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See Jane Run Women's Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Alameda, California
United States
Total Time = 1h 54m 56s
Overall Rank = 165/1429
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 41/294
Pre-race routine:

I got about four hours of sleep and was out the door at 6:35 a.m. to pick up my cheerleaders, Annie and Michael. I ate a peanut butter sandwich on the drive over and drank some water. I didn't bother making coffee at home or picking up any on the drive over, and in hindsight I wish I would have.
Event warmup:

None. I'm never sure how I should warm up for a half marathon -- the first mile or two are always fast anyway.
  • 1h 54m 56s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 46s  min/mile

I knew from previous experience that people are terrible at seeding themselves in this race, so I started pretty close to the front. Sure enough, I was dodging run-walkers and passing people a lot in the first mile (and, honestly, I got passed plenty myself) but the traffic wasn't too bad so I'm glad I placed myself where I did.

I was aiming for an 8:30-8:40 pace. I decided to just relax in the first mile and let my body do whatever it felt like -- I think I ended up about an 8:20 pace, and then I settled into 8:30s after that. About mile four or five I started feeling rocky and went to the bad head space. I was wishing I'd had some coffee and just Tired and cranky and vaguely sick. But when I glanced at my Garmin and saw I was still holding the 8:30/8:40 pace, I tried to shake off the negative thinking and was mostly successful. I very determinedly focused on going to that meditative state where I don't think much, just let my body take over. I can't say it totally worked, but it definitely helped me get through those rough middle miles.

The last three miles sucked, but I figure they're supposed to suck if you're running well. My pace slipped a lot in the last two miles but I never went over a 9-minute-mile, which I think is a first at this distance for me.

The last quarter mile seemed to drag on forever and then I finally hit the finishers' chute. I sped up a bit, and then I heard people cheering excitedly behind me and freaked out thinking someone was trying to pass me. Not gonna happen! I sprinted across the finish line and glanced behind me to see some woman running with a little kid. Ha. Apparently people were cheering because a mom was finishing with her son -- not because there was going to be a race to the finish. Oh well, at least I finished strong.
What would you do differently?:

It's easy to second-guess a lot when you're only eight seconds from a PR. I'm sure I had a faster race in me, but it was a dozen little things I could have done differently -- a little coffee before the race, a tougher mental push in the middle miles, not allowing so much of a slip in pace toward the end (running a damn straight line!). I feel like I gave this race a good effort, though. It definitely beat me up and I can't say I had a lot more to give.
Post race
Warm down:

I walked around and stretched a bit, then went to brunch with some friends.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

In general, I think I'm more limited by mental abilities than physical. But I'm still coming back from a long injury recovery and slowly building up the mileage, and I think I need to start adding some speed work. Nothing super intense (I DO NOT want to get injured again), just a bit more running at my half mary pace.

Event comments:

See Jane Run puts on a good race. The middle miles were a little quiet and boring -- there aren't many spectators in the corporate park -- and the overall course isn't thrilling. But it's a good, fast course, and also very beginner-friendly.

Last updated: 2012-04-30 12:00 AM
01:54:56 | 13.1 miles | 08m 46s  min/mile
Age Group: 41/294
Overall: 165/1429
Performance: Average
Garmin had me at 13.3 miles. I was SEVEN SECONDS slower than my half marathon PR, which is annoying enough, but especially so when my pace was actually faster than the PR pace. I need to learn to run a straight line!
Course: Almost all flat, mostly along the Alameda shore and through a big office park (not as horrible as it sounds).
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
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2012-06-04 11:11 PM

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: See Jane Run Women's Half Marathon
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