Coming off ITB injury and slowly building miles to NY, I had no wiggle room for any kind of set back. Having registered for the Rock n Roll San Jose Half Marathon a year in advance and running it the last 4 years, I was pretty set on doing the race.
Whether it was foretold around the fire by the elders or pure coincidence, the distance worked out perfectly in my training schedule. With NY getting closer every day, my weekend schedule is laid out by running a little further each weekend. After building up to 10 miles, 13, 15, 18, and 21 are chalked for the weekends. And yesterday was week 13 right in time for the RNRSJ. The plan was to take it at full marathon pace (10min. miles). My previous longer distance runs have been at 11 min. pace as I build strength.
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve raced but sheesh, I brought my water belt, but left the water bottle at home. I brought my Garmin watch with me, but left it at my friends house while getting ready. Apparently treating this like a training run and not a race, was not going to be an issue.
The race weather was ideal for the faster packs. Although there was a brief sprinkle in the first mile, the sun stayed behind the clouds for most of the morning. It was a comfortable over-cast day with the sun not creeping out until 1:40 after the start time. If you were on the course past the 2+ hour mark, the sun could prove to be challenging. But typically the latter miles of the RNRSJ are typically sunny and warm.
Running this race the last 3 years, I knew what to expect: a relatively flat course, with lots of cheering support along the way. It’s funny when you remember the bands from previous years. Throughout the race I was clocking high 9 min miles and fairly close to 10s, which was a comfortable pace. I stopped at mile 7 to stretch out the IT just as a precaution and to remind myself that this was a training run and I was only at a 13 mile race. I’m definitely not strong enough to risk any setbacks and time is a 100% factor in that equation. I ended up cruising in at 2:08:30, right on pace and pain free. I couldn’t have asked for a better race and it gives me a little confidence boost for the future knowing I have at least half the NY distance at race pace. The next three weeks will be difficult as I build towards the FULL-monty, but with 13.1 in my back pocket it shows that I’m half way there… and that I know how to Rock N Roll.