Friday, July 30, 2010

The Aftermath...There's More Running Involved

So...I crossed the finish line at the SF 1/2 at 2:38 with pretty sore feet and screaming calves. I waited in the finishers' chute pretending to stretch, but really I was leaning against one of the temporary fences which separated the 1st 1/2 finishers area from the 2nd 1/2 race area. Suddenly Elsie was in front of me, giving me the high five.

At that moment, I was thinking, "how the F can she be this damn perky right now?"

Now anyone who has seen The Herd at a race in the Neon-Day-Glo-Lime-Green racing shirts knows that when two or three or four of us are together, we practically emit a glow. This Neon-Day-Glo-Lime-Green-Glow has helped us find each other, and has helped other friends and family find us in 28 races (yes I just counted) since 2006! So, we spotted Betty pretty quickly and she started telling Elsie and me about how she was struggling at the end of the race and had started to walk when another woman went by and said, "run in with me honey" and held her hand for the last .10 of the mile.

I LOVE runners!!!
To hear Betty tell the story, this woman practically dragged her across the finish line. It really doesn't look like that to me, but can you see my point about the Neon-Day-Glo-Lime-Green
As I was listening to Betty's story, Elsie noticed that someone was calling my name. It was my cousin Emily! She was running her first 1/2 marathon and was nearing the 5th mile in the 2nd Half (which started at a much more reasonable 8:30). Emily is a local girl and lives in the Haight and probably walked to the start!  Yay! I am so happy she spotted me and am so proud of her for finishing her first 1/2! Score one more (to borrow Glenn's scoring system) for the Neon-Day-Glo-Lime-Green shirts!
Woot! Woot! My cousin Emily finishing her first 1/2 marathon! Congrats Emily. I am so proud of you!
After that Betty, Elsie and I went in search of Mik. Poor Mik...she's the speedy one and since she's the speedy one, she started somewhere in Corral 4 or 5, which meant that she started a good 30 minutes before I did. In addition, she's fast, so in addition to the 30 minute head start, she also ran a 2:08 half (which, BTW, she was not happy with....WHATEVER).

Mik's penance for being a fast-bitch with a head start?

She ended up waiting around for about an hour for the rest of us to finish. We found her pretty quickly by the Irish Coffee truck. Unfortunately for me,  the promised post-run-Irish-Coffee was no longer available. Luckily for Mik, she was early enough to have two.

By then I was starting to get cold. My feet hurt something awful and I just needed to sit down, so we stopped and just sat on the side of some road in the park. Luckily I still had my gloves, and they weren't too nasty, so I put those on. I took off my arm-sleeves (which by then were pretty much soggy snot rags) and put on my pink Zenza recovery socks and a sweatshirt, so I felt much better. (I'm sure I was quite the sight to see). I finished my water and (I think) ate a few pretzels. I really need to do a much better job of eating some of the post-race grub. I have a tendency to barely touch it. I suspect this is NOT a good thing.

As much as I would have sat on my ass in the park for maybe the rest of the day, Both Mik and Elsie (the thin ones) were starting to shiver. So I got up and we made our way out of the park to find a cab. We'd earlier decided to not take the shuttle bus back to the start, but to instead try to get a cab and go directly back to our hotel. I think this was a sound decision. It was 9:45 and the line for the shuttle bus, which was supposed to stop running at 10:00 am was still VERY LONG! I'm not sure if all those people were able to get on the bus or not, but we weren't willing to wait around to find out.
Elsie, Mik, and Betty leading the way down Cabrillo. I'd given Elsie my mylar blanket at this point since I could see her trembling. 
This is among the many reasons why I love Betty. She takes charge when nobody else can or will. Elsie and Mik were visibly shivering from the cold (and probably from some calorie debt). I was hobbling slowly along with my sore feet. But Betty decided she was going to GET US AN EFFING CAB, so she started running (well...wogging) down the middle of the street, mylar cape waving in the wind, like our own personal superwoman, because DAMNIT she could see taxis going back and forth on a cross street up ahead and come hell or high water, she was gonna get one of those taxis for US!

And she found one and got it to stop for us by practically throwing her body in front of it! Way to take one for the team Betty! I wish I had footage of the running wogging part, but I was too busy laughing to get my camera out.

Curiously, the driver was somewhat hesitant to let us in his cab.  I'm not so sure WHY he so was hesitant... I mean, wouldn't you have given four sweaty, giggling women wearing shiny mylar blankets a ride, especially since one of them had thrown herself in front of your cab? We do tip well.

Luckily, the driver took pity on us and agreed to take us to our hotel (that we told him that we'd give him a HUGE tip may have worked in our favor as well...oh and did I mention that we begged?). When we got back to the hotel, we took what we all agreed were the BEST SHOWERS EVER, then went to breakfast (and as you know, mimosas).
Elsie and I looking oh-so-chic in our sandals and socks. I'm wearing the black  recovery socks and flip-flop ensemble which gives my foot a hoof-like silhouette - tre chic, no? Elsie is sporting the daisy and blue sports socks/fabulous mandal duo. Fashion week icons. Yes, that's what we are... 
After breakfast we all sorta went our separate ways for awhile. Elsie, Mik and I took a nap. Betty, who had her teenage daughter and her daughter's friend with her, went to see Chinatown (yes, the woman went sightseeing!) I woke up when my niece (who was also in town) called me and I went to meet up with her and her boyfriend (who I hadn't met yet...and who I decided was very cool, or cool enough to date my niece). When Betty got back from Chinatown, she and Elsie (and the kids) took the ferry over to Tiburon to see Elsie's brother. Mik took a different Ferry to Sausalito to see an old friend of hers.

Got all that straight? There will be a quiz later.

After hanging with my niece and the BF for awhile, I texted Betty to see when they were coming back to The City and we made plans to meet at Pier 41 at the ferry landing. When they got off the boat, I got to hear their story of how when they went to catch the ferry, they went to the wrong Ferry Terminal and were dropped off at the Embarcadero (Pier 14 I think). Once there, they found out that the ferry they needed to take actually left from Pier 41. In short, they had about 23 minutes to get from 14 to 41...about 1.5 miles away from each other.

We'd already done that once that day. So essentially, Betty and Elsie ran the first 1.5 miles of the SF marathon again.

I am so glad I wasn't there. We all agreed that I wouldn't have run it.
Betty, Elsie and The Girls getting off the ferry
After they returned, we went to have some beverages at a really touristy restaurant on Pier 39. The girls got to enjoy the Pier 39 shopping experience.
Elsie with a margarita (she's not a beer drinker)
Then, since we were in The City, we had to ride the Cable Car back to Union Square so that we could meet up with Mik who was waiting for us at Lefty O'Doul's. Her friend, Carlos, had dropped her off there.
Betty's daughter and her friend on the Cable Car. They were so much fun to hang out with. Teenagers...who knew?
Are we looking tired yet? No? Good...because we weren't done
We dropped the kids off at the hotel and then went to find Mik who was the only woman sitting at the bar with a bunch of happy looking men. least the old guy sitting next to her looked happy! I get the feeling that not too many young women hang out at the bar at Lefty's... Someone told us that there was a really fun piano bar a block away, so we walked over to Johnny Foleys.
See...we are CLEARLY having fun!
About 10:30, at Elsie's prompting, we went back to the hotel because we were hungry and also because I suspect that Elsie decided she wanted to be closer to where she would eventually sleep. So we ordered a few items and laughed about our day.
Yeah...I think we're done now. I don't think it was Elsie's main goal to sleep on the Lobby Sofa...but it WAS close to her bed.
Finally, somewhere around 11:30, 18 hours after we started the day, we decided it was over.

So... what a great weekend in a great city. Even a week later, I'm still basking in the glow of it. I got to meet some great peeps...some for the first time (Willie, RBR, Meg) and some that I've met several times (Glenn) and of course, Penny who is, for all practical purposes, an honorary heffer. I got to see some of my family - my cousin Emily and my niece Amy.

And I got to hang with my herd for another weekend and we have some more good stories to share. How cool is that?

Next: Lessons Learned and What's Next!


  1. What a great weekend! I definitely missed out with my fly in, run, fly out routine.

  2. OK, I have got to run more races with you ladies. What a great group of fun loving runners. Please let me know when you are all running somewhere so I can join!

  3. What a great sounding weekend for you and the "herd"!!

  4. Betty says...

    A fabulous weekend! Thanks to all the HEFFERs for making my girls feel welcome! We had a blast. Thanks Alice for journaling our life! Let's do this again!

  5. Until I started reading your blog, I had never HEARD about the Herd. After this post, I definitely think you need to write a book...your adventures, your trials and triumphs together. There's more to this than drinks and running...I mean running and drinks. I think running and friendship go so well together and we all want to know more about it! I can't believe you have run SO MANY races together AND imagine how many training hours you've put it...GO FOR IT, write a book! Oh, did you make a shirt for Penny yet? She deserves one...
    OK, your trip sounded like WAY more fun. The Heffers rule!

  6. Sounds like you all had a blast. A tiring one but a blast nonetheless. Congrats again.

  7. What a fabulously fun weekend - you guys know how to have fun!

  8. Ooooh, another wordy blogger - we are definitey e-bff's!!! :). You totally crack me up - I loved reading every single word. SF was a total blast and FOR SURE we have to meet up next time. I totally want to hang with the herd!! :). Great job again, girl!!! WOOHOO!!