I think, therefore I blog
RSS icon Email icon Home icon
  • Rock n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon 2012

    Posted on October 9th, 2012 Michele Sun No comments

    Rock n’ Roll San Jose 2012 is a run dedicated to Pete Mingwah

    1970 – 2012

    I have done several Rock n’ Roll races, including every Rock n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon except last year due to knee injury; in fact I ran their very first inaugural event when Rock n’ Roll first came into Bay Area in Oct 2006. The same course in our backyard never bored me, and I just signed up the following year when I picked up my bib at the Expo each year.  When one runs enough with the local running clubs, this naturally became the “annual” thing and will recognize many familiar faces at this race.

    Sunday Oct 7th was my 6th RnR SJ race, and I was still a bit in doubt whether I would run it or not on Sat – injured again, but not as bad as last year. This time was my calf and ITB, and I had taken time off from my CIM training for two weeks already. On Sat I went to the 90 minutes Bikram Yoga session in the morning first, then headed to the Expo at the San Jose Convention Center to pick up my bib and Max’s; also planned meeting my friend Loi so we could geeky out and tried new running stuffs together. I always signup races with my honest time, so I found myself in corral 4 this year. I know many runners will deflate their time in order to get into front corrals like 1 or 2 to avoid the crowd, but I don’t want to be the “bottleneck” for fast runners since I know how frustrated one can get when stuck behind pack of slow runners. I did manage to change the corral for Max, moved him from 13 to 2. I wish I had proof with me so I could change his to 1 though, taking his pace and target into consideration. While trying to get his race shirt changed, I could not figure out what size to get, so I “borrowed” a guy with similar tall and lean built and measured the shirt against his shoulder.  Hope he did not confuse my intention:-p

    The Expo was not as big as the previous years, and noticed some of the big vendors were not here this year. But did get to try some cherry drink, protein bars… etc. And a funny REBOOT recovery drink that made me laugh so hard. I spotted Kiyoko and Vinh at an insole booth, which supposedly will help with adjusting your form and prevent injury. Both Loi and I got hooked by the insole theory and bought the products. We walked around the show floor and I spent good amount of time trying to to pick THE hair band for my Tokyo Marathon and Paris Marathon next year. The new fall color running shorts from Brooks was really cute, a little shorter than the Nike shorts that I have been wearing, but not as bad as butt-cheek shorts. The $ 38 price tag concerned me a lot though, so Google with my iPhone and found I could get it at $ 32 if ordering online. Nah… I don’t need new cute running shorts for tomorrow, where is the motivation, huh?  :-p Cold weather is coming, and I should save money for more practical Capri piece for my morning runs anyway. The best discovery from this Expo was the iCandy at Asics booth, totally cute. After leaving the Expo, we went to grab a cup of coffee from Philz and went to La Lune Sucree for pastry and some girls talk.

    no images were found

    I know some would laugh about carbo-loading for an Half marathon, but except those sample bites of protein bars and half of the hazelnut puff pastry, I had no real food for the entire day. Around 6:30pm I was thinking real food like pasta would be good, and I was craving for good noodle soup like those vegan noodle at Merit. But Max questioned “Vegan?” Haha… I eventually gave in the vegan idea and went with his choice of ramen at Shalala in Mountain View, and huge thanks to his choice because the ramen was so delicious in a slightly chilly evening. To avoid the fatty broth, I chose the lighter Shio ramen (salt based), and we only had one beer each at dinner — there was a race to run in the morning!!  We discussed about how to in-cooperate tomorrow’s race into my training plan, and Max suggested that I pick up from where I have left with this injury. So instead of stick to the calendar to run 18ml at 9:15 pace, I should do 13 at 9:00 pace. This way I could avoid prolong my injury or develop new injury, and my training would peak at the last two weeks prior CIM. Also discussed about Max’s goal to PR at this Half, and the challenge is lack of training runs due to his workloads and travels…etc. As always, it’s really fun to have dinner with Max for the mix of intelligent and silly conversations.

    Just like every other races, the night I went through the ritual of laying out my running cloth, pin the bib, and this time decided that I would also wear my Zensah compression sleeve tomorrow. I went to bed around 9:30pm but it’s just way too early for bed time. Can’t sleep!! Started goofing around on Facebook and found other running buddies were having the same problem – CAN’T SLEEP. I was awake till 11pm and there was this constant reminder to myself —  not to act stupid and further injury myself. I did not sleep well that night due to the anxiety, but was feeling fresh and determined when I left home at 6:30am heading to downtown for the race.

    Traffic was light until reached 87 off 280 as I took the St James/Julian exit, so instead of heading toward the race start I went to the back of San Pedro for its free public parking, and I knew I would come back here for post race brunch.  I parked a little farther as I had planned last night, so I could walk now as pre-race warm-up, and as post race cool-down. I got to S. Almaden and San Fernando by the gear-check and found Vinh and Kiyoko with her huge camera :-). Poor girl can’t race today due to the bone fracture, but she was game enough to come out for race support on this early Sunday morning. Arigato Kiyoko!! Soon I spotted Max and waved him over to join the wait for the rest of the group, but by 7:40 no signs of others and we did want to do some warm-up run, so we took off and went for easy run around the blocks. I left Vinh and Max at corral 1 and wished them luck, and continued trying to see if I could find Christophe and Loi, but by 7:50 the crowd was just too huge to see neither one of them. Lucky that Loi and I eventually did find each other after the gun went off, and we ran the first couple miles together.

    I wanted to test my legs so started out very carefully and slowly, about 10:30 pace for the first half mile, then steadily sped up to 10:00. Around mile 2 I was running at somewhere around 9:15 pace and did not feel any pain on any part of my body, hence I took it as a good sign and decided to run toward my target pace — 9:00. For the next couple miles I increased my pace a little in order to get the averaged 9:00 pace. I stopped at every aid-station and took a sip of water, so I could stay hydrated regardless I was thirsty or not — something I learned from the Monterey run.  Also I mentally checked my own condition and to make sure there was not any sign of pain. I was telling myself that I WOULD walk away when necessary. Prior the race day, both Lester and Kiyoko had reminded me about my “bigger goal” which is CIM in Dec, and I kept their advice in my head during the entire run.  Very lucky that I was feeling good throughout the race, I decided to lock my pace at 8:50 and see if I could pull this off. Around mile 9, a tall and big guy pushed me to the right side of the course which shocked me. “Really?? Is this necessary?” That wasn’t a bump or brush, he literally pushed me. Gosh… what an ass.Anyhow, I let go of that negative feeling and simply focused on my run. Breathing was fine, legs were fine, ITB was fine, and without any struggle, I came back to S. Almaden and spotted the clock showing 1:54:30 ahead of me. Ahha… I started sprinting toward the Finish line and wanted to beat that clock which I did. 1:55~~~

    no images were found

    Walked up to a volunteer and grabbed a medal which shaped like a cassette tape this year, with that medal on my neck I was feeling so great that I had executed and completed this race the way it’s supposed to be, and this was a completely new race experience to me. Looked at my RunKeeper data on iPhone it’s exactly 8:45 pace – my CIM target. Wow, I could do this comfortably after injury, and it felt amazingly good knowing I could control, manage and hold back my pace throughout the entire race. I was running not only with my body and heart, but with my head also!!

    I got some water, banana, chocolate milk from the volunteers, and walked to the family gathering area looking for my friends. I was very thirsty and found it’s too much a challenge to poke the straw into that chocolate milk, thank goodness that I saw James sitting on the lawn to land me a hand. I walked around to stretch my legs and had this sense of gratification about myself today. Again easily spotted Max — not that hard to find that tall guy in a bright yellow shirt :-p, and so excited to find that he finished it at 1:29 and PRed, and Vinh also did sub 1:30 by margin. I showed Max my RK data and he thought I should have PRed as well, just unsure by how much.  Looking at his Garmin data of 6:45 pace just amazed me, I could never be that fast! Knowing he did well makes me really happy, more happy than my own PR.

    We hang out at the lawn for a while, waited for Loi to come back so I could have picture taken with her. Then we walked toward San Pedro Market for post race brunch. Sitting under the beautiful Bay Area sun, surrounded by great friends, and I was feeling so happy not just with the race result but I came to realize that I actually got something out of this injury. Normally we all know the importance of cross train, stretch, know when to stop…etc, but always easier say than done. While undergoing acupuncture treatment in the last two weeks, I worried that I would not be able to keep up with my training so got a little panic. Max suggested that I should stay active and be positive, so I started aqua-jog in my backyard pool to strength my legs muscle, started doing Bikram yoga to deep stretch my muscle and learned to breathe in heated room. I think all these complimented my training program, so not only I can run faster now but I can run “better”  with a more managed effort.

    Last night I came to think that regardless of the result at CIM, I think going through this 16 weeks training program will be an accomplishment and prep me into a better runner for future races.



    * I was having runner’s high pretty much the whole Sunday afternoon, but the top of my right foot and ankle hurt a little bit. Not injury, but felt puffy and hurt a little. Max suspected it’s the way I laced my shoes, so he recommended these  shoes lacing techniques to me.

    * Official result came out a week later, 1:53:58


    Leave a reply