See Jane Run half marathon 2012

This race is a little bit of a heartbreaker.

First, I didn't get my goal time of <1:26.  I basically ran the exact same pace I ran at the Oakland half marathon, and I figured I would get my 1:25:xx by running on a course that put me at 13.1 miles, based on my watch.  The See Jane Run course was a little more spastic this year (we did some odd loops within business center parking lots...) and just like Oakland, my 6:30 average pace going by my watch still brought me to a 1:27:xx.

Second, I never saw another runner's footsteps in front of me until the end of the 12th mile (11.8ish).  That is to say, I led the entire race.  The bike leader was so friendly, so motivating, and let me know mile by mile that 2nd place woman was "about 40 seconds behind me."  It stayed that way until mile 11, when I started physically but MOSTLY MENTALLY dying, and the pressure of holding on to 1st place for another 1.3 miles was too much for me to handle.  The more that my biker, Mary, pushed and encouraged me to hold my place and stay strong, the more I felt like giving up.  It was a terrible mind game and I hated myself while it was happening, but I really felt it was the pain that was stopping me.  Of course, feeling spritely and energetic once the race was over, I now know it was not so much pain as it was mental wimpy-ness.  Seriously.

All that said, I had such a wonderful race.  I mean, leading, with a personal bike friend, for almost 12 miles, was so flipping great.  The race was so improved this year, with exceptional organization (aside from some timid volunteers that got whipped into shape by the bike lead for not telling us both to turn...until we had passed the a gentle whisper...).  The weather was great.  I felt good, especially hip/buttcrease wise, aside from the last 2 mile march of misery as I lost my lead.  And what the heck, I got second place out of over1400 women, and a FREE PAIR OF NEWTONS running shoes for placing first in my age group! (1st place woman was 33 years old, out of my age group.  Phew.)

Now, just so you don't get startled as I dive into the recap and race photos, I should warn you.

I am a brunette again

Big sigh of relief.   It will now be that much easier to keep track of me apart from all those other blonde runner girl blogs.

I thankfully was able to sleep in until 7:00 a.m., since the race began at 8:00 a.m. only a 15 minute drive from my home (and I am a pro at getting ready for a race fast.  The secret: eat caffeine the second I wake up so the bathroom business is done fast, and then I don't warm up besides walking or jogging from my parked car).   It was especially nice to sleep in until 7:00 because I wasn't in bed until midnight due to my 10-year high school reunion Saturday night.  Hence the cute dress above, and I'll post more about it later.

I walked right up to the start at about 7:52 a.m., looked for Katie who WON this race last year, and never found her because I later learned she wasn't able to race due to health concerns.

Mornings are rough for me. 

We started just about on time, and I was fairly surprised to learn as I jumped out of the gate that no one else was flying out with me.  Because the woman who got first place is smart and knows how to reign it in for that first mile.  Ugh.  Classic lack of restraint.  For my credit, the first mile was too fast, but it was  gently downhill.  And I was chasing the hot cops on bikes! How could I not speed up to show off for them!?

Mile 1: 6:06
Mile 2: 6:23
Mile 3: 6:28

Thar I be behind the neon yellow biker, in the orange shorts

I think first place is in the red just to behind me to the left

So check out Mary, the bike lead in bright yellow in the photo above.  God I wish I could stick her in my pocket and use her at every race.  Examples of why I love her: she yelled at people who were walking their dogs on the trail that the race was on to Move Out Tha Way.  She yelled at volunteers who weren't signaling which way to turn to TELL US which way to turn (so I wouldn't get last year...) and she also yelled once for some squatting volunteers that I would like a Gatorade, since no one was holding any cups out.   Man, I love race volunteers, but something is so ODD about the See Jane Run volunteers.  They were like this last year.  So timid at the lead runners, afraid to hold cups out or yell directions.

After my first mile at way too fast a pace, I cruised steadily between 6:20 and 6:40, including a good mile or more somewhere between miles 4 and 8 that was a steady climb up a maybe 2% grade.  Nothing to tough, but it was getting hard to hold my pace under 6:40 for those miles.

Mile 4: 6:19
Mile 5: 6:33
Mile 6: 6:38

While keeping me company on her bike, Mary was confounded as to why I didn't have a "fueling plan".  I told her I had 3 "chews" in my pockets around mile 7 when she noticed I hadn't eaten anything yet, and at that point I wasn't sure whether I would eat them or not mostly because the idea of eating while running a half still sounds uncomfortable and painful and just easy to neglect during a short 1.5 hours when you aren't thinking about food.  She admonished me, and noted that if I want to work on negative splitting or avoiding the last few mile fade, I need a fueling plan.  She was right--when I took 2 chews at mile 7-8, I was propelled to a faster speed for miles 9 and 10.  I had one last one at mile 9.5, and then fade...fade....fade...

Mile 7: 6:46
Mile 8: 6:40
Mile 9: 6:31 (the chews kicked in!)
Mile 10: 6:35

Oh, how could I forget RAY!?  Ray.  So, men are allowed to run See Jane Run, but they do not count towards the winner results.  Therefore, when Ray caught me around mile 3, I wasn't worried about him taking my lead.  I said hi and got him friendly, so he ran with me all the way through miles 11.5, with the exception of the uphill mile where I lost him behind me for a while.

He wasn't very talkative, but it was nice to pace with him for a while.  He tried to get in front of me at the end of mile 11 when I was fading, so I could draft off him (it was windy!!) and keep my woman's lead.  But I just couldn't.  He sacrificed himself for me, and I couldn't pull it up.  Thanks for trying Ray! I believe he finished just ahead of the first place woman.

Now that last 1.5 miles.  I let 1st place pass me, I held her in my sight, but ultimately she finished about 30 seconds ahead of me.  She is an Impala.  Another sign I need to join the team!

Mile 11: 6:39
Mile 12: 6:47 (giving up...)
Mile 13: 6:58 (shut the FRONT DOOR and stop being such a baby.  This was so not necessary...I was not hurting enough to run my last mile my slowest.  B.S.)
Mile 0.3: 1:52 (6:34 pace).

Homestretch.  Getting hot out!

Time: 1:27:19
Overall: 2nd woman of 1424
Age Group: 1st of 201

Lessons learned: a) fuel.  b) runner a slower first mile.

The end.  Thanks for listening!