Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Turkey trot, mile/10K update

Turkey Trot 10K:
Like many others across the country, I ran in a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, namely the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot, which is the largest Turkey Trot in the US at 26,533 registered entrants.  This is a great article on the race.  I looked up the results, and the finishers are as follows:

  • 5K - 13,692
  • 10K - 7,886
  • elite 5K men - 58
  • elite 5K women - 49
  • 10K wheelchair - 2
  • Total - 21,687 (82% of registered entrants)

10K race this year:
I've done the Turkey Trot before - in 2012 I did the 10K, and in 2013 I did the 5K.  This year I registered for the 10K - my body is in good shape now, so I could run it however I liked.  With so many people in the race, it is almost impossible to try to PR in this race since so much weaving is involved lol.  I decided to simply run the race at an easy ish pace, and have a good time out there.  

gorgeous morning sky on the way to the race

streets were completely packed around the start line, we got somewhat close to the start line

The race for me was pretty uneventful, besides trying to weave around people at times lol.  My favorite part was stopping at the mimosa aid station for a drink - it was a good mimosa!  

I also ran into a teacher from my old high school that used to run with my cross country team, it was fun to talk to him

I liked these Whole Foods signs

they had a massage station at the finish line

another nice sign from Whole Foods - I don't know these people lol

This was the corporate tent area - wish I was on a corporate team!  Because they were pouring mimosas at one of them haha

was a gorgeous day in San Jose

the medal was really awesome - it is the 10th anniversary race, and so they had a medal that spun in the zero, which was cool.  I've never got one of those medals before

a turkey on the other side haha

Turkey Trot 10K results:
Silicon Valley Turkey Trot
8:21 pace
1299/7886 overall (16.5%)
989/3945 gender (25.1%)
143/536 age group (26.7%)

I have no idea what time I could have gotten if I had ran it all out, but like I said above, this race is insanely difficult to get a PR at due to the crowds.  Fun times as usual at the race!  

10K and mile PR attempt:
Like my last post said, before the year is up I'm hopefully going to break my mile and 10K PR times.  I likely will try a mile on the track to see what I can get.  As for the 10K, I likely will be doing the DSE Aquatic Park 10K on Dec 21st.  The entry fee sounds awesome - $5?!?  Anyone done one of these DSE races before?  Mainly I hope the course is blocked off from traffic, and they have timing and the course is measured properly lol.  

Also, thanks to people who commented last post about mile warmup thoughts and such.  I will try that when I give my mile PR a go in a couple weeks.  

Anyone else do a Turkey Trot?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mile PR attempt, track workouts

Track workout - 11/19/14 (400s):
Yesterday was a track workout, it was slightly drizzling outside, but I decided to head out to it anyways - at least I'm not in Buffalo, NY - wow the snow there is insane.  Another reason why I gladly pay higher rent and deal with traffic to avoid stuff like that.

It was 10 x 400, after the first 400 for the rest period I mainly stayed in place, but since it was cold and drizzling, after the 2nd 400 I jogged a lap in between, mainly to stay warm and not strain anything.

400 repeat times:                             rest time:
1:38                                                  2:21
1:38                                                  2:01
1:30                                                  2:32
1:26                                                  2:42
1:24                                                  2:45
1:21                                                  2:46
1:23                                                  2:39
1:25                                                  2:36
1:24                                                  2:36

Average came out to be 1:27, with 2:33 average rest time
I was surprised that no one else followed my lead about jogging in between 400s, just seemed like an easy way to get injured by simply resting in place with cold and rain falling

I ran the first 2 somewhat cautiously to get used to the track footing, and then found my comfort zone later on.

Mile PR attempt:
One thing I've realized in 2014 is that I've broken basically all my PRs so far (5K, 5 miles, 12K, 14K, 10 miles, half marathon).  The only PRs remaining to be broken are the mile, and 10K.  And I won't run a marathon this year, so that one will still stand.  I'm thinking of trying to break my mile PR (5:45, set in 2009).  Do you think I have a shot at this?  I would need to run 1:26 per lap to do this, which seems hard but possible.  I think I may have a 5:40 in me.  What is the best way to warm up to try to set a mile PR?  I was thinking of jogging a mile slowly, then maybe another 800 meters a little bit faster, and throwing in some strides or something.

I'm also thinking of doing a 10K in December to try to break this PR as well.

What is the best way to warmup to try to run a mile all out?  Should I try to have each lap be exactly the same time?

Monday, November 10, 2014

49ers race 4.9K PR (5K), track workouts

49ers 4.9K race:
So my frustration continued with the registration process and information for the 49ers 4.9K race on 11/8.  (see my last post) The website finally updated with the course maps for both the 4.9K and Challenge race on 10/31.  Note that the registration fees went up on 10/31.  Prior to this, I was debating about what to do - I ended up registering for The Challenge race on 10/30 since I didn't know the course map was going to come out the next day, and didn't want to miss out on The Challenge race.  Though after looking at The Challenge race course map, I didn't think I could adequately complete the course - though the information on the obstacles on the website was very minimal, so it was hard to determine anything.  I wish they had more info about how many of each obstacle you needed to complete, etc.

So after thinking about it, I ended up switching down to the 4.9K race, instead of The Challenge.  Unfortunately I missed out on the $100 price difference in registration fees ($49 vs $149).  The website didn't even have packet pickup details on the website until 2 days before the race.  For a first class organization like the 49ers - this race organization was the worst I've ever experienced.  I also sent 2 emails to the website email address, and didn't get a reply back.  I also emailed their sponsorship email address, and didn't get a reply back.  Wow.

Packet pickup:
As I noted above, packet pickup details were posted 2 days before the race - and picked up my bib number on Friday night at the stadium.  It was actually pretty cool going there at night with almost no one around.  I did run into a race volunteer at the packet pickup spot and started telling her my grievances with the race registration - as well as who I could talk to that was actually a race official.  Alas no race officials were to be found - sounded like they were setting up the course they said?  Kind of annoying to not be able to talk to anyone about how annoying the registration process was.

cool to see the stadium at night

nice miniature design of the stadium

A cool sunset from the steps of the main concourse

Regardless of my registration grievances and annoyances, I was still doing the race, so I gave it a go.  The race started at 8 AM, so I left my house at around 710 I think.  Though another annoyance was being charged $15 for parking - the 49ers stadium is located in an industrial section of town, so I didn't know where to park to avoid being charged for parking (and didn't want to look around a lot to find it).  

It looks like 3,021 people were out there doing the 2 events (2599 for 4.9K, 422 for The Challenge)

it was a perfect day for a race, maybe 60-65 temperature?

The race started on the ground level outside the stadium, and I went up the stairs to find a place to warmup that wasn't crawling with people - nice to find this spot

the race started on the ground level of the stadium - they let people self seed themselves, which was nice

a few gold rush cheerleaders were on hand =)

Apparently the girl that sang the national anthem at the first 49ers game (preseason) sang the national anthem at this race (Melissa Bowling) - nice job

I had no idea how competitive the crowd was for this race, or how close to get to the front - I went down to the starting line pretty late (maybe at 750 for a 8 AM start), so I ended up getting maybe 15-20 feet from the line before it became congested

Mile 1 - 6:20 (157 heartrate)
The last time I ran a 5K (San Jose 5K in May), I started out strong, but imploded in mile 3.  I was determined to not let that hapen again.  The first part of the course starts out in the parking lot of the 49ers stadium next to Great America, and the race had the usual people who took off way too fast lol.  I tried to start at a sustainable pace.  Seemed like I was passing people pretty consistently.  

Mile 2 - 6:29 (182 heartrate)
The 2nd mile went by the stadium and by the 49ers practice fields, fun to see where the players practiced, as well as lifted weights (it is right next to the stadium).  Also cool to see the players cars in the players parking lot (along with nametags on the wall above the cars) - since they were in New Orleans this week to play the Saints.  And the 49ers won a thriller 27-24!  Was that a flop by the 49ers defender on that Jimmy Graham TD catch?!?  Regardless, I'll take it, since the 49ers desperately needed a victory lol.  Okay back to the race - I felt like I was still running at a sustainable pace, but there are so many turns on the course that it is hard to keep your momentum going on the course it seems.  How do people out there enjoy 5Ks?  It took longer to drive to the actual race than my actual racing time lol.  So maybe at mile 1.8 we scaled the steps of the stadium to get inside to the main concourse of the stadium - I was trying to run it fast, but not to fall haha.  

Mile 3 - 7:04 (187 heartrate)
It was awesome to run on the main concourse with basically no one in sight except for us runners.  Here I tried to press the gas more, and was running out of people to pass.  I think I passed maybe 2-3 more people on the concourse.  We ran 1 direction on the main concourse, then turned around and ran on the outside of the main concourse.  Eventually we came to some down ramps, which meant that the race was almost over - since we would end up on the field for the finish.  So here I tried to run it all out on the ramp portions (only problem was you had to slow down to make the sharp turn for the next part of the downhill ramp).  I passed one guy, but he seemed to be right behind me as we entered the field, and he gassed it.  I wasn't about to let someone pass me down the home stretch - and I think we ended up virtually tied at the finish line.  (update - the guy got me at the finishing line, the photos prove it lol)  I also heard my name announced in the stadium - which was awesome =)

with the finish line in sight - the runner on the far right in this pic passed me at first, and I was trying to catch him down the home stretch

the gas was pressed full on the home stretch - and I noticed that the guy behind me here was really in a lot of pain it seemed

this photo proves it - I came up just short in my quest to catch him (apparently a difference of fractions of a second)

Right as I crossed the line, the medal pickup area was right in front of me - and just like at San Jose half marathon, I couldn't slow down in time stop at the medal stand.  Luckily a guy had medals in his hand, and sort of handed it off to me as I ran by him probably at 8 mph lol.  Why can't races put medal pickup just a little bit farther from the finish line?  

While it was cool finishing on the field, we finished on the visiting team sideline, instead of the 50 yard line in the middle of the field.  I guess I understand why they wouldn't want 3,000 people on the 49ers field lol.  

This is a panorama photo showing the field view - I tried to take a photo of the entire stadium, but apparently Apple's iPhone 6 can't do this haha

I had no idea what my results were, but I felt like I ran as well as I could considering the sort of bizarre course with tons of turns and such.  Turns out I got 18:39 for 7th place overall - which I was pleasantly surprised with.  

49ers 4.9K race
4.9K (3.045 miles)
6:13 pace (not entirely sure I believe this though)
175 average heartrate
7/2599 overall (0.27%)
7/1010 gender (0.69%)

Main thing I don't know if I trust is the 6:13 pace number - since I'm not sure if at any point in the race I was running at a 6:13 pace.  And the race also included stairs and a ton of turns.  Do you think I should trust this pace number?  Though even if I don't trust this pace number, I definitely set a 5K PR - if you add 21 seconds to make it a 5K in length - I end up with a 19:00 5K time, which I believe.  The last 5K I ran was 20:16 in May, and I think that I am way faster now than I was then - mainly due to running track workouts weekly on Wednesday.  So maybe I should trust that these results are accurate.

Note that my garmin watch running time matched the actual time of my race chip time.  So if the pace number above is off, it must be because the course was too short.

Side note - but apparently only 1 person passed me during the entire race - the guy I ended up sprinting down the finishing chute with and virtually tied with in terms of both gun and chip time (Benjamin Herrera).  It does feel awesome to always be passing people during the race.

After the race I went up the main concourse to see other runners making the turn to the outside of the main concourse

wish I had someone with me to take my picture at this banner

gorgeous day at the stadium (runners finished on the left side of the sideline in looking at this photo view) (this is looking to the South)

post race snacks were good - gatorade protein bars, bagels, bananas, and gatorade

a nice 49ers backpack too

a nice 4.9K technical shirt - I think this will be one of my favorite shirts to wear while running

a nice gym towel - I will likely be taking this one to the gym often now

a nice medal too

I enjoyed the actual race experience, it was just the registration process that was really annoying.  And why can't those guys return emails or have some communication?  The high cost was also a negative - $49 for a 5K, along with a 5% "transaction fee", and then $15 for parking.  What is a transaction fee anyways?  So likely I will end up skipping this race next year.  This year I wanted to do the Berkeley half marathon on Sunday, but it didn't work with my timing.  We will see what happens next year if I'm able to do the Berkeley half marathon next year.  

Timed Tempo track workout 10/29:
I've also continuing to do the weekly track workouts, which has really helped my speed I think.  

3 x 12 min Tempo with 2 min recovery, warm-down

1st 12 minute period:
1 mile in 7:21
.79 mile at 7:14 pace (5:43)
13:04 total time ran

2nd 12 minute period
1 mile in 7:03
.79 mile at 6:57 pace (5:30)
12:33 total time ran

3rd 12 minute period
1 mile in 6:50
.76 mile at 6:20 pace (4:50)
11:40 total time ran

Do you think I should trust my pace results numbers above?

Friday, October 24, 2014

49ers race, track workouts

49ers 4.9K race 11/8:
I saw an email about the 49ers hosting a race, and thought it sounded awesome.  They have a regular 4.9K race, along with a 4.9K challenge obstacle course.  The 4.9K challenge obstacle course sounded fun to me, because you apparently get to run through football type combine drills and such.  Though the cost of the race is pretty insane - $149 for the obstacle course race ($49 for 4.9K).  Also, on the website there is very little info present - like a course map (one of the most basic things for any race).  And most importantly, their is no specific detail on the obstacles that will actually be present on the course.  I'm mainly wondering since I don't have that much upper body strength since I focus so much on running, so I'm wondering if I will even be able to complete the course if the course tests upper body strength too much.  I emailed the email address on the site, but haven't gotten a response back yet.  I'm thinking that I may register anyways even if I don't hear anything back, since just the info that I have on the race sounds awesome.  I just wish there was more info out there about it - the promoter or race coordinator of this race should be fired.

Since the SJ half marathon, I've generally just been recovering and slowly getting back into running.  I took a week off, and then basically started back on my regular routine.

New shoes:
One problem from the race is that I developed a blister on bottom of my right foot during the race.  I now understand why people say to not wear new shoes on race day, since this type of thing can happen lol.  I was able to remove the blistered skin yesterday, hopefully that helps it stay away for good.

I've been doing track workouts regularly on Wednesdays, and I'm actually getting better at pacing them out it seems like.  Below are the 2 most recent workouts (and the same workout a month earlier).

9/17 (pyramids):
1 x 400, 2 min rest (1:49)
1 x 400, 2 min rest (1:45)
1 x 800, 3 min rest (3:25)
1 x 1600, 4 min rest (6:56)
1 x 1600, 4 min rest (6:34)
1 x 800, 3 min rest (3:08)
1 x 400, 2 min rest (1:30)
1 x 400, 2 min rest (1:23)
My pacing was all over the map here - huge negative splits

10/15 (pyramids):
1 x 400, 1:50 rest (1:37)
1 x 400, 1:50 rest (1:30)
1 x 800, 1:45 rest (3:11)
1 x 1600, 2:45 rest (6:37)
1 x 1600, 2:45 rest (6:23)
1 x 800, 1:45 rest (3:07)
1 x 400, 1:45 rest (1:29)
pacing is way more even here, a little negative split, but not much

9/24 (long tempo):
5 x 3 minutes of running at 80%, 2 min rest in between each interval
1st - 7:05 pace
2nd - 6:47 pace
3rd - 6:45 pace
4th - 6:13 pace
5th - 6:11 pace

4 min rest after 5th one
1 x 20 minutes of running at 75%
pacing here was all over the map

10/22 (long tempo):
5 x 3 minutes of running at 80%, 2 min rest in between each interval
1st - 6:31 pace
2nd - 6:29 pace
3rd - 6:27 pace
4th - 6:32 pace
5th - 6:26 pace

3:40 min rest after 5th one
1 x 20 minutes of running at 75%
we are supposed to run the 3 min splits at 5K pace, and the 20 min splits at 10K pace.  And I did that perfectly.  My 5K pace is 6:25 to 6:30, and my 10K pace is 6:50.  I may be able to run a 6:45 10K, but basically I ran this workout perfectly.

Anyone out there doing the 49ers race or have info about it?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

SJ RNR half marathon PR race report

  • To 50 After 40 - whose Kansas City Royals not only beat my A's 9-8 in an epic 12 inning game, but then went on to sweep the Angels in 3 games (and he was there)!

San Jose Rock N Roll half marathon race report:
My most recent half marathon race (SF 2nd half), was a very mixed bag.  On one hand, I ended up getting a PR (1:36:57), though I also imploded the last .2 and spent 40 minutes in the medical tent.  So while I was proud of how well I ran, I was not proud of ignoring my fueling and hydration plan, and putting myself and others at risk.  So I was eager to redeem myself by running a smart race both in terms of fueling/hydration and pace.  This training cycle post SF 2nd half didn't go as well as the cycle prior SF 2nd half, mainly because SF knocked me out of running for maybe 2 weeks due to fatigue and blisters.  Also, I got sick for 4-5 days in there, so I probably lost about 3 weeks of training.  So while I don't think I'm in as good of shape as I was for SF, my fitness was pretty close overall.  

Elevation profile and course:
SJ RNR is as easy a course as you will ever find out there.  Almost no hills are on the course, except for underpasses/overpasses lol.  Looks like the elevation change ranges from a low of 57 feet to a high of 111 feet - so almost nothing.  Though this subtle elevation change probably helps us, since we get to use a little bit different muscles due to the slight hills, even though they are very minimal.  Due to the flat and fast course - SJ is one of the best half marathon PR courses out there that I know of.  Course map and elevation profile.  

Generally my opinions have always been mixed on whether or not to be excited to head to a race expo.  The day before a race, I like to lie as low as possible and hydrate/fuel in preparation for the race.  Driving around to a race expo to pick up my bib number is kind of annoying to me.  Though occasionally there is cool stuff at the expo, or even races to register for (for instance at SF 2010 expo I registered for SJ 2010 for a low price and also got a shirt out of it).

The expo was held at San Jose Convention Center, the same place it was held at in 2010

Powerbar seems like a brand from the 90s, that is still trying to re-establish itself as a viable threat in the marketplace today.  I used to eat these before races in the early 2000s, now I simply have a Clif Bar or another type of energy bar (though the free samples they gave out here were pretty good, especially the wafer type bar)

The Geico lizard guy was a big hit among the kids

They had a big chocolate milk booth - and I got talking to a girl about chocolate milk.  My main question - is chocoalate milk really the best post workout/race fueling plan?  There are tons of sugar in chocolate milk.  I'm just not sure if it is the best thing to have post race/workout.  Anyone have any comments on this?

thought this was a cool poster - especially Roger Craig on the top center square

side note, but I couldn't seem to find the exit from the expo, felt like I was in a casino lol

San Jose Rock N Roll is probably the most convenient big race out there for me - I simply drove the 20 minutes from my house, and parked near the Sharktank downtown.  Really easy.  I never do gear check at races, so I simply got there at around 730, and then went straight into my Corral (2nd corral) at 750 ish (race started at 8).  My general race plan was to shoot for a 1:37 (PR from SF 2nd half).  To do this, I was going to do the first 3 miles at 7:38 pace, and the last 10 miles at 7:20 pace.  Unfortunately SJ didn't have any pacers except for 1:30 and 1:45, which I thought was kind of weird.

Fueling plan:
As detailed in my SF 2nd half report - my main downfall at that race was fueling/hydrating (or lack thereof).  I was excited that gatorade was the fueling sponsor of RNR SJ, so I actually didn't run the race with a fuel belt.  My plan was to eat 3 gels at miles 4, 8 and 12.  Along with 4 endurolyte tablets to help with salt.  And I was going to stop at every water stop, and alternate gatorade and water.  Here is the water stop schedule.  Unfortunately mother nature picked this weekend to be one of the hottest weekends in the bay area the entire summer - so I was concerned about the heat.

Start line:
I got to the race area a little bit later than I usually do for races (maybe around 735 ish) - and first tried to find a port-a-potty.  The lines were insanely long, and I didn't want to miss the start of the race, so I decided that I didn't really need to go again.  So I just settled into my Corral (2nd) at 750 and waited for the race to start.  I ended up not talking to anyone prior to the race or in the corral, which is kind of odd for me - but just didn't seem like anyone came up to talk to at all.  Side note, but I saw Roger Craig right by the start line, which was cool - last time I saw him was at RNR SJ in 2011.  After the elites corral took off, it was time for us, and the race was underway at 8:01.  I honestly didn't know what my body had in me, but I was game to find out on the course.

Mile 1 - 7:03 (161 heartrate)
First mile was the usual chaos - people starting too fast, some starting too slow, etc.  Though some people being in front of me may have helped me - since my goal was to gradually increase my heartrate at the start.  This mile went east on Santa Clara St away from downtown.  My goal was to run this slower, not sure what happened here lol

Mile 2 - 7:20 (172 heartrate)
Just tried to reign my body in a bit and not start running too fast.  One of my friends from my running club ran by me (he also did SF 2nd half with me), he was flying by me and running really well.  Nice to see him out there.  I was curious how well he was going to do the rest of the race. (turns out he ran a 1:31:30 I think, he did awesome)  This mile went down Japantown.

Mile 3 - 7:19 (173 heartrate)
a guy had really bright patterned tights that I seemed to be behind during the early miles that spectators loved lol.  This mile headed south on 2nd street.

Mile 4 - 7:13 (175 heartrate)
Apparently my 5K time was 23:03 (7:25 pace).  Not sure that I buy this, since my watch never showed above this pace at any mile.  I did notice that my garmin was beeping that we had completed a mile before the actual mile marker.  Maybe it had trouble among the tall buildings.
This mile took us right into downtown again, and into the heart of the spectators - which is always fun to get pumped up running by a bunch of people.  Generally I was feeling okay, mainly trying to keep my pace in check and not let my heartrate go too high. (ate gel at this mile)

not a big fan of this pic - mainly because it seems to show me heel striking on my right foot

the next 3 pics are better one's

lol on this pic - no idea what I was looking at

Mile 5 - 7:15 (176 heartrate)
Don't remember much from this mile, it headed west on Santa Clara St away from downtown
one of the best parts about SJ RNR are all the junior high and high school cheerleader squads throughout the course - I bet the course had 25 of them or so.  They provide much needed energy to everyone that runs by

Mile 6 - 7:14 (177 heartrate)
We passed the turnaround point for the 10K racers, and the race suddenly got really quiet.  I asked a random guy "wow it got super quiet out here", and no response lol.  I do a lot of talking to spectators and runners, partly to keep myself occupied, and it is fun to interact with people out on the course - and not everyone responds to me lol.  This mile continued west on Santa Clara Street and The Alameda.

Mile 7 - 7:09 (178 heartrate)
My 10K split time was apparently 45:43 (7:18 pace), which was right on schedule.  Which is barely slower than my stand-alone 10K time at Eugene 10K from 2012 lol.  I was glad to see the mileage of the race tick past the half way point, I was still feeling okay, but I noticed that my heartrate was staying higher now.  This mile went down University Ave, nice neighborhoods in Santa Clara.

Mile 8 - 7:08 (178 heartrate)
This was probably the worst mile of the race, it went under interstate 880 - I don't remember this part of the course from 2010 lol.  We couldn't have done more laps in the Rose Garden neighborhood instead?  I also passed a guy that was running with a flag - impressive work by him, he was running a fast pace - I gave him props on the way by (ate gel at this mile)

Mile 9 - 7:15 (178 heartrate)
I saw Brandi Chastain around mile 9 - I think at her house?  Last time I saw her was 2012 London Olympics.  I also saw her on the course at SJ RNR 2010 race.  This mile was back into the good neighborhoods of Santa Clara.  I also was sort of tailing a guy for about 6 miles, and finally caught up to him - I gave him props for running such a consistent race.  I think he sped off from me, though I'm not sure.  I also gave out a lot of "Go Niners!" to spectators.  It is fun for me to talk to people and spectators lol.

Mile 10 - 7:06 (179 heartrate)
Rose Garden at mile 10 is the best part of course - I used to run there from SCU a long time ago, so it is a special place.  As for the actual race I was feeling okay, still holding a solid pace but it was getting harder now.  I definitely set a 10 mile PR today lol
10 mile split - 1:13:03 (7:14 pace)

Mile 11 - 7:09 (184 heartrate)
This mile went by some of the best neighborhoods of the course.  I was really starting to get tired now, but was getting close to the end.  I had a moment on course when the local high school cheerleaders were leading a cheer, and just felt awesome that I was running such a great race, all felt right with the world.  My heartrate started to skyrocket due to my body struggling a bit, but I tried to hold it together.

Mile 12 - 7:02 (185 heartrate)
This mile finally turns down The Alameda, which means the race is almost over.  I tried to keep the pace up and power in.  Generally it felt like I was still passing more people as opposed to people passing me.  The heat was starting to hit me a little, I tried to find any shade possible on the course.

I think this is right by the Sharktank around mile 12, I really like this pic because it shows me having good form - right foot is perfectly flat with the ground, and left foot is loaded ready to land.  I was definitely starting to hurt here lol.

Mile 13 - 6:57 (184 heartrate)
Finally the end is almost in sight - last little underpass hill and just tried to hold it together to the end.  Definitely hurt, but finally made the right turn onto Almaden Blvd, which meant it was really close to over.  I had no idea what time I was going to get, I was just trying to finish =)  

Mile 13.28 - 1:53 (186 heartrate)
(6:49 pace last mile portion)
I maintained my same pace down the finishing stretch - and a welcome surprise was seeing my parents in the finishing chute!  Really great to see.  I looked down and saw that I got 1:35 on the dot - yea!  Though right as I crossed the finish line I almost ran over people who were trying to get their medals.  I wanted to sort of keep running to warm down a bit, hard to come to such a sudden stop.

SJ RNR half marathon
13.1 miles (watch said 13.28 miles)
7:16 mile pace
177 average heartrate
287/8219 overall (3.5%)
235/4031 gender (5.8%)
39/736 age group (5.3%)
kind of weird that my age group % is better than my gender % - since usually I'm always in the toughest division in every race (maybe because I'm getting older? lol)

5K split - 23:03 (7:25 pace)
10K split - 45:43 (7:18 pace)
10 mile split - 1:13:03 (7:14 pace)

Shirt was black, which was kind of annoying.  I like the design, but in general I like any running shirt that isn't black

the medal was pretty cool

My plan heading into the race was to aim for a 1:37, with running the first 3 miles slower than this pace.  My race plan went as perfectly as could possibly be - with running the first 3 miles a little slower, then gradually picking it up each mile, it was almost a perfect negative split race.  Only miles that were a little out of whack from this was mile 1 (too fast), and mile 9 (too slow).  I honestly had no idea on what exactly my finish time would be, only that I was going to beat my planned 1:37 time with how I was running.  Very likely this is my best race (or 2nd best race) of my life post high school.  I executed my race and hydration plan perfectly.  My fitness this race wasn't as high as going into the SF 2nd half race, mainly because I lost about 2-3 weeks of training after the race due to my body feeling run down and also getting sick.  So if I have a solid training plan next year, I think I can cut maybe 2-3 minutes off this time.  Maybe a 1:32 is possible, we shall see.  Excited that I ran so well this time, and excited that I may have some room to get even faster next race.  I was proud that I basically ran a perfect race for me.

And on top of that, I now have PRd in every race I've done this year (5), including some double race PRs.  Not sure if counting a 14K PR is even worth it, but I've broken my 5K PR twice, and also established a new 10 mile PR too.  So about 7-8 PRs depending on how you count it up.  It's been a great running year.  Probably my best ever, not sure if it beats senior year high school, but this year has definitely been more enjoyable than senior year high school running since I'm not punishing myself as hard in training as we had to do in high school.

On a side note - but every half marathon I've ran I've somehow finished on the minute mark lol:
  • SJ 2014 at 1:35:02
  • SF 2014 at 1:36:57
  • SJ 2010 at 1:51:00
  • SF 2009 at 1:41:02

Race observations:
  • Echosmith headlined the post race concert - they are a great band, glad they got to play this event.  I saw them at Warped Tour 2013 and they were a very tiny band at the time.  Now their song "Cool Kids" has launched them to be absolutely huge, which is kind of crazy - they deserve it.  
  • I passed on free beer at the finish line, didn't want to run the whole race with a wristband on lol
  • Free runner tracking for spectators worked it seems like
  • It was hot out, and RNR had misting stations on the course, along with people with hoses which helped a lot.  Along with people at the finish line passing out towels, which I had never seen at a race before.  They did a good job of dealing with the heat.  
  • For as much heat that Rock N Roll seems to take since they are very corporate, they run really well put together races.  This was another great race experience.  
  • Great crowd support - tons of local school cheerleaders on hand throughout the course - I bet maybe 25 different sets of cheerleaders or so
  • Great snacks at end of race - water, gatorade, chocolate milk, yogurt, bananas, pretzels
    even wet towels to put on our heads which was a great touch
    they were even handing out full cases of Aussie Yogurt?  lol - wouldn't they run out doing this?
  • Is recovery really better with chocolate milk?  I seem to hear all about chocolate milk (and even talked with a girl at the expo about it), but does it really work?  Because looking at the nutrition facts and seeing all that sugar in it seems kind of odd to me.  

My own racing thoughts:
  • I had a good fueling plan - 2 gels, 4 endurolyte tablets, and stopping at every water stop (alternated between water and gatorade).  No fuel belt which was nice.  (SF could learn a few things from SJ RNR)
  • I tried to pace off some people on course - found 1 guy later to sort of pace off of.  Seemed like I was generally passing people, or a few people were passing me going way too fast to tail them
  • I talk a lot during races - and sometimes people don't always respond lol.  I mentioned to 1 guy that the race got super quiet all of a sudden at mile 6 and there was no response lol.  I think to other people I'm the annoying guy that talks way too much lol.  
  • I wore Asics shorts that had pockets in the back of them that held my 3 gels, as well as my Endurolyte salt tablets too.  Very convenient.  Though I noticed that my shorts were falling down if I had 3 gels in my pockets lol.  

Race suggestions:
Overall the race was organized almost perfectly, I only had a couple suggestions:

  • Distribution of medals should be put farther away from the finish line - even when I finished the finish line was starting to back up almost across the finish line.  And I wanted to keep running a bit to slow down instead of having to suddenly stop.  I had to go back and get my medal since I ran right by it since I wanted to keep running at the finish line
  • I kind of wish the race started at 7 AM (instead of 8) to help cut down on the heat factor a bit.  Some of the later corrals don't start the race until 8:30 ish or so.  And the slower runners were on course longer than the faster runners, so they had to deal with the heat even more than I did.
  • Race only had 1:30 and 1:45 pace groups, kind of odd not to have the 1:35 and 1:40 groups - I guess I could have led the 1:35 group? lol

New shoes:
My previous pair of Newtons seemed to be done about 1-2 weeks ago, so I headed into the running store to pick up a new pair right before the race (another pair of Newton Distance)
I know that is not usually the best thing to do - but my shoes felt so done that I wanted to roll the dice and use a new pair on race day.  I got in a 3 mile run on Wednesday, but that was it.  Overall the shoes felt good - only thing I noticed at about mile 9 was a blister was forming on the middle of my right foot - which is somewhere that I've never had a blister form before.  I didn't have to stop to treat it (and right now it feels inflamed but not too bad) - so overall it went well with using a new pair of shoes on race day lol

After the race my intention was to get a burrito and watch the 49ers vs Chiefs game - and happened upon Mountain View Oktoberfest, which was awesome.  And the 49ers barely held off the Chiefs in an exciting game, which was sweet.  

Is chocolate milk really the best post running recovery drink?
What is your opinion on Rock N Roll events?