March 17, 2019

San Jose Shamrock Run, Lead-up and 1st Year Race Report

I was looking forward to a nice mellow week.  We were home and had no plans.

Woke in time for the sunrise on race day.
While work was fairly busy in terms of leftover obligations from Montana, I knew from the past that it would be a good catch-up week because, like Burning Man, a non-trivial subset of my clients attend SXSW and while they are there, they aren't focused on work that needs my attention.  Also, two of my busiest clients hinted that they would be taking the week to enjoy the snow and go skiing with their families, so I knew they wouldn't be scheduling calls or pushing me too hard.

Ground turkey, ancini di pepe, garden greens, straciatella style soup -- 
race tested and approved, like Asian noodle soup, this is a good pre-race meal.

I took advantage of the flexibility and managed my first 30+ mileage week of the year (30.65).  Notable workouts included:

1. A 3 miler with just my phone's stopwatch (Garmin was dead), averaging 10:55/mile -- close enough to what I wanted to run in today's 10K "race" that I was pleased.

2. A long run with just my phone's stopwatch (Garmin may be needing a replacement...) for 9.87 miles at 12:15/mile.  The goal had been 12 miles, but at the 2 hour mark, unfueled and starting to battle nausea, I called it and opted to walk to the nearest restaurant for food.

3. A day before the race mini-track-workout of 3.07 miles total, with a half mile jog to the track for some short quality work of 1 mile at 5K pace; 4X 200 RI/200 targeting sub 8 min/mile.  I have to say, this workout surprised me -- I felt great.  I was trying to thread the needle between getting in some quality and not destroying my legs before the race, and I think I did a good job of it.  Have I mentioned I love having a track a 1/2 mile from the house?

4. And, of course, there was my first running of, and the organizer's first hosting of, today's 10K race.

The planned for course was a 10K consisting of 5K on the roads of San Jose plus a nice out and back along the Guadalupe River Trail.  While California is celebrating that it is completely out of drought for the first time in 7 years, the trail we were supposed to run on is currently flooded. I have to hand it to Represent Running -- they took it in stride, and made last minute changes to keep the race going, including large on-course routing signs directing us through a modified course (essentially twice the urban 5K) to avoid the flood.

There were a *few* turns...
There's a 2:20 pace group at the Oakland Running Festival, so, I've been flirting with trying to hang with them as my A goal.  With that in mind, my goal for today's "race" was to run a good race-effort tempo to confirm that I wasn't insane with this plan.  I decided to keep all my miles sub 10:40, and ratchet down the pace towards the end, if possible.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with how I executed:

Did I really run this 1-wk out pre-race tempo 10K run faster than the raced Kaiser 10K a month ago?
Probably not... (The course was *probably* short. My Garmin thought so, too.)
The finish of this race had two annoying things.  First?  A false finish.  When you turn the last corner and you see the arch?  That is not your finish.  If you are me and you push towards it as if you are done, you will be disappointed.  Instead, you need to keep running until you see this:

Pre-race photo of the *actual* finish

Second?  I'm almost certain the course was short.  My Garmin had it at 5.94 miles, which, even accounting for GPS errors in the tall building corridors and overpasses is still quite short (4.2%). Given all of the turns on the course, I'd actually expect to register a *long* course as I definitely couldn't run the tangents on the first loop with all of the people of varying paces around me.  Also, I just don't think I made the effort necessary to run a 1:01:37 10K today.

Start and finish by the picturesque San Pedro Square

But, honestly, those are my only two complaints. It was a well-run race.  The second issue is probably entirely due to the last minute re-routing and they did a good job making the most of the mess they had.  Given the flooding and the obligation to re-route within the previously permitted closed roads, a slight deviation is completely understandable.

Of the many pluses, the weather was a perfect (for me) cool start in the high 40s and the finish was comfortable, but never felt warm, even in the direct sun in the last mile.

The Schwag comes in *all* the greens!
The shirt was thin and high-quality (although the colors were somewhat questionable due to the St. Patrick's theme).  The post race food/drink seemed good (water, goldfish, gummy bears, kind bars) plus there's a Guiness coupon, but I didn't use it, so I'm not sure what kind of drink it was for.

A free race photo -- never the most flattering, but proof that it happened.
They even had free photos.  Of course, free photos are usually taken from the ground (not expensive overhangs), which is not exactly the most flattering angle.  But, they are free, and well-focused, so that's a bonus.
Same weekend, same chin, very different angle.
Overall, I was very happy with my race today, not the least because I met up with Angela before and after, and while we failed to get a photo, we did catch up over delicious post-race huevos rancheros.  Any time I get post-race brunch and catch-up with a friend, it just feels like a perfectly accomplished day.


Arvay said...

That is a beautiful finish photo! I would not have noticed the chins until you pointed it out and posted the second photo for contrast. Of course, your little friend there would brighten any photo. :)

bt said...

@Arvay -- thanks for the compliment and the term "chins" LOL.