Sunday, October 5, 2008

Rock n Roll San Jose Half Marathon Race Report

I stayed up late last night writing up my day yesterday and I really regretted that this morning. I was excited about the race today so I had a hard time falling asleep and on top of that, I got up at 5am. I have to start drinking less water before I go to bed! I somehow fell asleep again and got up around 6:15am. Which is bad since we needed to leave the house no later than 6:30am to drive an hour to San Jose! Yikes. We rushed out of the house and somehow found parking quickly and got over to the starting time with 10 min to spare. Phew!

As soon as we neared the main drag of the race, I could smell the race spirit in the air. There were tons of people, warming up, stretching and doing whatever race preparation they needed to do. I was in corral 3 but apparently there were 13 corrals, with about 1000 people in each corral. Wow. I have never been in a race with that many people! When the gun went off, Duane and I took off pretty quickly. Much faster than I should have. With all the excitement and the crowd, I couldn't help it. Besides, my mind always want to run at a faster pace but my body has a harder time catching up! After Mile 2, I realized I needed to slow down. My lungs were working over capacity and I was feeling slightly lightheaded. I pulled it back a little. Around Mile 6, I realized I had to reconsider my running pace, yet, again. What the hell was I thinking I could "wing" a 13.1 miles?? Ok, need to pull back to over-self confidence, too. The sad (but inspiring) thing was around this point, the elite runners were coming down their final stretch on the other side of the road. And seeing these running machines and their amazingly fast strides made me want to pump my arms and pick up my speed just a little bit more. I'd never win a race but I can win the Julianne race. I struggled through most of the latter half. There was a point, when I thought about the unthinkable: walking. But I told myself, just a little bit longer. Not quite yet! It was especially disheartening to see runners by the dozens started passing me up, again and again. I told myself over and over, this is a race against me. Not against anyone else. I started to visualize an empty road with just me running, and it actually helped. The funny thing is, I was complaining about how lonely the SFM was... But it seemed a bit crowded today with 10,000+ runners. Hmm. I need to find a good balance.

What also helped me get through the race was that there was a runner carrying the US flag, who ran ahead of me for the most of the entire way. On the back of his shirt, it said: Gimme Something To Run For. And below it was a hand written sign "Support Our Troops". It was very inspiring to see someone who was so passionate about something to run 13.1 miles with a US flag on a big pole. He was carrying it high enough that even when I fell behind quite a a bit, I could see the flag bobbing. It gave me something to catch up to. I guess he was my "rabbit"! I didn't think I was going to finish the race under 2 hours. My legs were super tired and I felt like I had lost some steam after starting out too fast. I had slowed down so much around mile 6 that I was sure I was doing a 10 min mile pace. Thank goodness for the race clocks every 5 miles or so, it helped me keep track and reminded me where I needed to be. Around mile 10, I realized that I could still make it under 2 hours. So I picked up speed and maintained my pace. For the most part, anyway. Around mile 12, the clock said 1:48. I knew, I could run a mile in less than 10 miles! When I saw the 13 mile marker, I turned it on. Full. Speed. Ahead. I was in pain but it felt so good. I even passed up the guy with the flag towards the end. I wanted to tell him that he helped me along the way but I never saw him again. I was a also a bit emotional, too. End was in sight, yay! As I sprinted across the finish line, I knew I didn't PR but so happy with this time:After the race, I met up with a few friends and even got to see Aron and her friend. Here's the pic from my phone camera:

Ok, note to self: No more gray technical shirts at races.

Great job Aron and Audrey on a great race today!! Oh and Duane PR'd today. 1:59:46. Cleared 2 hours by 14 seconds! :-)

21 comments:

  1. I am so proud of you - I felt like I was there running next to you when I read your post! SO SO proud. :) You're inspiring me to do my first 13.1 - I'm still on the fence, b/c I've not trained at all.

    But you are inspirational.

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  2. Great job on the race - I love the smells and sounds of races. Congrats to Duane too for PRing

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  3. Great job! Congratulations to Duane for his PR. I love how you could smell the race spirit in the air! It is always nice to be able to pick someone out who can help you get through the rough patches.

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  4. Awesome job, Congrats! I know all about the mind wanting to run faster but the legs not quite catching up to it... doesn't seem like it held you back though.

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  5. Julianne that is FABULOUS!! Way to stick it out and come through with a fabulous time. It's most certain death (for me) when the "you need to walk" chorus chimes in. Way to beat it ;-)

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  6. awesome job julianne!!! that is a GREAT time! way to push through the tough spots! i love the parts about the race against yourself, not anyone else. that is SO true, for me at least :)

    i saw the guy with the flag too, he was right next to me at the start line and i saw him various other times during the race.

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  7. Great race! That is well under 2 hours! I love the idea of the "Julianne race." And hooray to Duane for PRing and winning the Duane race!

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  8. That's awesome!!

    It's funny how you pick those things out that push you to do that little extra.

    That feels so worth it in the end.

    Great job!!

    E

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  9. Way to go!! I mean, you PASSED your rabbit! That's a great sign!

    Congrats!!

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  10. Well done, so great that you got to meet fellow bloggers. Speedy pace!

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  12. Nice time, Congrats! you have inspired me for my upcoming race and given me hope that I can do it! :)

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  13. way to hang in there!!! i love finding people and inspirations to keep up with during races. this also reminds me of the first time i ran the Tufts Women's 10K in boston-- it loops back on itself at one point, but i didn't know this (and it was also one of my first races, ever)-- so toward the middle of the race i saw the "elite" runners, like the top 10, and i literally thought to myself: WOW, there's another race going on right now, too!!!! i thought it was like an olympic athlete race or something, they were literally sprinting and they all looked like professional runners... hahahaha. but they were just the front runners of the same race i was running!!! :)

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  14. This is a great time for "winging it"!!! What are you thinking for SF!! ?good job!

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  15. Great job, Julianne. Way to use the "rabbit" to push through the pain. Sounds like it was a very fun time. Congrats on running a good race, and to Duane for getting his PR!

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  16. Great report! I can totally relate to the times when you start to contemplate walking... funny how we can (sometimes) trick ourselves to going on just a little further.

    Congrats!!!

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  17. Great job...yes pain is good!

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  18. Found you through Aron's blog and have loved reading! Great job at SJ and I'll be in the mass at Nike along with you! Should be a great race!

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  19. Awesome job.
    I think that's a fantastic time!!!

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  20. Great job! Nike Marathon should be no problem.

    SD

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  21. Congrats on the great finish. It is these harder races where your training truly comes in, because you have use all that you know to continue to push through...

    Great finish. I wish I could have ran San Jose again this year. Oh well, definitely next year...

    Brian

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