See Jane Run Half Marathon

See Jane Run, 1:28:22

I'm heading to my big sis's baby shower shortly, but I want to get this report out now because I have a lot of strong feelings about it at the moment that I'll probably get over in 5 hours.

I'm no race connoisseur, as this was only my 4th half marathon ever.   Nevertheless, I know enough about how a well-run race works to confidently say I will NEVER.  run. a See Jane Run race. EVER. again.


The Good:

New PR!  I don't know my chip time, but my Garmin time was 1:28:24, and I'm likely only off by a second or so as I hit stop pretty shortly after crossing the finish line.  So possibly 1:28:23.

Update: Chip Time was 1:28:22

2nd or 3rd place! I have no idea how to find the results online, and as with everything else about the race, the after-race activities were a mess so I left before the award ceremony.

Update: 3rd place Overall of 1519 women, 1st place in division.  FREE SHOES BABY!!!

The Bad:

ohhh.  Pretty much everything.  The main two:

1)I got lost at one split DUE TO NOBODY DIRECTING US AT ALL, went the wrong direction, and lost a bit of time and lost some distance in my 2nd place lead (10-20 seconds of lost time?)

2) the last 2+ miles were so fucking awful I can't even begin to describe it.  We were forced onto a SIDEWALK, 4 feet wide, DODGING 5k-ers who were walking 5 abreast.  I ended up snaking the entire 2 miles, utilizing all my agility skills, and even bloody running on SAND while trying to pass people walking on the sidewalk.

This race and it's slogan is: every woman of every shape and variety joining together and running while eating chocolate and champagne (literally, that's the slogan, chocolate and champagne).  It is not about racing, running fast, or getting PR's.

What an insult to women.  "Hey estrogen peeps, don't run hard, take it easy and eat chocolate instead with a side of champagne! There is a McDonald's across the street if you want to ensure that you counter the effects of your 3.1 mile walk! "

Unfortantely for me, I actually wanted to run fast. Throwing the leaders of the half marathon into the sludging crowd of the 5k-ers on a narrow path, simply sucked.  big time.

I may be taking this a little far.  It is nice to encourage all women to run, because I do believe everyone can be a runner.  But any race director should know that there are ways to separate the casual walkers and focused runners from colliding.


I rolled out of bed at 6:50, left the house at 7:25, got dropped off near the start by panini at 7:40, scrapped the 200-person long lines for the port-o-potties and popped a squat behind some electric box thing (hey hey to my other ladies out behind the trees who I saw doing the same thing!), and then walked aimlessly trying to find where the starting line was (Race start time was 8:00 a.m.)

The first time I rolled my eyes at the estrogen-laden pandering was when some women on a stage led the thousands of waiting women through a high energy "warm-up".

I looked around with concern as the huge crowd of women went through these warm-up moves that, more likely than not, were completely new to their body.  Hell no, I was not going to be doing foreign movements right before a race.

I figured out where the starting line was and walked to the front where some intimidating looking woman were hanging out.

Panini, who had been looking for parking, ran up at that moment (2 minutes til start time) to take a picture and say hi, which warmed my heart.

I was having hair issues

Then I felt a tap on my shoulder, and turned to find Aron (fellow bay-area blogger who most of you must know) and Katie, who has a hibernating blog that I can't remember the name of.

Katie went on to WIN the race by a HUGE gap, she's UH-MAZING.  Just the most powerful chic, I loved to see it.

I was thrilled and stunned to see them both, but we had about a minute till GO time, so our conversation was cut short.  Looking forward to seeing a lot more of them around the bay!

p.s., keep your eye on the woman in the grey tank behind me, she comes into play in my running story.


The start was quietly announced (strange, right? Just a gentle "go!") and I immediately was thinking "ugh, I hate running.  This is not my day.  I don't feel good."

I shot out with Katie and another woman who's name I've forgotten (Carmen? Cameron? Camilla?) and saw them repeatedly through the rest of the race.

Starting line from a distance
We were off. I'm barely visible to the left of the red, which is Katie
Me on left

Grey tank on far left (Karen?), me, Katie

 So the reason I felt so usual, I went out a bit fast.

Mile 1: 6:19
Mile 2: 6:29

I hung near Katie and Carmen (let's just call her Carmen) for the first 1-2 miles, and slowly ended up in the very front, which was EXTREMELY uncomfortable, largely because I feared getting lost and taking a wrong turn.

We were running mostly flat, then did a 180 turn up a bridge, I almost took my first wrong turn, and then we headed out for a big loop around Alameda.

Mile 3: 6:40
Mile 4: 6:39

I can't remember when I lost my lead -- somewhere around Mile 5 I would guess -- but Katie just took over and her lead increased more and more throughout the race.  She must have ended up with a 1:25:xx is my guess?

The course was well marked at this point with orange cones everywhere.  We steadily climbed up for a distance, nothing too steep but I felt myself slow slightly.  Mile 6-ish, "Carmen" found me again and pulled ahead, to put me in 3rd place.  She did a great job of pacing me for the next few miles.

Mile 5: 6:51
Mile 6: 6:53 (hill)
Mile 7: 6:49

There were pretty views at times.  You could see the San Francisco skyline across the bay, the grey waters, and very very few people cheering.  Besides the volunteers, I'd say I saw less than 30 people cheering before the last mile (where the crowd was big).

I wasn't feeling awesome at all.  I had only been grabbing small sips of water, the temperatures were unexpectedly warm (65-68 degrees?)  (by the way THANK GOODNESS IT DID NOT RAIN), and my legs just weren't feeling loose.  Maybe it was that 6:19 first mile...

Mile 8: 6:54
Mile 9: 6:49

Somewhere around mile 9 or 10 is where I lost myself a few seconds.  I was in 2nd, and Katie was so far ahead I could not see her.  The pavement trail we were running on headed right, while a bridge was straight ahead.

No volunteers were in sight, and I had no idea which way to go.  I chose to go right.

The woman in the gray tank was behind me, and I turned to see if she knew where to go.  Luckily, she lives in Alameda, and knew we were supposed to go straight up the bridge.  Ack!

So I turned around, and sprinted towards to the bridge to try and keep my lead over her.  I barely, barely kept it, and was burning because of the sprint.  I no longer was comfortably in second place, but rather barely in 2nd place.

I have had this exact nightmare so many times.  The ole getting-lost-while-racing nightmare.

Mile 10: 6:48
Mile 11: 6:44

Oh, I should mention something: at mile 6 or 7, a guy passed me.  I figured he was just a random person out for a run, but later I saw him reach for water at a water station.

So I'm not sure if he was racing or not.  I understand it was a woman's race, but men were allowed to enter? I'm not entirely sure.  But for the record, if he was racing, then all this "2nd place/3rd place" stuff I've been saying is knocked back a person.

I'll update all this once I find out where the heck they are posting the resultsThe website sucked as much as everything else.

So mile 12 and 13 were, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, just....horrible.  So. Many people to dodge.

When you are as tired as you are at the 12th mile of a half, you do NOT want to be dodging, swerving, and pushed out onto grass and sand constantly.

I just don't know how else to put it.  It sucked.  Additionally, with the swarms of people, I was no longer able to track how far behind me grey tank was, and whether I had to start kicking it.

The crowd was way worse than it looks in this pic...

Me in the blue, pushed out to the side trying to swerve around people

Mile 12:  6:54 (dodging!)
Mile 13:  6:47
0.1:  0:40 (6:05 pace)

Sprinting through the finish line, I hit a dead mess of people.  Nobody was taking my chip, nobody was handing me a water bottle, nobody was handing me a medal.

It was ridiculous. 

Grey tank and I talked at the finish line -- she finished just ahead of me and OMG: remember how yesterday I complained about the old-school-janky anklet chips?  Hers fell off.  Who knows where.

So depending on her and the dude, I placed either 2nd or 3rd or 4th.  I don't think my chances are too high for the free shoes...

Hundreds and hundreds of 5k-ers had already finished, creating long lines for everything (the free champagne and chocolate, and champagne glasses).

I  chose to forego the lines.  I grabbed a few free luna bars and pop chips, figured out where to grab a medal and water, and got the heck out of the disorganized mess.

So that's the end.  I'm really happy for the dry weather and the PR, but this was a failure of an organized race.

Sorry that I'm the whiniest blogger ever, I'll try to write a super merry blog post soon recapping the wedding and baby shower events this weekend!