Races · Running

SF Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon

Sunday I ran the Kaiser SF Half Marathon. Yep. I sorta kept that a secret.

Not on purpose, I just didn’t know if I was going to run or walk it. I didn’t really train for it, like I had all my other half marathons. This one was just for fun. Plus, I was sick with a stomach thing earlier that week.

Kyle’s mom had signed us up a while ago. She recently had foot surgery and wanted to walk it. I felt like I needed to walk as well, until Kyle and his mom said I should run if I felt up to it.


I woke up on race day, still not certain if I would be running or walking. The cold and rainy weather certainly didn’t help my decision making process…Kyle texted me to tell me that it would rain and to dress accordingly. What? I don’t run in the rain, that’s what my treadmill is for. This should be interesting.

At 5 AM, I forced myself to shove breakfast down my throat. My typical pre-race meal: bagel or toast with almond butter and banana. I hate eating on race days.

bagel almond butter banana

After trying to figure out what I could wear to run in the rain and a few nervous pees, Kyle drove us to Golden Gate Park so we could run and walk 13.1 miles with a bunch of other crazies.

I wish I had better pictures to show you, cause I think I’m going to jail now.

kaiser sf half marathon

Kyle was amazing and brought his bike so he could ride back and forth between his mom and I to cheer us on. Let me tell you, I needed to see his face those few times.

I’m pretty sure this was when I was running into the wind and rain and I could no longer feel my fingers. Look at all that tension in my shoulders…I needed Michelle to tell me to relax πŸ˜‰

kaiser sf half marathon

I didn’t PR or anything, but I’m okay with that.Β It was nice to do an unplanned race <–something I never thought I would say.

kaiser SF half marathon

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I started to look for Kyle. I had given him my jacket a few miles into the race, and it had my phone in it. We spent at least 30 minutes looking for each other, during which I stopped off at the medical tent to get an ice pack, ate a few free samples, and got my free SWAG. No medals given out at this race 😦

By the time he found me I was so cold that I wanted to cry. In fact, as soon as he came running over to me, I started tearing up. I was just so cold and I was so freaking happy to see him haha.

Kyle’s mama rocked it. I mean, who decides they want to walk 13.1 miles in the rain just for fun after foot surgery?

I don’t have much to say about the race itself. It was a beautiful course, stretching through Golden Gate Park, down to the beach, and on the Great Highway.

kaiser sf half marathon great highway

It was mostly flat with a few minor hills here and there. The volunteers were awesome, coming out on a cold and rainy day to hand smelly people drinks, only to let us throw the cups at their feet. I would definitely do the race again, but preferably without the rain. Duh.

The stats from my Garmin:

13.26 miles, 2:04:16, 9:22 overall pace.
Miles 1-7: Β 9:57, 9:04, 9:29, 9:11, 9:08, 8:26, 8:52
Miles 8-13.1: 9:11, 9:40, 9:58, 9:41, 9:35, 9:31

Looking back, there were a few things that I would have changed:

I wish I would have started farther up at the beginning of the race. There were no corrals, so I guessed. And I would rather do a lot of weaving once we get started than piss a bunch of Kenyans off.

I wish I wouldn’t have stopped to take my jacket off and move my bib from the front of the jacket to the front of my shirt.Β I figured I would wear the jacket the whole time and I wanted those darn photos. Woops. Who knows, I might have gotten that PR. But like I said, I wasn’t really going for that.

I wish I didn’t give Kyle my gloves when I gave him my jacket. My hands got so cold when we were running on the Great Highway, that I had to squeeze them to increase circulation.

I wish we would have taken photos, especially of Kyle’s mom and me (before and after the race). But due to the crummy weather, no one wanted their phones out.

I wish I would have done more strength training. I found out that my weakest links are my legs. I’ve never been a runner. I was the one gasping for air after 1 mile. So now, even though I can run 13.1 miles, I still assumed my endurance was the weaker link in the chain. Wrong. Around miles 9-10, my legs started to feel like lead. This was the first time after a half marathon that I was sore. I know weather had a little to do with that (I could tell that I was running differently). But hey, now I know what I need to work on right?

BUT shoulda, coulda, woulda.

All that matters is that I had fun and I learned from it. Check and check.

The biggest thanks to Kyle’s mom for signing us up, and to Kyle. The best boyfriend out there. Kyle also hopes I never have a race in the rain.

40 thoughts on “SF Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon

  1. That’s awesome you ran an unplanned race! I would like to do a few this year that are just for fun with no time pressure. PS-your time is still awesome! Hopefully one day I can do a race in SF. It’s my fav city πŸ™‚

  2. Great job! And it’s perfect that you can find things to work on in a race that wasn’t a goal race for you because you’ll be ready to crush your PR in your next big race πŸ™‚ you’ll strengthen those legs and destroy the course!

  3. No regrets Amy. We’ll take photos next year and all the other stuff were just good lessons! Seeing my surgeon this afternoon, fingers crossed he clears me for more than my walk/jog/shuffle.

  4. Great determination to keep going. I would say you did learn a lot! But you should also be very proud of an impromptu half-marathon. Here is a virtual hug to Kyle’s mom for doing something so incredible as walking 13.1 miles after foot surgery!

  5. Congrats on your race! Your time was still great given that the weather was a little miserable. Not only does that make the race physically hard, but it definitely makes it mentally hard. It’s too bad they didn’t do medals – you deserve one!

  6. Congrats anyway! I was the same way before my last half (flip flopping between walking and running because of tendinitis) and did about half and half but am glad I accomplished it anyway! And you should be too, especially in that crappy weather. I know that wanting to cry/tearing up because you’re so miserable and so happy to see someone you know at the same time (isn’t it weird how we can hold it together until we spot someone we know?!). Anyway, CONGRATS YOU DID ABD ARE AWESOME!

    1. Aww thank you so much!!! You’re too sweet! Isn’t it kind of fun not knowing if you will run or walk? I never thought I would say that, but it was very calming haha. LOL I know exactly what you mean about crying. I do that all the time- I’m completely fine and then I see someone and I’m like what the…?? Where did these tears come from? Haha

  7. Congrats on your secret race! And to the momma! Too bad there were no medals, you could’ve pawned it to get bail money.
    PS, Take off jackets, layers, etc, but NEVER take off gloves!!!

  8. You are amazing! Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda my ass. You ran that race pretty much untrained and unprepared. You rocked it, girl. Be proud of yourself. I would have taken one look at the weather and stayed in my warm bed πŸ™‚ No medals though? What’s up with that?? You deserve a parade for running in the rain. And for the record, I love Kyle. He wins BF of the year.

    1. Gawww you’re too sweet! Thank you! Haha yeah, I was super bummed about the no medal thing…Kyle is the best πŸ™‚ So glad you approve cause you know what they say if your family doesn’t like the BF πŸ˜‰

  9. Ummmm ok so I want to write a book in response to this post, but that’s annoying so I’ll just say

    1. You are so right, Kyles mom is beyond awesome for doing 13.1, seriously, too cool!

    2. So are you! I was so happy when I saw that you ran this race! There is so much joy in “racing” to RUN I hope pure hooked!

    Congrats lady!

    1. LOL gaww you’re the sweetest! Thank you!!! I thought of you during the race though- It was so freeing not to know if I was going to run the race or walk it. And to not care about time! I think you sold me lady!

  10. Ha aw, it sounds like this wasn’t the best race experience.. But isn’t it awesome that you just went out and RAN a half marathon without any training?! This is one of those races that builds mental toughness! πŸ™‚
    Congrats to Kyle’s mom!

    1. Haha yeah, I could have done without rain and WITH gloves. But other than that, I had a ton of fun. It was GREAT to just go out and run! And you’re right- definitely strengthened my mental toughness that day πŸ™‚

  11. I was surprised to see you did another 1/2 marathon! Wow! You’re cranking them out! Congrats to you and Kyle’s mum! Tough ladies!
    Bummer no medals though. Well, I just signed up today to do my very first race ever! LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K run/walk in a couple of weeks. Their medals this year will represent the year of the Horse. Our goal is to collect all 12 animals! And the t-shirts are cool too! BTW, I’m walking it…unless I’m being chased by a tiger…hehe.

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