That's right, babies: I officially shaved about 3:30 off my 5k time in today's San Francisco Marathon 5k!


I gotta tell ya, I ran my ass off today. I went out there and ran about as quickly and as hard as I could; and although I didn't break 30:00, I'm pleased as punch with my result.

It was perfect weather to run hard: it was gloomy and cool—about 58°, cloudy and humid. I got to the race, did my warm-up (dynamic) stretches and found a comfy spot at the starting corral. From the jump to the end, everything felt right. My cardio felt good, my legs felt good, my cadence felt good; in addition, I felt very comfortable passing through the crowd and maintaining my pace. I believe there's a bit of an art to finding the right place to start in a non-wave, shorter (5k) race. If you're too far back, you'll have to wade through a lot of people. If you're too far up front, you'll get trampled by people that churn out -7 minute miles. Today I felt like I found the right place.

Like I said, I am happy. I do have one major gripe, however: although we wore timing chips, we never passed over a starting line chip sensor. It was actually kinda weird. We initially all gathered behind what appeared to be a starting sensor. Then, oddly, 5 minutes before the gun, they had us all walk forward about 60 yards or so. I noticed as we walked that we stepped over what (again) looked like the start line sensor. It was confusing—we were all wondering why they were moving us up, and some thought for a second that we had begun the race.

Personally, I think somebody effed up. I think they were unable to reset the sensor, or that it wasn't working correctly, or *something*. Something went wrong. Of this I'm sure. And since I was really looking to sub-30:00 today, this was a bit of a disappointment. From the gun to the actual start line, there was quite a bit of shuffling and moving around wasted seconds. Was it 22 whole seconds—the amount of time that'd put me under 30:00? I don't know. I don't even want to speculate.

So, while I'm a little pissed at the SFM folks, I am pleased as punch with my race. I gave it my all and, like I said on Twitter, I think ~30:00 is about as fast as I can run a 5k at my current (250lbs) weight. I have no doubt that I could shave minutes off by shaving off pounds. But, everything in good time.

Next up: get smart, consistent, base-building work done, heading towards October 4th's San Jose Rock N Roll Half Marathon. It'll be good.

The Results:
Finish: 30:21
Place Overall: 340 out of 1372
Men: 173 out of 460
Age/Grade: 43.74%*
Gun Time: 30:21
Tag Time: 30:21**
Strollers That Passed Me: 1***
Pace: 9:46****

* I still have no idea what Age/Grade means.
** THERE WAS NO STARTING LINE!!! We never stepped over a starting line chip sensor! They did a count down and we just started running. Basically, I think somebody at SFM effed up and they're hoping nobody noticed.
*** As historically proven, getting strollered doesn't really bother me too much. What bothered me about this one is that she (unlike other stroller pushers that pass me) didn't look like an Iron Man finisher, and yet she didn't really seem to be trying hard. Sorta humbling.
**** My Nike+ says my pace was 9:13. Then again the Nike+ is pretty inaccurate—it thinks I ran 3.29 miles. So, whatever.

Quick note: happy birthday to @TLM26, who celebrated her 27th PRing a marathon. How cool is that? @LosBee, @roadbunner, @audgepodge1, @kristin_running, @chicrunner, @MarathonMaritza, @bicoastalite, @runnersrambles, a few other folks and I all met up at Gordon Biersch after the race to celebrate. Good times.

6 Brilliant Remarks:

  1. Anonymous said...

    My Nike+ says I ran 30 miles in the marathon which makes my time not so bad :o).

    Good job!

  2. RoadBunner said...

    Great to meet you!! I would totally write a letter to SFM to voice your displeasure. No starting mat when there are chips? Not cool (triathlons do that a lot, btw, which I really don't get). Congrats on your PR! I personally think racing a 5K or 10K is almost harder than a marathon. It hurts WAY more.

  3. Kayla J.: Yeah, it's inaccurate enough that, the more serious I get about my running stats, the more I'm considering getting a Garmin. Plus the green Garmin 405 is just plain damn sexy. Sexy!

    RoadBunner: great to meet you, too! I did fill out the form to report an issue with the time. There's no way to get the real chip time now, but I'd like for them to at least admit their mistake, or do some sort of public "mea culpa", you know? It's BS.
    And since I've never run a marathon, I can't say for sure, but I highly doubt a 5k/10k is tougher. I mean, 3 miles all-out versus 26.2 miles virtually all-out... You marathoners are TOUGH!

  4. Anonymous said...

    kick a$$ job! totaly weird about the start line of the 5K should definitely make a complaint!

    Thank you SO much for coming out to celebrate the bday and for bringing me the most delicious cupcake :) NEED a Garmin!

  5. Just heard back from the Corrections people:

    "The 5k was gun timed. If you noticed there were not mats at the start line,
    everyone received the same start time."

    I wrote back: "they why did we have chips?"


  6. Adam said...

    That is GREAT!!! You are so close to 30:00.

    That is VERY strange that they had chips but it was gun timed. Were there mats at the end? Maybe everyone had the same start but they used them for the finish?