San Francisco Marathon Weekend Is Here: Am I Ready?

This Sunday is the 40th anniversary San Francisco Marathon. I’m reading that there will be +27,000 runners and many other spectators and staffs will be at the event.

I picked up my bib after work today at Fort Mason, and I could already feel the energy surrounding Fort Mason. As I was driving by the Crissy Field, I seemed to notice more runners on the trail that thousands of fellow runners and I will be on in two days. I am very much looking forward to exploring San Francisco on my pair of snickers along with many other runners who invested time preparing for the race.

Am I ready?

I’m not too sure how much I am. I built up my miles, but haven’t done too many long runs to date. The longest run that I did was about 15 miles. Far too shorter than what’s recommended. Oh well, I’ll just have to take it easy.

Looking at my running index calculated by Polar, it looks like I’ve made a modest improvement since January.


It looks like I started out at about 56, and moved up to 61 as of my last run. Considering I was at about 58 a few weeks prior to Napa Valley Marathon, I think I’m just about at the same place.

Since I’m not too confident that I’m well prepared, here’s what I plan to do:

  1. Take it easy in the first half: I think the mistake that I made at Napa Valley Marathon was to go out too fast in the first half. I should target my mile split at about 8:30.
  2. Carry water: With 27K runners on the course, I think it will be difficult to stop for water especially in the beginning. I’ll carry water and gels to get hydrated as needed.
  3. Enjoy the scenery: I am really looking forward to taking running tour of San Francisco neighborhoods. I should keep in mind that this is a rare opportunity to enjoy and explore San Francisco.

30 hours to the starting line.

Wish me luck.


Signed Up For The San Francisco Marathon

I have been itching to sign up for a marathon in 2017. I was debating whether to sign up for Oakland Running Festival Marathon, the San Francisco Marathon or Half Moon Bay Marathon. But in the end, I ended up choosing the San Francisco.

It’s happening on Sunday July 23rd. It’s about 6 months out. That should give me enough time to rebuild my long runs and get ready for another shot at completing the marathon around 3:40 target time.

The one thing that I’m looking forward to the most is running across the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve rode my bike a few times across the bridge, but it was on the pedestrian path. At the marathon, I hear that they block a couple of lanes off from the traffic, and runners run on the lanes. That should be some experience.

Now I have a goal for 2017. Let’s get out there and train!


Signed Up for Napa Valley Marathon

I signed up for 2016 Napa Valley Marathon.

This is going to be my first marathon experience. I did a half marathon last year. But I never tried to complete a marathon course.

I didn’t think I was ready to commit. Yet when a bunch of my cycling friends and I were messaging back and forth, a veteran marathoner invited us to join. I jumped at that chance. Knowing my aversion to commitment, I’m not sure why. It must have been the right time for me.

I must have been waiting for the next challenge. When I did my half marathon, it was not because of my own initiative. It was my wife’s idea. She invited me to run together.

It was Kaiser Permanente S.F. Half Marathon.

On the race day, it started to drizzle when we headed out in the early morning Sunday. It became pouring rain when we were driving to the race course. Neither my wife nor I had adequate rain gear on us. Flimsy sweat jackets were all we had. When we got out of the car, and out of the garage, it was cold. We were not sure whether it was a good idea to run. Sky looked gray all over, and there was no sign of letting up.

But we ran. Although the rain continued through out the race, we ran. When we were down on the final few miles, the rain drops angled by blustery winds were so sharp that it was painful to endure. In spite of the cold rainy and windy weather, thankfully we finished.

It was the first time ever that I ran over 5 miles. Looking back at it, it was not as physically challenging as I originally thought. Perhaps it’s because I kept pace with my wife. What seemed more daunting before the race was the idea that I had to prepare for the race, and to break my Sunday routine to get out to the race course early Sunday morning. Both of the inconveniences now seem like small price to pay when I look back at the gain from the whole half marathon experience.

Napa Valley Marathon is going to happen on March 6th, 2016, 7am in the morning. I have exactly 14 weeks 6 days to prepare. My marathoner friend tells me that it’s likely that it will rain. I better mend my mental wet suit to prepare for the long run.

Here’s what the course looks like. If you are looking for the next challenge, I would love to see you on the course.


Bryan Krouse NVM_2015 Course Map
Napa Valley Marathon.
Thankfully it has net elevation loss. 🙂