A Personal Best!

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My 2012 San Jose Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon began like many other races: in close proximity to a porta-potty.

No, really, here’s a photo of my view just as the gun went off. The porta-potty was to my immediate left and in front of me were several dozen runners, patiently waiting to walk onto the course from the side of the street. (Note for next year, San Jose, if you plan to have a record 14,000+ runners again, do allow more space for each corral, will you?)

So anyway. Having taken care of all bodily needs at another porta-potty (one featuring a line of at least 50 people, may I say), I said a quiet little prayer that I wouldn’t have to pee again for at least 13.2 miles and tippy-toed across the start a mere 2 minutes, 24 seconds later.

I started my RunKeeper, pushed shuffle on my favorite Spotify playlist, and the second the first song started — Savage Garden’s Affirmation — I knew, I just knew that this race was going to be epic.

Now, let me tell you something about the San Jose Rock’n’Roll half marathon. As far as races go, it’s one of the bigger ones — and I’m willing to bet my medal that most people sign up – or even travel from afar! – to run it not for the exotic destination or scenic route, but for its blissfully flat course.

You see, this course has nary a hill or bump. I mean, at best, you have to climb your way up from a freeway underpass. Some would think it boring, to me – it’s pure joy.

I don’t have lots of details to share for these 13.1 miles – perhaps the flatness is to blame for my thorough spacing out for the first 10 – but to give you an idea of how my run went:

Mile 1: It’s kind of crowded. Weaving around slower runners and walkers and thinking, why can’t people just start in their rightful corral?
Mile 2: Covered first mile in 8:53, a pretty good pace given the crowd still in front of me, and feeling pretty darn good.
Mile 3: Those legs want to fly! Luckily the crowd has thinned out, an 8:36 split awaits!
Mile 4: Runner’s high. (Power Gel.)
Mile 5: Runner’s high. I might PR at this thing!
Mile 6: Runner’s high. OMG, I’m going to PR. I am!
Mile 7: Runner’s high.
Mile 8: Runner’s high. (Power Gel. Water.)
Mile 9: Runner’s high.
Mile 10: Starting to feel a little winded. (Emergency GU. I hate those things.)
Mile 11: Maybe I shouldn’t have pushed so hard these first 9 miles… But still going.
Mile 12: One mile left. The 2:00 pacing group, which I caught up to at Mile 1 and passed at Mile 2, has now caught back up to me. Oops. Hurry. Pain.
Mile 13: Where is the finish line? Where is it? F$%^!! Where? Oh, here. Time to empty the tank. Sprint!

It’s a miracle I didn’t throw up, but I crossed at 2 hours something, and – o joy! – my RunKeeper showed a time of 1:58:31. Dared I hope for a new personal best?

Off to clean up and hydrate, I stepped on the lovely, soft green grass at Plaza de César Chávez in downtown San Jose, merely missing a smushed half banana, and enjoyed a 1+ hour performance by Matt Nathanson, whose song Faster is, by coincidence, one of my favorite songs to run to! Here you go (sorry about the shakiness. he said to clap and dance):

 
And then, I checked my results:

1:59:00 — I beat my personal best, from waaaaay back when in 2005, by one second.

One. Second.

Is all it takes to make a mother runner happy! (Well, bummer that my family had other Sunday-morning obligations and couldn’t join in the festivities. Next time, I’ll go for 1:55 and we can all celebrate together!)

Today’s run:

More proof that RunKeeper tends to add on a foot/ yard (meter) here and there and, in the end, overestimates distance!

Update:
What just happened? I just got an email with a link to my “Finisher’s Center,” where my time is recorded as not 1:59:00, but 1:58:58! So not one seconds, but three? THREE?

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