Nike Women’s Marathon SF: Week 16 training recap (and race prep!)

Yikes, the official 24-hour countdown to the 2013 Nike Women’s Marathon SF is now underway. Let’s DO this!

The Final Week

First, a quick look at the week leading up to race day; I tried to take it easy (i.e. no running) because of the aforementioned hip issues, although it was a struggle at times because I was feeling super ansty/excited/anxious:

  • Mon: Easy 3mi walk
  • Tues: 2mi easy (20 min bike)
  • Wed: Easy 30 min swim & bootcamp
  • Thur: 3mi easy (30 min walk & Expo)
  • Fri: OFF
  • Sat: 2mi “shakeout” run (20 min bike, light stretching)

The Expo

My next order of race business was the expo – or “Expotique,” as Nike calls it – which takes place smack dab in the middle of Union Square in downtown San Francisco. I walked by it on Monday as they were getting it all set up; what a production!


Thursday was the official opening of the Expotique, so I figured I’d hit it up after work and grab my packet, bib and pace band before the out-of-town crowds descended on the city. I guess a lot of other locals had the same idea, though, because there was already a long line forming when I got there!


I picked up my race bib and pace band in one tent before we were all ushered over to another station to grab goodie bags. The third, and final, stop was the actual Expotique, which was super modern with cool mood lighting and a DJ spinning dance music.


There were motivational displays on every wall with slick graphics and screens displaying tweets about the event, plus mannequins dressed in the latest Nike gear alongside gorgeous images of athletes and weekend warriors.


Of course, I also had to ham it up for the camera in front of a lighted wall display of the course map. Here’s hoping I’ve still got a smile on my face at the real finish line!


They didn’t have as many vendors as some previous race expos I’ve been to, but what they lacked in quantity they made up for in quality. Case in point: the charcuterie table from Whole Foods, which had a whole assortment of meats, cheeses, nuts and fruits.


Another hot spot was the macaroon table. I’m not normally a fan of ’em, but these particular ones were pretty and tasty!


And after all the talk about #WeRunSF these past few months, it was only fitting to take one more picture in front of the outdoor display.


The final stop of the evening? Niketown SF, where they had graphics on the windows displaying all 30,000 of our names. I found mine, but unfortunately it was near the top (and in the middle of the 10 million other Jennifers), so I couldn’t get a close-up.


The Gear

Despite my warning not to use anything new on race day, I did pick up a Nike belt with a small pouch to help hold my Sharkies and gels (PowerBarClif Shot and Vega) during the race (I want to try to keep my hands as free as possible), and I thought it’d be fun to walk through the rest of my race-day gear, from top to bottom.


Up top, I’ll have on a Nike Feather Light Visor to help shield my eyes from the sun. Hubby recently surprised me with a pair of Jaybird Bluebuds (wireless headphones), so I’ll be wearing those with my iPhone in an armband. And, of course, I’ll have on my Nike+ SportWatch GPS with the pod attached to my shoe.

On my body, I’ll have on an Athleta Sprint Seamless Sports Bra under my Nike Dri-Fit Knit Shirt-Sleeve Shirt. I’ll be taping my left hip with KT Tape for some added support under my Opedix Core-Tec Shorts. They support the pelvic region, promote core stability and improve dynamic balance, all of which help with the lower back pain I experience on my long runs.

Finally, I’ll keep my calves (relatively) happy with 2xu’s Compression Performance Run Socks under my trusty Asics Gel-Kayano 19 shoes.

The Plan

Just as I mentioned in my 26 tips for running 26.2 miles, I’ll be loosely following the 10-10-10 rule. This means running the first 10 miles below race pace, the second 10 at race pace and the final 10K (6.2 miles) with everything (anything?) left in the tank. Even though we call it a “race,” it’s more about “pace” than anything else.

Of course, in a perfect world, I’d love to finish under four hours; I believe my fitness level is there, but I’m just not sure the course (hilly), the crowd (lots of casual runners/walkers, so it’ll take some time to jockey for position and get into a good pace) or my current condition (hip) will permit for it at this particular event. So that’s my awesome goal…if everything goes off without a hitch.

More realistically, I’m focusing on my great goal, which would be a marathon PR (anything under 4:27:13). And the good goal? Well, that’d be crossing the finish line, which is an accomplishment in and of itself in the off-chance something goes awry (but let’s hope not!).

The Tunes

I went back and forth on whether or not to create a dedicated playlist for the race. But I figured if I’m in a good groove, the last thing I’ll want is a Pandora commercial to mess with my flow, so I bit the bullet and bought a bunch of new songs on iTunes.

As for how I went about building it, some are old favorites (stuff that’s connected to a memory or gets me pumped up), some are new songs I’m digging, and the rest have a beats-per-minute of around 160, which I read should roughly translate into a 9:00 mile time because, hey, I’ll take all the help I can get!

Here’s a look at what I’ll be listening to during the race (shuffled, of course):

    1. Amber, 311
    2. Amsterdam, Guster
    3. Beat It, Michael Jackson
    4. Beggin’, Madcon
    5. Best of You, Foo Fighters
    6. B.O.B., Outkast
    7. The Boys of Summer, Don Henley
    8. Brandy, The Looking Glass
    9. Breathe, Michelle Branch
    10. Bulletproof, LaRoux
    11. Can’t Hold Us, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
    12. Crazy Life, Toad the Wet Sprocket
    13. Die Young, Ke$ha
    14. (Don’t Fear) The Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult
    15. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey
    16. Don’t Stop Me Now, Queen
    17. Dynamite, Taio Cruz
    18. Everlong, Foo Fighters
    19. Evil Woman, Electric Light Orchestra
    20. F**k You, Cee Lo Green
    21. Galvanize, The Chemical Brothers
    22. Girl’s Not Grey, AFI
    23. Good Feeling, Flo-Rida
    24. Hey Ya!, Outkast
    25. Higher, Taio Cruz
    26. Ho Hey, The Lumineers
    27. I Gotta Feeling, The Black Eyed Peas
    28. Lights, Ellie Goulding
    29. Lose Yourself, Eminem
    30. Love is a Battlefield, Pat Benetar
    31. Maneater, Hall & Oates
    32. The Middle, Jimmy Eat World
    33. Monkey Wrench, Foo Fighters
    34. More Than a Feeling, Boston
    35. Moves Like Jagger, Maroon 5
    36. No One Knows, Queens of the Stone Age
    37. Not Afraid, Eminem
    38. Radio Nowhere, Bruce Springsteen
    39. Radioactive, Imagine Dragons
    40. Roar, Katy Perry
    41. Rock and Roll, Led Zeppelin
    42. Ruby Soho, Rancid
    43. Running Down a Dream, Tom Petty
    44. Safe and Sound, Capital Cities
    45. Somewhere I Belong, Linkin Park
    46. Stronger, Kanye West
    47. Summertime Sadness, Lana Del Rey
    48. Supermassive Black Hole, Muse
    49. Sweet Nothing, Calvin Harris
    50. Thong Song, Sisqo
    51. Till the World Ends, Britney Spears
    52. Tubthumping, Chumbawamba
    53. Uprising, Muse
    54. Wake Me Up, Avicii
    55. We R Who We R, Ke$ha
    56. 8 Mile, Eminem
    57. 1901, Phoenix

Wow, and with that, training is officially a wrap, folks! Thank you so much for following along; it’s been an incredible journey and I can’t tell you how appreciative I am (and have been) of all of your support and kind words along the way. To say I’m pretty excited to set foot across the start – and finish – lines tomorrow is putting it mildly. 

Stay tuned to Twitter for an immediate update after the race, and I’ve got a quick recap and full-length recap planned for Monday and Wednesday of next week, respectively.

Have a (RUN)DERFUL weekend, everyone!!!