If there’s one thing I’ll remember about Kaiser 13.1 2015, it’s that I went for it. When I laid out my goals last week, I knew that 1:30 would be a stretch, and I set an A-goal of PRing – sub 1:35. When all was said and done, I finished Kaiser in 1:34:17 – good for almost a 2 minute PR!
In addition to the half marathon PR, I logged PRs in the 10k, 15k, 10 miles, and 20k:
My strategy was simple: start at a pace that would put me close to a 1:30 finish – 6:50, hold it as long as possible, and then pull back to a pace I could sustain until the finish line. I felt Strong on race morning – I ate a great meal with Taylor on Saturday night (sesame seed crusted ahi tuna and roasted potatoes), slept very well, and put down a great breakfast. We arrived at Golden Gate Park a little over an hour before the race – plenty of time to park, warm up, and drop our bags. We were greeted by a beautiful sunrise and a rare fog-less, windless morning in the park.
I seeded myself between the 6 minute/mile and 7 minute/mile groups – almost all the way up to the starting line at a race with 10,000 people – uncharted territory to say the least. I spotted my friend Eugene from Golden Gate Triathlon Club – we agreed that we’d hold onto the 1:30 pace as long as we could before the race, and I liked knowing that we were both gunning for the same finish. When the gun went off, I was in the thick of hundreds of people running a sub-7 minute pace. I held my own, stuck to my pace and hit the 5k split in 21:20.
Miles 3-7 were easily my strongest of the race. I averaged 6:49 over those miles, and was diligent about drinking and eating. Miles 8-12 were gut check time – a 2 mile out and back on Great Highway from Golden Gate Park to the San Francisco Zoo. It was reminiscent of the New York City Half Marathon – my first race, where the final 6.5 miles run down the West Side Highway. I passed the Golden Gate Triathlon Club cheer station at mile 8.5 or so and was still holding on – I distinctly remember seeing 6:49 on my Garmin when I ran by. Unfortunately, things went south from there. My pace plunged over the last 4 miles and I was having trouble dipping back down into the 7:20s.
Despite my “derailment”, I hit the 10 mile split in 1:09:48, and was elated that I ended up holding a sub-7 minute pace for 10 miles – the fastest 10 miles I’ve ever logged. I did my best to hold on for the past few miles and pushed hard to come in sub 1:35. My Garmin hit 13.1 at 1:33:50 – my B goal for the race, and I hit the finish line at 1:34:17; my Garmin read 13.25.
Although I struggled through the final few miles, I was very happy with the run and know I can get the 1:30 in the near future. Overall, Kaiser was a great, fair course and I will be back again.