This was one sure interesting run. Not interesting enough that Godzilla came storming through the course or anything, but interesting to me mentally and my thoughts on my physical strengths and weaknesses. Though if Godzilla did storm through, you bet I’d be running as fast as my legs could carry me away.
On to race day!
I spent the night at my parents since my house was to be occupied by boys getting ready for football and tailgating. Comfort and good nights sleep for race was needed so I packed up my things and headed for home sweet home.
While I got ready in the morning, I discovered my running bra forgot to make it’s way in my gear bag, even though I had laid things out and marked it off my check list. Whoops. All I had was my non too supportive yoga one and a somewhat supportive shelf top. I tightened up the straps and figured it’d be an interesting run.
Breakfast was consumed and soon Papa was booting me out the door by SAP (aka the Tank) and I was off for my warm up mile to tack onto my marathon training.
As soon as I was done, I entered corral 7.
I signed up for the race prior to my injuries waaaay early in April after my PR on SF course. I guess I figured I’d be speedy enough by this race day to even consider a 2:00 projected finish time, but alas, no. I didn’t even know if I’d come in under 2:20. The main goal of the race was to get my training run done and beat last years course time of 2:28ish.
A marathon photo person took some pictures of me bouncing around and making funny poses. @PavementRunner popped up around then.
Photo courtesy @PavementRunner. Thank you!
It was good to see a familiar face before the race. Eased some of my own nerves. We got a quick picture snapped, wished each other luck and he took off to the speedy corral 1.
The crowd slowly filtered in and one of the guys next to me, Ron, and I talked a little about racing and the course as we waited for our arrival to the start line. Soon after 8:00am, the race started and little while later our corral moved forward.
I had both my Garmin on my wrist and my RunKeeper App on my phone to log my mileage and pace.
Start to mile 3.2
With a group surrounding me, we shot out from the start line and made our way down Santa Clara street, one of the major roads in downtown San Jose. I had told myself not to go out too fast and managed to keep a good restraint on my legs and excitement of the start.
And then I saw shiny things. Ooooh, are those pennies?? No, don’t stop and collect pennies. Damn it. [[My parents taught me to always pick up coins from the ground. Respect the coin and it will respect you. I tend to pick up coins I find on my runs and there had to be like 50 cents worth of pennies scattered over mile 1. Can you imagine the pile up if I did try to pick them up?]]
I continued on, leaving the pennies behind and people flew by around me and my legs picked up speed. Again I tried to slow them down and after a speedy 9:46 mile 2, I finally settled into a little groove by mile 3: 9:52.
I passed by the first water station around mile 2 in Japantown with a cheer crowd encouraging people on and made goal 1 to make it to make it to the 5k mark without stopping.
Mile 4 to 7
I was keenly aware on how my thighs and IT bands were feeling and focused on keeping them happy and walking when needed to twice around mile 4. I recalled last years issues beginning at mile 4 and was pleased to feel strong, not squishy or tired.
Around mile 5, when we passed the Tank and started making our way down the Alameda, the first of the elite runners started to make their way towards the finish. I tried to keep an eye out for people I knew, but pretty much remained focus on my run. I kept a decent pace between 10:00 to 10:30, walking a bit more through 5 and 6, then hitting the aid station near mile 7 in the residential neighborhood of University Ave.
I started fueling at mile 2 (planning to fuel every two miles), eating chus and Sharkie’s and taking sips of of Nuun from my hydration bottle each time. It was warming up on the course and warm Nuun doesn’t taste too fine. I grabbed a cold water from a volunteer and continued on my way admiring the houses.
I slowed a bit here. I don’t really know why but my legs were beginning to feel a bit tired and the cool morning we had been blessed with was pretty much gone. And I think I was getting a little bored. It’s the same course area as last years course and the same route of the 408k I ran back in March.
Only thing that was really entertaining me was the people yelling out “Go Bunny!” “There’s a rabbit on the course!” The kids were especially cute. And the crowd support through the nighborhoods was pretty nice. People offering donuts, playing music, cheering us random strangers on. So cool.
I perked up when I saw a woman run by me wearing 2:15 on her back. I glanced at my Garmin and saw that I was on course to meeting my 1/2 PR and go very well PR here, if by a very slim margin. I mulled it over while keeping 2:15 chick in my sights for a mile or so.
I let her go when I needed to walk. I reminded myself I wasn’t out to PR and pushing for 2:15 was ridiculous. So I texted my mom at mile 10 (after getting a Gatorade at the aid station) to let her know where I was and continued running, keeping an eye on the clock.
Somewhere along the course. Courtesy of MarathonFoto. Picture of a picture.
One last walk through of an aid station. I noticed I was still walking the line for my RnRSF PR. I wondered if I had it in me. And then wondered how pissed I’d be at myself if I didn’t at least try, being so close.
I began to pick up the pace. I set points to run to and then walk for a few seconds and then run again.
Some one yelled out from the crowd “1.1 miles to go!” I wanted to smack them. Ha. I was slowly chipping away at my pace when one person in front of me suddenly stopped to stretch their freaking arms out and elbowed me in the forehead as I ran. I think I snapped some unfriendly pirate speak as I stumbled around his apology and refocused.
My legs were asking what I was thinking as I continued to run, and so was my brain. I ran by the spot where I remember having to walk last year and told my brain to shut up and let me run. My legs were going “wheeee! oh this kinda hurts! but we kind of like it, can we go faster"?”
Yes, legs. We can.
Mile 13 to the .1
I remember rounding the corner to Almaden Blvd and looking ahead toward the second street light where the course bends to the finish line. I knew I just had to get to that damn bend and then give it my all down the chute.
I briefly got stuck behind a handful of people and weaved my way around them, crossing under the first light. Another dodge and weave. My brain at this point was warbling something incoherent to me and I made it to the bend. Some guy in front of me was already throwing his hands up in the air all happy like.
Not there yet!
I gathered whatever threads of strength I had left and pushed. I passed the arm in airs guy, glancing to see if my parents were in the crowd. Not that I can tell, but I was more focused on the damn finish line.
I felt like I was going so fast I started to see plaid.
I threw my arms up in the air as I crossed the finish line. My brain and legs screaming “yessssssss!!!” and my stomach suddenly waking up and said “puke!!”
9:32 pace for mile 13 and just under for the .1
Official Time: 2:16:02
A new course PR by 12 minutes and a new 1/2 marathon PR by 28 seconds.
Race shirt, bib and medal
The Finish and Aftermath
I stumbled to the side, bent over and to catch my breath, dry heaving. Not a pretty sight at the finish line, but that’s what my body demanded.
Finally, I gathered my bearings and managed to grab my medal. Note to self, when stomach is threatening to destroy you, do not put a 1lb medal around your neck where it hangs perfectly over said stomach and bounces on it with each step.
I eventually made my way out of the after race craziness and slowly made my way to my mom’s car. Almost lost my chu’s and sharkie’s on mom. Sorry! I had to go back out to find my dad in the crowd because he wandered off and he doesn’t have a cell phone. I found him by the finish, we walked back to the car and I pretty much spent the next 4 hours curled on a bed or couch at my parents fighting the feeling of my stomach.
Not quite the way I wanted to end my race or spend the majority of my day, but eh, what can you do?
All in all, I had a good time on the course. I love the Rock N Roll atmosphere and great crowd support and volunteers out there working. I know I’ve said it before on my previous races and again with this race, I didn’t think I was going to PR my 1/2 time. It wasn’t a goal of mine. Not until I saw the possibility did I even consider it.
And I managed to pull it off.
Though that 2 seconds is going to drive me nuts. hahaha. But that gives me some goals to strive for next year after my marathon. Maybe aim for that sub 2:15 1/2. Maybe beat my 10k PR. I’m getting speedier (for my body) and it is pretty damn cool to realize. Why not give it a try?
Tell me. . .
Have you done a Rock N Roll Event before? where at? How was it?
Have you done the Rock N Roll San Jose?