Yep, I’m heading back to Rock n Roll San Jose in October. I feel like last years sciatica pain colored a course and crowds I would have appreciated in a not great shade.
San Jose has an impressive amount of cheer leaders out there cheering for you along the way. They did an amazing job by the way. They were the only thing that got a smile on my face by the last 6 miles. There were some neighborhoods that looked amazing in the back half of the race and I regret not taking pictures now. Running through San Pedro Square was awesome. And if there is a photographer there this year as well, I swear I am going to smile this time.
Now, about the flatness. This race is pancake flat. Seriously. It’s touted as the fastest half in California. Well, for most runners. For me? Well, I just want to finish under 2:25- doesn’t sound like much but I have never finished a flat course fast. Never. Even back when I was so much fitter and faster than I am now. 🙂 Flat is my nemesis- it’s time for flat to lose. I just want to enjoy myself and not finish a flat race course saying ouch.
Also, I will finally earn the Cali Combo medal. My first year running Rock n Roll races I only ran one in California- you had to run 3 to earn the Cali Combo medal. Last year I did run 3 races in Cali (San Diego, San Jose, LA) but they didn’t offer a Cali Combo medal. Boo. But—- they brought it back this year and now you only have to run 2 Rock n Roll races. Yay!!
Want to run with me??? Use code 19RNRBRP16 to save $16 on the half!
We started it with a red flag heat wave then swung back the other way. I had some good runs, I missed one and one definitely pushed the definition of the word “run”.
I had a slap in the face about the level of my emotional eating and tendency to eat more than I should in one sitting. But that’s for another blog post. That I’ve started and stopped a few times already.
My sciatica pain came back. Either due to my new (to me) desk chair or because I spent an hour on the treadmill this week. Could be either, could be both. Not gonna lie, wish I could go get my chair from my previous office.
Oh and I rearranged all the furniture in my bedroom over the weekend because why not?
Plan vs Reality
Monday 1.5 miles/ .8 ish miles I am pushing it by calling this a run. I was in jeans and boots but I was moving pretty fast. It hit 105 in hometown that day and 95 in SLO. While the home town temp isn’t abnormal- that SLO temp is. I had to do an errand for work and I was moving pretty quickly. I admit when I learned there was a fire in the riverbed at home town and they were shutting down the main bridge in town, I turned on my watch while doing this errand.
Tuesday 1 mile up/down, 2x 1 mile repeats/ 4 miles -1 up/down, 2 x1 mile repeats It was 103 in home town so I used my brain and headed to the gym. I hate the treadmill. The warm mile wasn’t bad, I didn’t nail the mile repeat paces but I was damn close. I find running on the treadmill so much harder then outside. And by mile 4, I could tell that my lower back was not happy.
Wednesday 1.5 miles/ 1.5 miles Nothing much to say just went out and did it.
Thursday- 3.5 mile fartlek run/ 3.5 mile fartlek run My stomach was a total asshat and I was tired and did not want to run. I was trying to rationalize skipping the run but I changed and headed out anyways. I normally love fartlek runs but this was more about getting it done. It wasn’t horrible but I was glad I pulled it together.
Friday- 1.5 miles/ Spiral I skipped this run. My lower back was hurting pretty badly but I wonder if I just used that as an excuse. It also wasn’t a great food night and reality may have hit me.
Saturday- 8 miles/ 8.5 miles Once again I hit the snooze button a few too many times. So another mid afternoon run was on the books. I almost pushed the run to Sunday but told myself to stop being stupid. I headed out around 3:30 and it was only in the 80’s. I started off with a half mile warmup then got to business trying to get the next 8 miles in the long run zone assigned. So close! Miles 4-6 were too slow. I ran a section of road that while shaded the headwind died. The temperature increased like wow. My stomach also cramped spectacularly in mile 5. I slammed to a halt and wondered if I could even make it to my car. There were park bathrooms .5 mile in the opposite way so I was torn which way to go. I stood on the side of the road for a while. But someone was conspiring against me- they tore down the park bathrooms!! Why?!?!?! Somehow my miles back to the car were my fastest. With moments when I had to stop and take deep breathes. In and out, in and out. It was also my first run trying a new fuel but I am not sure which way to make that correlation. Hmmm.
Sunday- Rest/ Rest Nailed it! I actually thought about heading out to make up the missed 1.5 mile run but sleep and a migraine kept it a rest day. So I caught up on my DVR and cleaned my closet.
18.8 miles for the week. So close to where I was supposed to be!
Disclaimer: I received Sabre products to try as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
If you run alone, you’ve likely thought about your safety on the run. If not, how?
I’ve run with pepper spray since I was attacked by a dog 9 years ago. I still have the scars on my butt to prove it. Before then my biggest concern running was how stupid I looked doing it. Nothing slams me a halt now quite like a dog off leash.
Then I started running the lake path. Which seems to be home to all of my creepiest encounters. From cars that follow too close around the path or men who just stop and stare.
There’s also the random but not so infrequent wild life occurrences in town. From roaming mountain lions to bears in cul-de-sacs and let’s not forget the time a wolf hybrid escaped from the rehab facility. It’s a riot out here.
I started carrying pepper spray way back when and am ost never without it. I’ve gone through a variety of different styles and brands. Partly because of the expiration dates and partly because I have a tendency to break them. How? If I am carrying it in my hand, it will get thrown at some point. It’s one of the reasons I don’t carry a handheld all that often.
So now I carry Sabre. Small, compact and complete with a strap! No more throwing it! Although in a worst case throwing it might not be a bad idea.
Ok, so I don’t toss it around anymore but really makes Sabre rock?
MAXIMUM STOPPING POWER: Maximum strength formula is backed by in-house high performance liquid chromatography laboratory which guarantees maximum stopping power, eliminating the 30% failure rate experienced with other pepper spray brands (University of Utah study); plus UV marking dye aids in suspect identification
#1 PEPPER SPRAY BRAND TRUSTED BY POLICE AND CONSUMERS WORLDWIDE: Including New York, Chicago PD, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s & U.S. Marshals; made in the U.S.A. and ISO 9001:2008 certified with a 4-year shelf life from the date of manufacture
ENHANCED SAFETY: Pepper gel virtually eliminates wind blow-back and only affects what it directly contacts, plus it offers a 20% greater range (12 feet/4 m) for protection at a safer distance
EASILY ACCESSIBLE WITH PROTECTION AGAINST MULTIPLE THREATS: Adjustable hand strap provides police-strength protection at your fingertips; contains 35 bursts (up to 5x other brands) plus a locking top safety mechanism to prevent accidental discharge
FREE TRAINING: Packaging includes link to free training video in addition to publicly available safety tips on blog
Along with the pepper spray which I already felt comfortable with, Sabre offers personal alarms. Yes, there are a few apps that offer runner tracking and location information, however those seem less than productive to me. They tell someone where you were when there might have been a problem. Those people are usually never near you at the time and likely can’t get to you quickly. How safe is that? It’s not. It’s a road map for a worst case scenario. The Sabre personal alarm is there to alert those actually nearby that you need help. And/or maybe be a loud enough deterrent for whatever man or beast may be in front of you.
And it clips on anywhere. Seriously, I’ve it clipped to my pack, my pocket, a tank top strap, and my purse. I recently bought my first Coach purse and yes- I clipped the bright pink alarm to the outside pocket. Safety is always stylish, right?
Sabre is extremely low priced in my opinion for my peace of mind. But if you need more convincing- how about a discount? Use code SABRERUN to save 20%.
Everything’s safe until it isn’t and for that I have my Sabre. I can only hope I don’t have to use it.
Sense the sarcasm. It started ok but when a little wonky towards the end. Ok, a lot wonky. Normal June temps came back with a vengeance, power outages, broken toilets- oh it was fun.
Oh and I decided to start the week off with a 3 day refresh where I wasn’t eating a whole lot of solid food and drinking mostly smoothies. In some ways it was good and others it was a mess.
Monday 1.5 miles/ 1.5 miles I thought about take a rest day post race but I was feeling ok so I headed out for my planned run. I was slow moving and sluggish but it didn’t feel to bad.
Tuesday 2.5 miles with 4 strides/ 2.5 miles with 4 strides I flipped Tuesday and Thursday’s workouts as I figured I needed a little more recovery time. I am glad I did as this run was a slow going. While I did the strides they may have been the slowest strides I’ve done since starting this training plan.
Wednesday 1.5 miles/ 1.5 miles The temps have finally swung to the hot side. This was a rough run. I still felt like I had lingering asthma issues from the race. I told myself it was the sudden temp change that made this run so hard.
Thursday 1.5 up/ down, 1.5 mile repeats x2/ Nada I was exhausted. I don’t know when I have ever felt that tired. It showed at work too as everyone told me to stay away from them thinking I was sick. I wasn’t, just dog tired. I went home and just rested instead.
Friday 1.5 miles/ Nada I had the late shift and I totally took advantage of that extra 45 minutes and slept. I meant to run after work, I was feeling a little better and I even had grand delusions of moving my long run to Friday evening. I mean it was graduation night but surely I could find clear roads, right? Then there was a power outage back home and it took out the tv’s. Apparently I’m the only one in the house who could fix them. So home I went- except after over an hour of trying I learn the issue was on Directv’s side and there was nothing I could do.
Saturday 7 miles/ 5.4 mile crap fest I worked a Saturday shift but I set a very early alarm. Except when the alarm went off it was dark and cold and I was tired. I went back to sleep for a bit. Which meant I headed out 10 hours later with temps at 92. And it kicked my ass. I was melting. I overheated so bad, mine hands started swelling. I started with multiple walk breaks which turned to all out walking with multiple stops to hide in the shade. It was miserable.
Sunday Rest/ Rest– I thought about making up some of my missed miles. But instead I took a 2 hour nap. So when it comes to rest- nailed it!
10.9 miles for the week. Ouch. Fingers crossed this week swings back the other way.
I had a horrible night of sleep so I was moving a little slowly as I got myself ready for the race. I headed out of my hotel to the shuttle stop around 5:30. Part of the reason I book this hotel is the proximity to the shuttles and the finish line. The lines seem so much longer this year but I was on a bus fairly quickly. Once dropped off I made my way to the BibRave Pro meetup.
Then I did a bad thing. I hadn’t noticed until I was preparing my flat runner the night before but my bib had my corral as 21. Wait, what? I know I’m moving slower than I used to but that didn’t make sense. Which was reinforced when I saw the 2:30 pacers in corral 14. Rock n Roll was enforcing corral assignments this time but I managed to sneak into corral 14.
Miles 1-3: 10:15, 11:07, 11:39 I love that .2 miles into the start there is a guy shouting on a bull horn. Every year. I was feeling rough from the get go. I was running but I knew it wasn’t going to last. I’ve never faded this fast before.
Miles 4-5: 11:34, 11:54 I was slowing, my pace does not show how much walking I was doing. I had nothing in the tank. The Mile 4.5 bar barely drew a smile from me. Then we entered the “Wear Blue” mile. All the signs of fallen military members and American Flags make me realize I should not be complaining. I went to pause my music so I could run the mile in silence when I noticed what was playing. The acoustic version of Papa Roach’s F.E.A.R- Face Everything And Rise. The timing of lyrics was eerie so I let it play.
Miles 6-10: 11:54, 12:41, 11:34, 11:46, 12:03 I knew I was done back in mile 3 and I stopped fighting it. My legs and body felt good, I just had zero energy. None. It was humid but not hot and while the humidity wasn’t as high as last year, my lungs were not having it. Asthma sucks. So I ran when I could and walked the rest. Miles 7 and 10? Lots of walking. A lot. I just tried to enjoy the neighborhoods I was running through, all the people who came out to cheer, and the literal cheerleaders every few miles.
Miles 11-13: 12:39, 11:06, 11:57 There was a new blowup at mile 10 instead of the guitar guy. I love the last 3 miles- there’s a good uphill, amazing downhill and a party tunnel as we head back downtown to the finish. I felt like I picked up the pace but the stats tell a different story. Ha! I had to take a walk break at the bottom of the downhill- say what? I never have to walk after downhills. So in other words- the hundred or so people I just passed now all passed me. 🙂
My slowest San Diego to date! I am not sure what happened out there- I went in worried about a hurt foot and instead slammed into a wall of exhaustion. I texted a friend after the race and said I had zero get up and go. None. I still love this race though and would recommend it to anyone who asks.