Who knew that I would be running my fourth half marathon in a calendar year a year ago? I certainly didn’t. But after the Disney Princess last March, I found myself eager to keep on running and so, in spite of a temporary injury, I signed on for the San Jose Rock and Roll Half Marathon. How could I not? It’s San Jose, where I come from, where I lived for more than twenty years establishing my circus act. I used to always get lost in downtown San Jose while I lived there…I still do. Why not run the San Jose Rock and Roll? At least I wouldn’t get lost running in the middle of a crowd of thousands of people…would I?
Wearing my super-sexy trash bag over my running clothes, early Sunday morning, I wasn’t too sure how well the run would go. I was fighting off a cold that found its way in my circus and I had not been sleeping well most of the week. I thought that I would get a good night’s sleep at the hotel I stayed at but I could hear very clearly, all night long, just how weak the bladder of the hotel guest next door to me was. The Crowne Plaza in downtown San Jose is a great hotel. I’ve stayed there a few times before but I never noticed before that you can hear everything going on in the bathrooms of the rooms next to yours. So a good night’s sleep was not meant to be for me. Nevertheless, I was ready to run. I knew I would finish strong and, really, that is all that mattered. My friend, Kari, on the other hand, was confident that I would do better than that. I should learn to believe Kari.
The race got started and it was everything that I imagined it would be…and nothing my debby-downer running friends suggested that it would be. How amazing it was!
- to run through the streets of downtown San Jose
- to run past my very first apartment on The Alameda
- to run through the neighborhoods where residents stood in their front yards cheering for us, playing music for us, offering donuts and bacon
- I know, BACON!
As tempting as it was, I didn’t stop for the bacon or for the donuts. This race was very well supported with water stops every couple miles that were manned by many eager, cheerful, efficient volunteers. The bands were energetic and encouraging calling out to us runners and even dancing out in the street high-fiving us while they performed. I barely passed mile five when there was U.S. Olympian Meb Keflezighi blazing past us towards the finish line at in 1 hour, 1 minute and 45 seconds! Everyone running alongside of me cheered loudly as we watched him race by. The closest runner behind him was not seen until I hit mile six. In the meantime, as I made note of my split times at the 5K and 10K mark it was clear that Kari was right. I was maintaining an 11 minute pace. I tried not to let the excitement get the best of me and just put my head down and kept on running. There were more than six more miles to go and I had a lot more running to do. There was also the chance to see my old friend, Don, perform with his band, Chubby’s Allstars, at mile 8. I slowed to a walk and headed to the stage to fist bump my friend and then off I went.
I was still feeling great…well, except for the fact that I had to go…hey, at least I knew that I was well hydrated. I tried to ignore it as much as I could because every porta-potty stop had fairly long lines that I wasn’t willing to wait in. Finally, after the 15K mark, I knew that I could not hold it any longer so I did stop. There were only two people in line waiting for one of four porta potties to open up. How long of a wait could it be?
A little more than five minutes. Oh well. When you gotta go, you gotta go so I did and it’s a good thing that I did. Jumping back on to the course I kept going at a fairly good pace at around 11:30. The PR that Kari predicted was lost but by then I knew that I would cross under 2 hours 45 minutes.
And I did. I rocked it. I rolled it. This was a very good race and I definitely wouldn’t mind running it again.
Up next: the Stockton Half Marathon.