I woke early. In the dark. To the sounds of rain. Ordinarily, I'd be annoyed at rain on a race day. But California needs rain so badly (and I really do want to have a decent garden this summer without too much guilt) that I just thought, "I *LOVE* that it's raining. I *LOVE* that it's raining."
I headed to Starbucks and compiled a pre-race feast of a tomato-cheese croissant, skinny vanilla latte, water bottle and banana. Yeah -- unlike the Foster city 10 miler, I could tell right away that today was going to be a good belly day, so I wanted to pre-load (and I did, easily putting everything except all the water away before parking). (I may not be fast but when it decides to engage, I've got an invincible gastro-intestinal system and a body that can take more long distance damage without too much trouble than is appropriate.)
The drive to SF was easy. Parking near the finish was a piece of cake at 7:20 or so. I walked to the buses and got on one in 5 minutes. Side note, Kaiser SF is a *very* well run race. Apparently, it's the largest Half Marathon in Northern California. Yet it's still reasonably priced, and has free shuttles from the finish parking to the start that are plentiful and easy to board. Bless you Kaiser SF! No medals this year, but nice long sleeve shirts and the saved $ donated to charity -- excellent priorities!
I was at the entrance to the park by 7:45. I walked into the park towards the start, got in line for the porta potties, heard my name and was happy to see Jen, who I *knew* was going to smash her 2 hour goal.
We started together, crossing the mat at around the same time. I didn't see her again until she was at approximately mile 10.5 and I was somewhere after mile 9. The out-and-back along the Great Highway was particularly brutal this year because the rain picked up, as did the wind opposing the runners heading uphill and south. I had to stop to walk to put my long sleeve jacket back on and confirm that my mp3 player had died due to exposure to the elements (I think).
Overall, it was a great day. I cleanly met 4/6 of my goals, and by Boston Marathon rules, I get # 5 as well... (Final time, 2:20:42, 10:44/mile AVG pace, first 6 miles in 1:02:22 10:03/mile AVG pace.)
Lunch after the race was so absolutely enjoyable -- KT gets mad props for organizing. I sincerely enjoyed hanging out with female law school colleagues that were hand selected by people I know -- It's so rare that I get to spend time with people who share random things like career ambitions, experiences, gender, and life that I felt so lucky. Bonus, several of these folks were people I only knew through the shit-talk of fantasy football. Say what you will about gender/societal norms -- I don't care about your gender or class, I just dare you to do a season of FF and *NOT* feel an immense connection with the group of strangers from your league when you meet them in real life.
At some point, the Super Bowl started. As a proper San Franciscan, this year, I didn't really pay attention. I went to the train station. I picked up E. We went to the hospital. We hung out with KG and CD. She's kicking ass. We did a lap. She regaled us with tales of doing stairs (1.5 days post open heart surgery). I had the presence of mind to order a side of mac and cheese at brunch, which I brought and she enjoyed. I felt so good to have actually brought something joyful into that hospital room. We left before halftime when it became apparent that visitors hours were tiring her.
We drove home.
We had no real food in the house. I put together one of the most inspired random clean-out-the-kitchen dinners I've done in a while: Wok Bindhi Masala.
Butter - melt in wok over medium heat
3 shallots, chopped -- sautee
4 garlic cloves, minced -- sautee
cumin powder -- add to sautee
tumeric powder -- add to sautee
cayenne powder -- add to sautee
ginger powder -- add to sautee
curry powder -- add to sautee (note: spices are open to interpretation in terms of amounts and type)
1 bag frozen okra -- rinse and drain, toss in wok, stir fry
1/2 pint canned home-grown tomato sauce -- add, stir, move to high heat, add additional spices and salt to taste
3 T corn meal to thicken (I used polenta) -- when taste is correct, add thickener, lower heat, stir until correct consistency, remove from heat, allow to cool
And that my friends, was our Super Sunday. I hope you enjoyed yourself as well.