The Giant Race Recap!

So I wasn’t really sure if I was going to get a bib for The Giant Race this morning. And even if I did, when my alarm went off at 5AM, I wasn’t sure if I was actually going to go. My preparations this week consisted of a couple of normal runs and no advance planning. After 11PM last night I threw the gear together.

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Twitter encouragement and thoughts of a Tim Lincecum Bobblehead got me out the door at 5:45 into the pitch dark and fog so thick it felt like it was raining! Three buses later and I was at Starbucks on King at 6:29a (opens at 6:30) to steal some warmth beforehand and eat breakfast. I didn’t know why I was on the bus at 5:45a and I was even more confused who the other people on the bus were—if you’re not running, why are you awake??

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Finally meandered my way over to the start line and in succession met up with Naomi, Audrey, Aron, and Kristine in the waiting area.

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I also got to meet up with my friend Sam from HS and her friend Kelly, who were running the 10K!

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Check out these Giant colored shoes! I’m a stalker but couldn’t help it.

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I lined up with Aron and Kristine and ended up running the whole thing with them! This was the best part of the whole thing. I haven’t done that before, and we just settled into an easy pace and managed to stay together despite the occasional weaving that was very necessary on the crowded parts of the course. We just chatted and the miles went by really quick, down the Embarcadero, over the Fort Mason hill (felt easy today!) and out past Chrissy Field. Brian Wilson was there! I was a few people out from the edge so I didn’t get a hi-five. #regrets

Before I knew it we’d passed seven miles and were turning around. It felt so easy! But then around mile 8.5 my legs started feeling tingly. It wasn’t the speed—we were all running conservatively—but then my arms started feeling it too and somewhere right past mile 9 I got hit with a wave of dizziness so hard that I almost fell over right there. I realized I was dehydrated and it’s hard to work your way out of it in the last 4 miles of a 13.1! I felt dizzy and lightheaded and kept lightly bumping into Aron. I would say “sorry” only because I didn’t have the effort to say “sorry, truth is, my brain is fuzzy, I feel like I’m starting to go under and that I might eat pavement any second, but I hope the rest of the race goes well for you guys.” Ugh! Aron and Kristine were so great and easily could have left me in the dust but didn’t! I was frustrated because my legs and heart rate etc. were totally fine but I just needed more water. I sweat SO much, and was also wearing a long sleeve shirt so I was trapping in a lot of heat—I wanted to take it off, but I knew if I stopped to do so I’d lose the girls and thus any motivation to push through the rest of the miles. Good reminder that I am someone who needs to drink a LOT and I need to walk through aid stations so I actually get liquid down instead of one gulp in my mouth and the rest down my shirt Smile

The last 1.5 miles were really hard as the 10K walkers, the 5K runners and the half-marathoners just trying to finish all converged on the Embarcadero at once. We had to weave like crazy and I more than once bumped into someone else with a bit of force in a last-ditch effort to finish alongside Aron and Kristine and redeem how crappy I was feeling there at the end!

But before I knew it (okay, lie, it seemed like a long time when I felt like passing out) we were headed into AT&T Park! Then we get to the finish. OK. Backing up—Aron mentioned earlier in casual conversation that if we finished together we’d get a finish-line picture! This was 95% of the motivation for me to not stop and seek water at mile 11, that and the fact that I knew I’d be annoyed all day if I finished in 2:01. So we get to the finish line and…

One, no camera. Two and more importantly… the finish line was backed up 10+ people deep! You couldn’t even get across it. So that didn’t happen, but I decided to make my own artist’s rendition of what WOULD have been our finish line picture.

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As you can tell, I studied Art in college. We all finished together in 1:58 something. A 14-minute PR for Kristine which is AWESOME! I’ve only done one other half and ran in 1:57:51 so this was right on par with that. So technically I PW’ed and am very fine with it Smile

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I immediately downed the bottle of Dasani and felt 598373% better. Note to self: work on hydration strategies for the next race! Then, as if the finish line congestion wasn’t bad enough, the organization in the stadium was terrible. TERRIBLE! Thousands of people were supposed to go to three different spots to get T-shirts, food, and coveted Bobbleheads. It was so congested that there would have been no way out even if I had tried! We were probably in there for 40 minutes. Finally, we got our gear, Aron took off on a couple more miles, and I hung out waiting for Naomi and Audrey, who were also caught in the mess.

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Despite the horrendousness of an uncrossable finish line and an extremely claustrophobic and fire hazard post-race situation, I had a GREAT time at this race! The course was great, each mile was intimately familiar to me and people seemed to be having fun. And running with Aron and Krisitne was icing on the cake and made the whole thing so much better and really got me through my dizzy spell.

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Afterwards, I went to Momo’s with Audrey, Naomi, Sam, and Kelly, and ate a very delicious side order of mac and cheese. It’s exactly what I wanted.

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Went home with good swag and in a great mood. I really like the half marathon distance and this race. Hopefully based on feedback they’ll improve the post-race organization next year.

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Now I’ve got a free afternoon and don’t know what to do with myself! Have a great Saturday everyone!

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And so it grows…

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    1. I ran this race today too, and seriously, how frustrating was that post-race situation? I finished a bit after you guys so I managed to get across the finish line without drama, but everything after that was a mess. Like getting a yogurt with no spoon as post-race food. And the strollers! I agree that it was a great course other than that, though, with Brian Wilson being the icing on the cake.
      Kimra recently posted..Fish ChowderMy Profile

    2. Such a fun race – so fun that you ran with Kristine! I NEED to meet the two of you! :)
      Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles recently posted..Minestrone & CornbreadMy Profile

    3. looks like it was a great race! i LOVE running half and full marathons with friends — it helps pass the time SOOO much. and i love the finishers swag you got — shirts, medals AND a bobble head! huge win!
      Elise recently posted..An Acoustic Night with The WeepiesMy Profile

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    4. Your art…is beautiful! What a fun race it looks like you had! Kinda extremely jealous of the weather, yesterday in Malibu it was over a hundred. Send a breeze over here!
      hippierunner recently posted..You Can Do It!My Profile

    5. What a great race! You’re freaking awesome :)
      Brittany @ LessBritt MoreLife recently posted..LifeMy Profile

    6. Congrats darling!!

      What an awesome collection of metals you have there!
      Katie@Real Food Katie’s Way recently posted..A Change in PlansMy Profile

    7. GO Giants! How fun! Great job.
      Christine @ BookishlyB recently posted..Everybody’s Doin’ ItMy Profile

    8. Glad you managed to have a time in spite of the insanity & dehydration! It sounds like a fun race to do some day. :)

    9. Way to Go! Great job, friends and a day :) Outdoor concerts are great fun too…
      Baking N Books recently posted..Bringing P BackMy Profile

    10. WHERE WAS BRIAN WILSON?! exactly where? dammit, I wish I knew….I was absolutely by myself for 90% of the course (closest guy in front and behind me was at least 20 yards) so I probably would have jumped into his arms if I saw him.

      That finish line issue is such major bulljive. I cannot think of a single worse thing for a race, that is the absolute worst. I would give the race an F if that happened to me…
      RoseRunner recently posted..The Giant Race Pre-RecapMy Profile

    11. I can’t believe the mass at the finish line. I have never heard of that happening before. Must have been annoying! At least over all it sounded like fun.

    12. Great recap, Courtney! i was there for the 5K and I agree that the post-race lines were a disaster!! I almost gave up on the bobblehead but it seemed like there was no other way out of the stadium so we just shuffled through. But it took like an hour! Oh well. :) Looks like you had a great run (except for the dizzy spell!)…congrats!
      Melissa @ Journey to Marvelous recently posted..The Ice Cream GirlMy Profile

    13. I’m so impressed you pushed through. Sorry about the dehydration, but congrats on the good run!
      Tiff @ Love, Sweat, and Beers recently posted..I joined the Dark Side.My Profile

    14. Congrats on the race!

      That is awesome that you went by Brian Wilson, bummer you couldn’t get a high five from him!

      Bummer about being dehydrated, I bet it is almost purely due to wearing a long sleeve shirt. Probably also somewhat due to not drinking enough while running. As a rule I always walk through water stops to make sure that I get enough fluids. It’s also a nice walk break during the race to look forward to.

      You might want to look into arm warmers – that way you could wear short sleeves while wearing the arm warmers, then take them off if you get too hot. Generally I wear short sleeves at every race that I do, unless it is really cold or rainy, and then I wear a long sleeve shirt. I think you should feel somewhat cold at the beginning of a race – because it is earlier in the day, and you can warm up while out on the course.

      That is a hilarious drawing that you did about the backup at the finish line, that sounds really annoying!

      Finishing the race at Pac Bell park would be a ton of fun!

      I really like the medal you got, and the bobblehead!
      Nelly recently posted..Race photos galoreMy Profile

    15. Nice job on moving forward when you were dying! Your artwork is so hilarious, and good lord, the crowds were appalling.

      Also, umm, why is the Garmin instruction book in your pre-race gear at 11 p.m.? It’s a bit late for that! Haha! Just messing with you. ;-)
      Layla recently posted..Santa Rosa Half Marathon 2011 reportMy Profile

    16. Congrats on the race!! It sounds like you did an amazing job! How fun that you got to run it all together too! I especially love that you refueled with mac and cheese! YUM!
      Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola recently posted..Fourth of July… in AugustMy Profile

    17. That’s a pretty darn good PW : ) Sounds like a great race with great friends! Congrats!
      Caroline recently posted..Good, good lifeMy Profile

    18. I have to say my favorite part of your post was the amazing diagram to illustrate your finish. It must have been so frustrating and I admire that you were able to take it all in stride. so to speak. Congrats! p.s. I live in Brasil now but have every intention of ending up in Mozambique….when the dream becomes reality I´ll be heading back to see what you have to say. cheers
      Melissa recently posted..What doesn’t kill me….My Profile

    19. Great job & such cute gear. Gahhh I wish I could have gone! :( I can’t believe how packed it was! Glad you had fun!

    20. I *LOVE* your finish line drawing!!!! Hysterical! :D

      So fun to hang with you that morning. Great pics – is it OK if I steal some? :P
      Audrey recently posted..Some Fun Song Suggestions for RunningMy Profile

    21. Congrats, you rock girl!
      Clarkie @ Beloved Green recently posted..Walnut PestoMy Profile

    22. Awesome recap. And the artist rendering of the finish line was hilarious! Hydration is definetely key… I always run with gatoraide and if I feel the need for water, get it from the water stations. Sounds like all things considered during the race, you kicked some serious tale. Way to Go

      and “I might eat pavement any second” … please dont eat me. I’m not a gingerbread cookie and I need my arms. :)

      Keep runnin’ strong!
      PavementRunner recently posted..The Giant Race RecapMy Profile

    23. I love your depiction of the Finish Line fiasco! Thanks so much for waiting for us – glad we hung out post-race and congrats on your 2nd half!

    24. Yikes that crowd picture looked intense! What a fun day! But what does PW mean? I have been trying to figure it out! ;) Awesome job! I am also like you – I drink a ton a water!!!
      Alisyn recently posted..Tales of Half Mary BlissMy Profile

    25. Janelle Snider says:

      Glad you managed to have a time in spite of the insanity & dehydration! Thanks so much for waiting for us – glad we hung out post-race and congrats on your 2nd half! i just saw this.
      Janelle Snider recently posted..Gout TipsMy Profile

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