Only Different In Your Mind: 2019 Giant Race San Francisco Recap!

Sleepless Knight

Jedi Knight Seeking His Jedi Princess
May 15, 2008
2019 Giant Race Lou Seal Challenge Recap!

Let's go back first to last year. The Giant Race Half Marathon was supposed to be the dream. I was happy with my new training plan from @DopeyBadger and felt confident that I could pull off the sub 3 hour half that was a mental barrier to my ability to complete the marathon. Then everything went wildly off the rails. I was in a bad place mentally heading into the race, completely wiped out physically the night before the race, and that all cascaded into my most difficult race ever. In spite of everything going wrong that day, I still actually set a new PR, but was still miserable. Now that said, my misery on that day taught me invaluable lessons that helped me truly enjoy my first marathon at Disney World this past January.

When I could register for the 2019 Giant Race, I debated between the Half and the 10K. I chose the half in part because I wanted to avenge last year's showing and meet my goals. Then a nasty cold wiped out all my planned training for June and I had to go back to square one. Coach told me that I should focus on using this race as training to get ready for Dopey and not worry about avenging last year. Better to be injury free. I appreciated him dialing back my aggression.

So I headed into today's races with the only goal of finishing the half marathon injury free and walking the 5K with my dad and little sister. Unlike last year, I made sure to start slow and just let the race come to me. My last race before today was a 5K in June. On that day, I felt like I had a lot in the tank, but needed to be conservative because my primary goal that day was to appropriately pace my 8 year old nephew and keep him from attempting to sprint the 5K.

Well as it turns out, today was my day. I basically used run/walk/run as I felt the need to slow down for a bit before pushing myself again. I didn't worry about pace at all aside from checking to make sure that my pace was in the ballpark of the race required 15 minute per mile pace. As I came upon each mile marker, I realized that the sub 3 hour half and with that a new PR just might be in reach. However, I chose not to worry about it. I knew I was on pace to finish and that would be good enough. But as miles 11, 12, and 13 continued to show that those goals were within reach, I decided to push myself to see if I could do it.

When I crossed the finish line, I realized that my gun time indicated that I may have broken the sub 3 hour half and I was pretty sure I had set a new PR even if I didn't break the sub 3 hour half marathon.

I looked up the preliminary race results and they show 2:58:58. So in the race where I was perfectly content with finishing ahead of the sweepers, I have at least set a new PR and probably broke the sub 3 hour half.

Giant Race San Francisco 5K

As part of the 10th anniversary of the Giant Race, they added the Lou Seal Challenge. Run the Half Marathon or 10K at 7:00am and then run the 5K at 10:50am.

I figured after the marathon, this would be less difficult. Admittedly, it's substantially easier to walk the race instead of trying to race it, but I was fine with that. My dad came into town to run the 5K because he wanted to experience being on the field at the Giants ballpark, so I was more than happy to walk the 5K with him and my racing buddy little sister. As we left the ballpark after the half to proceed to the 5K start line, I could really feel it on the stairs. However, my soreness had dropped substantially after the 5K. So my 58:33 5K time worked as a great recovery walk.

All in all, a happy race day for me. I feel like I handled the life happens stress much better this year than last year and enjoyed the race even before I realized that my set aside dream goals were still within reach.


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