Races · Running

Recap: My First Half Marathon!!

First, I have to give a huge thank you to all the kind comments/messages that were left for me. Your support was greatly appreciated and really kept me going. Nothing like seeing these messages pop up before and after my race πŸ™‚

Sorry I’m not posting this until now, but there was a lot to process and I haven’t been able to write coherent thoughts until now. and these thoughts I’m writing now might not even be coherent.

It’s a LONG one folks. I couldn’t decide how to break it into parts so I said, what the heck? One giant post.

San Jose Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

Saturday early afternoon, Kyle and I drove down to the San Jose area to my aunt and uncle’s house. They were awesome and let Kyle, my BFF Shanna (who ran with me), and myself stay at their house. The race was only about 5 miles away, so that made the morning of, a lot easier. HUGE thank you to them!!

After we dropped our stuff off, my aunt dropped Kyle and me off at the expo (Shanna met us there). I was expecting a huge line, but it wasn’t too busy. Guess that’s what you get when you go 2 hours before closing, on the last day?

Photo Oct 05, 3 23 35 PM
Obligatory “I was at the expo” blog photo. And I was compressin’

They had a Nuun booth, so obviously I tried every flavor. Twice.

Photo Oct 05, 4 19 20 PM

The drinks actually weren’t as good as they normally are because they watered it down a lot.

tech tee
Here’s the tech tee

My aunt and uncle took us out to dinner at an Italian restaurant. I was a huge dork and only ate some rolls. My aunt said she’d take me out to dinner any time πŸ˜‰ When we came back to their house, I ate my waffles (pre-tested race fuel). I was not about to play Russian Roulette with my ass on race day.


On Sunday, I woke up at 5 AM so I could eat my breakfast 3 hours before the start. It was actually hard and I had to force myself to eat. I must have been nervous.

After we were all ready, Kyle drove Shanna and me to the race!

SJ RNR starting line
The starting line!

We nervously waited around and decided to hit the porta-potties. I went once, came back to Kyle and said I still felt like I had to go. Then I left and got back in line. I came back after the second time, and said I still felt like I had to go. I think I’m a nervous pee-er…For the record, I only went twice.

As it got close to 8 AM, Shanna and I hugged good bye, said good luck and went to our respective corals. Kyle waited with me for a little bit and my parents and Kyle’s mom finally showed up (traffic was horrible). I hugged everyone and said hi. Or at least I think. I was so nervous at this point I might have hugged a random Japanese man wearing a golf hat.

The announcer started to talk so my family (for this post, “my family” will be referring to Kyle, his mom, and my parents) moved further aside. That’s when the nerves kicked in. Standing alone, in a coral surrounded by seemingly more experienced runners, listening to the announcer call off each coral in front of you, can really make you feel like you’re trying not to be selected to “play” in the Hunger Games.

Luckily I had Kyle to make an awkward face at
Luckily I had Kyle to make an awkward face at

My coral (10) inched forward. The blaring, upbeat music helped to get me excited. We finally approached the starting line,Β probably close to 15 minutes after the actual start, and the announcer counted us down. We took off.

I was probably smiling like a dork because it felt so cool. I was finally running my half marathon. The first few miles included a lot of weaving. They really should include in the race packets, race etiquette (e.g. don’t walk the half marathon, but choose a coral with an estimated finish time of 2:10 or faster, and then walk in the center of the street).

The first few miles blew by and before I knew it, I was approaching the area where my family was waiting to cheer me on (a little after mile 4)

Hey guys!
Hey guys!

Up to mile 5 I felt great. I had music on but I wasn’t even listening.

Then mile 6 happened. My ankle started killing me. Every step made me want to quit. I kept telling myself that eventually my adrenaline would kick in and I would stop feeling the pain. I did not train for months to quit mid-race.

Shanna passed me and I cheered her on. It made me push harder.Β I kept running. I focused on the awesome people watching and cheering us on. My favorite signs:

Don’t poop. Never trust a fart.

Push for more horsepower (with a big orange circle drawn in)

We are so proud of you complete stranger!

Besides my ankle, everything else felt great! I took water at every aid station and Gatorade at one. Around mile 8, I took my Honey Stinger Gel right when I could see the water station (so I could rinse my mouth out). They offered GU’s but I prefer Honey Stinger.

A little bit in to mile 10, my ankle stopped hurting! Then I saw the 2:15 pacer in front of me. Crap. I wanted so badly to finish in under 2 hours. I knew I couldn’t make up that time, but I was NOT going to run slower than 2:15.

I started to pick up the pace, I could tell my ankle wasn’t functioning at 100%, but it no longer hurt. I kept pushing. Then I saw the 2:10 pacer. I had to get in front of her. And stay there.

I picked up the pace again. I told myself I only had less than a 5K left. Easy peasy. I would pick a person in front of me, and try to pass them. Before I knew it, I approached the straight away and could see the finish line. Time to haul ass. I wanted to try to pass certain people in front of me. And I did πŸ˜‰

sj rnr sj rnr

P.S. that’s some pretty horrible heal striking there…

sj rnr

Apparently my family was right there screaming for me, but I didn’t hear them. I had massive tunnel vision.

I crossed that finish line and was immediately handed a medal. It was awesome.

sj rnr medal

Official results-Β 2:09:51. Not under 2 hours, but at least it wasn’t 2:10? Room for improvement.

I found my family (it took a while because I’m directionally challenged).

The first person I saw was Kyle and it was awesome. He told me he was so proud of me and you could tell he was. I almost started crying but I don’t think I had that extra liquid in my body.

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My mom texted my sister and a couple of relatives
My mom texted my sister and a couple of relatives
The finishers!
The finishers!

Hugs from everyone.

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Once we all found each other, Shanna and I went around to the booths and got our free SWAG (beer, power bars, Jamba Juice, bananas, etc.).

My amazing family. Without them, I don’t think I could have finished. I honestly don’t know how people run these things without a family member or friend there. Mentally a lot tougher than I am.

sj rnr sj rnr

After pictures, we walked to lunch. I should say, they walked to lunch.

If you don't leave a race like this, you're doing it wrong. I highly recommend you have someone carry you.
If you don’t leave a race like this, you’re doing it wrong. I highly recommend you have someone carry you.

Amazing day.

Photo Oct 06, 1 29 05 PM

More stats:

  • Overall 3892 out of 10237
  • 83 out of 281 in my age group
  • 1258 out of 5318 women

From my Garmin:

sj rnr

You can tell when my ankle started hurting. I’m a total nerd and love looking at this to help me figure out what I need to work on.

half marathon
The shirt I was reppin’ today (“Half Cray, 13.1”)

P.S. I already signed up for my next half πŸ™‚

34 thoughts on “Recap: My First Half Marathon!!

  1. BRILLIANT JOB! What a fantastic, inspirational post and so many lovely pictures. You absolutely rocked the race, well done for pushing through the pain and completing in such a fab time!

  2. YAY! I was anxiously waiting for your post to see how you did! Congrats! Glad you overcame the ankle pain, was nervous for you! Looks like you had an awesome day. You don’t even look like you are tired! you look so refreshed! Great pictures! Hooray! And what a way to be carried out of the race! Congrats on an excellent finish for your first 1/2 !!!

  3. LOVE IT!! You had me scared for a minute when you started talking about your ankle, but you are SUCH a pro and pushed through…that’s seriously an AMAZING half lady! That’s basically exactly the same time as my second half (my first was 215) and I felt awesome! lol. I’m so proud of you!!!!!! πŸ™‚

    And now Zach is in trouble because he didn’t carry me after the race. He made me walk. Not cool. I don’t care if I Was smelly.

    1. Aww thanks so much twinny! I felt AWESOME. I totally get why people do this all the time!

      Uh oh Zach…runners should NOT have to walk after their race! While Kyle was carrying me, I asked if that meant that I have to carry him after he does a cycling race. He said, yes, of course. Uh oh. πŸ˜‰

  4. Congratulations on your first half!! I ran my first half marathon last March (Rock ‘n Roll DC actually) and it was really painful haha! But I ran my second just last weekend, and I felt totally different. I think experience makes all the difference–I knew what to expect this time around! Good luck with your next race; I can’t wait to hear how it goes πŸ™‚

    1. Aww thank you so much!! Haha I’ve heard RNR races tend to be popular for first half marathons, and so far it seems to be true!

      Congrats on finishing your second half! That’s great news that it went much better! I think your right, knowing what to expect will really help me out. Thanks for the well wishes πŸ™‚

  5. Congrats sweetie! We are so proud of you!
    While you were running I had a flashback to when you were 11 and we all ran a 5K in Colorado. You probably ran a 10K since you kept passing us and then kept running back to us. How you had so much energy at that altitude is beyond me.

  6. Yeyyyy!!!!

    Congrats on such a phenomenal half marathon debut! That is so amazing how involved and supportive your family was πŸ™‚

    Hope your ankle is ok, that sounds scary!

  7. Very cool:) We are very proud of you. Congratulations on a great time. Every time I read your blog, I feel like signing up for a 5K. Unfortunately, I have no friends as slow as me and I can’t find a course that’s all downhill. If you keep posting, I will get your dad and we will run a 5K for my 50th.

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