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See Jane Run Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon


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Alameda, California
United States
See Jane Run Sports
Overcast
Total Time = 1h 58m 2s
Overall Rank = 209/997
Age Group = 30-34
Age Group Rank = 39/172
Pre-race routine:

I went to bed late, like 1:30 a.m. or so, since I wasn't feeling tired. Woke up at about 6:15 a.m., dressed in warm clothes, and went to pick up Annie by 6:45 a.m. Thankfully I didn't get lost on my way to the race site -- I *always* get lost in Alameda -- and we found parking about three blocks away. By 7:15 a.m. the place was already pretty crowded, so I picked up my timing chip (I'd already gotten the race packet the day before) and got in the toilet line. Good move, because the line was at least twice as long by the time I was done. I ate a Clif bar on the drive to the race, then had a small cup of coffee at the race site and took a gel about 15 minutes before the start. By then my stomach was feeling a little unsettled -- actually, kind of a lot unsettled -- which made me nervous. The last thing I want on 13.1 miles is GI problems right from the start. It ended up not being an issue at all, so I think it was just nerves.
Event warmup:

Nothing -- the first two to three miles were going to be my warmup. The organizers led everyone in group calisthenics, which was fun to watch. About five minutes before the start I got into the chute and lined up with the 9-minute-milers.
Run
  • 1h 58m 2s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 01s  min/mile
Comments:

My goal was to finish under two hours, ideally under a 9-minute-mile pace, but my game plan was fairly conservative. I wanted to run the first three miles at a pretty easy pace, about 9:10/9:15. That was shot out the door immediately when I was running easily and glanced at my Garmin to see an 8:40/8:30 pace. Um, no. I slowed it down but I was still running too fast. I realized two things about then: One, I was feeling great and didn't see a reason to fight it, and two, I probably had a tailwind, so I might as well take advantage. I did slow down because 8:30 is insane for me, but I still stayed below 9:00.

Those first three miles were a breeze. I noticed the mile markers were a bit off, because my Garmin kept beeping laps at me a few feet before the markers. It was funny, actually, because at least three or four watches would beep all at once -- lots of Garmins out there.

In fact, the course as a whole was fairly crowded for the first few miles. It wasn't bad, since everyone was moving at pretty much the same pace, and it had thinned out pretty well by the time we crossed the drawbridge to Bay Farm Island. I stuck with mostly the same pack of women for almost the entire race, I think.

By mile 5 I was feeling pretty comfortable and steady, and I was still moving quite a bit faster than I'd expected. I grabbed some Accelerade about then. Shortly after that aid station was the first Shizu appearance. Yay, Shizu! She was at her cheerleading finest -- she found a spot to park in the middle of the big main loop and managed to find five different places on the course to cheer from. There is nothing more motivating than having your own personal cheerleader waiting on what feels like very corner. And naturally she cheered for everyone else too.

There wasn't a lot of spectator support overall, but the volunteers were loud and enthusiastic, and there were random groups of individuals cheering here and there. Since it was an all-female race (there were a handful of men running, but they weren't timed), there were a lot of "go, ladies," "looking good, ladies," etc., which was neat. At about mile 7 a woman running behind me fell down. I didn't see it, but I heard it and a few of us stopped to see if she was OK. Fortunately, she was near a group of volunteers so they went to her immediately and she seemed fine; I only stopped for a few seconds.

I didn't start to really struggle on the run until about mile 8 or so. I was still managing sub-9:00 miles, but my feet were starting to hurt a little and my legs were getting tight. I was still moving on automatic, though, and it wasn't too bad. I grabbed some more Accelerade. At mile 8 or 9 I had a miserable stretch where I sweated what felt like all of my sunscreen into my eyes and my sunglasses fogged up big time, so I could barely see. It was so bad that I actually started laughing a little and just ran through it.

Then I hit the drawbridge heading back to the main island. Ha. That little tiny uphill felt like a 20% grade. It seemed like I was barely moving and I kept waiting for throngs of people to pass me, but no one did, which kind of cracked me up; I think everyone was hurting. I grabbed some water on the other side of the bridge, at about mile 10, and then I was in maintenance mode, just trying to hang on to something around a 9:00 pace. The last two miles were brutal; there was a small headwind that felt awful and I was *done*. There were several points where I considered just walking it in -- not seriously, of course, but I really, really wanted to. It just seemed to take forever to hit the mile markers, and it didn't help that the race was running long, so my watched beeped 13 miles and the volunteers were yelling "only half a mile to go!" I definitely slowed down A LOT in the last little bit, which on the one hand kind of sucks, but on the other hand, I clearly gave the race pretty much everything I had, which is exactly as it should be.

Right after crossing the finish line a woman walked up to me and told me she'd been behind me almost the whole time, pacing off of me, and she thanked me and shook my hand. That was so awesome. I wish I'd had it in me to hug her or something, but I was pretty out of it.
What would you do differently?:

I think I'd force myself to slow it down a little at the start so I'd have more gas to really push it at the end. I pretty much fell apart on the last mile or two, and it would've been nice to "race" right through the finish line. But that being said, I am thrilled with how I did in this race so I can't honestly say I'd change a thing.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked out of the finish chute in a daze and met my friends, who gamely hugged me despite the scary amount of sweat. I grabbed a water bottle and drank the whole thing almost immediately, then grabbed another. After a few minutes of walking around I'd had enough and sat on the grass to stretch and wait for Henry and Laura's friend to finish. She showed up about 10 minutes later and we all sat around for a while just chatting. Then we went out for brunch and I tried to keep my eyes open.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Nothing really. I trained well for this race. I probably could've had a better race strategy, but it's my first and I'm learning as I go. Clearly the slow-run training I adopted a few weeks ago works for me, and I'm excited to keep up with that for my next half mary in about six weeks. It's amazing that a week ago I ran 10 miles at a 9:45 pace and in this race I was almost a minute-per-mile faster. Cool stuff!

Event comments:

This was a fantastic race. I like the all-female thing -- I think it really draws out a lot of women, especially for the 5k, who might be intimidated otherwise. And it's still a *fast* group -- first place in the half was 1:04 (EDIT: Not true. The original results were wrong). It was well-staffed and clearly marked, and while there weren't a ton of spectators along the route, the volunteers make up for that with their enthusiasm.

My only two minor complaints: the finisher's medal for the half is a tiny pendant that's supposed to be cool because it's sterling silver, but is actually just lame (it's got the name of the event organizer on it, but not the actual race); the course was long by almost a quarter mile, which is frustrating and painful, especially since they actually time it according to 13.1. Meaning, there is a timing mat at 13.1, but the finishing line is a quarter mile beyond that and you have no way of knowing that the first timing mat is actually the finish until after the race is over. Why not just move up the finishing line?

But overall it was very well organized and a lot of fun, and I'd totally do it again.




Last updated: 2008-04-23 12:00 AM
Running
01:58:02 | 13.1 miles | 09m 01s  min/mile
Age Group: 39/172
Overall: 209/997
Performance: Good
Laps: 8:46, 8:55, 8:51, 8:52, 8:57, 8:43, 8:47, 8:56, 8:51, 8:49, 9:00, 8:50, 9:03. Clearly my Garmin results don't quite match up with the official results. Garmin had my overall time/distance at 1:58:29 for 13.35 miles, or 8:54/mile (although I probably waited up to a full minute to stop my watch -- I was tired and forgetful!).
Course: Three miles to get off the island, then a big loop around Bay Farm Island, then back along the first three miles to the finish line. Very, very flat except for two short ascents/descents on a drawbridge connecting the islands.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Average
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

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2008-06-01 2:52 PM

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Expert
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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: See Jane Run Half Marathon


2008-06-01 3:22 PM
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TinkerBeth
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Liverpool, New York
Subject: RE: See Jane Run Half Marathon

What a great race report Erin!

Awesome job!!! 

2008-06-01 3:38 PM
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Royal(PITA)
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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: See Jane Run Half Marathon
Incredible race for a first half mary!  Terrific job out there!
2008-06-01 3:53 PM
in reply to: #1436524

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Master
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Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: See Jane Run Half Marathon
Congratulations, Erin!!  You are such a great runner, and you rocked the half mary. I am very impressed and inspired by reading your report!!  Way to go!
2008-06-01 4:04 PM
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Champion
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Beautiful Sonoma County
Subject: RE: See Jane Run Half Marathon

glitter textglitter textglitter textglitter textglitter textglitter textglitter textglitter textglitter text 

 

 

I love your race report!  You did such a great job on your first Half!   So awesome!

2008-06-02 1:15 PM
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Extreme Veteran
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Subject: RE: See Jane Run Half Marathon
Great, great run!!  You are fast.  I loved your report too! It was so nice to get to meet you and hang out last week - I hope you had a great time on your week off.   How was Yosemite? 


2008-06-02 2:54 PM
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Expert
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Subject: RE: See Jane Run Half Marathon
Great race! I was one of the volunteers around mile 10, just before the drawbridge.
2008-06-02 4:19 PM
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Champion
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Carlsbad, California
Subject: RE: See Jane Run Half Marathon

Awesome race Erin

You ran a near perfect half marathon with some great results. All that much more remarkable because this was your first HM. More often then not, the first effort is always a bit wonky because it is hard to find a pace to settle into and run for the duration.

Clearly you hit that sweetspot with your pace and did really well.

The bit about the course being long as compared to a Garmin is a common one. The course could very well have been long. Certified courses are guaranteed to be "At Least" 13.1 miles in length for record keeping purposes.

When they certify courses, it is done by measuring the minimum distance using the shortest possible path. If the course had a lot of twists, turns and such, the Garmin is so hyper-accurate that it will measure the extra distance around as you swing out on the turns. It will also measure any weaving along the course you might do to get around other runners or to hit a water stop.

Very Nicely done and this sounds like a great race. 1:04 for a HM is pretty darn competitive

Gonna be fun to watch you continue to get faster and it seems like this distance suits you well.

2008-06-02 9:27 PM
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Expert
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Subject: RE: See Jane Run Half Marathon
Great job, Erin! It's wonderful seeing how far you've come in such a short time. You are definitely a strong runner!!
2008-06-03 1:59 AM
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Melon Presser
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Subject: RE: See Jane Run Half Marathon

SUPER AWESOME JOB ON YOUR FIRST HALF MARY!!!

May there be many more to come. Sub-2 is ridiculous speedy. Spokes would kill, oh, small goats for that, probably. So glad Shizu was there to cheerlead. She must be lovely.

The half mary REALLY kicks in, as you found out, around mile 9 or 10. Great work on gutting it out despite what your head was telling you.

Excellent execution. Going slower may or may not have made a difference--it always sucks at the end no matter what--but it will be critical to keep in mind for the mary.

2008-06-03 1:43 PM
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Expert
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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: RE: See Jane Run Half Marathon
Thanks for the great comments, folks!

Dolores: Yosemite was awesome, of course, despite the rain (and hail and mud and fog) the hit us. It's my favorite place in the world -- I'm pretty sure I could happily live there. It was great to hang out with you last week! I'm so looking forward to cheering you on in Vineman next month.

Bhoover: That's so cool that you were out there! It's just a shame it was at mile 10 -- I was really good about thanking volunteers until around, oh, the drawbridge, when speaking started to take too much energy. Heh. I'm sure we'll meet up at one race or another.

WaterDog: Thanks so much for the great feedback. That's interesting about how they get the distance of the race -- there definitely was a fair amount of twisting and turning in this one and I used the water stops more than I have in other races.

Yanti: Thank you, as always, for the excellent tips and motivation. And for the image of Spokes sacrificing a small goat. (You would love Shizu, by the way -- she's totally your kind of people.)


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