Run with the Jets Half Marathon 2012

The thing that happens when you run about 6 half-marathons a year is that they lose the fanfare and become a "sure, guess I'll do that tomorrow" kind of thing.

When I started this blog, half-marathons were brand new to me and "a bigg-ish deal," in which I dutifully took the day or two before the race easy, in which I took care to go to bed early, to eat a good meal the night before (not too fibery, a little extra carb-y), in which the Gentleman came with me for support and for the picture memories (it kind of felt like "I need pictures, this is a rare experience!").

Same race, 1 year ago. 

Now that I've run who knows how many half-marathons in large part thanks to the SF Bay Area's wonderful abundance of them (I could probably run at least 35 a year if I wanted, without driving more than an hour!), they're no longer a big deal.

Hence, I found myself at the Run With the Jets half marathon in San Mateo this morning, having discovered it was happening about 4 days prior, deciding Saturday to run it, telling my favorite half to stay home instead of come support (the new pattern.  I want to save that resource for important races, like marathons).  Ah yes, and went to bed late (watching 007 and his mumsy), ate some sort of haphazard dinner at midnight.

I arrived at the race nervous!

Partially, because of the heart-pumping jitters and butterflies that caffeine gives my low-caffeine-tolerant body.  But mostly because I was scared to heck that I would discover:
a) my running issues that led to my recent two-week break (left butt-crease, front of the right hip) would flare up with a vengeance; and/or
b) I was significantly slower than earlier this year, prior to August, which is when I started taking sporadic breaks from running due to various pains and slowing down a little.

While nervous, I reminded myself that this was a "fun run" in the sense that I was just running it to see where I was at (for a good imprint of what my goals should be for CIM in 3 weeks) and to get in a nice 13 mile tempo run.

Because of the designated "fun run" status, I tried a few new things today:

  1. Ran in capris (usually race strictly in shorts! Reminder that capris require anti-chafe application in certain places I wouldn't have thought of....)
  2. Ran before the race (only 2.2 miles, but still)
  3. Listened to music the entire race (usually no music, or I save it for the last half of a monotonous race or marathon)
  4. Ran after the race (5.7 miles, for a total of just over 21 miles for the day with the 13.26 run).  Ew. ew ew ew, I hated running after the race.  I was not feeling it AT ALL.  It was a slow drag of 9:00-10:00 minute miles, but I had promised myself to make this a long run day since the other option was running long on Saturday, and....I didn't wanna.

Nerves, new things, but everything went very well!

First place woman, 1:27:18, 6:35 pace (by my Garmin at 13.26 miles), 19th place overall.

I saw 1:27:10 when I passed the finishing chute, but whatevs.

Winnings: one pair of running shoes from A Runner's Mind (I'm leaning towards the new Mizuno Wave Riders, but we'll see what options I have when I visit the store!) and a pair of running sunglasses that had a tag reading $230 (!!!???)....which I'm calling BS on.  There's no freaking way sunglasses cost that much.  All mine are less than $15.

I was relieved.  My speed is pretty much the same as it has been all year (compare to a 6:32 pace at my half-marathons in the spring/summer), and my butt-crease pain with the locked-leg feeling that follows when I run hard were MARKEDLY better than they were a month ago before I took my 2-week break, at which time I had ran the San Jose RnR half-marathon with a lot of misery.

My legs are not perfect (a little of that leg-lock feeling between miles 8-11) but an improvement for sure.

Another relief is that I didn't lose my mental game, which I normally do in half-marathons, around mile 7.  I tend to slow down between miles 7 and 11, and will usually find a 6:55-7:05 mile or two on my watch that will discourage me.  This time, all miles were just about 6:30-6:45.  Pretty even paced, besides a curiously fast first mile (I SWEAR I felt like I was going so. slow.  I was aiming for a 6:40, and thinking hmmmph, too bad it feels like this will be more like 6:50 if I'm lucky)

ok splits:

0.26 = 1:40, 6:23 pace

Run with the Jets notes:

  • Super flat, fast course, but monotonous and zero crowd support.  Nice view of the water, but again, monotonous.  Also not a big field of runners (I think between 350-500), so I often had no one in sight to chase or pace with.
  • Nice cool temps starting in the mid-40's, but the trail is on a path with the bright sun and no shade so it felt warm quickly.
  • What's up with the 0.1, race directors? This is the second race this year where after I passed the race's sign for mile 13, they have you run noticeably more than 0.1 miles.  Do they think we really want to savor that last stretch or something?  I hit the 13th mile sign at 13.05 by my watch, and finished at 13.26 by my watch....meaning the "0.1" was 0.21.  Maybe they didn't want to bother with making the half-marathon homestretch different than the 10k homestretch (which is accurately 0.2). 
  • Shout out to Jen (2nd place woman!) and Melissa, my lovely fast ladies who found me and said hi.  See you at the CIM Melissa!

I have slowly picked my running back up--it's been about 2.5 weeks since I came out of my running break.  I'll try and devote another post to how I built back up in the past two weeks.  And also talk about my new plan and goals for the CIM....three....weeks!