Sorry for the delay! This will be quick and dirty.
Saturday: Went to the expo! I love expos. Sorry for the one crummy photo I took. I will give the event kudos for having event-branded tech gear in women's size XS! Of course, it was ridiculously priced so I didn't get anything. I was also able to pick up some running skirts which I will share in a later post. Other than that, it was the usual freebie pick-up fest.
The race used the new strip-timing system versus champion chips. I think these are the same ones that gave the Honolulu Marathon so many problems this past year. They seemed to work fine this event so no complaints. I will say that I missed the "beep, beeeps" that they make when you run over the mats. The new ones are totally silent.
One super cool thing I picked up from the expo was a free cowbell! I've been wanting a cowbell for so long! Yay! Now I'm all prepared the next time I'm on cheering duty.
Sunday: We took a pre-dawn drive down to San Jose. As I mentioned before my parents were in town so they were going to be the cheering squad. It was a little brisk at the start but it was pretty obvious that once the sun rose and we got moving it was going to be a warm day. I had signed up for this race intending to try to break 2 hours, so was in corral 3. I didn't want to get totally run over the first few miles so dropped back to corral 5. In retrospect, there were at least 13 corrals so I probably should have placed myself even further back.
My plan going into the race was to walk 0.2 mi every mile. My endurance is way down from my shin injury and I also wanted to keep things easy so that I would be able to participate in the Nike Woman's Half in 2 weeks. Given the way the course looped around, my parents were planning on watching the start (I had no idea where they were so missed them) then were going to head over to the 4.5 mi mark, then back to the finish. I did find them at their last two posts so that was a lot of fun. My mom sure knows how to work the cowbell!
At the first mile maker I felt really good and wanted to keep running, but I forced myself to walk for 0.2 mi. This continued for the next 12 miles. I'll say things stopped being easy around mile 8 and started getting a little hard at about mile 10. I generally felt okay the whole race since I was going slow and taking walk breaks, but I could tell my body was not ready to do such a long run given the lack of training. The race distance represented 75% of the mileage I had done the entire month of September!
At mile 12 I wanted to skip the walk, but forced myself to take a break. I did speed up the last mile (my only split in the 9:00's) what with the finish area cheering and "let's get this over with already" mentality. I met my goal of running my slowest half marathon ever with a 2:35:xx finish (28 seconds slower than the Disneyland Half). So I missed my initial goal by over 35 minutes, but I'm happy I was able to participate and have my parents out for the race experience.
The great news is that my shin didn't hurt for one second the entire race. It also hasn't bothered me at all since the run. I was pretty sore for such a slow pace for a couple of days, but went on a 2 mi run a couple of days ago and am still feeling good. I haven't really decided on what distances I want to try to get in before the Nike Half. Again, it's a fine line between being prepared and possibly not being able to participate. I would love to be able to tackle Nike without the walking game-plan, but am totally willing to do it if that is what it takes to get to the finish healthy.