Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rock n Roll San Jose (Race report)

Rock n Roll San Jose 1/2
State #20 (Ca)

I have pretty much exhausted all the states I can compete in that are still tolerable to drive to, so ANY way I can save money with flights, hotels, etcs is on 'high alert' with my radar. I have family that live in San Jose, Ca, so I immediately thought this would be a good one to do, however when I looked up flights to San Jose, they weren't cheap. Luckily my family is AWESOME and said if I could find something that I'd be willing to pay that flew into San Francisco, they would make the 1 hour drive to take me to and from airport. (that's love right there).

I know I've mentioned travel zoo on a post before, but I can't express to you how much of a money saver it can be! Every Wednesday when they announce a destination, I always check to see if its located in a state I haven't raced before. Sure enough one week San Francisco was the city and I was able to snag roundtrip airfare from Nashville to San Francisco for $300 after tax- STEAL! Since I haven't been out to Cali since my uncle's wedding ( the same one I'm staying with) back in 2005, I figured it would be worth my time to stay a week.

Since we went to San Francisco on Friday, we had to wait till Saturday to go to the expo and drive the course. In my imperfect opinion, once you've seen a few Rock n Roll expos, you've seen them all. I had 2 goals to complete before leaving:
1. Find new compression shorts! My outfit was a skirt, but I ALWAYS wear shorts underneath to prevent the rarely sought after chub rub! I left my favorite Nike combat compression shorts-5'' at home- I seriously thought I packed EVERYTHING, story of my life. The expo was my only hope.
2. Also I randomly was looking at facebook on my phone thursday night when I saw this post:

With October right around the corner, we may as well do another Facebook drawing. Congratulations goes out to Lisa Jameson.  She's Glam's lucky Facebook winner of the month for October. Please email me your mailing address and which 2 headbands you'd like. 

What?!?! Yay! I emailed the lady that if I got them BEFORE Oct 20 I wanted these 2 zebra print ones since they go with the theme of my spandex and the other lady in my van for Vegas Ragnar. If I wasn't able to get them before that time frame, then I would choose 2 others, but let me know either way. I didn't hear from her so I figured I would stop at her booth while at the expo.

My uncle was nice enough to drive me to the expo and agree to drive the course afterward to get a feel of the terrain and such. I forget that if someone is a newbie they are probably overwhelmed by their first expo. He insisted I get the obligatory expo photo 

I did find some shorts by Moving comfort, but they were a little snug and all out of any larges- will have to do. Right when I walked into the main area with the vendors,  Glam Head bands was one of the first booths- SCORE. Unfortunately all I was able to do was write my name down and the lady made a note I was the October winner and was going to have the owner email asap- wouldn't it just be easier to give them to me and save money on shipping?!!?

After that I was going to leave, but my uncle was fascinated with all the free samples, so we went around to all the booths taking the free stuff before we left and drove the course. Course itself was throughout all downtown, fairly flat with an occasional slight downhill immediately followed by a downhill- I emphasize the world slight (30-40 ft elevation change whole race)

I received an email Thursday from AL H. that he was organizing a Half Fanatic meet up if I was interested- 7:25 @ gear check- of course I'm interested. Aunt and Uncle drop me off downtown at 7 and I roam around till I find the gear check and stretch until I see a HF shirt. 
LOVE palm trees! Downtown San Jose 

the 'final stretch'- finish line is the black banner. 

After waiting around for a bit, AL finally gets there, we take our photo, but then 1 or 2 more HF will come a little late (there were a few gear check signs so it was confusing) Thus we ended up taking multiple different 'group shots'
I stick out w/ non blue. This is the 'original' photo

Some people left, then Dave (navy blue) shows up. 

and a bunch more show up!

Afterward we're all standing around talking- majority of these folks have done EVERY Rock n Roll series race thus far, wow. Dave keeps staring at me and finally he says "I think I know why you look so familiar, you're my friend on Daily Mile"- ha second time that has happened to me at a race. Naturally we took our photo together. 

 Louie and I got along pretty well, so we had to get our photo too.... and yes those are actually his REAL glasses.

A few of us start walking toward our respective corrals, and who do we run into... ENDORPHIN DUDE! If there is anyone that might be as well known in the amateur running world BESIDES Dave Mari (duh!), its endorphin dude. Since he lives in San Fran, quite a bit of his races are on West Coast and I've never met him till now

And for all those readers out there that love HIMYM- he is like Barney Stinson- Endorphin Dude (Tony) was actually in the middle of talking to someone when I snapped this photo, I was just trying to 'catch him in action'. Then when I looked at the photo, he was staring and smiling right at me.... I swear that was not the case as it was happening!

Afterward we all departed to our corrals and wished eachother luck. 

Since the race itself was nothing to write home about, I've broken it down to the Good, Bad and Ugly- and there was definitely some ugly. 

The Good

  • Weather. It was probably between 50s and 60s from start to finish. Although I did sweat, I always do, there was only one point where I got really hot, and that was in the last mile. 
  • The people. I've been to many half fanatic photos prior to race start, and this was the first time everyone made sure to introduce themselves! I had 3 of them friend request on facebook later in the day- 2 wrote on my wall about how it was nice to meet me, and AL went above and beyond and sent me a message about how it was nice to meet me and how he found my blog and had some insight on the wear pattern post I had a few days ago for fitness friday! I'm definitely looking forward to running into more west coasters for future races :)
  • Aid stations- although SUPER crowded- many of the aid stations we were run by high schoolers / cheer leaders / athletes, so they were all yelling out positive affirmations and had far too much energy- put a smile on my face everytime. 
  • Inspiration. There were quite a few world class athlete's there. 6 of the men qualified for the Olympic trials for the marathon. Meb Keflezighi was there (he was at the expo signing autographs but the line was too long) and this is his 3rd year in a row winning the race with a time of 1:02 and change. Probably the most breath taking part of the entire race was when I was nearing mile 6 and on the other side of the road comes the police escort along with the truck that has the time on it for the person in the lead, Meb, to see. They were announcing his accomplishments as he RAN by- I tried to take a photo, but it showed up as a blur. At that point he was literally a full minute ahead of the 2nd place guy- ahhh what an experience to see. Also the 6th place guy who qualified for Olympics with 11 sec to spare, proposed to his girl friend upon crossing the finish line. He said that he wanted this day to TRULY be the happiest day of his life by not making it just about him. The last mile he wasn't even thinking "need to qualify for olympics" he was thinking "I hope she says yes"- how ROMANTIC!
The Bad
  • Right away my legs felt HEAVY, leaving me tired already into the 4th mile. My first 4 miles were sub 9, but I never went below 9 minutes again until the last mile. 
  • After taking maybe 10 steps past the start line, I had to pee- BAD. I eventually did stop during mile 4- but I hate cutting into my time when it can be avoided. 
  • So I realized that I do need a little elevation in my life. Mentally a flat course seems GREAT, but for me it generally leaves me sore in my hips and knees- today was no exception. It got to the point that I was 'shuffling' because its all I could to do to prevent walking... and there was a TON of walking (oh well) 
  • New shoes- although I have run about 4 runs in my Saucony's- they probably should have been broken in a little bit more. 
  • The ENTIRE race was crowded- I felt as though I was constantly bobbing and wearing throughout the race. I understand RnR races are busy, but this was only 13,000 so I thought it would thin out. Wrong. 
  • Garmin screen shut off at mile 10. I thought I had locked it, but I was wrong. My only saving grace for somehow running under 2 hours was that I knew I was exactly 1 min behind the clock. 
The Ugly
  • Guess who got period cramps right away in the race- this girl. I guess I've been blessed and really haven't had to deal with this issue for many races, but IT.SUCKED.BAD. The jostling from running eventually got to me, and I vomited- TWICE- ick. 
    • I've said it once, I'll say it 1000x over- I would MUCH rather run with a pain from a joint / ligament / muscle issue, then to deal with any type of digestive issue going on- ANY DAY. 
    • Due to the fact I was just feeling 'peachy'- I couldn't help but count down the miles until the race was O-V-E-R. Not a happy camper. 
"kicking it in"- have no idea where everyone else is because there were tons of people around

So there's my race- the before was great, its just the pesky running part that didn't go my way. 
I'm still happy for the following reasons:
  • Finally ran a race on the west coast!
  • Got to see family out of it. Once I got out there, EVERYTHING was paid for. The only items I bought were trinkets from street vendors in San Fran. 
  • Met a lot of half fanatics that were new to me + daily mile friend.
  • Earned my triple crown RnR medal
  • Qualified for level Venus now by doing 20 half marathons in 20 different states within a 365 day time frame! 
  • I also learned that aiming to go sub 2 hours should no longer be a goal for me considering despite how crappy I felt, I still got it... barely. So I think my new "sub 2 mentality" will be 1:55 since I do have to work harder to reach that time. We'll see how it goes!
Official Time: 1:59:36
Splits ( following my normal routine of being inconsistent)
Mile 1: 8:17
Mile 2: 8:20
Mile 3: 8:40
Mile 4: 8:50 (pee break)
Mile 5: 9:44 (vomit time #1)
Mile 6: 9:04
Mile 7: 9:10
Mile 8: 9:20
Mile 9: 9:20
Mile10: 9:09
Mile11: 9:28 (vomit time #2)
Mile12: 9:28
Mile13: 8:46
didn't realize my garmin was still working, so never stopped it when I crossed the line, so I don't know the last .2mile time. 
Ted, me, Nancy after race back home. 

State # 20 done
Overall place 2686 / 9831
Age: 143/ 913
Gender: 751/5416


  1. Congrats on 20, Miss Venus! That is so awesome.

    I really like the good, bad and ugly format for race reports. Sorry you had lots of bad and ugly this time.

    Ah, that pesky sub 2. So jealous that you make it sound so easy.

    And, west coasters are awesome, just sayin'. Come back again real soon,ya hear.

  2. 20 states!!!! wow!!!! that is incredible! and that medal is super sweet! plus another level as HF!? love it! so cool that meb was there too. PLEASE do your utah race while i live here. seriously. come stay with meee! haha! congrats on another accomplishment!

  3. I can't believe you hit 20 in one year, that is incredible! I love that you can show up to a race and find people you know on Daily Mile in another state, ha!

  4. I must bow down to you! As the girl that is always throwing up, I have yet to do it TWICE during a race. I'm a little bit jealous. ;)

    Endorphine Dude was totally by us through almost all of the Disneyland Half!

    Sounds like a really great trip! How nice that your family is there and you were so well taken care of!

  5. For some reason I put an "e" at the end of Endorphin. Erg. Oopsies!

  6. awesome job on your 20th state!! looks like a fun group at the half fanatics meet up. i still have only been to 1, and there were only 4 of us. hopefully for savannah.

  7. girl you had a big race for all your obstacles! and the 20 in 20 in 365 ROCKS!!!!

    and it NEVER FAILS... i get my period the night before every half marathon i've done. at least i lucked out for the marathon.

  8. Congrats on everything! 20 in 20...awesome! Great race report.

    I'm determined to become a Half Fanatic next year!