthday! That is awesome. I'm happy you had a great birthday. If anybody deserves it, you do! xoxo ;)

Formulaic said...


I love it!

Awesome RR and you make me so envious of the race. I think I am going to put it on my list. Next year?!

Jane said...

1. Happy Birthday
2. I love a running chick in a boa
3. Women who run in boas are the coolest ever.
4. Huge PR!
5. See you this weekend!

S. Baboo said...

Awesone B-day performance! I know breaking 5:30 is a huge deal. Now you are totally ready to pace at RdL though you will have to promise not to drop me!

joyRuN said...

You know how to make a marathon FUN, birthday girl!

Congrats on the huge PR!

And happy birthday ;p

MissBrightside said...

Happy Birthday! I would like to say that you are looking hot in the Lobsta' photo...skinny, tan, twinkling eyes, luxurious hair, wearing a marathon finisher baby tee...I hate you :o)

Unknown said...

Congratulations! What a great birthday. And I concur with the others that you were looking svelte and tan. And now I want to run that marathon because I LOVE the finisher's shirt. I love reading your blog - get to see all of the places I used to ride and run when I was fortunate enough to live in CA. Plus, you make me laugh so much I almost spit out food onto my computer.

Regina said...

Hey Foxy Loxy, happy birthday and congrats on the PR!! the BIG PR!

Great RR, and I love the incarnation of Birthday Princess.

I always pull a "Dude?!" when similar things happen, why? I am way too old, but it just comes out.

One Crazy Penguin said...

Happy birthday and congrats on the marathon! I love the pink feather boa and tiara. Too cute :)

IronSnoopy said...

YAY YOU for such an awesome PR! Seriously, that's huge. AND you did it with stops and, ah, uhm, stuff.

Happy, ah, "Birthday", Princess. You look positively tiny, especially in da Lobsta pix. I, too, loves me a good chedda biscuit...yummy. Did they bring you birthday eats? ;-)

You rock.

Katie A. said...

Happy Birthday!
You are amazing - 'nuff said :)
It was sooo good to see you on Friday, you are the cutest thing ever. I'm sad I didn't see you after the race (I had my own "tour" issues and leg cramps) but I knew you had done well.
Can't wait to see you on the 8th - you are a rockstar!
Hugs and love!

Aka Alice said...

HUGE congrats on the PR! You ARE a rock-star, feather boa and all.

Next time Willie spots me in a race and DOESN'T slap my ass, I will be forever insulted. I DO think he knows me that well!

How does G know about us? Does it show?

Seriously though, great fun to hang with you for awhile. We WILL do it again sometime and I WILL be far more articulate and fun to be with because I WILL have gotten over my rock-star-struck-ed-ness :-)


C said...

Congratulations and happy birthday! I ran my first ever marathon on my 30th birthday. People thought I was nuts. They were probably right. :)

P.S.--I do indeed demand that you and Steve have a bloggy meet-up. Must. Happen.

Bootchez said...

Ok, so can I be a creepy Internet friend, too? Here's my qualifications:

Slower than grandma (pr 5:20 or so)
Shit 3 times during that fucking pr (not counting before or after
Potty mouth (see above statement)
Can't remember anyone's name, at all, ever
Sometimes in the bay area
Prone to wearing costumes and totally want to run in a pink boa and/or tutu, ala chicrunner
Would definitely eat at the Lobsta, seriously the last time **I** went was with a quadriplegic man and his old, old arthritic mom, neither of whom could feed themselves.

So many other reasons. Can I, can I huh? Please?

Notes from the Fatty File said...

Congrats on the 'thon and happy birthday! It's awesome that you rocked the pink boa during porta potty adventures and all!

TooeleTwins said...

Love the race report.
Love the boa.
Love the race report - Let's be honest - all of your posts crack me the fuck up.
Love your commentors - ALMOST as funny as RBR!

sea legs girl said...

Congrats and VERY entertaining race report. I've been following your blog for a while, linked by Steve Q's, and I'm happy to know such a funny lady in Cali. Shaving 27 minutes off a marathon time is huge! Something tells me you'll be getting faster for a while.

SteveQ said...

As long as we're playing comment tag: My birthday's August 6 (I get to see the bombing of Hiroshima on the news on my birthday every single year).

I loved that they stopped saying how many people had jumped off that bridge when it was about 950, as people wanted to be #1000 and they thought it would be encouraging the er, discouraged.

SLG, her husband and an Irish lass not to be named will be joining me for a run today. there will probably be a camera there - I'm searching for a tiara right now!

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

Happy Birthday and great report. Congrats on the PR!

Jill said...

Hey girl, awesome to meet you in line at the packet pick up....hearing you and Katie talk about Roberta Melanoma was just cracking me up. Oh, btw, the friend with me was "Karen" :).

Loved reading your report, totally fun. I may have to steal a few of your lines as I have no idea where I was on that course, other than the bridge, and I have to agree with you 100% about running over it. The one thing I so badly wanted to run was just annoying me and I was grateful to be done with it!

Excellent race, girl. Nothing beats a marathon on your birthday (I ran Boston on mine....with Katie A by my side :) ). A birthday you'll truly remember! Hope I'll be back next year...let's meet up again if so!! Congrats!!!

Lisa said...

Great race report!! Congratulations on a strong race. Beating last year's time by 27 minutes is awesome!

The Stretch Doc said...

Nice Job!!! Congrats!!
and great race recap!!


Anonymous said...

Delurking for a moment to say good job on a hard race, and that I spotted a photo of your tiara/boa on a photography blog:


(Not my blog, just happened to spot it!)

schneider said...

Perfect birthday for the awesome Birthday Princess. Congrats on celebrating in style!

Lisa said...

I'm not sure if you saw this, but you made a photo essay of the race http://tokyphotography.wordpress.com/2010/07/28/the-san-francisco-marathon-photo-essay-2/ You definitely made an impression, birthday girl.

Calyx Meredith said...

Belated birthday wishes! Congrats on your amazing finish. Great race report - brought it all back to me. Can't wait to come out to your coast and run with you again! (Continued healing vibes and love being sent to your wonderful hubby!)

SteveQ said...

If you keep stamping your pretty little feet over at my blog, I may have to start calling you Thumper.

SteveQ said...

btw, the tokyphotography photo of you is AWESOME: sucking on a lemon to create wrinkle dimples!

Lindsay said...

happy birthday pr! guess you need to incorporate the boa into future races. it's wind-dynamics must be magical :)

and yes, i am always seeing 300lb people run marathons and ridiculously hard trail races, so common.

Unknown said...

That's the way to do a birthday!! Wooot!!

Sarah said...

Dude, happy birthday (belated). I pretty much suck at all things that involve keeping up with blogs. But I am plotting my return to the blogosphere because I just got a twinge of race jealousy. Yup. It's back. Congrats on a rockin race!!

Christi said...

Happy Birthday and Congrats on the PR!