It’s a gorgeous day here in San Francisco – a bit windy but the sun is shining and I was very comfortable during my relaxed pre-race run this morning along the water. I’m happy for the ultra runners that they’re able to enjoy such a great day out on the trails – hopefully it will be like this tomorrow too for my race!

I know this sounds ridiculous, but one of the factors in my decision to enter tomorrow’s North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon a few months ago was the fact that arm sleeves are part of the race swag bag. I’ve been in love with arm sleeves ever since I ran the NYC marathon in them last year, but for whatever reason haven’t yet bought a really nice pair. So when I went to the North Face store yesterday and was told that only the 50M runners received them, I was bummed out. Sure, I still received a pink technical tee and handheld North Face bottle, but I had my heart set on those sleeves. Good thing the woman helping me was very generous and snuck a pair into my goodie bag. Here I am at the store, very happy!

After wandering around the city for a bit, I headed back to the hotel and tried out my new gear. Originally I thought 70 bucks was a bit steep for a half, but considering that I got 65 dollars worth of gear and am about to run on some incredible trails, I’d say I got a pretty great deal! The race swag quality was much higher than stuff I’ve received in other events. I guess that’s what happens when such a major gear manufacturer is the race sponsor!

I am tempted to break the no new gear rule and wear the sleeves in tomorrow’s race, but I already have my fun purple and bright orange outfit ready to go, so will stick with that. It may be too warm for arm sleeves, afterall! Instead, I decided to test out my new arm sleeves this morning – I got too hot after ten minutes but while I had them on, they were SUPER cozy and comfortable. Two thumbs up, North Face!


Man, I look tired in that photo – still recovering from my big trip, but I did manage to get nine glorious hours of sleep last night. That should help me drag myself up and down all those hills tomorrow!

My goals for tomorrow are simply to enjoy the scenery and atmosphere, have some fun with my running friends and not hurt myself. I don’t expect to be fast – I hardly did any hill training (this course is TOUGH) and very little trail running, plus I am quite a bit squishier than usual – but I did get up to 14.5 miles so hopefully I won’t embarrass myself either. We shall see!