This past Saturday I had the pleasure of running the See Jane Run half marathon in Alameda, CA. I’d been planning to run this for a few months, but it managed to sneak up on me before I knew it. Don’t get me wrong, I did several long training runs before the day of, but somehow it didn’t sink it (this is a recurring problem for me).
So I set to bed early on Friday and woke up at 5:45am ready for the day. Suited up into my typical race outfit, capris and a pink top, then dilly-dallyed for some time. Around 6:15am I got into the car to head up to Alameda early as I wanted to grab a bagel before the race. Well, those hopes were dashed when I saw how crazy the parking situation was.
After claiming my spot, I rushed to the start area to find Maggie. One quick port-a-potty stop later and she agreed to search for a bagel with me. By the time we returned (with bagel in hand) it was 10 minutes from the start. We sauntered over and took a lovely photo (I actually really like it which is rare for me!). And then, as we were about to start shuffling, Maggie casually asks, “Did you remember to wear sunscreen?” Facepalm…
As we get going we were actually quite positive. We realized that, with this flat course, there was a very solid chance that we can set a new PR for Maggie. And we set out to do just that. We started jogging with the other Janes at a steady clip. Mile 1 was a bit faster than I’d have liked (because I’m oh-so-conservative), but it felt good. Then we found ourselves on a completely uncovered straight away. Apparently Alameda is hotter than San Francisco, I had no idea that the weather forecast for the day was sweltering.
Somehow we unintentionally sped up for the next three miles. Neither of us seemed to notice as we trotted along. We chatted a bit about life and how I’m frustratingly uncertain what I’ll do after graduation. Getting into a steady rhythm. Once we crossed the pedestrian bridge it seemed to be a touch crowded since the path only allowed for three people across. So we started to leap frog around a bit (probably not our best idea) and we were doing quite well for a while…
But then after eight miles of running in the uncovered heat, both of us became a bit disheartened. We’d been doing great, chasing the pace group right in front of us, but the heat was taking its toll. The time for our ninth mile (and every mile following) was drastically longer than the first eight. I tried to keep our spirits high, with a smile on my face and loudly cheering for everyone we were with. Unfortunately my positive attitude couldn’t get us to push much harder, that heat was killer.
Approaching the finish line we picked it up into a sprint and finished strong. Although we didn’t make our goal of PRing, we finished together and in fairly high spirits. Moments later Katie came applauding over, so proud of our effort. My lovely ultimate frisbee pal Katie had conquered the 5k and was kind enough to wait for us. We immediately grabbed some champagne and took a much needed seat to gab about the day. It wasn’t even 11am yet and I was beat. By the time we stood up again my legs were very confused, but brunch needed to be consumed!
For the majority of the race I insisted on telling people my reason for running – bacon! So I was quite pleased that we made it to a nice restaurant to monch on some. I’ll admit, it wasn’t my favorite bacon, but at that point almost any would suffice. Overall it was a great morning spent with some lovely Janes.
So, would I run this race again? Only if someone tells mother nature to take it easy. I’m not a fan of being active in that type of heat, and most certainly not if I’m in direct sunlight for several hours. But this is definitely a course I’d run again (in the winter), completely flat and scenic. The field is fairly small but incredibly supportive, which was incredibly helpful as my energy decreased. And the shwag? Awesome. Check out the new medal I’ll be rocking!
Now to decide if I’ll enter the See Jane Run Triathlon in October…
What do you run for? Chocolate, champagne, beer, cupcakes?
Well, almost. I submitted all of my work and have confirmation from each of my professors that I have indeed passed. There is no failing out of grad school for me! Now, I just need to muster up the courage to give a speech in front of several hundred people. Of course graduation falls on the 50th reunion weekend for my program, so I’ll have a great deal of alumni in the audience as well. No pressure…
I’ve spent the last few days cleaning up my apartment and office in preparation for my eventual move. It is amazing how therapeutic it is to go through all of my items. Somehow I’ve given away a disturbingly large amount to Goodwill, I had no idea I’d amassed so much crap. Here’s hoping I can live with less once I return to the real world (whenever that happens).
In running related news, this morning I’m heading off to Alameda to rock the See Jane Run half marathon with my lovely running partner Maggie. Thank goodness she dragged me out for an 11 miler a few weeks ago or I’d never be prepared! At the Rock and Roll San Jose I helped* her PR, so I’m secretly hoping we can do that again. Again, no pressure whatsoever…
What races are you rockin’ this weekend?
*The term “help” is used lightly. I’m pretty sure it was all her and she was trying to finish quickly to get away from my peppy, obnoxious race self.
Congratulations to Cece, Jen (jrfishx2), and Amy Krazy! You lovely ladies will be rocking at the See Jane Run next month! I know you will kick serious butt.
To all the others who were interested in joining us, here is a 10% off coupon to register – SJRSFAMB13 It would be great to run with all of you!
If you are going to be at the race, please drop me a line so we can have a run-by-hugging at some point. And so we can clink glasses as we celebrate another race done well.
How is your training coming along?
I rocked a 10 mile run with Maggie on Saturday, followed by another fun 5 miles that afternoon (I’m an overachiever). Looking forward to some cross training this evening and another 4 miles in the morning. If I can knock out 11 miles this weekend, I think I’ll be set! Not sure if I can PR as I had initially hoped, but I’m thrilled about running with a sea of great females. That, and I love chocolate (who doesn’t?).
This past weekend I spent a few days in New Orleans with some great family friends and my two best friends. It was seriously amazing. I’ve been to New Orleans several times in the past, but I can never get enough of the place. This time of year the weather is perfect, the crawfish are in season, and everyone is a bit too friendly.
We started off the weekend the right way, with drive thru daiquiris, face painting, and a parade. Who knew that New Orleans was so into St. Patrick’s day? It was a rather tame night (I needed my rest), but we tasted some delicious seafood, imbibed a few beers, and got into the N’awlins spirit.
The next day we started off late, as my friends like their sleep, and had a full southern breakfast. Dear goodness I could get used to grits topped with an egg and sprinkled with bacon. Of course our host, Glenn, wouldn’t allow us to leave the house without sampling some crawfish. Breakfast dessert? I don’t see why not! We taught Anastasia how to crack ’em open and downed a few pounds before leaving the house.
Our first parade consisted of hundreds of drunkards throwing random items at us. And then there were the lengths of men that gave out flowers with a kiss. At first I didn’t understand the concept, but then we got into it. By the end I had a full bouquet, several new garters, and even a few dollars that were slid into them. Twas quite amusing, but we were starting to get restless and decided to go into the French Quarter.
The evening began with one of the best restaurants in the city, Jacques Imo’s, with some of A’s friends. If you are ever in the area, I suggest checking it out. We were stuffed and oh-so-pleased by the time we left. That night was a mixture of people watching (what else is Bourbon Street for?), great jazz, and some late night munchies. We left the city at 3am (the latest I’ve been up in a while) and were all ready for a rest.
Sunday brought yet another parade. We didn’t spend much time watching as there was no need for beads, but we did devour a few too many pounds of crawfish. They had a forty pound pot going when we arrived. I’d estimate that the three of us consumed at least ten pounds (if not more). It was so spicy that I was constantly wiping my brow, yet that wasn’t enough to keep me away. I don’t know how I lived my life so long without a proper crawfish boil.
We wound up in the French Quarter yet again that night. Had a few drinks at Pat O’Brien’s, a New Orleans staple, before getting the courage to sing karaoke. Right as we stepped on stage, Kenlie walked in to support us. It was great to hang out with her all night. We hopped from one bar to the next, which isn’t tough as they are right on top of each other, and danced our faces off along the way.
It was a weekend I won’t soon forget. In fact, I’m currently detoxing from all of the amazing eats I had. (It is a rule that you have to try all the delicious food while you are there!) Was great in the moment, but I need to get it out of my system and get back on track. If you haven’t been, I demand that you put it on your list. There are few US cities I would urge you to visit and New Orleans is in the top five.
Have you been to New Orleans? What would you do if you went?