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  • Rock n Roll San Jose 2014 Write-up

    Posted on October 6th, 2014 Michele Sun No comments

    I’ve run Rock n Roll San Jose since they first came to San Jose, and I was a total newbie back then. So RnR SJ and I have sort of growing and putting in miles in Bay Area together. This year, thanks to GU Energy Lab, I signed up this race

    a month ago, and this time I am confident that I would make it. Last year the race took place when I was in hospital, and I almost pinned the bib to my hospital gown and walked in the hallway dragging the the IV pole. But the image of painfully snail paced me, blood bag, morphine,.. just didn’t blend well together and I couldn’t bring myself to joke about running that way.

    Sunday Oct 5th, I was up at 5:00am and faithfully slapped sunscreen on before leaving the house, for it’s gonna be a very hot day in Silicon Valley. I got to San Pedro Square around 6:15am, and as I was putting on my hydration pack (30oz of GU Brew) heard someone calling me. Turned and saw Michael and Jesi on their bikes — they would be mobile EMS through out the course today. We gingerly walked toward the Start and it’s nice to see them volunteering today. That’s something we have in common, running, racing or giving back to running community. They went to report to the medical/EMS tent, and I walked around watching race unfold before my eyes. It was still really dark but already felt the energy in the air.

    7:00am, standing by the corner of Santa Clara & Almaden like the prior years, I studied the excitement and tension on runners’ face. I must be just like them before, huh? Now, I am a returned runner who is just grateful to be standing here and able to shuffle her feet. This weekend I am supposed to run 12ml, so this race fit into my training program for New York perfectly. Did I have a goal? I wanted to run under 2:10 at a steady pace and not bunk. Might be hard today because of the heat, but I would run with my best effort — that’s my plan.


    I no longer running with music or GPS telling me my pace, because I like to engage with and listen to my surroundings and pay attention to how my body feels. Before mile 4, I past the 2:00 pacers and their pack, immediately alarmed myself “oh no, I am running faster than what I should,” so I dialed down my pace a bit and let them went ahead. And looking back now, it’s a smart move because later the race became much tougher because of the heat, and I was able to keep up because I had conserved my energy. At 10km marker, I saw the clock reading 1:09 and thinking “right on target.” I kept the pace and effort at the same level for the next 5K, and kept sipping the GU Brew from my hydration pack without stopping at aid-station. I was in this race by myself, and weird as it may sound I found it therapeutical after a surprising event took place just couple days before.

    At 15K marker, I was running toward downtown again and it’s a long stretch from here to the Finish. There were still many runners on the other side of the street and were either running very slowly or just walking, and I could tell this heat must be a torture to them. Got to admire their strong spirit of not giving up under such circumstance. Suddenly I heard “Michele” and cow-bell ringing in the air, so I turned and saw June, what a surprise!! I smiled and waved at her, and continued my strides.

    Not sure if it’s a que to take my GU gel or the fact that I forgot to take my medication this morning, I felt goose-bumps on my arms, my back cold, and my head was getting dizzy. So I took my 2nd packet of Roctane, squeezed and released my shoulder-blades and hands couple times to relax my body. From 15K to 20K I could feel my face was burning badly, and also knew that the hardest part has just begun and I needed to keep my pace steady so I wouldn’t be out here for any longer than necessary. At 20K I saw Michael and Jesi standing across from the Shark Tank with their bikes, and their familiar faces, supportive smiles and “good job” gave me extra dose of energy.

    After the 87 underpass, I told myself that “it’s about 1000m from here and you can totally do this.” And how many laps left (thinking of my Wed track workout)? Stupid me, still sucked at math :-p Before the last left turn came up, I wondered what I would see on the clock at Finish. 2:11? 2:12? But no, as I sprinting toward the Finish I saw the 2:10, wow!! I pumped my arms as hard as I could, and sprinted toward the finish line ignoring the blisters forming on my big toes…

    Thanked the volunteer for the medal and I walked quickly through the crowd looking for something cold to drink. Ah the heavenly water and chocolate milk, I chugged down that water in less than 10 seconds I think!! Time to find where to pick up my Cali-Combo medal from Rock n Roll now. By completing RnR SF, SD and SJ, I earned a special & heavy Cali-Combo medal, aha.. things Michele would do for a bling 🙂 Again, got to thank for GU’s supports!!
    I hang out at the finish area, stretched a little bit, took pictures with friends, and love the bands they had today!! What an awesome run today and I am so glad that I carried out the race as I had intended to. Not pushing too hard, controlled effort and pace, no walking at aid-station or uphills… legit 13+ miles of steady running. Post race celebration was done with the best $5 beer I ever had, and with the most wonderful friends!!
    p.s. official result: 2:06:28


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