Tina and I decided to do the last 10 miles of the Nike route, just for the experience. Also, I think this will be the hardest section. There is a 3 mile section that runs down the Great Highway (boring!), then about 4.5 miles around Lake Merced (seems to go forever!) and than back down the Great Highway to the finish line. I remember this section from last year as being pure hell.
We took off about 8:00 Sunday morning. It was typical San Francisco, overcast and cool. I was glad to have worn my long running pants instead of shorts. The first section of the Great Highway seemed to go by really quickly and the lake seemed to be okay at first too. Of course, Tina mentioned that it probably can't compare to last year when I'd run 16 miles already before hitting this section. Oh yeah....that's right. As we were continuing around the lake, I realized why it's so daunting. I have no sense of direction when I'm running around the lake and I don't feel like I'm making progress in getting around, but just running and running. I tried to notice some landmarks so when we're running Nike I can remind myself where I'm at. Then I noticed that there are 1/2 mile markers on the course, so that will come in handy too.
We finally made it around the lake, after almost taking the wrong road and took off back down the Great Highway. A little ways past the zoo I called for a snack. I think we were just shy of 9.5 miles or so. I felt like I was starting to lose focus (starting?!?!) and we stopped for a quick bite. I choked down two Shot Blocks. Mistake. I got side stitches after that and had to pinch my side and really concentrate on my breathing to make them go away. No more Shot Blocks! That was their last chance. I'm sticking with the salty pretzels from now on. And maybe some CarbBoom. Maybe.
Our training calendar said 7-9 miles for Nike Full Marathoners. Over achievers that we are, we did 10.4 in about 1:54. Nice going!
Tina: "Yeah, but can we keep it up for 16 more miles?"
Me: "Don't know about you, but me? Uh, no."