Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nike Women's Marathon 2010 Recap

ALERT: Long Post Ahead! 

It is difficult for me to summarize the Nike Women’s (Half)Marathon to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society because so much was packed into my weekend in San Francisco. I’ll start by saying doing an event with Team in Training is something that I believe everyone that wants to try their hand at an endurance event and in the process make a difference in the lives of others should do.

I met my team at the airport Friday morning and we arrived in San Francisco at 11:30am. During the flight attendant announced our collective accomplishment of raising over $250,000 for the LLS and I have to admit I got a bit teary eyed.  When we arrived we took a shuttle to Union Square, we stayed at the swanky Westin St. Francis. After check-in my teammate Nicole

and I ventured over to expo in Union Square,the highlight was signing up for facebook updates on race day (most people are not like me and don’t tweet and fb during the race). Next we ventured over to Niketown

Every year Nike posts the names of all the runners on a wall outside of the store. Here is mine! 

Once again I got a bit teary-eyed but we went into Niketown where there was a party like atmosphere. A live dj was spinning on the ones and twos and NWM10 branded merchandise was all over the place. I actually needed to purchase a pair of pants for race day because despite all of my pre-race preparations, I left my running skirt and capris at home! I ended up going to Macy’s and getting a discount on a pair of Nike capris and had a wonderful to go dinner from The Burger Bar located at the top of the store. My salmon burger was delicious and a bargain because it was a lunch special!
I went back to the room and fell asleep, traveling all week took a toll on me and I wanted to be sure to get a full night of sleep. The next morning we did a 1 mile run.

and then headed to my favorite breakfast place in San Fran- Honey, Honey. I had the salmon scramble and it was to die for. 

After breakfast I headed back to the expo to listen to a reading by the authors of Run Like A Mother Dimity and Sarah.  Love them! If you are a running mom and haven’t read their book, you must.

I met up with my college friend Monica 

and we explored Fisherman’s Wharf before meeting up with my buddies Beki and Kristen from Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans. They were with their SOs and had Coach Joe the Virtual Team in Training Coach along too! Check out our photo here. I had a Crab Cesar Salad and great conversation. It was such a pleasure to finally meet my friends in real life. After lunch Monica, Joe and I went for a ride back to our hotel on the Cable Car. I was afraid I’d be late for my team meeting but I made it in the nick of time.

I received awards for achieving Rock Star Status in fundraising

and then we headed to the Inspiration dinner with TNT. More tears ensued when upon arrival we were greeted by hundreds of TNT staffers cheering us on! 

It was beautiful. I sat with our team honored hero Mitzi, she is so kind and generous.

She gave all of the team members Hero shirts. Love her. And am so proud that she ran her first marathon on Sunday!

It was back to the room where I laid out my outfit and tried to get a good night of sleep. I only woke up a couple of times and when the alarm went off at 5:15am I was already up and putting on my race gear. 

temporary tattoo of my Aunt Helen

It was downstairs for one final pep talk and then out to Union Square. Monica and I met up and we hung out with my team members that I trained with during the season. After the National Anthem the race began - which just meant a lot of waiting. Imagine 20,000 plus people trying to start a race. We finally crossed the Start line after about 20 minutes and we were off! 

Monica and I took the slow and steady approach to the race. I’d decided that I wasn’t going to push myself this time and that my main objective was to have fun, revel in the spectacular views and finish the race. That attitude allowed me to have a smile on my face the entire run. I am not exaggerating. I had a cheese grin that I could not contain. Except at mile 7 when I reached the summit of the mile long hill, I was a bit out of breath there. LOL

I took photos at almost every mile marker, tweeted updates and enjoyed the race. I loved hearing my name called out by random people on the race. The support was amazing. Miles 1-6 I ran with Monica and after that we were separated. She took even more photos than I did! I cranked up my tunes on my iPod shuffle and instead of listening to my usual workout podcast, I just let her play. It amazed me when songs like Breathe, Marathon, and Boom Boom Pow came up at appropriate times during the race. A gospel song started playing at mile 8 or 9 just when I needed it! When I was running down the Pacific Coast Highway my TNT staffers were there calling my name and rooting me on. Thanks Mary, Javi and Lauren. It was so nice to see your smiling faces! Apparently I was smiling and running so fast at that point that Javi

I ended my race by listening to B.O.B. (Bombs over Baghdad) by Andre 3000 and Big Boi. I just kept that on loop for the entire last 5k of the race. At mile 12 I began to wonder when the race would be over because all of the beautiful scenery was behind me and running through the park was getting pretty boring. Not to mention the rain but that actually didn’t dampen my spirits because when I felt the drops my thoughts were - “I’m so glad I did that 4 mile training run in the rain, I don’t even have to go that far today!” I was glad when my coach Amy ran about 100 feet with me she encouraged me to keep moving. And at about mile 12.5 the national team coach (and our head coach) Tommy cheered me to keep going! I walked some and ran some but I completed the race with a smile. I remembered the advice from Sarah and Dimitry - I chicked a guy (passed him on the course) actually several guys! I chatted with friends and I cheered and encouraged other runners along the way.

The perfect gift at the end of the race was being greeted by a lovely fireman who gave me my Tiffany Box. 

And here is my lovely 2010 Nike Women Marathon Tiffany finishers necklace

I checked in with TNT, added more food to my bag and went to pick up my dry clothes. I changed, got my picture taken, ate and headed to the stretch tent. I HIGHLY recommend doing this if it is available. We went through about 20 minutes of stretching with foam rollers, pilates bands and when my left calve seized up and cramped, a trainer came over and massaged it out for me. Talk about service!

After all the excitement I took the shuttle back to the hotel, took an ice bath for 15 minutes (it sounds like torture but I am happy to report no soreness) and headed out to Niketown. I got a personalized running shirt and had my necklace engraved. The Victory Dinner that evening was so much fun. 

Me and my mentor Carol - a Leukemia Survivor

And now, I vow to do it again. Same time next year, same goals and same race. I am resting until tomorrow when I will start my active recovery and start preparing for my next event........but first a tattoo to commemorate the occasion and my 50 pound weight loss!


Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Congratulations!!! What a wonderful recap - makes me excited to run my first half!

kia said...

I love it. Love that you did this. And love you to pieces. Now for the big question... are you going to go on to become a TNT coach? You have the experience and will be a great volunteer for their organization. I agree that doing a TNT event is a wonderful experience :)

Kirsten said...

Love your race report! I'm glad that you had such a great experience with NWM and with TNT. They both hold a special place in my heart. NWM was my first half and it was there that I was inspired to do TNT with The Sisterhood.

Jewelry Rockstar said...

I smiled the whole time reading this post! This is a friggin' big deal, and I am super proud of you.

Katherine Malone said...

This is a great review of what seems to be a GREAT day for you - CONGRATS GIRL!! :)

Jane said...

You are SO awesome, Renee! So proud of you. Love the tattoo - you deserved that baby!!

Paige said...

Imagining you running that whole race with a smile on your face is so much fun! Just what I had hoped for you!

Way to go, Renee! Looking forward to seeing you at Chateau Elan...hopefully, it won't rain. ; )

Michelle said...

Great recap! Congrats on taking this on and for your big fundraising success!

Bari said...

Beautiful race report Renee! Congrats on finishing so strong and doing it all for such an amazing cause. It was an honor to run "with" you on Sunday. One of these days, we will run side-by-side IRL!

Tracie said...

Congrats! Great job and what a wonderful story.


Way to go on the run! You go girl, keep up the hard work!

Tiffany said...

Renee, you are amazing... Simply, amazing! So glad you had such and amazing experience with TnT and the Race itself. The TnT experience is truly amazing and so incredibly rewarding. Love the necklace and LOVE the tattoo!

april said...

You? Are my hero.

Wifey said...

Congrats, Renee! Awesome job and recap! Love the pics and the tatoos!

Winks & Smiles,

AnnG said...

What a great story! So proud of you! and wow!! 50 pounds loss is a wonderful accomplishment! WTG!

Tech Savvy Mama said...

Congratulations! I loved reading your recap and hearing that your race went so well! You wear that necklace well! You deserve it! Rock on rockstar fundraiser!

keyalus said...

What an amazing experience. I really hate fundraising, but if I ever decided to brave the waters of a full marathon again, maybe I will do it with TNT. The whole experience seems really special!

And I love that you finished the race with B.O.B on repeat. ATL represent! You just can't run slow on that song. :)

5STRONG said...

Amazing...I feel like I went on the journey with you! I want to do it next year!!!! Congrats!

imadramamama said...

Rene, I am so glad you got so much out of this race. You are an unbelievably amazing woman.

C. Beth said...

Yeah!!! I had to come see how you did on your race. It looks like you rocked it! Congratulations! :)
-C. Beth from C. Beth Blog :)

Allison M. said...

very well done! I better kick my ass into gear and join you next October at the race.

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Rozzyology said...

I found working with the TNT organization very rewarding and supportive. I ran the Phoenix half-marathon in 2009 and really enjoyed my experience. I'm glad you had a great time and I hope to see you on some other half-marathon/marathon races in the future. . .

Radialabs said...

I loved reading your recap and hearing that your race went so well! You wear that necklace well! You deserve it!

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