Bye 2010, Hello there 2011!

Good bye, 2010, you were pretty nice to me. Hello 2011, please be nice to me?

I accomplished quite a few things I’m proud of during 2010 that I never imagined I would even try in 2009. I completed my first Half Ironman, 2 Olympic distance and 2 sprint distance triathlons. I ran in 3 marathons, 2 half marathons and a whole ton of 10k and 5k’s. I rode 100 miles around the beautiful hills of Napa Valley. I was part of a relay team that ran 200 miles from Calistoga, CA to Davenport, CA. I did two ‘obstacle’ course running/cycle events. Whew. That makes me tired just typing all that out.

I set all my PRs in 2010. That wasn’t exactly hard since I started running in the later half of 2009 and was road cycling a couple years prior.

I lost a good amount of weight.

I traveled back to Scranton to visit family and friends!

The most impressive? I actually posted a few times in this blog. I’ve tried doing one of these a long time ago but never really found any kind of community. Now I kind of found one and I’m trying to find my little space in the world. Good times!

I spent the last couple weeks after the Rock and Roll Marathon in Vegas just veging about. I let my guard down a lot and ended up putting on a couple pounds more than I would have liked over the holiday. For example…

From Pluto's. Not sure how I got only a cookie at a salad place!

And not to be outdone by the humongous cookie I finally tried a BBQ place we’ve passed by countless times in Santa Clara and boy it was delicious.

Ribs, Briekt, Pulled Pork, Cajun Sausage and Chicken! Honorable mentions to the baked potato.

New years eve was, of course like every other year, spent lounging around doing nothing. In fact I was taking my dog outside to go the bathroom when the day changed and I heard some people cheering about. Really exciting, eh?

We kicked off the beginning of the year the same way we did last year: running in the New Year Run For A Healthy World. I was fighting off the tail end of a cold/fever I had earlier so I knew it was not going to be a PR but it was fun anyway.

Oh god that heel strike. I thought I stopped doing that.

So yeah – nothing really exciting happened since my last update! But I did get an electric blanket for our “self” Christmas gift… but the beagle enjoys it the most.

Hope everyone had a great year. I’m going to get my 2011 tentative schedule up pretty soon.

So, did any of you do anything exciting for the new year? Or were you a lazy bum like me and stay home?

Bring it on, 2011!

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13,000 Santas with some Rockin’ and Rollin’ in Vegas.

First off, I’m quite late but hope everyone had a happy thanksgiving! And I hope you got sauced!

LET'S GET SAUCED! (wow my forehand was shiny from the light lol)

Carrying on…

Ho ho ho!

Haven’t had too much going on in Seanland over the past couple of months, but I did just get home from a nice little mini-vacation in Vegas! Kelly and I flew (ugh) over to Vegas for a few days to meet up with her parents. It was a trip to celebrate his 60th birthday! We stayed at the Monte Carlo.

Well, of course, there has to be a catch to get me onto an airplane. (Hey, I’ve driven 9 hours to Vegas twice already) We got to participate in two different running events – The Las Vegas Great Santa Run and the Rock And Roll Las Vegas Marathon.

The Great Santa Run was a blast. It was a run to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest gathering of running Santas. (I think.) We ended up breaking the record with over 13,000 people dressed as Santa participating. It was in the Las Vegas Town Square and there was about 8,000 more people there than I think it could reasonably support. We couldn’t even do the 5k ‘run’ because of the sheer amount of Santas. Plus the organization was terrible – nobody ever told us how many laps around the parking lot it should have been. Either way I can’t complain since it really wasn’t a race in the first place. Here are some photos – I should have taken much more.

Us and the in-laws. Love this photo 🙂

Hard to capture the amount of people there

I swear it doens't do it justice!

Even our four legged friends wanted to be involved!

This girl gave me a big sloppy kiss and sat on my legs because she wanted to be petted. Loved this dog 🙂

Anyway, we did the normal touristy stuff and some light gambling while there. And of course I took advantage of all the buffets since I was in Vegas and that’s the only time I allow myself to eat into a food coma anymore. I didn’t really take any photos there though. Not really sure why!

Happy chocolate and marshmallow

Saturday afternoon we had to go to the mandatory expo for the Rock And Roll Marathon to pick up our race packets. The bib numbers for the race were humongous! The expo was insanely large too – much larger than the cramped San Francisco Marathon expo. I think there was about 28,000 people doing the race. It was at the Sands convention center. Yes I requested this photo to be taken:

roar!

The race started at 7am and the strip was closed off because the half marathon (and the first half of the full marathon) was on the strip. It was pretty surreal running down the middle of the strip without all the taxis, buses and escort mobile billboard trucks going down it. The survey hints that they may try to do a night race for next year – that would BE AWESOME! I think it was a bit too early for the real Las Vegas to be out in full force.

The race itself was nice for the first half, but the second half was a bit of a downer. The scenery wasn’t that great since it left the strip and had us looping around some other part of Vegas. Yeah, we even passed Larry Flynt’s Hustler Gentleman’s Club. Classy. There was plenty of water and sports drink stops. They used Cytomax, which I’m not exactly a huge fan of, but it got the job done I guess.

The race did not go well for me. I was hoping to break 4:20 but would have been happy with a 4:30. I fell apart after like 6 miles in and ended up over five hours. I could not control my heart rate at all – I would run and it would go up to 181bpm which is my 10k pace and I can’t sustain that. I would walk a bit and it would drop down. Start running and bam right up there again. I slowed my pace down to a 11 minute mile and it was STILL going to 180bpm. Needless to say I spent the majority of the race run walking. I don’t know what really went wrong – my training lately was not that great but I should have had enough fitness to not suffer as much as I did. I almost didn’t want to take the medal when I crossed the finishing line because I felt I didn’t do what I should have done. Hell I probably spent the 2nd half of the marathon with my head down – but that was probably for the better since there wasn’t much to see anyway.

I tried to avoid the photo takers since I looked and felt like utter crap but they got a few of me:

I know I shouldn’t be so down on myself, but I really expected better of me. I felt stupid when people were yelling and encouraging me that there was only a couple miles left, etc. (That especially sucked when it was nearing the half marathon finish and everyone kept yelling only 1 more mile!)

Anyway – I have to use this as a lesson and motivation to not slack on training. I hope I can whip myself back into shape.

The medal is gorgeous.

One last thing – Kelly’s birthday was yesterday. Happy Birthday!!!


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US Half – The first half

I’ve been neglecting my blog way too much lately. And I’ve been neglecting my health a bit too. I need to change that. Stat.

Here are some photos of the US Half Marathon in San Francisco. I uploaded these almost 4 weeks ago but never finished the blog post! Bad, Sean, bad.

The half marathon didn’t go very well. It was raining hardcore and I was soaked and covered in mud. It also didn’t help that I bought new shoes the week before and stupidly wore them! Ran into some traffic (at like 5am!?) on highway 101 so we ended up being late to the start too and had to find a bathroom on the course. Kelly and I ran it together and we didn’t care about time since it was just miserable outside and we were treading it as a slightly longish run for the upcoming Rock And Roll Marathon in Vegas. But it’s hard to be blah when you’re running over the golden gate in my favorite big city. 🙂

The medal is pretty unique – there are 2 half marathons – This one and “The Other Half” in April. You can put both medals together to make a super medal.

I promise I will get a recap of my little mini-vacation to Vegas up either today or tomorrow. If I don’t please harass me (@haydez) via Twitter.

Here are a few photos:

The first half medal!

1 + 2 = Optimus Prime Medal

What's up with the dude behind me?

A miserable day for the Godlen Gate bridge trot.

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The Warrior Dash!

Hope everyone had a happy Halloween weekend! I spent it at home watching the Giants in the World Series! It is now 3 games to 1 so one more win and the Giants will take the title. I live in the San Francisco bay area and it is great to see the area going insane over the game. Kelly and I are racing the US Half Marathon next weekend in San Francisco so it will be awesome to be there if the Giants win and the parade is going on!

We were allowed to wear a costume at work on the Friday before Halloween. I actually forgot about it until I saw people setting up decorations on their cubicles on the way out Thursday night. I’m not one for dressing up in costumes but I really like to wear shorts and comfortable shoes. My brainstorming came up with throwing on a pair of shorts, vibram five fingers and a San Jose Earthquakes jersey and hat. Perfect!

My "costume"

Kelly’s department actually appears to care about Halloween and their theme was something like the dark angels or something? Anyway, she looked cute with her wings and halo.

the wicked wire witch... yeah... okay there...

We had an exciting adventure race to go to on Saturday morning called the Warrior Dash! There was supposed to be a few people from work doing it but it looks like they flaked out on it. It is a 3.5 mile run and had 11 obstacles to do on the course.

Obstacles:

  • a bunch of junked automobiles blocking the path
  • “Hell’s Hill” which was just a very steep but not very long hill
  • cargo net climb
  • a small tunnel you had to go through on your hands and knees
  • a plank over a gap
  • tangled ropes
  • a wall of hay you had to climb over
  • a slip and slide!!!
  • 3 short walls
  • fire
  • a tremendously thick mud pit!!!

Because of the mud pit there was no way I was bringing my camera with me… but I stole some photos people posted on their facebook walls.

I took the route over the trunks!

The fire pit, wasn't as scary as they made it out to be 😉

Aww the cute butterfly is now dirty

The mud pit was insane. I don’t know how they got the mud as thick as they did… it made the Muddy Buddy’s pit seem really easy to get through. The mud caked to my mesh shorts and made them very heavy and the second I stepped out of the pit my shorts fell down. Yep, standing there in my boxers. I pull them up and run and bam, down to my boxers again. So I said screw it and ran the last 15 feet in my boxers with my shorts around my ankles. People were cheering me so it wasn’t that bad I guess. Maybe I’ll post the photo when they put them on line if it’s there.

I finished the 3.5 mile course in 29:40.85, so about an 8:29 mile they calculated. Happy with that since the obstacles took up quite a chunk of time!

We headed to the fire hose to get washed off and changed. Then we celebrated our victory with a BBQ turkey leg and our viking hats:

om nom nom nom

She's probably going to kill me for posting this.

There was over 5,500 people there… much larger than I expected. Hope to do more events like these in the future.

Unfortunately we couldn’t hang around because we had tickets for the San Jose Earthquakes vs the New York Red Bulls playoff soccer match that evening. San Jose lost 1 – 0 but it was still great to be out at one of the games.

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The Steamtown kind of vacation.

It has been five years since I went ‘home’ to visit friends and family in Scranton, PA. A little over five years ago, as a newlywed, we packed up all our belongings into a rented Penske truck with my rotting 1993 Subaru Legacy on a car porter towed behind it and made a long drive from State College, Pennsylvania. The final destination was Sunnyvale, California. Only a 2,732 mile drive. Oh yeah, did I ever mention I’m afraid of heights?

The last time I flew on an airplane we had a really rough landing at the Wilkes Barre/Scranton Airport. That experience made me avoid airplanes as much as possible. I promise I wont let five more years go by without visiting but I’m not quite over the fear yet! 😉

Moving onto the epic journey: I’ll be the first to admit it: I really like mass transit. My journey home involved everything except a boat. I would have liked to ride a boat though so I’m not discriminating.

Here is what it looked like:

I took the bus to work, worked 8 hours, got on the light rail right outside, transferred to Caltrain in Mountain View, transferred to the Bart at the Millbrae Caltrain/Bart station, transferred somewhere (San Carlos?) to the Skytrain to the San Francisco airport. Then after a long 3 hours of sitting around we boarded that Airbus… and somehow I managed to make it to Philadelphia where my in-laws were waiting for us. What a travel day…

The main “excuse” I had going to Scranton was to run in the Steamtown Marathon. The only experience I had with the marathon during the time I lived there was playing for the runners when I was in the Scranton High Marching Band. I never thought I’d be one of those people running it.

It started very early Sunday morning in almost freezing temperatures. I know I’ve finally adapted to the California weather standard and it felt like -50F there! The marathon was unreal. There was actually more volunteers than runners. 2500 runners and over 3000 volunteers… and that is not counting all the people who came out to support the runners. It was unreal running through all the small towns that I never even knew the name of when I lived there!

Not sure why I was smiling. Maybe it was after I finally got to that much needed porta potty at mile 13!

That lady in the background was totally checking me out.

Running down the finishing chute... I had goosebumps!

I cherry picked this image becuase Kelly isn't smiling for a change 😉

Exhausted but very happy with the results!

During training I basically kept the same structure before with the long runs on the weekends and short runs during the week. The one thing I did change was introducing some short speed work in one of the shorter runs and the results paid off. I came in 57 minutes earlier than I did in July at the San Francisco Marathon! So my new PR is 4:23… so I only need to take another hour and some change off before Boston…. yeah right!

The other days I spent catching up with family and friends. Since it was five years I had a LOT to catch up on. I wish I could pack some of them up and ship them out to California. Here are some photos of some of the fun and strange things we did.

Scranton Farmers Market - lots of apples!

And a ton of peppers!!!

Locals are probably saying "WTF" that I posted this and chips, but it has been 5 years since I have seen this many pierogies in one place! I've seen 3 boxes of plain Mrs. T's at our local grocery shops! haha

Middlesworth Chips!!!! These are missing from the west coast, although my bodyweight is thankful for that.

I used to work here! No, not playin baseball... I was a "beer man" walking in the stands!

I never thought I would eat at a place with "lube" in the name, but their chicken wings were pretty tasty.

I ended up getting a cold that put a big damper on things but we still drove down to State College, PA to see the alma mater… Penn State! We walked around the campus looking to see what has changed since we left in ’05. We even walked past the spot where I proposed to Kelly. 🙂

Probably the best thing at PSU - creamery ice cream!

The required Nittany Lion Photo with Kelly.

and of course, me!

The trip was fantastic. The marathon was just the sprinkles on the chocolate fudge sundae. It was great seeing family and friends. I *promise* that I won’t take another five years to go back and visit.

How do I know, you ask?

Well…

Kelly and I signed up for this:

It is only a little over an hour drive away from Scranton and makes the perfect “excuse” to come back in next year. It may be Kelly’s first 70.3 (although I doubt this, I can already feel the Vineman vibes coming from her!) and the Steamtown Marathon is the week after… sounds like a plan!

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Video blog #2 – My first piano!

Upon arriving home here in Scranton one of the first things I had to do was sit down and play my piano. I paid for this piano mostly from my own paper route money when I was around 13. It has been through a lot and taken a lot of abuse but it loves me and I love it! It probably hasn’t been played since my wedding day over 5 years ago!

My apologies for the abrupt stop, my camera woman misinterpreted my signal when I was about to get up, kick the bench over, and play great balls of fire. Oh well – maybe next time! 😉

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The Phillies Room – My first video blog!

I gave it the old college try last night and made a video blog of what I found when I arrived back in Scranton. Now I haven’t been back to Scranton in 5 years so I didn’t know what changed here – but I was honestly surprised the most that my mom’s spare bedroom transformed into a Phillies tribute room.

I apologize in advance for the terrible video. I get really nervous in front of a camera and I think I said “I figured” and “that’s about it” like fifteen times! I will try to get better, I promise! 😉

* I shot it in 1280HD so you can probably load it in super HD if you click on it… not that you want to see or hear me in HD 🙂

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Happy One Year Runniversary to me!

About one year ago was when I picked up running when I completed the Steven’s Creek Trailblazers 5k. I tried running a few times leading up to that race but never really gave it much effort and failed on following through on the Couch to 5k program a few times. Something at that race clicked in my head and it revved up some internal running engine. I didn’t participate in this year’s Steven’s Creek Trailblazer because the Santa Cruz Triathlon was the same date… and well I have a lot more fun running when I can swim and bike to warm up. After that first 5k I decided to go with it and register for the Bridge to Bridge 12k run in San Francisco the next weekend! So I went from struggling at the 5k distance to struggling at the 12k distance in one weeks time. It hurt but it was the good kind of hurt… and it woke up the inner-beast.

In fact I kind of look like a beast! Here:

I made two very rookie mistakes.
1: San Francisco is cold in October so I thought wind pants would be a good idea. Not so much because after 30 seconds of running I was drenched in sweat.
2: Don’t wear a non-sweat wicking hat either. My dumbass wore a hat to “keep the heat in” and ended up carrying it in my hands during the entire race.

… Jump to one year later …

Race day arrives and I show up with a race belt, spi belt, sweat wicking shirt and visor! Yeah buddy, I’m in business. I even slathered some unmentionables in BodyGlide! I was ready to rock it. And I did. I finished 16 minutes earlier than last year. My run speed is probably terrible compared to the average runner but I don’t care – it was a huge personal accomplishment to me. I felt validated for spending a year training and getting stronger. I could have knocked another couple minutes off it to if I wasn’t holding back a bit for that little Steamtown Marathon coming up next Sunday!

The photos for the Bridge to Bridge aren’t up yet, but here, have one from the Santa Cruz Triathlon that I did the previous weekend.


At least look like I know what I’m doing now!

The Santa Cruz Triathlon – Olympic distance – was a blast! It was the perfect race to end the triathlon season with. I won’t go into details because I’m getting yelled at to finish packing my luggage, but the only problems I really had was with my swim sighting. I was happy to get under 3 hours for my finishing time, and I look forward to knocking that down another 16 minutes at least by next year! Here are a few photos from the race:

I was going balls to the walls, just look at my face!

I swear to god I spend 95% of the time in my aero bars but they always take phots of me on the hoods.

See? wtf?

I WAS IN THE DROPS I SWEAR GRR

Into T2 to do that cooldown run.

10k cool down after a plesant swim in the ocean and a plesant bike ride. Heel strike 🙁

Kelly looking happy as awlays.

See?

Kelly finishing her first olympic triathlon! So proud!

Sorry for the quick recaps, but I’m heading off to bed. I’m getting on a plane after work tomorrow to fly to Scranton, Pennsylvania to visit family and friends. I’ll be running in the Steamtown Marathon on Sunday too. I have no worries about the marathon but I’m terribly scared of flying ever since experiencing a terrible landing coming into Avoca, PA. Hopefully I get myself in check by tomorrow!

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Santa Cruz Sprinting and Look out, Ironman Texas!

Yep, that title means what you think it means. More on that in a few.

It feels good to know I’m actually making some progress on my speed and overall feeling when doing all these events. I got to race in the Santa Cruz Sprint Triathlon earlier this month and came in a few minutes earlier than my first sprint, the Stanford Treeathlon. The big differences being the swim was actually 750 meters and in the Pacific Ocean at Cowell Beach at Santa Cruz, California. The bike course was a bit slower due to some headwinds coming off from the ocean but nothing extremely drastic.

The best thing about it? It was my wife’s very first triathlon. In hindsight I should have passed and played the spectator role but it was hard not finishing a 4th triathlon to get my money’s worth from my USAT year license. I was on call to work the previous day so I couldn’t have done the Olympic distance instead. I also would have been a worried mess if I had to wait on the sidelines though, so participating helped keep me sane!


Kel’s CAAD9 all ready to get it’s tri on.

The ocean water was extremely cold but the wetsuit made it less painful. Kelly, unfortunately, has a sleeveless xterra wetsuit so it was quite a bit colder for her. I talked her into diving in the ocean for a warm up to test the waters. As soon as she got in I thought she was going to seize up due to the coldness. I kept trying to console her and tell her she was going to be fine but I was really worried.

I was in the very first wave so I couldn’t send her off. The fun started and off I was into the water. Ocean swimming wasn’t really too bad. The waves weren’t too difficult to maneuver around in and the water I accidentally (always) swallowed didn’t make me cringe too much. Probably because I train in a saltwater pool! During my entire swim I kept thinking how the hell is Kelly going to do this… my god … and I was right. She died in the water that day.

Er, no she didn’t. She did great! She said she altered her swimming stroke quite a bit and didn’t do a very good time for her, but who the hell cares since it was the very first triathlon and in the hardest water I’ve seen so far. I was on the run portion when she was cycling by on the road and I was so happy to hear her voice yelling at me. I didn’t even have time to yell back to cheer her on!

The bike leg, my favorite, went really well. I ended up with the 9th best split out of 28. I could have probably squeezed another spot or two if I was more familiar with the course, but that’s my fault. It feels good to have better splits on my road bike with clipons and stock wheels than some of those beautiful triathlon machines with deep dished carbon rims. Of course I’m sure they smoked by me on the run! 🙂


The run course wasn’t too bad, flat on the sidewalk path near the ocean. It was definitely beautiful but I certainly didn’t set any 5k records on that. Kelly makes it look easy but I swear I wasn’t suffering as much as how silly I look!

As soon as I was done I got my medal, got some of the awesome free pizza, and headed back to transition to get my camera. I was able to see Kelly coming in off the bike and going out on the run! I got myself in a great spot to see her coming back in from the run and was so happy to see her cross. I know once she’s more comfortable in open water swimming I’m going to get chicked by her. 🙁

We celebrated the great day by going to the Seabright Brewery for some delicious burgers!

(om nom nomnom omom.)

It was such a great day and just like San Francisco, somewhere we should go to much more often. It’s only 45 minute south of us – and SF is 45 minutes north of us! Argggh!

Yep, that news from earlier is true. Within minutes of the registration opening I have signed up for the inagural Memorial Herman Ironman Texas Triathlon. In May of next year I will be traveling to The Woodlands, Texas and swimming 2.4 miles in Lake Woodlands, followed by a nice 112 mile tour of the Texas farmlands on a bicycle and cooling down with a 26.2 mile run (walk) through The Woodlands. I’m already nervous and scared but I know it’s going to be a hell of an experience and it just so happens to be on a very special day – our wedding anniversary! I will update on my training routines and results through the blog and over especially over on The DailyMile. If any one else uses it please add me, I need friends there!

I promise now that I’m up to date I will update this puppy much more often. I just can’t promise that the photos are going to look much better than these.

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My First Marathon!

I couldn’t be satisfied by being just a month late posting my very first half ironman performance so I had to go ahead and delay the posting of my first marathon finish! Exactly one week after finishing the Vineman 70.3 I conquered my very first marathon. Sure, I probably should have spent more time resting and moping around with my feet up and choose a much less hilly course. No way! I couldn’t resist signing up for the 2010 San Francisco Marathon. So here’s a brief little recap of that unforgettable weekend.

Just like how the previous week started I had to drop off my little beagle off for another 3 day weekend stay the vet for boarding. I know I’m a terrible doggie daddy but I think he really likes it. We leave him there and he barks like Michael Jackson but when we pick him up he’s a baritone Barry White. The Barry White bark lasts for about a week before the terrible high pitch screeching bark is back. After working the remainder of the day we head on over to the light rail station and make a connection to CalTrain. It is kind of sad that I live only about a 45 minute drive south of San Francisco but I really hate driving in the city. Parking there is too frustrating and my Irish blood cannot take it. The cool part is though it made for a nice 3 day mini-vacation! Perfect!

Now my friends on the east coast find it hard to believe but San Francisco is terribly cold most of the time. It will be shorts and t-shirt weather in Sunnyvale but a mere 45 minute drive away it is jeans and a jacket weather. This time was no exception at all, but it made for very good marathon weather. It was very foggy and you couldn’t even see the top of the Transamerica Pyramid!

We hustled to check into our hotel and wanted to go to the weekend street food festive, Off The Grid so we headed out quickly on foot. It’s a collection of some pretty awesome unique food trucks from the area that congregate in Fort Mason every Friday night. If you’re in San Francisco I highly recommend checking it out but get there early because trucks will run out of food and lines are long. I had some pretty good Filipino
style hot wings from Senor Sisig. Unfortunatley in my hunger rage I forgot to take a photo.

However, I did have to get an amusing photo of this on the way back:

Saturday, expo day, was a nice fun adventure all around the city. We rode the muni quite a bit to avoid walking too much the day before the marathon. I ate breakfast at the awesome farmer’s market at the ferry building and had to have an awesome ice cream sandwich from Miette Patisserie inside the fairy building. yum.

From there Kelly and I hit up the race expo to pick up our goodie bags and bibs. The expo was in an auditorium way too small for the massive size of vendors but it was still pretty cool. I wish I got there earlier to get my photo taken with Dean Karnazes, but the line was huge and he was leaving shortly. I did manage to kind of get a photo of him but I don’t know what the hell that dude was doing in my way. haha.

Sports Basement was running a shuttle to their store in the Presidio that we decided to hop on. There is a location in Sunnyvale that we spend huge chunks of money at so we figured we’d see what one of the two SF locations looked like. Yeah it was very similar but arranged into 5 pretty awesome floors. Check out this awesome mural on their wall on the way to the bike shop floor.

After picking up all our goodies and some ‘essentials’ from Sports Basement we wandered around a bit looking for somewhere interesting to eat. We stumbled upon Dos Piñas and their yelp reviews looked pretty solid. The food was pretty good but the amazing part was the walls were lined with hot sauces. I drenched my enchilada plate in Dave’s Hurtin Habanero… I didn’t even get time to snap a photo because I inhaled my food too quickly but I did manage to get some sort of shot of the hot sauce collection!

We woke up Sunday, downed a couple of bagels smothered in almond butter and headed out to the start line. Both of us were nervous although I think I was hiding it much better than Kelly was since my nerves were worn out from the Vineman the previous week.

The starting line was insane. Flat out insane. There was two half marathons, a 5k and the marathon all going on at the same time. I don’t know the exact amount of people combined but I think reading somewhere it was around 24,000 people. We were supposed to be in the 6th wave but we couldn’t get to the front due to the mass of people so we ended up going during the 7th. It worked out fine but we were quite worried about cut off times.

The course was just stunning. It started near the Bay Bridge on the Embarcadero and ran all the way through Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 all the way up to the Golden Gate Bridge. We got to run on the roadbed of the bridge because they closed down a few lanes for us on the Northbound side. What a memorable experience. From there it headed down through Golden Gate Park before heading back toward the Embarcadero via Haight street. We even got to go around AT&T park before crossing the finishing line! I wish I had more photos to share but I was kind of busy running.

The first half of the marathon had some pretty intense hill climbs that challenged me quite a bit. I decided to walk most of them to save my legs. My longest run before this was a 22 miler and I certainly suffered a lot on that and didn’t feel like I got in enough running because of the Half Ironman Training. The second half of the course was much more elevation friendly and pleasant. My favorite part of the marathon though, oddly enough, was the motorcycle club that was volunteering out there. They were assisting in stopping traffic and cheering us on and they really made the SF Marathon a great experience. I hope they’re there next year, whomever they are!

Here are a couple photos, and you can see the gallery on a new section I’ve been working on here.


Wish the orange shirt guy wasn’t there 🙁

Thank god my wife ran the entire way with me. It was her words that kept me going. (She would have smoked my ass in a heart beat if she ran it her own pace!)


I wish someone told me my hat looked stupid in my face like that before the photos!

Whew, that was longer than expected. All in all I had a great experience during my first marathon. In fact it didn’t scare me off at all and I’m signed up for 2 more – Steamtown and the Rock ‘N Roll Vegas marathon!

Keep checking back for more updates and drop a comment if you wish. Although the spammer’s have been going nuts on here, I do appreciate ‘real’ comments! 🙂

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