Hey guys! I just completed my third half marathon-Rock n Roll San Francisco! I decided to do this race for fun, not trying to PR because I felt like I was so caught up in the time last race that I didn’t really get to enjoy the race.
Let me just say, I clearly have a sick idea of fun.
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TALK ABOUT HILLS. I did the Nike Women’s marathon, which is known for its hills. Well, this was worse. But let’s go through it, shall we?

IMG_7257Saturday afternoon after a meeting, I sprinted home to get up to the city in time to pick up my packet. The expo was well run and not crowded. IMG_7259

Lots of protein bar samples too! I’m ALL about the free samples.

After the expo, I came home and had a pre-race dinner.


Strawberries as big as my face.


IMG_7269Plus scrambled eggs, roasted carrots, and toast with homemade raspberry jam (unpictured).



I really think I did everything right for this race. Perfect pre-race food, went to bed early, good pre-race breakfast.

Then, it was race day! As soon as my kitty heard my 4:20am alarm go off, he came running to greet me and cover me with fur help me get ready.

I slightly modified my pre-race breakfast of egg whites, cocoa powder, and banana by throwing some instant oats in there because I thought I needed more calories and carbs.

IMG_7272I also had some strawberries and sort of burnt berry compote on top. I may or may not have forgotten it was still on the stove for a couple too many hours…oops.

And then I put on my new race shirt! I LOVELOVELOVE it!

IMG_7236 IMG_7271

IMG_7275And then we were off! My parents dropped me off near the start just before 6am, the perfect amount of time to wait in port a potty lines and find my corral. The pre-race was very organized, and I had no problem getting into the correct corral. Plus, it wasn’t THAT crowded (or at least not when I arrived maybe!).

My first half, I wore short sleeves.The second one, I wore long sleeve Under Armour and ended up getting super hot and tossing it 2 miles in (it had seen much better days anyways). This time, I fashioned some beautiful and stylish throwaway sleeves out of my dad’s old socks.


Then, it was go time! As soon as we started, I knew I was feeling good. I was more than ready to tackle the first hill-which came up fast! I tossed my sleeves at an aid station around mile 2, but I would have earlier if I had seen a trash can! Hills have a way of warming you up quickly.

I crushed the first hill. It felt good, I kept a decent pace, and I thought about how much all my hill training had helped. Almost all of my long runs were at least somewhat hilly!

The second hill came up pretty quickly after the first, but we were rewarded with a view of the Golden Gate bridge from waaaay above. I definitely slowed down more on this hill! At this point, I was sort of thinking I could maybe PR this race, but I would see how I felt later on. Goal #1 was to ENJOY this race!

One of my biggest complaints about this race was how crowded it was. It was crowded quite a bit leading up to the bridge, but it was INSANE on the bridge. My legs were starting to feel heavy and I couldn’t keep pace at all in the crowds of people. I lost .07 miles just from weaving going one way across the bridge! It was very frustrating-but I had to remind myself that a) this was for fun and b) if I have my blog URL on my back I need to be a nicer person! (Not that I was rude….but getting there!)

The bridge was surprisingly and noticeably not flat. Very little of this race was flat. Another slight issue was that there was an aid station at mile 4, 8, and 10 but none around 5 or 6 because of the bridge, and 5 is where I normally take goo. I decided to take it early, especially since I was coming off of 2 hills! I took it at 4 and 10.

After it flattened out after the bridge, my legs were really starting to feel heavy and I knew I still had hills-lots of them-at the finish so I decided to give up on trying to PR and work on a) surviving and b) having fun.

Mile 10 and on I could only think of one thing: “What sick, sick person designed this course??” 2 giant hills already, and then the last three-ish miles as hills?  That’s just mean. My legs were already done and I was hurting. Since this was a for fun race, I walked a little bit on some of the hilly stretches, a few steps here or there. I knew that at that point I would end up with a time I was happy with anyways.

The ONLY saving grace about the course was that the last half mile was straight and downhill, and you could see the finish from half a mile away. I FLEW down that hill! I think I hit a sub 7:00 at some point!



(See me in the black?)

When I crossed the finish line, I was happy with my time, happy to be done, and noticing how tight my calves had gotten!


It turns out I was only 40 seconds off my PR, and definitely on a more difficult course! I had a lot of fun running this-that being said, I think I’m going to stay away from super hilly races for a little while. My goal race is the Giant’s Race in September, which although it is in San Francisco, is still fairly flat.

Then, I hightailed it over to the chocolate milk tent and found my parents.


Chocolate milk in a bag…?

It was an absolutely beautiful day in the city. When is it EVER sunny in San Francisco??



I quickly scarfed down a free Powerbar (It was Vanilla, and actually really tasty!) and then walked over to the main stage (it’s Rock n Roll after all!) to watch the concert and find one of my friends who came to see the concert!

It was actually a well known (ish) band-The Neighborhood. I know exactly one song of theirs-Sweater Weather. I thought they sounded good but didn’t have the best stage presence. It was definitely the tamest concert I’ve been too!

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One thing about Rock n Roll SF-I feel like it was a bit deceptive. They sort of made it sound like there would be a live band at every mile. I didn’t have a problem with the entertainment, I just thought it was a bit misleading. There were no bands until mile 8-just a few jugglers every few miles. There were maybe 4 bands, and only 2 actually had amps and microphones and were playing.

After the concert, it was time for real food! We stopped at Panera where I got a Fuji apple chicken salad.



But then it was time for the real show. Has anyone heard of Bi Rite Creamery? It’s one of the best ice cream places in the area-it rivals Smitten (Nitrogen ice cream)! And since we were up there, it had to be checked out.

I got salted caramel and chocolate with bittersweet chocolate sauce.


If there every was a time for a double scoop, it was after a half marathon. This was really good! I liked the flavors, but my mom’s toasted coconut was amazing.

Overall though, I have to say that my favorite is probably Tin Pot, followed by Smitten. And no, I have zero problems becoming an ice cream connoisseur.

Overall, I’m really happy with how the day went! I went out there and ran for fun (hah) and am more than happy with my time!

So what’s next? Like I said, the Giant’s Race is my PR race. I’m considering doing the ZOOMA Napa half, but I’m concerned it’s going to be really hot! I’m also considering doing Rock n Roll San Jose in October. I will most likely not be doing the Nike again this year. It was a good experience, but not amazing and not something I would want to do every time.  My absolute favorite race I’ve done is by far the Giant’s race. It’s not insanely hilly, there’s a lot of crowd support, and it take s you through a whole bunch of sites in the city.

What’s your favorite race?

13 comments on “Rock n Roll SF Recap

  1. Jessie

    Hills or not – you did awesme, girl! You really are just knocking out races these days. Proud of you! Ice cream & a good lunch should be manadatory after any race if you were to ask me 🙂

    1. astottler Post author

      Thank you! And I agree!

  2. Ashley @MilesonOats

    First off, congratulations love! Is it crazy that I would totally road trip up to cali to run this with you next year? I want to do PF Changs again, just a change of scenery. And hey, CA is only a 7 hour drive from AZ! 😉

    Secondly, W-T-F. They had a chocolate milk tent at yours?? We just had a bunch of boxes of pretzels, fruit cups, and random protein milk. Wait…maybe that was the “chocolate milk” in our case?! haha

    Don’t you love that medals? This one is my favorite so far!

    1. astottler Post author

      You totally should! Although Northern California might be a bit further than that! Chocolate milk is definitely the best post-race food. So necessary! And I do love the medal!

  3. Ashley @MilesonOats

    OH! And your pictures are big again, YUS!! 😀

    1. astottler Post author

      Yep 🙂

  4. Sky @ The Blonde In Black

    I had a facebook friend run the SF half and I thought about how you ran it too! Loved reading your recap. The hills sound dreadful though. I’m still needing to run a half, so hopefully this summer I can train to do one.

    1. astottler Post author

      You totally should! Although I would suggest a flat one!

  5. Christine@ Apple of My Eye

    Love the shirt you designed! So cute with the “Will Run For Avocados” slogan on it. Those hills sound killer and I’m so impressed that you were able to power through them. So jealous that you got to hear Sweater Weather live! Kyle and I both love that song and it’s one of the few that he’ll actually sing along with (he’s super self-conscious about singing haha).

    Glad you had a good race and enjoyed all that delicious food after!

    1. astottler Post author

      Haha that’s so funny!It was a really fun day-and it is really cool how they get actual well known bands to play!

  6. Matt @ Runner Savvy

    Congrats on the great race! I did rock n roll Dallas and it was a blast.

    1. astottler Post author

      It’s such a fun concept!

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