Sunday, November 11, 2012

Run with the Jets Half Marathon 2012

The thing that happens when you run about 6 half-marathons a year is that they lose the fanfare and become a "sure, guess I'll do that tomorrow" kind of thing.

When I started this blog, half-marathons were brand new to me and "a bigg-ish deal," in which I dutifully took the day or two before the race easy, in which I took care to go to bed early, to eat a good meal the night before (not too fibery, a little extra carb-y), in which the Gentleman came with me for support and for the picture memories (it kind of felt like "I need pictures, this is a rare experience!").


Same race, 1 year ago. 

Now that I've run who knows how many half-marathons in large part thanks to the SF Bay Area's wonderful abundance of them (I could probably run at least 35 a year if I wanted, without driving more than an hour!), they're no longer a big deal.

Hence, I found myself at the Run With the Jets half marathon in San Mateo this morning, having discovered it was happening about 4 days prior, deciding Saturday to run it, telling my favorite half to stay home instead of come support (the new pattern.  I want to save that resource for important races, like marathons).  Ah yes, and went to bed late (watching 007 and his mumsy), ate some sort of haphazard dinner at midnight.

I arrived at the race nervous!

Partially, because of the heart-pumping jitters and butterflies that caffeine gives my low-caffeine-tolerant body.  But mostly because I was scared to heck that I would discover:
a) my running issues that led to my recent two-week break (left butt-crease, front of the right hip) would flare up with a vengeance; and/or
b) I was significantly slower than earlier this year, prior to August, which is when I started taking sporadic breaks from running due to various pains and slowing down a little.

While nervous, I reminded myself that this was a "fun run" in the sense that I was just running it to see where I was at (for a good imprint of what my goals should be for CIM in 3 weeks) and to get in a nice 13 mile tempo run.

Because of the designated "fun run" status, I tried a few new things today:

  1. Ran in capris (usually race strictly in shorts! Reminder that capris require anti-chafe application in certain places I wouldn't have thought of....)
  2. Ran before the race (only 2.2 miles, but still)
  3. Listened to music the entire race (usually no music, or I save it for the last half of a monotonous race or marathon)
  4. Ran after the race (5.7 miles, for a total of just over 21 miles for the day with the 13.26 run).  Ew. ew ew ew, I hated running after the race.  I was not feeling it AT ALL.  It was a slow drag of 9:00-10:00 minute miles, but I had promised myself to make this a long run day since the other option was running long on Saturday, and....I didn't wanna.

Nerves, new things, but everything went very well!

First place woman, 1:27:18, 6:35 pace (by my Garmin at 13.26 miles), 19th place overall.

I saw 1:27:10 when I passed the finishing chute, but whatevs.

Winnings: one pair of running shoes from A Runner's Mind (I'm leaning towards the new Mizuno Wave Riders, but we'll see what options I have when I visit the store!) and a pair of running sunglasses that had a tag reading $230 (!!!???)....which I'm calling BS on.  There's no freaking way sunglasses cost that much.  All mine are less than $15.

I was relieved.  My speed is pretty much the same as it has been all year (compare to a 6:32 pace at my half-marathons in the spring/summer), and my butt-crease pain with the locked-leg feeling that follows when I run hard were MARKEDLY better than they were a month ago before I took my 2-week break, at which time I had ran the San Jose RnR half-marathon with a lot of misery.

My legs are not perfect (a little of that leg-lock feeling between miles 8-11) but an improvement for sure.

Another relief is that I didn't lose my mental game, which I normally do in half-marathons, around mile 7.  I tend to slow down between miles 7 and 11, and will usually find a 6:55-7:05 mile or two on my watch that will discourage me.  This time, all miles were just about 6:30-6:45.  Pretty even paced, besides a curiously fast first mile (I SWEAR I felt like I was going so. slow.  I was aiming for a 6:40, and thinking hmmmph, too bad it feels like this will be more like 6:50 if I'm lucky)

ok splits:

6:15
6:33
6:32
6:30
6:35
6:38
6:35
6:38
6:37
6:40
6:43
6:45
6:30
0.26 = 1:40, 6:23 pace

Run with the Jets notes:

  • Super flat, fast course, but monotonous and zero crowd support.  Nice view of the water, but again, monotonous.  Also not a big field of runners (I think between 350-500), so I often had no one in sight to chase or pace with.
  • Nice cool temps starting in the mid-40's, but the trail is on a path with the bright sun and no shade so it felt warm quickly.
  • What's up with the 0.1, race directors? This is the second race this year where after I passed the race's sign for mile 13, they have you run noticeably more than 0.1 miles.  Do they think we really want to savor that last stretch or something?  I hit the 13th mile sign at 13.05 by my watch, and finished at 13.26 by my watch....meaning the "0.1" was 0.21.  Maybe they didn't want to bother with making the half-marathon homestretch different than the 10k homestretch (which is accurately 0.2). 
  • Shout out to Jen (2nd place woman!) and Melissa, my lovely fast ladies who found me and said hi.  See you at the CIM Melissa!

I have slowly picked my running back up--it's been about 2.5 weeks since I came out of my running break.  I'll try and devote another post to how I built back up in the past two weeks.  And also talk about my new plan and goals for the CIM....three....weeks!


27 comments:

  1. Way to GO! Congrats on a great run with minimal pain AND the win :)

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  2. Urgh, it's a miracle in MT if a race is measured even remotely accurately. I ran a 10k once that measured 7.5 miles and another that measured 6.9 miles. There is exactly 1 race in town that has certified 5k and 10k distances. Everything else is "close" or "approximate" or a "Montana 5k/10k/insert distance here" and what that means depends on the race director.

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    1. That's hilarious/ridiculous. I guess it's the price you pay for living somewhere as beautiful as Montana! Come to Northern California sometime, you'll have your pick of the litter

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  3. Hey, NICE pace and win! No speed lost there at all, and glad you didn't have any injury issues. So what the heck is up with the great prizes at all your races?! Rarely if ever do we get keeper prizes here in New Orleans. A beer glass if we're super lucky, but usually it is a plaque. I've never won money, and only won clothing (jacket, shorts) twice. I can't even imagine someone offering shoes as a prize! Never happens!

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    1. Not sure why it is common here, but a lot of smaller half-marathons around here have pretty neat prizes....often wine, but shoes really are the best.

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  4. If you weren't so awesome I'd probably hate you out of jealousy.

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  5. Congratulations again - can't wait for CIM!

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  6. Fantastic!! I still think you are going to rock CIM. :)

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  7. A win, an even race, AND less pain = super awesome. Way to go!

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  8. Congrats on the first female! I am cracking up over the comment to the RD. Really. ? What IS up with the extra mileage at the end of the course!? I have been running into that a bit too lately.

    Great job with pacing (even with the first mile red-hot!) I bet you 'll be ready to rock at CIM.

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  9. Wow...congrats on the win! A.R.M is my local running shop, I really like the people there. I'm still at the stage when a half is a Major Deal...can't imagine ever being nonchalant about it!!!! Great run!

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  10. I'm glad to see this went well and even better then expected. I've somewhat come to the conclusion about halves too. I also ran 6 this year and it seemed by the fall, I was just like oh...I'll wake up and do this tomorrow. I guess it comes with really high mileage too.

    I did a similar thing this weekend and after not running for 2 months (except for my first 30 mile week...) I decided to run the XC final cross country race LOL.

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  11. Congrats on the win!!

    Wave riders - word of advice, they fit a wee bit small. I would recommend getting a half a size bigger than your normal running shoe size!

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  12. That's got to be such a confidence booster. Congratulations! I'm so happy to hear your panic/pain/time off didn't lead to any fitness losses. Maybe, despite the pre-race nerves, your "no pressure" attitude helped with the overall mental game?

    also, re: post-race running. Hate. I've done it 2x, now, and hope to never need to drag my body through that misery again.

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  13. Wow! Congratulations! FREE SHOES!! It's great to hear that the butt crease pain stayed in check! I think you'll still pull off a great time at CIM.

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  14. Hi RR! Congrats on the race and on the triumphant return from butt crease/hip pain. I have been meaning to drop a note since I have a very similar problem (left butt crease, crazy-ass tight right hip flexor) that developed in the New Year. While I am MUCH slower than you and run MUCH lower weekly mileage, it was cramping my style and I had to seek professional help (other than Dr. Google) to sort it out. Big surprise but my GP was useless.

    I am far from being a hippie but let me tell you, hippie medicine can help. I went to an osteopath (something about spinal alignment...) and she made a huge difference to how my pelvis sits, taking the pressure off my glutes and hip flexors. Also, yoga has helped - not the slow Hatha crap - the good, hard stuff with lots of lower body work.

    This combination has helped me in ways that foam rolling, epsom salt baths and abuse of over-the-counter pain meds couldn't. Might be worth a shot! Cheers, Charlotte

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    1. Never heard of an osteopath, but I do know my pelvis/hip apparently isn't moving properly so this may totally be worth it. Gahhh, yoga.....how will I ever convince myself to go....so reluctant. Thank you for the advice, I'm so glad it has worked for you! Long live hippies!

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    2. Everything I know about osteopaths comes from Eddie Izzard: "I had to go see a chiropractor in New York. And they're different from osteopaths because of the spelling."

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    3. Well you just never know and I imagine if there is one thing you are not short of in San Francisco, its got to be hippies.

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  15. Nice job on the race! Glad that your injuries have started to subside a bit. Seemed like your butt crease pain has been there for a while.

    And yea I still think that pic from last year should be your blog header, that pic is magical.

    And about the race length, my garmin always shows a length that is more than the race length - I'm assuming that the distance is right.

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    1. Yup, I know race length and garmin length don't match up most of the time, I'm referring to the "0.1" homestretch, based on the difference between the official 13th mile sign and the finish line.

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  16. Yes!!! What an awesome time! I would love to run a sub 1:30 half one day!!! Seeing you slaughter these halfs gives me hope.

    And I have a hunch you are going to crush CIM! Those rest weeks might have been just what you needed.

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  17. Speedy fast - way to go!!! That butt crease pain doesn't stand a chance at CIM!!!!!

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  18. If I could take your legs and inplant them on me, I would. You are wicked fast and congrats on dominating the race and no pain!!!

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  19. Woohoo! First place! That has to feel so awesome. You rock dude.

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  20. yeah!! so excited for first place for you! what a fun run. _Brittani

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  21. I'm behind on your blog posts! :(

    Be-lated CONGRATS on your 1st place WIN!!!! You're such a speedy lady. So proud of you RR!

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