On Sunday I ran my 13th half marathon at Rock n Roll San Jose. Overall, I thought it was a nice race with good music (as is usual for the Rock n Roll series), and I had a great time!
Ryan and I made our two hour drive down to San Jose on Saturday afternoon. We stayed in the Hilton that was connected to the convention center where the expo was held, and was only a couple blocks from the start and finish lines. As soon as we arrived, we went to pick up our packets. Since it was later in the day, the expo was pretty quiet, and we had no trouble quickly getting our things. We spent a little time wandering around to check out some of the vendors including stopping by the Nuun Hydration booth.
Afterward, we wandered around downtown for a bit, and found a great spot for a drink at Farmers Union. It was a pretty cool vibe with lots of good beers on tap! Then we went to Pizza Bocca Lupo for a pizza dinner. We were a little unsure what it would be like when we arrived because it seemed sort of like fast food. But we had a fantastic time sitting out side, enjoying our pizza and some people watching.
Sunday morning we got up early as usual for normal morning race prep. The best part was that we left our hotel just 45 minutes before race start because it was so close! When we got to the start, we took a few minutes to check our bags. We had about 20 minutes to find a bathroom before the start time.
Bad news though — there were NOT enough porta potties near the first few corrals! This led to really long lines that did not move at all. Ryan and I ran all over trying to find one that seemed like we could possibly get through before the start. Nothing. Ryan realized there was a hotel right next to the start and with 10 minutes left to go we ran in and found a reasonably empty bathroom. Success! Honestly, this was my only gripe with the race. It seemed there were plenty of bathrooms along the course, and near the corrals further back though.
The race started right on time with the wheelchair division, then the national anthem, and finally the corral start.
My goal for the race was to start a little slower, and over the course of a few miles build up to near my PR pace. The first couple miles were a bit crowded, but they ticked away quickly. I tried not to weave too much around people and not waste energy.
Mile 1: 8:43
Mile 2: 8:27
Mile 3: 8:23
Mile 4: 8:19
Mile 5: 8:12
Near mile 6, we saw the race leaders on their way back toward the finish line — they were probably at about mile 11.5. It was a nice boost to see them speed by!
Mile 6: 8:16
Mile 7: 8:15
Mile 8: 8:13
A little before mile 9 I realized I was going to have to take a mid-race bathroom stop. I was bummed because I was right about pace with my PR time. The bad thing was I had just past the bathrooms at mile 8, so I was going to have to wait for over a mile! I tried to keep pushing through and not slow down. I finally found a bathroom just as I finished mile 10, but I had used up a minute of my time in the portapotty.
Mile 9: 8:31
Mile 10: 9:15
After I was done in the bathroom, I tried to pick up my pace and finish strong. I did well at first, but then ended up with a small stomach cramp and wasn’t able to hold on to the faster pace for the last two miles.
Mile 11: 7:59
Mile 12: 8:16
Mile 13: 8:19
Pace to finish: 8:11/mi
My final finish time was 1:51:26.
I was glad to be done running for the day. I was hot and tired. I had a fun race even though it wasn’t my best executed one. I always enjoy the race day excitement no matter what my finish time is!
Ryan had a big PR by almost 3 minutes!! He has been working hard, and this was a very exciting race for him!
Following the race, we enjoyed a pint in the beer garden, and listened to the band at the finish line. They were really fun! Since our hotel was so close, we were able to make it back to our room with time to shower before checking out and driving back to Sacramento.
What is your go-to post race meal? On Sunday we stopped at The Olive Garden for soup, salad and breadsticks. Yum!