Rockin San Jose
This past Sunday was the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose half marathon. Last year I came within thirty seconds of my half marathon PR on this course and this year I initially had hopes to break that record. Sadly it came to my attention recently that this wouldn’t be possible. My legs have been grumbly for the past few weeks. Of course it didn’t help that it had been almost two months since my last double digit run. But I’m not the type to back down (especially after I’d already registered).
So I did everything possible to ensure a good race. I carbo loaded on Saturday with a simple bowl of spaghetti and marinara sauce. Went to bed uncomfortably early. I even had my legs taped up for the first time to help with calf/shin cramping. By the time I woke up on Sunday I was feeling fresh-ish.
I departed from Palo Alto early to avoid traffic and found that it was incredibly easy to find parking near the start and finish line. With time to spare I went to find Maggie, the awesome chick I met at Fitbloggin. We had discussed the possibility of running with one another and, although she didn’t know it at the time, I had hopes of using her as a pace rabbit.
At the halfway mark my lower back began to ache. I’ve never felt something like that before and I didn’t know how to react. All I knew was that Maggie was kickin’ butt and I wanted to keep moving. She had mentioned that 50-75% of the way through the race was her toughest point, so I did my best to move along smoothly. And we did. And it was good.
Each time we passed a stage, I did my best to rock out with them. There was a lot of 80s music, which was fantastic. I may not have been alive when the songs were topping the charts, yet I know each and every one. I haven’t always loved the performances on a race path, but this time it really helped keep my spirit up. By mile 10 I was letting everyone know how awesome they looked. When spectators said, “You can do it!” I replied, “We are doing it!!” It was probably the most glorious race I’ve run. And as we reached the end, I made sure everyone knew what I was looking forward to the most. Chocolate milk. *
We crossed the finish line three minutes slower than my PR. Perhaps we could have pushed to make it, but I’m not dwelling on that. Maggie set a new record for herself and I am so glad I was there to run with her. Scratch that. I’m so glad she was there to run with me. I learned quite a bit from this race and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.
Expectations and goals change naturally overtime. No, I didn’t set a new personal record, but I did finish the race with a huge obnoxious smile on my face. I pushed my body to move faster than I had planned and didn’t let myself slow down for any small excuse. I worked hard and felt great. And isn’t that a beautiful thing?
What is the craziest thing you’ve seen someone do during a race? How do you handle a change in goals or expectations?
*Dearest fellow runners, I apologize if my enthusiasm was distracting or annoying to you. Sometimes you have to psych yourself up to push yourself harder.