Friday, November 11, 2011

Race Report: San Jose Rock n Roll Half Marathon

Time for the San Jose Rock n Roll Half Marathon race report! I ran this race in 2008 and didn't have any plans to run this event again anytime soon but this year it happened to fall on my BIRTHDAY. Sure it was also eight days after the Akron marathon but Roadbunner convinced me to register by reminding me that birthday races don't happen that often. (Obviously, she is able to convince me to register for a lot of stuff, haha.)

And I figure if I could run a full marathon the day after a half marathon (see: Goofy Challenge), surely I could run a half marathon a week after a full marathon, right???

So now fast forward to race week. Akron had come and gone and three days later I was having those curious foot pains mentioned in my previous posts. I didn't want to rush into any decisions but I really did not think it would be possible to run SJ. Thankfully things started turning around but when discussing the race with friends, it didn't seem like anyone was too keen on the idea. Many reminded me not to risk anything with the NYC marathon coming up, especially considering how long I had been waiting to run it.

I was so torn! I definitely agreed with their concerns but I still really wanted to do it for a few reasons:
  1. I already paid for it. (Frugal part of me)
  2. I really wanted a birthday medal! (Plus, I had seen it already and it was super cute!)
  3. Even if I didn't run it, I would still be meeting up with peeps afterward for a post race birthday brunch organized by the awesome Naomi and I would feel sad to be surrounded by peeps with their post-race stories and medals if I didn't have them, too.
So I decided to go for it - but conservatively. I looked up previous race times and saw that tons of people finished in over four hours so I knew it was walker friendly. My plan was to walk the bulk of the race with the only goal time being to make it in time for our 11:30 brunch reservation. :P



I liked the design of the race shirt and was happy to see it was a tech shirt. I think we got cotton T's in 2008. But it was still a men's cut which meant the small still had sleeves that went down to my elbows. Oh well! Maybe I'll tailor it as a rainy day activity (read: will add to stack of unwearable shirts).


Race Eve

The other reason I wanted to take it easy with this race was because I had planned to celebrate my birthday with my friends the night before.

Taken around midnight - not my usual pre-race protocol
Race Day

Race morning was ROUGH. I didn't go to bed until around 1AM. My parents were in town for the weekend and because they had just arrived the day before, their jet lag got them up around 4AM which woke me up and I had a hard time going back to sleep after that. I finally got up around 6AM and I was feeling not-so-great. Definitely could not eat my usual pre-race toast and just tried to at least get a lot of water in my system.

I did have a nice perk that my dad was able to drop me off at the race start (although his driving may or may not have made me a bit more queasy. :P)

I forced down one of those e-gels at the race start just to have something in my stomach but I figured since I wasn't really running, I should be OK. I got to my corral and was kind of laughing to myself about how ridiculous I felt. I definitely still felt queasy but would just think, oh well, you can just get sick in the portopotty's along the course! I played on Twitter for a bit while I waited for the race to start and was able to meet up with the lovely Courtney.

The race start was really fun! I can't remember what song they had playing but it felt like people were practically dancing to it and waving their arms in the air. Really fun vibe. This was my first time running since Akron so I ran the first mile pretty conservatively. I made sure not to take any painkillers so I would be aware if anything felt off at all. I had no problems with leaving the race, if needed.

First mile went fine so then I stopped to stretch my legs for a bit (something I never do during races anymore) while everyone ran past me. Not so fun. I walked the second mile. I think I ran/walk the third mile and decided I felt good enough that I would just run and take walk breaks whenever I felt like they were needed. I also stopped a bunch of times to stretch, especially my calves because I was starting to feel the pinched nerves in the bottom of my foot again. I also was texting back my friends who were out with me the night before and were checking up on me. They were pretty impressed that I made it out! :P

During the race, I kept leapfrogging the 2:45 pace group and I thought if I could at least finish before them, it would still be a decent race for me, haha.

1 - 11:10
2 - 14:57
3 - 12:51
4 - 10:56
5 - 12:43
6 - 10:46
7 - 12:56
8 - 12:12
9 - 13:48
10 - 13:44
11 - 11:41
12 - 10:55
13 - 11:26
0.26 - 10:32 pace

happy birthday girl

Chip Time: 2:42:45
Pace: 12:25

Overall: 7380 out of 9854
Division: 648 out of 951
Gender: 3534 out of 5422

I was pretty pleased with how I did, all things considered. Definitely NOT a new personal worst! :) And, yay, had plenty of time to meet up with friends for a post race brunch. Even better, my appetite was back!

Here are some pics of the super fun medal (and also a nice comparison of iPhone camera technology, haha):

Taken with my old iPhone 3G
New image with my beloved iPhone 4S
I decided to celebrate my birthday with bottomless mimosas which was really dumb because I probably only drank one full glass. Doh.

With my supa-fly Akron race jacket, in case you were wondering
And I was SO happy to celebrate it with some of my favorite running friends and my parents. It was extra awesome that some fun peeps came by who didn't even run the race.

So all in all, I'm really glad I ran this race. It's definitely a great way to start your birthday off right so if a race happens to land on your birthday, I say go for it!!!


RoadBunner said...

I'm super glad your foot didn't give you any problems. Aren't birthday races great?! And I can't wait to go back to that restaurant for another veggie burger with bacon :D p.s. Wow to the photo quality!

naomi said...

I can't believe you ran this whole race after a full night of partying?! What a great birthday - I definitely had fun celebrating it! And you guys make me wanna do this race next year!

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