See Jane Run Fun in the Sun

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Pssssst! Let me tell you a secret: running a race is way more fun with friends.

Ohhhh, you already knew that. Well, it’s worth repeating, isn’t it?

I ran the See Jane Run half marathon in Alameda today, and despite not PR-ing on the super-flat course like I had hoped, I had a great time! Especially before the race started:I call it the Moms Goof Around Town photo op: San Jose chapter of Moms This Town represent!

One fun tradition at the See Jane Run half marathon and 5K is an energetic warm-up lead by the organizers. There’s loud music and some pretty bustin’ moves: jumping jacks, side kicks, butt kicks… the moon walk:I skipped on the warm-up, however, because – to be completely honest – it was already getting quite warm. I ran this race last year and remember freezing before the start and covering myself with my son’s blanket. Today, even before 8 a.m., was hot!

Everyone knows you have to be careful running in hot weather and even slow down a bit to avoid overheating. No matter, my goal was ambitious:Yup, I lined up with the 1:50 pace group. I’ve never run a 1:50 half marathon. I ran 1:55:58 at the San Francisco RnR, a pretty hilly course, so I figured 1:50 (or at least 1:52-something) in pancake-flat Alameda should be doable. I even managed to keep pace with the group for the first two-three miles:But then I got busy taking pictures of the scenery (how convenient for me!):And I watched them get further and further in front of me, until I lost sight of the pace maker entirely. According to my Garmin, my first two miles were an 8:17 and 8:19 min/ mile, then dropped down to 8:40, 8:41, 8:59… Oh well! I fully intended to try and catch up with them – I really did. But it got so darn hot so darn quickly! By the second water station (at mile 4, I think), I started grabbing two cups of water to dump on my head – and continued doing that every two miles for the whole race. It must’ve been an unusually hot day in Alameda, I’ve heard the weather there is only slightly warmer than in San Francisco (and we all know summers in SF are cold).

A good part of the course is by the water, though, so even though there was little shade, at least we could enjoy the view:The thought of taking a dip post-race did cross my mind, but by the time I was done I was so soaked anyway, I figured: what’s the point?The last couple of miles were rough and I did a lot of convincing myself that walking is just as tough as keeping up the 9:15 pace (yup, I was running 9:15 or slower at this point) and stopping is not an option.

I crossed the finish line at a little after 1:58 — and given the hot, hot, hot weather today, I’ll take it and roast – I mean toast – to it! Yup, there’s chocolate and champagne for all finishers, in custom-designed champagne flutes:BabyRuns loved the chocolate in particular! Well earned, too: he ran the kids race and we had a blast. But given the 5:20 a.m. wake-up call, that almost half-a-mile run (I think?) very nearly exhausted him:We had a great time at the See Jane Run race, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for a flat, easy half marathon in the Bay Area.

Just one thing: your only parking option is the neighboring streets, and the spots fill up quickly. So arrive early, get dropped off… or be prepared to circle around a long, long, long time until you find a place to park. Once that’s settled, though, you can enjoy a very smoothly run event — and fantastic race bling and swag, to boot:Notice the unusual-looking “ribbon”? That’s actually shoe laces. Creative and useful! All finishers got a champagne flute (and two tickets for free champagne fills), See’s Candy chocolates, a bright-green finisher shirt and a reusable plastic tote bag (don’t do like I did last year and use it for groceries, though: it’ll tear the minute you put more than a couple pounds worth of stuff in there). As race ambassador, I also got a blue cotton shirt that’s made of very soft fabric and is super comfy!

Official results:
Chip time: 1:58:08
Chip pace: 9:02 min/ mile
Overall: 183 out of 1,570
Female: 171 out of 1,524 (This is a women-only race, by the way. What up, dudes?)
Age group: 42nd of 305

Disclaimer: I am a See Jane Run Ambassador and as such, I got a free t-shirt as mentioned above. I did pay my own race registration fee. All opinions and words are my own, as was the sweat I left on this course.

A million thanks to the race volunteers — and especially the father-son duo who were probably there to cheer for their mom, but felt it a proper occasion to hand out bottles of water to all runners. That was the most amazingly chilled water ever. Thank you!

How’s your weekend coming along? Any races Saturday or Sunday?

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