Ahh, to be so happy to run and support your team who is having the worst season (possibly) ever is humbling! Regardless of their current league standing, thousands flocked to San Francisco this weekend to show their support. Putting one foot in front of another for 3.1 miles, 6.2 miles, or 13.1 miles, we showed our spirit and love for our FAVORITE team!
Lil and I committed to being Triple Baggers this year, which means we ran the Rivercats 5k, San Jose Giants 5 miler, and we finished it with the SF Giant Race 10k. These were the only races I committed to for the year and even then, I was still burnt out. Each race came and I was annoyed I had to do it, but then when it was all said and done I was a happy gal. Sore and tired, but happy.
Like the past years, this race was no different. Lil and I registered for all three at once yes, OUCH to our bank accounts for sure! Sadly, we couldn’t make AZ happen this year 🙁 Thankfully, we paid the extra $10 to have our packets mailed to us. This option works best for us since the packet pickup would require us to go to SF a day or two early just to get it. That’s doing way too much for us! We received our packets about a month prior to the race.
Thanks to my Hyatt status, I was able to secure a room with points early on in the year. That was a nice saving for us to make a weekend out of it. Little did I know L would have her Girl Scout bridging ceremony + the Mayweather vs McGregor fight would be on the night before the race, not allowing us to leave Sacramento until 10 PM on Saturday night. It was not a fluid drive to Emeryville either, there was definitely a lot more cars on the road than we anticipated. Checked-in and ready to finally sleep, Lil and I both got about 6 hours of sleep.
7 AM race time is sooo early! But it makes sense for the City! We both were ready fast, which meant we could swing by Starbucks to grab a coffee before the race. I sipped on some of my coffee and ate two Bel Vita breakfast cookies as we drove into the City. The one bonus of staying the night in Emeryville is that the drive is quick with basically no traffic on race day. And also FREE street parking on Sunday’s! Holler!
As we made our way down to the start, we noticed they moved the start line more toward 2nd and Embarcadero. It wasn’t too far up from the last few years, but it was noticeable. We squeezed our way into the 1st corral, even though we were slated for the 2nd group. I was honest about our running time, yet we didn’t stick with it, because of all the people that clog the race. As we were walking up one of the race ambassadors started singing the National Anthem, she rocked it and her Wonder Woman race set-up.
We stretched and waited for the clock countdown, but then the race still didn’t start. Finally, the MC did a 10-second count down and then we were off. Lil and I stayed together for about 3/4 of the first mile. Then she finally said ‘peace’ and went at her own pace. I told her before the race multiple times and at the start, to ditch me and run her own race. I’m glad she did. It even let me run a little faster on my own too, so it was a win-win for both of us!
I literally had to keep telling myself to “run my own run and that this wasn’t a race against anyone!” I continually got passed up by people, left and right. It gets frustrating, thus the verbal and mental reminders to stay consistent with my pace and mental game. I was looking forward to seeing Lil after the turnaround, but they changed it up this year.
Instead of turning around on Jefferson Street, you went down Beach Street, turned right on Jones Street, then made another right onto Jefferson Street to head back. The half marathoners went left onto Jefferson Street to go farther out and back. Thus, I never got to see Lil until after we’d both finished.
I had a great steady pace up to the midway point. I ate one chew in the start corral, another at mile 2, and my last one at mile 4. However, at about mile 4.5 I was starting to hurt. My left hip, which is a brand new pain, started to hurt. My legs felt heavy and my breath felt labored, no matter how hard I tried to focus on it. Maybe it was all mental, but my pace slowed down dramatically — or it was just that my body isn’t used to this distance AT ALL!
The last part was excruciating, but I didn’t walk. I was tempted, but I stayed the course. I was wondering if they changed the ending route, but as I was running it I noticed they did not. You ran the perimeter of the park and turned in after the Dugout store, as we did last year.
As I ran in, I saw that I was just over the one hour mark. I was kinda bummed since I was hoping to get in under an hour. I almost high fived Lou Seal at the end, but I just wanted to finish! I saw that my time was right after 1:01. Knowing that I was really close to the start, I assumed I didn’t beat the one hour mark. I was bummed but got over it real quick. I finished through the shoot and grabbed my medal from a nice woman. I always try to go to the last person handing them out, because most finishers grab it from the first person giving them away.
Mile 7 – 2:35.8
Total Distance – 6.26 Miles
This year Alaskan Airlines had a huge presence at the post-race party. As you left the finish corral there was a huge AA blow up arch. They also had this cool area where there were bean bags and hammocks.
First, we saw no one at the Lexus photo booth so we did that, then we took more pics in left field — our traditional post race pics. Then we sauntered over to the AA area and waited until someone got up and we snagged a bean bag. Of course took a few pics and then headed to the post race food. I think I take it all more out of obligation, versus actually wanting it. They do always make for good snacks to have at my desk at work or we give them away to the homeless people on the way home, either way, it works out! There was also the cutest proposal as we were crossing the field to head up the stairs. Their entire family was cheering in the bleachers with signs, it was sweet!
Then we took a few more pics and made our way up the stairs to grab our bobbleheads and medals. Since we ran two other races we qualified for the Turn Two award and the Triple Bagger award for the second year in a row. We avoided the Series Sweep since we missed Spring Training again this year 🙁
After we grabbed our stuff and of course, snapped a few more pics we headed back to the car. We decided to shower and chill at the hotel, then come back to the City for lunch and exploring.
A nap was necessary, as was a shower. We really enjoyed the hotel room, especially since they upgraded the reservation from a regular room to a suite. Which meant Lil had her own full bed and no floor! They’ve been good to us the handful of times I’ve stayed here, not just for Giant’s races…
Then we headed to Kitchen Story because I’ve been told its great and Yelp told me there wasn’t really a line for it too. It was noon at this point and I was over ordering breakfast, so I went with the California Burger. And by far, mine dish was the best out of all three of ours. The service isn’t great, basically because it is way too busy in there. There are a few more other reasons, but that’s what Yelp is for 😉
They didn’t want to do a quick hike to Kirby Cove, so I settled for ice cream instead. We took Lil to Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous since we missed their hours last time we were in town. I wasn’t really feeling the flavors, so I tried a sundae – sweet cream ice cream, housemade caramel, and toasted almonds. It was good, but not good enough to make me want to come back.
After that, we decided to just head home for the day. It had already been a long day for Lil and I. I was extremely sore and could barely walk the entire afternoon in the City. The lower back pain was something I’d never really had before, post race. But I hobbled along, slowly to enjoy our little day trip!
Overall, this year I pretty much complained about each race before I did it. Then after, I didn’t think it was so bad. It has nothing to do with supporting my favorite team and more to do with the fact that I’m just not into running that much. I want to be, but I’m not. It’s more of a chore than a fun activity at this point. I feel like this feeling won’t change because it hasn’t in the last few years. Despite that feeling, I’m pretty sure we’ll do the 2018 series as well, just cause — creatures of habit!
There really isn’t much of a better race finish than in a Giant’s (affiliate) ballpark!