Race to the End of Summer (literally)

Oh man, is summer really over? I’m not ready for the shorter days and a full time class load :(  Well, I ended summer with a final last minute addition to my race schedule. My friend Leslie suggested we run the 5k portion of Race to End of Summer on Sept. 9. I figured why not, can’t hurt to get a good little speed run in right?

Unfortunately, Leslie’s grandmother passed away right before the race so she had to fly home and I ended up running the race solo. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I had never heard of the race but I knew I wanted to place in the overall top 3 women finishers and I was looking for a sub 21:30 finishing time. I completed one of those goals.

I arrived with plenty of time to spare and ran a nice little warm up mile. It was sunny in San Jose and getting warmer by the minute. I made my way to the start line as the 10k runners started. A few minutes later and we were off. The race started and ended in a business park. The 5k course includes a small section of trail, but the 10k and half marathon courses seemed to include much more of that section. The course was pretty flat but I just couldn’t seem to push myself. And then, right after the mile 2 marker, my shoe came untied! What! This had never happened to me in a race before. I knew I was the 3rd woman and so I hurried to tie my lace and keep my spot. I made it to the turn around and saw that I had some space between myself and the next woman. The heat bothered me (I don’t know why, it wasn’t THAT hot). But I maintained the distance between myself and the woman behind me and crossed the finish line at 22:07 by my watch (I stopped it when I tied my shoe, official finish time 22:19). Dang it, I missed that PR!

 

3rd Place!

I hung out for a bit and then ran my cool down mile and changed into some trainer shoes. When I returned results had been posted. They were organized by age group and I was 3rd in my division. But they did not have overall results posted. It seemed like I might be 3rd overall woman but I couldn’t be sure. When they started to announce the results, the name they called as first woman finisher was not the name of the woman who finished first. It seems something got a little mixed up as the records indicated the first woman finisher was actually a teenage boy! Whoops. Once that got cleared up, the correct winners were named and yep, I was 3rd!!! Woohoo!! And my prize? A gift certificate for a pair of shorts or shirt at the Lululemon showroom in Los Gatos! Awesome!

New Lulu shorts!

While I was sad about missing that PR, I was stoked with the finish and the great prize. I think this is a race that would be more fun to run with friends, running through a business park is a little hard to get excited about, but still I’m glad I ran it. After the race, I drove back to Santa Cruz so Jenn and I could cheer on Elise who was completing her first Half Ironman! What an awesome accomplishment for her!

My sign for Elise!

Here are my splits for the 5k:
Mile 1 – 6:19
Mile 2 – 7:17
Mile 3 – 7:32

 

Color Me Rad

This past weekend I ran the Color Me Rad 5k with three awesome friends, Pat, Jenn, and Laura (Jenn and Laura from SCE). The event is fun run (no timing chips, no placing) that raised money for the Pacific Autism Center for Education. The idea is that you start the race clean and pristine…

and then as you run through color stations…

you turn into a colorful running fool!

I picked up our packets the day before that included the normal tee, some awesome Fay Bans (fake Ray Bans), and “RAD” temporary tattoos. The race was held in San Jose on a cloudy morning. We headed out from Santa Cruz, parked at a nearby strip mall, and jogged over to the event. I couldn’t believe how many people were there! Lots of people wanted some serious color!

 

We didn’t go into this like we would a normal race. We didn’t run fast and we even took a long potty break before we even hit half a mile. We stopped and took pictures and just had fun. And, as you can see, we did a little jumping too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was definitely a fun experience and I had so much fun running with my friends. If you ever have a chance to get colored rad, I say go for it!

BTW: it was super choose from all the fun photos we had from that day, Laura did an awesome job taking pictures!

13.1 Long Miles…

It started off so well.

Today I ran my third half marathon, the San Jose Rock n Roll Half Marathon. For the past couple months, I had been eagerly awaiting this race for several reasons. One, Kevin’s dad ran it with me. Two, it’s a Rock n Roll event. Three, the course is flat and even, perfect for a PR (personal record).

The weekend started off perfectly. We drove up to the expo yesterday, picked up our goodie bag and numbers. Then we spent the day in Santa Cruz with Kevin’s parents and his aunt and finished with a good dinner. I had a hard time sleeping, I kept waking up thinking I had overslept. But we left Santa Cruz and got into San Jose with about an hour to spare before the race – ideal. We parked close, but not too close to the starting line, stretched and just relaxed a little before the start. This is the biggest race I’ve run in, so I also watched the thousands of people fill the area. We jumped into our designated corrals and waited to get going.

I had trained well for this run. I ran some big runs the weeks leading up to the race and responsibly tapered off this week. However, school started this past week and I had enrolled in a dance class – the first one in over 7 years! I am really glad I’m dancing again but it has taken a toll on my legs. I took Friday off to let my legs rest a little more and of course, didn’t run yesterday.

Before continuing with how I did on the race, I have to say that the Rock n Roll races are great for several reasons. They have live music a little over every mile of the course. And this course also had cheerleaders throughout. All that cheering definitely brings a smile to your face. The race overall is well-organized and planned out. From the roped corrals to the finisher’s area, the organizers have it all covered.

Back to my run. I felt very strong for the first 8 or 9 miles. I was staying with the pace to PR (approximately 8:10). I loved hearing the music and the thousands of feet hitting the pavement with me. Then I hit mile 10. My legs started to feel heavy and my thighs ached. My legs rarely hurt when I run. Usually I slow down because I have a hard time breathing or get a side cramp. So, I tried to focus on what I knew I am capable of running, reminding myself that I only had 3 miles left (a measly 5k). I could not get my mind to control my legs and I slowed down. I kept telling myself, I can’t walk – what if Kevin and his mom and aunt see me?!? I’m so close! I can do this! But I took a few steps. Then I ran, and it hurt. Just before mile 13, Kevin, his mom, and his aunt cheered me on. I yelled back “I’m dying!” But I ran. I then gave in and walked a few more steps. Just then someone in the crowd yelled, “Only a quarter of a  mile left!” And I thought, I can run this!! And I did.

I crossed the finish line with an official time of 1:50:20, just shy of a full minute longer

Finisher's Medal

than my best half marathon time. I really could have beat that time, or at least met it if I had taken those brief walking steps. Frustrating! I really felt down and disappointed when I saw that time. But everyone cheered me up and reminded me that I did well and I ran 13.1 miles – that’s a long way!!!

I have another chance to PR in two weeks, but that race has more hills and even more people. I am realistic and know that this scenario will make a PR more difficult. However, you have to give yourself goals, right?