Monday, February 4, 2013

Kaiser Permanente Half-Marathon & 5k race report!

My brother and I ran the KP 5k in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco on Super Bowl Sunday!! I thought it would be a great excuse for me to eat more Super Bowl snacks ;)

 The race start. I love Instagram. I feel like it almost makes up for my lack of photography skills.

I was a little nervous going into this race. I've been trying to deal with some shin splints for the past few weeks and last weekend I had a flare up. I took the week off from running and went for the elliptical-yoga-strength path instead. I knew I would finish the race in one piece so I wasn't anxious about that. But I was worried about how fast I would be able to go and how well my shin would hold up.

My brother can run much faster than me but he stuck with me the whole way :) We finished in 31:22. It wasn't a true 5k though. The race organizers wanted the 5k and the half to start and finish together and in order to keep the half a certified course, they had to extend the 5k to 3.2 miles. So according to the race organizers (who inexplicably calculated the pace based on 3.1 miles), I ran a 10:XX pace. But according to my calculations, I ran a 9:48 pace. And according to my brother's calculations, we ran a 9:3X pace. He used a GPS app on his phone and apparently we did so much weaving that we actually ran 3.4 miles. There were a lot of walkers that we had to go around. Weaving doesn't usually bug me that much, but it made it harder to stick with my brother.

Overall, I thought it was a nice race. Golden Gate Park is beautiful and the net downhill course was nice. I thought I was going to die during the race, but I didn't. Always a good thing. And then I felt awesome after :) I do like when there are crowds of people cheering for the runners, and there weren't very many crowds at this race. I saw more disgruntled runners and cyclists who were trying to get in their daily workout and were annoyed by the presence of the race than people who were cheering. But it was okay because the 5k is short and just when I was sure I was going to keel over, I was at the finish line.

I decided to try out KT tape on my shin. It's the stuff that the US women's beach volleyball team made really popular a few years ago. There haven't been any studies that say this stuff actually works. But I've spent long enough in the research field to know that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. The tape has really mixed reviews; some people swear by it, others don't. I decided to give it a shot because I didn't have anything to lose (other than $12 to buy the roll of tape). And now I'm contributing to the mixed reviews. My shin didn't bother me during or after the race. However, I don't know if that's because I took this week off from running or because of the tape. My shin usually doesn't start bugging me until I start doing back-to-back runs, so I think I will use it this week and see what happens.

So today I am grateful for my brother. He's a solid running buddy (even though we don't live in the same city - we still share updates on our training and keep the other person motivated) and we've been having a lot of fun going through the ups and downs of training together. He's interested in some longer distances, so we may have a 10k or half on the horizon!

Lastly, let's have a moment of silence for my headband. I had a purple, stretchy, all-around-fantastic headband from Lululemon and I dropped it some time between leaving my brother's apartment and when I was tying back my hair on the bus on the way to the starting line. It served many purposes, the most important one being that it kept my headphones on my ears. I hope someone picked it up and is giving it a good home...


Have you run a race recently? Have any races coming up?

How do you calculate pace - do you go with what the race organizers say or what you recorded with your watch/Garmin/phone/whatever? Do you use the length the course is supposed to be? Or do you use the distance you actually ran according to your Garmin/phone/whatever?

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