Short and simple RnR San Jose did not go well. I had high hopes after WineShine Half Marathon also was not my day. Many people have said: “well, at least you improved,” or “that’s still a great time” however it’s 17 minutes from my PR and another 5 or 6 from the times I was running in the spring. It’s probably about 5-7 minutes slower than I hoped to run…which is a lot.
The longer I don’t feel great, the longer I wonder if something else is going on. I haven’t felt the same after the flu, and I have to wonder if I had COVID and now have long COVID. I was never diagnosed with COVID and took 5-6 tests, including at the doctor’s office. But ever since then, I haven’t felt great when running. After a few miles at a threshold pace, breathing becomes hard but not just in the usual running way. I will likely go to the doctor, but it might end up driving in and out of Los Angeles (1 way) after work…which is a significant reason I haven’t explored that option. But I do think it’s time. I don’t hate living in the desert, but when it comes to healthcare, especially specialized healthcare, I am forced to drive between 50-100 miles one way.
Anyway, even though I didn’t feel good, I enjoyed RnR San Jose and will likely do it again. I chose RnR San Jose because it’s a flat, fast course. It only had 100 feet of elevation gain! Plus, Rock N Roll races have Gatorade on the system and gels. So I didn’t have to worry about fuel.
Before RnR San Jose:
The week before, I wanted to minimalize stress. I slept a lot. I went to bed early. I got good sleep. I kept myself in good spirits and just really worked on minimizing stress. Before the Wine Shine Half in July, I moved. I started a new job and didn’t sleep well. I blamed having a rough week on having a bad race. So I focused on not doing that before RnR San Jose. That is one reason I am bummed with the result of RnR San Jose, I really worked hard to do all the little “race day” things to make sure I was feeling good.
We arrived at RnR San Jose around 3 pm, picked up our bibs, relaxed, and went to bed early. I got plenty of sleep before the race. I mentioned rest because I wanted to ensure I was well-rested before the race.
The morning of, we walked around a bit, got coffee, relaxed, and then headed to the start line. We stayed walkable to the race start, which was excellent (I rarely do that). My stressors before the race were zero but I was more nervous than usual (likely just because running hasn’t been going well). RnR San Jose started about 15 minutes late. I noticed the 1:30 pace group was in corral two, and many people probably shouldn’t have been in corral 1.
RnR San Jose:
The gun went off for RnR San Jose around 8:15. I immediately found myself weaving around people who shouldn’t have been in corral 1. I was passing people for the first two miles of RnR San Jose and only running a 7:20 pace. It was still slower than I thought I was capable of. I ran mile 2 of RnR San Jose at 7:05 and thought I was settling into the pace I wanted. I didn’t feel bad and started to build confidence like finally, I would have a semi-decent race. Mile 2-4 was probably the highlight of RnR San Jose, only because I felt good and for a second I felt like previous running versions of myself.
The next few miles of RnR proceed the same way. There are a fair amount of turns on the course, and I ran a 7:15, 7:08, and 7:14. I didn’t feel bad and was motivated. If I averaged that, I would be happy. It wasn’t fast considering the last year, but at least it was a lot faster than previously.
Around mile 6 of RnR San Jose, I struggled to breathe. I didn’t know what was happening. It wasn’t like I was running fast, and now breathing became hard. It felt like I was in the final sprint of a 5k and trying to hold on. Breathing felt a lot more challenging than it should (and has) at that pace. I slowed down and ran a 7:36. I was disappointed but just tried to keep my spirits up. It’s just one mile, I told myself. But that was only a window into what would happen next.
The next couple of miles felt challenging, and I ran a 7:30 and 7:37. I tried to relax, but it was like I couldn’t. Around this time, I saw the lead pack of men coming back. They were running super close, and suddenly, I saw one guy fall. The volunteers quickly rushed over, but it was still really demotivating.
During this time, breathing was once again becoming challenging. I decided at the next Gatorade stop, I would walk for a few seconds and catch my breath, and I did just that. I’ve never walked in a half marathon before, but that day I needed too. I ran an 8:10, drank the Gatorade and pr, and proceeded.
At mile 9 of RnR San Jose, I kept telling myself just four miles to go. Honestly, that felt like forever with how I felt. I kept running with a few people and trying to stay motivated.
For the most part, RnR San Jose continued without any crazy events. I focused on finishing and trying to motivate myself in any way possible while staying relaxed. Around mile 11.5, I stopped and walked again at the water stop because my breathing felt unmanageable. The volunteers were yelling keep running, and go! But I just couldn’t without feeling like I was overexerting myself.
After my quick walk break, I decided I would power to the finish. I reasoned with myself no more walking, and you can still get under 1:40. That was not the original goal…or b goal (the c goal was finishing), but it became the new goal. So I focused on powering to the RnR San Jose. I was still counting down the mile. .6 to go. .5 to go.
Finally, we turned, and I could see the RnR San Jose finish. I crossed the 13th mile at 7:22 and was pleased with a faster mile. I just kicked to the finish and ran a 7:07 last .3. (I didn’t run the tangents well, clearly).
RnR San Jose Thoughts:
This was not a great race and not what I wanted. I finished injury free (I probably shouldn’t use healthy because I think something is going on other than a “bad race.” It has pushed me to try and go to the doctor and figure out what’s wrong. Did I have COVID and now have long COVID? Do I have long flu (apparently, that is an actual thing)? Is it something else? Hopefully, I can make a doctor’s appointment that isn’t 100 miles away and figure out what’s happening. I will likely do RnR San Jose again because I enjoyed the race course and the area.
Questions for you:
Have you run RnR San Jose?
Have you had long COVID?