Originally posted October 2011. This was the 4th of 7 Rock N Roll Series races I ran in my quest for the Rock Legend Heavy Medal.
How was San Jose, you ask? Well…now that I’ve figured out mobile blogging, I’ve sort of revealed the main highlights of San Jose already:
1) I got to see Meb Keflezighi both at the expo AND running it in at around mile 12 looking like it ain’t no thang. They call him Marathon Meb, not Half Marathon Meb, for a reason. He eats 13 miles for breakfast. Anyway….
2) While I was 3 minutes off my PR, it was still a fantastic race.
BUT, what I haven’t told you yet is pretty important so read on.
Shout out to the Ely’s: Thanks to one of my best friend’s mother, we had a FREE place to stay in San Jose for this event. What a blessing! We were driving in Saturday and out Sunday (6 hours or so each way) and it was nice to be able to stay with the Ely’s, get a home made dinner, and relax.
San Jose Half Marathon Course: Flat. Energizing. Exciting. Well staffed.
As always, it takes me about 3 miles to get warmed up and feel like my body is at least resigned to the fact that we’re doing this. So it was nice to be running back by the start after mile 4 where the crowd was large and loud and excited! Surge of energy.
The fact that Meb Keflezighi is at mile 12 by the time I get to mile 4 does not surprise me. I love that the course allowed me to see him and Deena Kastor and all the other amazing elite runners fly by in their last mile. Everyone on our side of the road clapped and cheered and awed as they zoomed by. We can only dream.
Course Support: I have now gotten to the point where I don’t wear a water belt for half marathons. It’s taken 3 years but I am now fine with Cytomax instead of Gatorade. The water in San Jose tastes good, which is important. Some other events have funky water (Arizona). And thanks to my Ultra Swift Running Skirt, I have plenty of pockets for race snacks.
I saw a man down on the course, which is always a terrible thing. Even if it isn’t serious, I hate to see someone’s race end like that. The medical staff were right there and seemed like they had things well in hand.
Have I ever mentioned how I love seeing these young teenagers man the aid stations? They’ve been up since some ungodly hour of the morning and they’re out there with water cups holding them for you as you run by. I try to get a cup from one of the last two or three kids. Everyone seems to grab theirs right at the beginning of the aid station, leaving the kids at the end of the line holding their arms out forever and ever. I’m so very thankful that they do this. They must think we’re crazy.
And of course, the best course support of all is my husband. He ran about 10 miles with me. Sometimes I’m annoyed that he is a better runner than I am, but at times like these, I’m glad he’s able and willing to jog along with me while carrying a small pack of supplies just in case.
My performance: Not only did I leave the water belt at home, I left the interval watch as well. Actually, I lost it a while ago and haven’t bought a new one…. At any rate, I’ve been very much dependent on my intervals to pace myself in the past. But I’m trying to see if I can do this by feel and how far I can go without intervals.
So I just started and didn’t stop until somewhere after mile 2. I was keeping a 10:30 pace for the first 4 miles or so which might have been a bit fast for the start. I slowed to an overall average pace of 11:30 by the end of it.
I ran up those hills that others walked and I utilized by iPhone music from mile 7 onward to give me some energy. I definitely felt like my energy was draining in the last few miles. I think that could’ve been fixed with proper rest and a better breakfast.
Also of note: I’m happy to report that my iPhone 3Gs managed to hold enough battery and GPS connection to track my run AND play music from mile 7 to 13. I was a little worried but it made it and now I have my event on RunKeeper.com, although it’s about .2 miles off on total mileage. Oh well, that’s why we have D tags and chip time.
And here is my prize for all the effort.
Three to go.
So close I can almost taste it.