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?).
I’ve been incredibly busy these past few weeks with school, attempting to find a job, and puppy sitting. Things have been stressful, but I’m doing my best to learn how to manage that stress (today that means consuming a lot of chocolate). I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking and writing about my running career (for a class) so I thought this was quite fitting. This post was stolen from Miles For Thought who originally took it from Olive to Run, and I’m sure it originated even further back then that…
1. How long have you been running?
I was talking to someone about this recently and realized that I’ve been running since high school (10th grade) to get out of gym class. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but at one point I quit the volleyball team because I couldn’t keep up with the 0.9 mile run they did before practice. It was too much for me. But two years later I was jogging 5ks on the treadmill. Since then I’ve worked my way up and won’t ever stop! (I hope…)
2. Why did you start running?
In our high school the option was to take a gym class in school or use an outside activity to fill the requirement. I chose to go to the local YMCA with a friend and work out to avoid the options in school. We always started with cardio which is when I found my way to the treadmill.
3. What is the furthest distance you have ever run?
Technically I believe it is 26.57 miles. Not all marathons are marked the same, so I actually did a bit more than the typical 26.2. I’m hoping that I can work my way up to a 50k in the future.
Crossing the finish line of Boston. I’m pretty sure I was in tears that I was able to finish it (I’m a crier). I was so nervous the night before and finishing it was a great win for my confidence as a runner. That and when I recently PRed at the Oakland Running Festival. It felt great to power through to the finish line and give it all I had.
5. What shoes do you run in?
I’ve run in Brooks Ravenna for the past five years. Recently I went to a store and they recommended I try a new shoe. I’m a bit skeptical but am giving the Asics Gel Nimbus 14 a shot (and wearing my Ravennas on the side).
6. What are your favorite and least favorite distances to run or race?
Half marathons are my favorite distance. I really get into my stride by mile four and if I can keep my pace then I know I’m in for a great race.
Hmm, don’t actually have a least favorite distance. I know that marathons are tough, every time I hit mile 16 I’m questioning why I signed up for the full, but that doesn’t mean I dislike it that much.
7. Do you have a running partner?
My father and I used to run together, but now we are on opposite coasts. In Ohio I ran frequently with my pace leader, she was a great motivator to push further (and talked me into running my first half and first full). At this point I don’t have a running partner but would love one.
8. What is your favorite place to run?
At this point I’ve just been running around campus. I do enjoy going into San Francisco and tackling all of the obstacles that it offers (coughhillscough). I imagine this will change as I’ll be moving in two short months.
9. What is your favorite running accessory?
I don’t think I could live without my iPod shuffle. That extra boost of pop music can really keep me going and motivate me to push until I make it home.
10. Do you like outdoor or indoor running?
There is no question about it, I’m an outdoor runner. California has near perfect weather all year around so there is no reason to run inside. I can handle the “bad” days with chilly temps and rain, so much nicer than the frigid Ohio winters.
11. What is your favorite time of the day to run?
Right around dusk or early morning before the sun is too high. A 7pm run is ideal as long as I’ve fueled and hydrated properly throughout the day, although it means I’m ravenous by the time I return home.
12. What races have you run?
Too many to count? I’ve run four full marathons – Boston, CIM, Big Sur, and San Francisco. Nine half marathons, several random distances in the form of trail or relay races, and more 5ks than I can remember.
13. What music do you listen to when running?
I’m a big fan of obnoxious pop music. I’ve been known to thank Britney for helping me through a race, anything along those lines really keeps me pumped up. I also enjoy Rock My Run mixes because they put together some great beats.
14. What is the hottest or coldest weather you have ever ran in?
I recall one morning in Ohio when I left the running store in 4°F. It was brutal! A few miles in we had icicles in our eyebrows. But I was a pace leader and it was my duty to be out there helping others, so I was there and didn’t whine too much (as I can recall).
15. What are some other exercises you love?
I love ultimate frisbee and dancing.
16. Are you currently training for something?
I always consider myself to be in training. At this point I am looking forward to the See Jane Run half in June and then I’ll hopefully do another full in November. (Stay tuned for your chance to win an entry into the race!)
17. What are your current or future goals?
Run a marathon on each continent. Although I might settle for a half marathon on each… I want to travel the world and think it would be great to run everywhere I go.
18. Advice for new runners ?
Don’t be afraid of how fast or slow you are going. Don’t let anyone discourage you based on your appearance, speed, technique. Just suit up and go. No one can deem you a runner and no one can take that away from you. Enjoy yourself.
I never thought of myself as a runner
I don’t have a runners physique
And I move rather slowly
Even though I had completed numerous 5ks and short races
I was just dabbling, I was a jogger
I thought, “After I finish my first half, then maybe I’ll be a true runner”
But I completed my first half, and I was still the same
So I thought, “Maybe after my next half, then I can call myself a runner”
I completed four half marathons in six months
But I remained the same
Then I got a golden ticket and began training for my first full
In April 2011 I slowly but surely crossed the finish line of the Boston Marathon
And it was as I crossed that finish line that I was forever changed
I am a lot of things
I am a daughter
I am a student
But if you ask those close to me about my defining attribute
They will tell you
I am a runner