Sunday, June 3, 2012

See Jane Run half marathon 2012

This race is a little bit of a heartbreaker.

First, I didn't get my goal time of <1:26.  I basically ran the exact same pace I ran at the Oakland half marathon, and I figured I would get my 1:25:xx by running on a course that put me at 13.1 miles, based on my watch.  The See Jane Run course was a little more spastic this year (we did some odd loops within business center parking lots...) and just like Oakland, my 6:30 average pace going by my watch still brought me to a 1:27:xx.

Second, I never saw another runner's footsteps in front of me until the end of the 12th mile (11.8ish).  That is to say, I led the entire race.  The bike leader was so friendly, so motivating, and let me know mile by mile that 2nd place woman was "about 40 seconds behind me."  It stayed that way until mile 11, when I started physically but MOSTLY MENTALLY dying, and the pressure of holding on to 1st place for another 1.3 miles was too much for me to handle.  The more that my biker, Mary, pushed and encouraged me to hold my place and stay strong, the more I felt like giving up.  It was a terrible mind game and I hated myself while it was happening, but I really felt it was the pain that was stopping me.  Of course, feeling spritely and energetic once the race was over, I now know it was not so much pain as it was mental wimpy-ness.  Seriously.

All that said, I had such a wonderful race.  I mean, leading, with a personal bike friend, for almost 12 miles, was so flipping great.  The race was so improved this year, with exceptional organization (aside from some timid volunteers that got whipped into shape by the bike lead for not telling us both to turn...until we had passed the a gentle whisper...).  The weather was great.  I felt good, especially hip/buttcrease wise, aside from the last 2 mile march of misery as I lost my lead.  And what the heck, I got second place out of over1400 women, and a FREE PAIR OF NEWTONS running shoes for placing first in my age group! (1st place woman was 33 years old, out of my age group.  Phew.)

Now, just so you don't get startled as I dive into the recap and race photos, I should warn you.

I am a brunette again

Big sigh of relief.   It will now be that much easier to keep track of me apart from all those other blonde runner girl blogs.

I thankfully was able to sleep in until 7:00 a.m., since the race began at 8:00 a.m. only a 15 minute drive from my home (and I am a pro at getting ready for a race fast.  The secret: eat caffeine the second I wake up so the bathroom business is done fast, and then I don't warm up besides walking or jogging from my parked car).   It was especially nice to sleep in until 7:00 because I wasn't in bed until midnight due to my 10-year high school reunion Saturday night.  Hence the cute dress above, and I'll post more about it later.

I walked right up to the start at about 7:52 a.m., looked for Katie who WON this race last year, and never found her because I later learned she wasn't able to race due to health concerns.

Mornings are rough for me. 

We started just about on time, and I was fairly surprised to learn as I jumped out of the gate that no one else was flying out with me.  Because the woman who got first place is smart and knows how to reign it in for that first mile.  Ugh.  Classic lack of restraint.  For my credit, the first mile was too fast, but it was  gently downhill.  And I was chasing the hot cops on bikes! How could I not speed up to show off for them!?

Mile 1: 6:06
Mile 2: 6:23
Mile 3: 6:28

Thar I be behind the neon yellow biker, in the orange shorts

I think first place is in the red just to behind me to the left

So check out Mary, the bike lead in bright yellow in the photo above.  God I wish I could stick her in my pocket and use her at every race.  Examples of why I love her: she yelled at people who were walking their dogs on the trail that the race was on to Move Out Tha Way.  She yelled at volunteers who weren't signaling which way to turn to TELL US which way to turn (so I wouldn't get last year...) and she also yelled once for some squatting volunteers that I would like a Gatorade, since no one was holding any cups out.   Man, I love race volunteers, but something is so ODD about the See Jane Run volunteers.  They were like this last year.  So timid at the lead runners, afraid to hold cups out or yell directions.

After my first mile at way too fast a pace, I cruised steadily between 6:20 and 6:40, including a good mile or more somewhere between miles 4 and 8 that was a steady climb up a maybe 2% grade.  Nothing to tough, but it was getting hard to hold my pace under 6:40 for those miles.

Mile 4: 6:19
Mile 5: 6:33
Mile 6: 6:38

While keeping me company on her bike, Mary was confounded as to why I didn't have a "fueling plan".  I told her I had 3 "chews" in my pockets around mile 7 when she noticed I hadn't eaten anything yet, and at that point I wasn't sure whether I would eat them or not mostly because the idea of eating while running a half still sounds uncomfortable and painful and just easy to neglect during a short 1.5 hours when you aren't thinking about food.  She admonished me, and noted that if I want to work on negative splitting or avoiding the last few mile fade, I need a fueling plan.  She was right--when I took 2 chews at mile 7-8, I was propelled to a faster speed for miles 9 and 10.  I had one last one at mile 9.5, and then fade...fade....fade...

Mile 7: 6:46
Mile 8: 6:40
Mile 9: 6:31 (the chews kicked in!)
Mile 10: 6:35

Oh, how could I forget RAY!?  Ray.  So, men are allowed to run See Jane Run, but they do not count towards the winner results.  Therefore, when Ray caught me around mile 3, I wasn't worried about him taking my lead.  I said hi and got him friendly, so he ran with me all the way through miles 11.5, with the exception of the uphill mile where I lost him behind me for a while.

He wasn't very talkative, but it was nice to pace with him for a while.  He tried to get in front of me at the end of mile 11 when I was fading, so I could draft off him (it was windy!!) and keep my woman's lead.  But I just couldn't.  He sacrificed himself for me, and I couldn't pull it up.  Thanks for trying Ray! I believe he finished just ahead of the first place woman.

Now that last 1.5 miles.  I let 1st place pass me, I held her in my sight, but ultimately she finished about 30 seconds ahead of me.  She is an Impala.  Another sign I need to join the team!

Mile 11: 6:39
Mile 12: 6:47 (giving up...)
Mile 13: 6:58 (shut the FRONT DOOR and stop being such a baby.  This was so not necessary...I was not hurting enough to run my last mile my slowest.  B.S.)
Mile 0.3: 1:52 (6:34 pace).

Homestretch.  Getting hot out!

Time: 1:27:19
Overall: 2nd woman of 1424
Age Group: 1st of 201

Lessons learned: a) fuel.  b) runner a slower first mile.

The end.  Thanks for listening!


  1. Love the hair!
    Congrats on second place! I saw the starting pic on their facebook page and thought the girl in the orange shorts looks like rose runner but with brown hair lol. I guess ive kinda stalked enough of your race photos that I can recognize you :)

  2. Nice work!! The mental game is huge. I crack like an egg under pressure so I'm trying to up my mental fortitude. I also used to think I didn't need fuel for a half but I think that was a big fat lie I told myself.

  3. I am so jealous, I just paid the big bucks for a pair of newtons. You better let us know what you think of them! Good job yesterday!

  4. Uuughh, I can feel all of the emotions that you experienced here and this sounds fairly similar to a race I ran about a week and a half ago now. How the heck is it possible to feel so great physically but then mentally just beat the crap out of yourself for no good reason??? Mental grief is so much more challenging to overcome then physical grief, and it completely sucks when you walk away from the finish line feeling like you just took an easy jog through the park. But the mind is just like every other muscle in the body and we have to spend grave amounts of time training it and telling ourselves that we are stronger and faster and can kick anyones @$$ that toes the line. I'm starting to learn that there isn't anyone physically stronger then me that beats me, instead it's those who have a killer mental game.

    You did great, and congrats on the 1st AG! Newtons are a pretty funky shoe, they take some time getting used to but feel so light and springy on the feet.

  5. Oh wow. Congratulations on your race - but yeah, I can just imagine how those last miles must have felt. Gosh :( BUT hey free shoes! Yay!

    Also, love the hair color and the pink dress.

  6. Oh man -- I bet it was frustrating leading most of the race only to have the mental battle at the end. But congrats on 2nd overall and first in age group -- still good accomplishments.

    Also, love the hair and the dress! Both super cute.

  7. Congrats! Second place is none too shabby...and I looked up the first place woman's your close second is outstanding. Pacing plan, fueling plan and a training don't need no stinkin' Impalas. I think you could do this YOUR way.

  8. I know exactly what you mean by mental wimpiness leading to your demise. My experience yesterday at the Lake Chabot Trail Challenge was basically the worst performance mentally that I've ever had -- a complete breakdown. But I view it as a lesson learned. Now more than ever, I know it's important to train myself in suffering both physically AND mentally. Also, I need to work on those dang hills! Ugh.

    Congrats on an awesome race, the shoes, and your purty new hair do!

  9. I've said it before and I'll continue to say it - I love your race recaps! Whether good or bad I always get so caught up in them like I was there in the race with you! You should be so proud of that second place, and look at how close it was. Sounds like all around you were pretty amazing.

  10. So, you're this good without the Impalas. Think about how amazing you'd be with them.

    Alternatively, joining them would do nothing to your speed, but give you a cliche of fast runners to hang out with.

    Who knows.

    Regardless, fuck yeah free shoes.

  11. Oh hell yeah I totally saw you at the start! You were flying! (Um, as you mentioned, I guess. That first mile is hard not to go too fast down--I suffered in miles 11 and 12 after too fast a start too). Awesome job and congrats on the new shoes!
    I put a link to you in my recap, if that's ok--mostly because I was indignant about the "winning" guy and felt much better about it after I read your recap.

  12. 1. Super cute hair!
    2. Super cute dress.
    3. I second Be Meiri Rose: "Fuck yeah free shoes"!

  13. Your world is one that doesn't have many inhabitants - being able to outright lead a race for 11.5 miles. That is amazing. Almost no one gets to experience that feeling. Aside from winning a few small individual track races in high school, and briefly leading a trail race a couple years ago - leading a race is something that will probably never happen again for me.

    You ran a great race - that biker girl sounded awesome. Maybe you could have reigned yourself in just a tad to run miles that are paced more evenly, but you ran a great race. Bummer that Katie wasn't able to race, seems like you 2 always battle for the top.

    And the Impalas are super fast - they beat out the Asics Aggies at Bay to Breakers for the first time ever I think, beating the course record in the process I think.

  14. Love the brown hair! Back when you posted some childhood pics a few days ago, i was thinking the brown hair looked good on you. Great job on beating a whole lotta women!

  15. Love the darker hair! And hey, you ran a solid race, fought off the other chick for 11 miles, had fun with people on the course...and you got 2nd place and free shoes. Heck yes!

  16. It sucks being so far ahead for most of a race and then losing it regardless of if you're 1st or 100th. I ran a half trail run at Mount Diablo in April and was 14th or 15th until mile 9 when the downhill started. I had some Ultima Replenisher at the aid station because it was handed to me and I was so thirsty and it gave me super cramps causing me to run downhill slower than I ran uphill! From there to the finish I was passed by 10 or so people; super sucked.

  17. Second place? Sweet. I've never had the lead bike...I do aspire to it someday...but must be nice! Interesting how much fueling helped at this race. I don't always fuel for a half, but I guess I should.
    I think you already are an Impala. You're crazy fast! Look at those mile splits! Can't wait to see you on a fast, normal-length course.

  18. um, I like the brunette. and I'm sorry your little mean heart is broken but I still think you are fab. carry on.

  19. Congrats on a wonderful race!! Add me to the list of people who love the brunette look -- it looks perfect with the color of the dress you're wearing in the first pic.

  20. You're a beautiful brunette!! I need to work on the during race fueling too!
    I am pissed you didn't win the Trials and XLMC rocked the video-contest!!!
    I hope you've been having a good week!

  21. Hi!

    First - great hair. You look awesome.

    Second - great race, even though you finished second. You are super fast!


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