Yesterday was the See Jane Run 1/2 Marathon and 5k race in Alameda. Back in April Aron send out an email trying to get together a team of 10 to run this race so we could qualify for a discount off the race fee. I jumped at the chance because 1) race fees are expensive so any little discount helps, and 2) I knew that we would all be running the relay soon together and I was looking forward to another opportunity to run with everyone again.
Training had been going well due to my Barb's schedule so I knew I would be okay. I was still looking for my race to break my 2 hour 1/2 marathon goal. I wasn't sure if it would be this race but I figured I just wanted to go out and run with everyone, have fun and if I broke 2 hours it would be a bonus (sights set on breaking meeting the goal in the fall now).
The week before I started to get nervous about the race. I hadn't run since I found out about the bar and I knew I needed to put in two ten hour study days this weekend in order to try and catch up with my tutor's schedule. Since I knew I had a race on Sunday too it wasn't like I could just put in the extra time then. From past experience I know all to well when I am anxious about something (like getting home to study) I start to freak out because all I can think about is how I have to be somewhere else. That combined with my 2 weeks of no running made me rethink my plan to run the full half. It takes a good 30 minutes to get to Alameda from my in-law's house in the bay and then factoring in a race time of at least 2 hours and of course, hanging out with everyone after I knew it just wasn't going to be doable if I wanted to get an early start with my studying. Thus, Saturday morning I made the decision to just do the 5k. A new 5k PR is on my list of goals for the year so I thought maybe this could be that race.
A fun surprise was finding out that one of my good friends, Kristin, from college was going to be doing the 5k too so I at least I would still have someone to race with.
Race morning I woke up around 5:30 am with plans to be on the road at 6:15 am. The race didn't start until 8:30 but I still had to pick up my packet and of course factor in parking, travel time, etc. I got to Alameda and was parked by 7:00 am. I was parked roughly a half mile from the start but since I figured I would have all this time I just brought my bag with me with plans to take it back to the car. Now I have planned special events for the past four years so I know all the hard work and logistics that go into planning something so I don't want to criticize the race organizers, however, they had a very poorly designed system in regards to packet pick-up/chip pick-up. I was unable to pick up my packet before hand, however, I guess even if you did pick up your packet you still had to pick up your chip race morning which to me defeats the purpose of having a pre-packet pick up. The lines were insane with people trying to get their chips. By the time I figured out where packet pick up was and what line I was supposed to be in it was 7:30 am. I was okay knowing I didn't start racing until 8:30 but I felt nervous for all the half marathoners who probably wanted to start lining up soon.
Once I finally made it to the front of the line I asked the volunteer about switching events and he said just to do it since I was going from the 1/2 to the 5k. I asked him if my timing would be messed up and he said he didn't know. I asked because I didn't want to be timed in the 1/2 marathon and come in with a time that would obviously make me place (running 3 miles v. 13 miles) - how embarrassing to have to tell the race officials what happened. I contemplated trying to ask someone else because I did want to have a time in case I PRed, however, it was so crazy busy I just forgo the timing chip all together not wanting to risk throwing off the timing system. I had already botched the race up so much why not add no timing chip into the mix. (On a side note though, I think I DID mess up the timing for someone. When I went to check race results I typed in my name just to see what it said and it came up with a time of 2 hours and 20 minutes for the 1/2 marathon. The volunteer must have given someone else my chip so now they don't have a time. I guess all I can do is know I tried to do the right thing).
It was 7:45 am by the time all that was squared away and I still had to run my bag back to the car. On my way out I saw Kristin and we designated a spot to meet. I made it back to the start line just in time to see the 1/2 marathoners take off.
Kristin and I had a good time catching up and talking about running while we waited for it to be 8:30. She has gotten into running about a year ago and we keep talking about how we need to go out together more often but being that we live so far away from each other right now it makes things a little harder although as soon as I move to the bay I know we will be able to get together much more often.
We decided that we would try and run together but if either one of us wanted to run faster or slower that would be okay. I should mention that the weather was pretty crummy running weather in my book that morning. It was warm and humid (for CA) and I think I have mentioned plenty of times before how running in weather warmer than 65 degrees is less than ideal running weather for me.
The gun sounded at 8:30 am and we were off. The 5k course was pretty basic - 1.6 miles out and back - flat and fast. Kristin was keeping a pretty good clip and we clocked in our first mile at 8:34. At the turnaround though I started to get a cramp and knew I had gone out to fast. I told Kristin to go ahead and I slowed down. My second mile clocked in at 9:42. 9:42 - for a 5k - what was my problem!! My last mile was no better - 10:10.
Race Totals (according to Garmin)
Mile 1: 8:34
Mile 2: 9:42
Mile 3: 10:10
Mile .2: 8:17
Total Distance: 3.2
Total Time: 30:05
On the bright side since my time wouldn't have been officially recorded it is a good thing I didn't PR. I know that really would have bothered me but umm, this is embarrassingly slow (for what I personally think I am capable of) - especially for a 5k. I have run tempo runs faster! I guess I am not a sprinter but seriously, this needs to be fixed. I can't be running faster training runs than races. Kristin however ROCKED the race placing 5th in our age group!
Despite the fact the pre-race was fairly unorganized they definitely made up it for post-race. MEDALS even for 5k participants (you all know how I love my medals), chocolate and champagne!
All in all it was a great time - I am bummed I couldn't do the 1/2 and totally annoyed by my lack of ability to sprint but there will be more 1/2s to race and another good goal to work on for myself. However, I was totally thrilled to be able to hang out and run with Kristin and since I didn't have any goals for this race anyway getting to be with her made up for any disappointments.
Congrats to all the girls who did go out and rock the 1/2 marathon! You all did great!