RocknRoll San Jose half marathon Race Report

Saturday night I got all my running stuff ready including options of what to wear.  Oh, and my pink undies made it in the picture.  How awesomely embarrassing.

I didn’t sleep well because I kept waking up and looking at the clock every 30 mins to make sure it was telling time on time.  Finally got up around 6 and started getting ready.

Brand new Drymax socks.  It doesn’t get any better than this.  I could have put these on, gone back to bed and been happy.

This is what I ended up wearing.  Had to do a little cleaning on my shirt real quick.  This was pretty cutting edge for me; I hardly ever wear tank tops, especially during races.  Yeah, how nouveau, huh.

Just block that face out of your memory.  I was going to wear the technical race shirt as a warm up but ended up going solo with just the tank.

The weather was perfect for racing: a tiny bit chilly in the morning and then a tiny bit sunny for the rest of the race.

Would someone please tell me to stop with all the pictures of myself??

Enough about my fledging modeling career and on to the race:

I was in the 2nd corral because when I signed up for this race eons ago I put my estimated finish time at 1 hr 45 mins.  I was hoping for a sub 2 hr finish today.  My one problem was that I wasn’t sure how to pace myself.  I knew I’d finish the 13 but didn’t know how fast to go out or at what pace I could sustain.

I ran the first mile at 8:15 and felt pretty good so the next 6-7 miles were around 8:01-8:05.  I passed the halfway mark and was waiting to hit a wall or just run out of energy but I never did.  So I kept speeding up a little and ran the next few miles under 8 mins.

At the very end I still had energy, was running hard and passed the 1 hr 45 min pacer right before the finish line. My official time was 1 hr 44 mins 11 seconds.

I was really shocked and pretty sure the timing system was wrong because that time is less than 2 mins off my PR.  I really thought I’d run it in about 2 hours, but I guess I was in the zone or something.

I’m not exactly sure what makes for a good race or a bad one, but  I do think there’s a ton of contributing factors.  Some of them include:

1) I ate a lot before and during the race, a lot for me at least.

I had a Clif bar before the race along with 3 cups of coffee.  Then I had these caffeine energy beans at mile 7.  I got this sample  from another race and liked them well enough.  They’re a little chalky but only have 10 calories and 40 mg of caffeine.  And I lurve me some caffeine.

Then at mile 9.5 they were handing out Gu’s so I had a vanilla one. Can’t turn down free stuff.

2) I drank Cytomax at every aid station, about every 2 miles.

This stuff is sickly sweet and tastes like sugar, but I guess it helps hydrate and all that business.  My life motto is to eat sugar in the form of candy, not drink it, but I can’t say that it hurt my performance at all.

So all that stuff felt like a lot in my stomach and afterwards I felt a tiny bit queasy, but I will go on record and say that having gels and sports drinks is 100% better than racing on a completely empty stomach which I’ve done before.  And had a horrible race.

3) Outside conditions:  the course was super flat, the weather was great as I said, and there was just the right amount of people.  It wasn’t crowded but enough noise and commotion to make it fun and interesting.

4) Mentally I was ready to race.  I hadn’t raced in a LONG time, I hadn’t put in a huge number of miles; I was kinda fresh mentally and physically, I guess.  I’m talking out of my butt now.  I’ll stop.

It’s almost like this is a jail shot or something.  Running behind bars…

Look at all my free swag! score.

Sometimes all the pieces come together and you have a great race, like today, and sometimes you don’t.  That’s part of running.  The crappy races make the good ones all that much better.

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