Sunday, March 27, 2011

Oakland Half Marathon Recap

They Say Never to Try Anything New on Race Day...

Let's take a look at the numerous things I did wrong, which should technically have resulted in a failure of a race day.

1) I wore a brand new pair of shoes, in a style I've never worn before.  They came in the mail two days prior to race day.

Saucony Pro Guide 3

2) I wore brand new socks.  I got a little shop-happy at the you will continue to see...

I have ALWAYS wanted a pair of REAL running socks. My first.
3) I wore brand new sunglasses.  Again, expo.

$19.95.  So light and flexible.

4) Brand new shorts.  Beginning to see a trend...?

I only run in shorts with full pockets, which is hard to find, so I had to swipe these.  $30.

5) Brand new hideously bright 80's tank -- I bought this so my sweet supportive boyfriend would be able to spot me easily, because the last time he watched me race there was a little issue called "he has NO ability to differentiate runners as they speed past him", and I had to holler up in his face as I was passing by.

Just hideous.  Wait til you see me in it.

6) I ate something unfamiliar to my stomach the night before -- an entire roasted kabocha squash (a small one).  I went to bed feeling like a log, and really, really kicking myself for eating it (I also had extreme heartburn from it)

I hate you Kabocha.

7) I woke up and drank something entirely new to me (from the expo)

I had about half.

8) I ate caffeinated Gu Chomps before the race, something I've never done before (I usually eat a banana before running -- NOTHING else seems to sit well -- but we were all out of bananas).  I usually avoid caffeine at all costs.

Mine were cranberry apple I think

9) I decided not to bring my ipod.  The last 3 times I have tried to race with music, my effing Apple product decided to effing die at the start, so I give up on effing Apple products.

However, if you saw my brief earlier post, my race was not a failure at all!  It went as smooth as possible.

If you're wondering why I never mentioned this upcoming race in the past couple weeks, it's because I only signed up for it 1 week ago.  I don't know why I was dragging my feet.

Oh wait yes I do.  Because races are FREAKIN EXPENSIVE.

The race began at 9:00, which was just dreamy -- I woke up without an alarm at 7:30, got my business done at home, then sauntered over to the start a mere 1.5 miles from my front door at 8:30.

No, it is not 1988.  I'm just wearing highlighter-green.

After shivering in my ugly tank and shorts (upper 40 degrees), I tucked in about 10 rows deep behind the starting line and we were off at 9:00 promptly.

8:45, waiting.

I felt crazy disconnected to my body, thanks to the caffeinated Gu Chomps and my shivering skin, so couldn't tell what speed I was clocking.  I was loosely aiming for a 7:15 pace, but truth be told hadn't put much thought into it at all and was just going to run.  Have some fun.

This is about the 3 mile mark, first time I saw my boyfriend.  Smiling!

My Garmin alerted me at the one mile mark.  I looked down to see where I was hanging.

Mile 1: 6:27

"Oh. SHIT" -- I said this, out loud, truly concerned.   I never, ever run sub 7:00's outside.  I have done 6:40's a few times on the treadmill, but it's not a pace I can hold for more than 15 minutes. 

In short, I thought I screwed myself, and that I would be hobbling the rest of the race.

Instead, this is what happened.

Mile 2: 6:47
Mile 3: 6:34
Mile 4: 6:39
Mile 5: 6:43
Mile 6: 6:47
Mile 7: 6:46
Mile 8: 6:49
Mile 9: 6:49
Mile 10: 6:47
Mile 11: 6:48
Mile 12: 6:48
Mile 13: 6:50
0.1 (0.36 according to Garmin): 2:21, 6:26 pace

chuggin along

Spot the bright green?  Passing some men at mile 9.

I really don't know what happened.  Like I said, I don't run sub 7:00.  I kept thinking I would run that pace for 1 more mile, but I never ended up feeling bad enough to stop.  So I just kept it up.

Terribly consistent though, right?  Look at how many of those miles are within 1-2 seconds of each other!

My chip time was 1:30:00, and I mentioned in my earlier post that when my Garmin hit 13.1 miles, my time was 1:28:24.

Any thoughts on Garmin innacuracies?  Do GPS's fail, or does this mean I was weaving/taking the long route?

Doesn't look like I'm weaving...
1st place in division (of 379), 5th woman (of 2,095), 57th person (of 3,408)

Here's the sad part though.

As I ran through the finish line, a race official approached me, threw a tag over my neck, and said "CONGRATULATIONS, YOU PLACED THIRD!".

To which I said "huh?  Of Women?"


So for the next 2 hours, I proceeded to brag to my boyfriend, my mom, Mr. Incredible Runner Dane Rauschenberg, and my two friends who were also running the race, that I placed third.

I really wanted to go home and shower.  Instead, I sat around waiting because the idea of standing on a podium and getting a trophy SOUNDS PRETTY FRIGGIN AWESOME.

Finally, at noon, I learned that the race official is a gosh darn dream-ruiner, and was mistaken in giving me that tag.  I placed 5th in Women.

And so, that is how an incredible race ended up making me actually feel quite bad.  I was moping as we went home.

Another reason I was mopey -- and this addresses a reader question -- is that I was a MILLISECOND from breaking the almighty 1:30.  And I KNOW I had it in me.  I'm not sore at all for goodness sake, I didn't kick it at the end.  I really regret not making that 1 second happen, especially with how much energy I had afterward.

And then I remembered I kicked butt and had a really, really good time in my own city, and so all is good.


  1. Lol I said that :D But I was totally kidding, this is so freaking awesome!!!! I loved every second of reading this!!! LOVED. I was smiling for you. And you rocked that neon green top!

    Also I just tried that FRS energy drink a few days ago and I really liked it :)

    Seriously, YOU ROCK and your race pics are adorable/amazing :D

  2. Yes, please do remember how well you did!
    1:30 is an AWESOME time! You never expected to run so fast, and this just lets you know of your speedy capabilities! :)

    Trying the new stuff-no, not the brightest idea ;)
    At least you looked good doing it! haha
    I'm proud of you Rose! Keep up the hard work!

  3. Insane! What a race!

    Your race outfit is awesome, your colors really reminded me of my high school running outfit (purple and gold, singlet style too).

    And that is awesome how you violated all the pre race rules on things and still destroyed the race! The only thing I think is a big no-no is the new shoes on race day (unless you bought the same version of shoes), but completely new shoes with a new version of shoe, glad it worked out!

    About the garmin thing, almost every race I do that involves turns my garmin has me doing more mileage than the actual race, I think it has to with how they mark the course distance initially (a guy on a bike rides the course and takes the shortest legal route possible).

    And I think it's awesome that you got exactly 1:30, that just sounds great!

  4. That is just awesome! I was at the edge of my seat throughout this entire post. And I want to punch the dream-ruiner in the face. I'm glad you realized though how amazing you did, and don't let the other stuff get you down! You are incredible!

  5. Congrats on placing fifth, that's awesome!!! It must have been really dissapointing to be told you were third and then find out you aren't, but just think next time you CAN be third and throw it in the dream-ruiner's face!

    Not going to lie, when I saw the pics of new shoes for race day then new everything else as well, I kind of got an 'oh no' feeling, but it's great to hear nothing stopped you on race day!

    ~ Harlow

  6. Absolutely amazing time! You go girl!

  7. I ran Oakland yesterday as well, and my total distance was exactly the same as yours - 13.36 miles. My first "mile" beeped way too fast, though, so I was off from the beginning. I thought maybe being within the tall buildings did it?

  8. Hi over achiever...what the f*ck is wrong with you!!! 6 minute something miles is crazy!! That's like dude times!! Keep bragging that neon ass of yours! Great job!

  9. Great pace. New shoes for the run now thats what I call dangerous.
    Congrats on the race

  10. Holy fast and consistent. Awesome job!

    So much for not trying anything new. Sometimes coloring outside the lines leads to something good.

  11. You are lucky: you get to experience the feeling of essentially breaking 1:30 for the first time, twice:
    1. This time when you know you could have
    2. The next time when you do.

    Relish in that.

    As for placing - it is all a matter of luck and who shows up. I have run 25 marathons faster than the fastest marathon I happened to win.

    Rock on.

  12. A) That race official blows.
    B) YOU ARE MY HERO!!!! Your time is seriously amazing and I'm in awe. CONGRATS!!!
    C) I bought those SAME glasses at the Surf City expo - we're suckers!

  13. Wow that is seriously incredable! You are seriously awesome and I absolutely love any sort of retro running gear.

    That happened to me about the race official. It was a real pain in the butt.

    Xanthem gum used to make me gag but then I started to add only 1 tsp versus 1 tablespoon and it makes all the difference. :)

  14. OH MY GOD I have opened your blog literally three times already and then not had time to read it, and I can't believe I waited so long because you are FREAKING AMAZING!! Sub 7s for an entire half is unbelievable, you speed demon!! I think you are my new hero. Even though that completely sucks that he got your hopes up like that, your time is absolutely amazing and it sounds like you had a great race!

  15. Holy crap! Awesome job! I hear you on wishing that person would not have told you you were third. You kind of can't trust people on the course. Like those people who say "you are almost done" when, no, you aren't ;)

    I think you rock the yellow top really well!

  16. WOW, what a race! Sounds like a huge plateau breakthrough. I am so excited to read more about your upcoming races!


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