This past weekend, I ran the Nike Women’s (Half) Marathon for the fourth year in a row. I’ve tried to race this event in the past but have never been successful. However, last year I ran it for fun with my friend Leslie and it reignited my love for NWM. So, as I wrote about in my recent Fit Friday post, I had to fun run it again this year. This time, I had several friends with me and we had a great time!
We headed up Saturday morning. I had been a little worried about traffic due to the now-resolved BART strike, but we had no problem getting into the city and finding our hotel (Wyndham Parc 55, just 2 blocks from the starting line!). After a little wait to park the car, we checked in to our room, dropped off our bags, and headed to the expo. There was no line and we were able to get our bibs super quickly. We had to wait a bit to get our free gift (shoelaces) and find some other necessities. By then we were starving and headed off to find some lunch. We spent the rest of our afternoon shopping, drinking espresso, eating, and drinking wine. It was pretty perfect. We finished off the day with some sushi and more wine and then tried to get some sleep before our 5am wake up.
We woke up easily and ate some breakfast. Ashley was running the full marathon, so we really had to make sure that she ate enough (it’s not fun to force feed yourself so early in the morning). Then we headed down to lobby to meet the final runner in our group. I was really impressed by the organization this year. Nike really made an effort to keep the giant corrals separate and even had the specific gear check in each wave. This meant no lines and we were in our wave before we knew it. (Seriously this is really important, there were 30,000 registered runners this year!).
We all went into this race with no goals, just a long run with lots of other women (and a few dudes). We kept the pace pretty easy (I had an average pace of 8:24). We stopped for port-a-potties a few times, walked through the water stations, and the orange slices station. We were bummed that wasn’t a bra exchange this year! (Also I have to say I miss Safeway and Ghirardelli as sponsors, I missed the reusable bags and chocolate). But it was still a great morning. The miles flew by and I was a little sad as we rounded the corner to finish. Our official finishing time was 1:57 (but with the stops it was 1:51). Not my fastest time at NWM by any means (but also not my slowest).
After the race, we picked up some goodies (love the beach towel) including the coveted Tiffany’s necklace. Then we headed back to the hotel. We had hoped to make it back to the finish line to cheer on Ashley with the full, but we didn’t give ourselves enough time. So, we headed to the Cheesecake Factory on the Macy’s building because it has such great views and enjoyed our mimosas, bloody marys, and brunch. After a little more espresso , we were heading back to Santa Cruz.
This was the perfect weekend, spent with some of my favorite people! Thanks Leslie, Hillary, Trinity, and Ashley for the great time!