After not a great 2022, I *needed* to run RnR San Jose again. Well, need is a strong word. I wanted too. As most people know, because I have a broken record, 2022 was not my year of running. In 2021, I fell on my back and was injured for about two months. Then, 2022 was a series of more minor things that took me out for a year—Recovering from my back. A minor ankle injury. Then the flu. Not just any flu but a bad case, which led to “long flu,” which led to me barely being able to breathe. Some days, running a 10-minute pace felt too difficult. On other days, I could run at a 7-minute speed for a few miles. At RnR San Jose last year, I tapered, slept, ate well, and did everything the few weeks leading up to it. (I had my worst race ever, WineShine that I wanted redemption from). Only to be left with a race I had to stop and walk a few times and could once again barely breathe at a 7:30-8 min pace.
After last year RnR San Jose, I finally decided to go to the doctor, where they diagnosed me with the flu, did x-rays of my lungs and found a ton of gunk (technically term). They gave me a steroid and medication. I started that around Thanksgiving and felt “more normal” in January. It’s taken a lot longer to build fitness after that.
So, onto RnR San Jose this year. The week before, I spent on a work trip at Point Mugu. It was long hours, a junk food diet, and not as much sleep as I would like. I was kind of up in the air about running RnR San Jose, but my goal was not to run poorly. (versus running well, there is a difference, I think). I would be happy with anything that I felt comfortable with.
Before RnR San Jose:
From Ventura to San Jose, it’s usually about 5 hours, but there was a ton of traffic, so it ended up being more like 7. I split the drive into two days because I did not need to get to San Jose two days before. I stopped in Santa Maria, ran a shakeout, and headed up. I felt like garbage the day before, so I was less motivated to run. I told myself: you need to run faster than 1:39.40.
Before the race, I did a 2-mile warmup, derped around, and made it to the start around 7:50. I had no idea what I could do and assumed something around the Surf City 10 pace. Once the race was off, I just focused on myself. I didn’t care what anyone else was doing. I ran the first mile of RnR San Jose at 7:06. If I can hold this, I will be so happy. The next mile was uneventful, and I ran at 6:58. I was surprised, but my only goal was to feel relaxed.
I realized I needed to pee around mile 3 of the RnR San Jose. I thought about stopping but decided to see how it would play out. I ran miles 3 and 4 of RnR San Jose at 7:07. I was happy and feeling pretty good, but I still needed to pee. I stayed relaxed and the miles felt like they were clicking away.
I hit mile 5 of RnR San Jose in 7:08, and the 10k split off. A few 10kers left us (truthfully, I forgot there was a 10k). I hit mile 6 at 6:55 and immediately saw a bathroom, so I quickly peeled off to pee. It took me about 20 seconds, and I was back on the course. I ran mile 7 of RnR San Jose at 7:18 with the pee break. At mile 7, I evaluated and thought I still felt pretty good. I had planned to take a Maurten 160 at mile 7, but there weren’t any water stops for a while. You can take Maurten without water, but I prefer it with and so I kept waiting for a water stop. Slowly, mile 7 became eight, then nine, and at that point, I just didn’t. Not my smartest move and I do think we could have used a few more aid stations (personally).
I ran miles 8 of the RnR San Jose at 7:01 and nine at 7:08. It felt like the longest two miles. I just wanted to make it to mile 10. I hit mile 10 of RnR San Jose in 1:10.55 and 10 seconds faster than Surf City 10. But dang, I ran a lot smarter because Surf City was very much a fly-and-die. Once I was at mile 10, I told myself 5k to go.
From there, I just pushed it. There were a few people around, which was motivating, and I ran mile 11 in 6:55. I told myself, you can pass, go. Collect $200 and go. I was timid during the first 10 miles because I didn’t want another fly and die. I ran a 7:04 the next mile and noticed I was roughly .1-.2 ahead of the mile marker. Then I remembered last year it was around 13.3 (probably a combo of being slightly long and me running the tangents poorly). Somehow actually did tell me the course is a little long so that is motivating.
Once I hit mile 12, I just gave all of my energy. Somehow, I ran a 6:38 final mile and then 6:43 last .3. I crossed the RnR San Jose in 1:33.40 and 7:02 pace.
RnR San Jose Thoughts:
I am happy with my effort. I wasn’t sure what I could run after not doing a half since March, and coming off not the best week for fueling well, travel, work, etc.. I am looking forward to seeing what I can do when I feel better before. It does feel good to run my fastest-paced half since Nov 2021. I consider this faster than Napa (because it was?) and someone actually told me RnR San Jose course is a little long.
Questions for you:
Have you ever sought revenge on a race course?
Have you done a RnR race?