The SJ RNR is my favorite race because it was my first real race. I became a “real” runner after the crossing the line of this half marathon in 2009. It is at that moment that I decided to actually train and learn everything I can about running. My time at that time? 2:12 or something.
I remember going to the library and checking out every single Runner’s World magazine issue they had (or at least going back from 2009 to 2007 or something… I read an insane amount in the matter of WEEKS). Learning about the art of running and training for a race (and all the crazy gadgets, fueling, do’s and don’ts), I was able to PR by 20 minutes for my second half marathon ever.
Anyways, I have no idea how many halfs I’ve run (15? Maybe getting close to 20??). In that time, I’ve ALWAYS returned to the SJ RnR Half to PR.
And I did it again:
It’s not my official time, but I know I got in way under 1:40 (my spoken goal was to PR… my secret goal was the break 1:40).
Never been able to run the tangents well on this race, but oh, well. Don’t really care that much if I’m able to PR!
This would not have been possible without my running group, the Running Addicts, to keep me running strong! Just seeing them on the course was awesome. I love knowing people at a race, especially considering how I used to race and then just leave (no one to celebrate the PR at the race).
Weird thing? I don’t think I got any raceday photos! I was running late in the morning, so all I could do was find parking, jog over to the start, run into some RA’s, and do a little bit of warming up and final trips to the bathroom.
It was a good day. What was even better? A BWTT reader was there, and we had coordinated through email to meet up. Jennifer had a big goal of breaking 2 hours, which she did by like 3 or 4 minutes! I got to run the last 3/4 mile with her. It was so fun to chitchat with her after the race as well. Congrats on the huge PR, Jennifer!!!
Splits… if you’re interested:
Mile 1: 7:17 <— Umm, hold your horses, pal. You’re going out WAY too fast.
Mile 2: 7:22
Mile 3: 7:35 <— settled into a better pace
Mile 4: 7:30
Mile 5: 7:31
Mile 6: 7:34
Mile 7: 7:35 <— everything felt really awesome
Mile 8: 7:40 <—- finished eight miles in just over an hour
Mile 9: 7:50 <— was this the mile where they gave out GU? It probably was… and that’s probably why I slowed down.
Mile 10: 7:37 <— chasing Rebecca from this point
Mile 11: 7:33
Mile 12: 7:23 <— Rebecca tells me to go for it!
Mile 13: 6:54 <—HOLY CRAP, I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW UNTIL RIGHT NOW (O___O)
Last 0.1 (or 0.22 in my case): 6:33 pace <— felt crummy, but I knew I had to empty the tank and give it my everything.
Overall pace: 7:28
Things that may have helped for this race:
1. Tapering. I was super crabby about not running or working out that much… but I think it was all worth it to get a PR. Oh, but I only tapered one week, haha. I think that was enough (at least for a half).
2. Vietnamese food. Not only is it one of my favorite cuisines, it is packed with a good amount of carbs (rice noodles… so easy to digest), some veggies, probably a lot of sodium, and some protein. Oh, and the Vietnamese dessert, che, is one of my favorite desserts (also packed with carbs).
3. Maybe hanging out with all of my sisters from church for a baby shower the night before?
And eating deliciousness like these:
4. The Running Addicts: like I mentioned before, I saw them throughout the course. Some of them got to set a challenging pace for me, and others were waiting at the finish area to celebrate! It makes a world of difference to see familiar faces (among 16,000 people).
5. Praying… as well as some tough self-talk: There were moments when I would pray to God to give me strength. Near the end, I just kept asking myself, “How badly do you want to break 1:40? How badly do you want to PR?” and since I wanted it badly, I was able to keep the tough pace. I knew it would be worth it in the end. If I didn’t really want it that badly, I would have slowed my pace… but I only race one half per year, and I hecka wanted that PR.
OMG, I didn’t get any school work done over the weekend. It’s going to be a loooong night!
Do you have a favorite race? Do you have a race you MUST do every year?
What was your first race where you truly “became” a runner (or triathlete/cyclist/competitor of some sort)?