Archive for July, 2009

San Francisco Marathon – 3:36

Monday, July 27th, 2009

It wasn’t fun. The times tell a pretty accurate story – these are the times and speeds (time per mile) for the four quarters:

7.6 13.1 20.0 26.2

01:04:43 01:49:17 02:42:07 03:35:57

time per mile for each part:
8:31 8:06 7:39 8:41

(for people who looked at the live results, or at the race results – , my bib number was 3112, and the times they give per mile are cumulative, so they don’t show the dramatic change in pace)

So I started aiming for 8:30, and got it pretty accurate, then I felt good enough and was annoyed at the time I was doing that I started picking up the pace. Then after the first half I ran along a guy that was actually going quite faster then I was going before, hence the 7:40 a mile. Then I hit the wall. The last 6 miles were hellish. Well, that’s a little too far, but they constitute the “not fun” part, and the number says it all, 8:40 per mile. I picked up a little in the last mile, but nowhere near the pace I had before.

Overall I did a lot of planning mistakes, small idiotic ones, like not wearing gloves, putting my gels in a zippered pouch on my waist belt, not running with the waist belt before the contest, not checking the weather (sleeveless shirt, no), getting there way too early (half an hour would have been fine. again, cold + sleeveless shirt).

Other stuff I need to learn – eating immediately after the contest (apparently there is a half hour where your body will accept protein for your broken down muscles much more quickly then normal), and mainly keeping the pace.

To summarize, haven’t decided yet when / if I’m doing another marathon, but it was definitely an experience.

Some nice things about the SF marathon specifically: they had 12 water stations, that included some electrolyte drink and water. They had bands along the way, more concentrated near the finish, which was very cool. The coolest part was straight out of world of goo, they had signs along the climbs, and also pretty continuously in the last 6 miles, with fun facts and quotes about running and SF. (I was expecting them to be signed “the sign maker” but they probably didn’t play world of goo). Also some very nice people with fruits. Note: when your hands are cold, picking up an orange while running becomes harder.

Next: deciding what’s next. But that’s for another post.

Appendix: code for the calculations:

ts=[(h*60.0+m+s/60.0) for h,m,s in [(0,0,0), (1,4,43), (1,49,17), (2,42,7), (3,35,57)]]
ml=[0.0, 7.6, 13.1, 20.0, 26.2]
print ' '.join('%.1f' % x for x in ml)
print ' '.join(['%s:%02d' % (int(x), round((x-int(x))*60.0)) for x in [(ts[i+1]-ts[i])/(ml[i+1]-ml[i]) for i in xrange(len(ts)-1)]])
print ' '.join(['%02d:%02d:%02d' % ((t/60), t%60, round((t%60-int(t%60))*60)) for t in ts])

In Frisco, one week to Marathon

Monday, July 20th, 2009


This is the first blog post I write expecting it to be read, what a change 🙂 Let’s see, what would you like to know? I landed in San Francisco on Friday, two days ago already. Been spending about half the time sleeping, jet lag I think, the rest has included one foray into SF, ran the second half of the marathon, another 10km run today, mainly to try the second gel variety (much more edible – powerbar), and a party for departing postgrads that my brother invited me to, at a very nice house.

The second half of the marathon included parts I wasn’t familiar with, starting with a 10~ km stretch in Golden Gate Park (which is not near the Golden Gate Bridge, and doesn’t contain anything except the name in relation to it, but is a very beautiful park and has many interesting places in it – it is quite huge), from there east towards the bay, then along Embarcadero until Folsom street. Surprisingly no a lot of slopes, with the exception of Utah/22nd street, which could kill me (not really, but it is going to be interesting after 38 km).

Other then that trying to decide what I’m going to do next. That is turning out into more of a job then I wanted. Someone could make a job / site out of trip planning. Probably something like that already exists. I mean, not guided tours, but more on the low expenses side. Options for what to do in the next month/two until I fly to Sydney include: concentrating on SF and California (rent a car, go to national parks), going to Seattle and Vancouver, and from Seattle taking the train to New York City (visiting places along the way), and flying back to SF, and actually anything else. Considering a visit to Spaceport America.

Thanks for reading, will keep you updated once I’ve got my number (Saturday, day before the race). I “found out” the race starts at 5:30 – 6:30 am (a range since there are multiple waves). This raises the question of how to get there, since the BART (the train) doesn’t work at those hours, and by car it will probably be jammed, and I’ll have to get a lift from my brother (no parking).

Until next time,