This past Saturday, I ran the Inaugural San Jose Giant Race – the South Bay counterpart to the San Francisco Giant Race held in September. It was a picture-perfect day for a run – clear skies, no wind, mid-sixties, …simply wonderful! Especially after a week of running in the Florida humidity!
The race, which had a 5K and 5 mile option, drew about 1735 finishers (937 and 798 respectively.) The course was a flat and fast one (!) that started near San Jose Municipal Stadium (home of the single-A farm team for the SF Giants), wound its way around the local area, through portions of San Jose’s Historical and Happy Hollow parks, and finished in center-field of Muni stadium – entering from the outfield gate:
I did the 5 mile distance and, having reviewed the course online prior to the run, was concerned how course management would go – with all the turns and backtracks and starting both distances at the same time. The volunteers and course managers did a fantastic job – everything was clearly laid out and at every possible point where someone could take a wrong turn, someone was stationed to provide direction (and encouragement!) Sports Basement staffed the course aid station, which was placed so the 5 miler’s could hit it twice – at ~1.7 and 3.6 miles.
The post-race expo was held on the stadium field and had an assortment of SWAG and food options. They also had the stadium bar-b-que open and were serving breakfast tacos. I didn’t grab any food, opting to keep my traditional Saturday breakfast with my wife: McDonald’s pancakes – one stack for her, two for me! I hung out for a while and left – though people were still enjoying the activities and probably did for a while.
All in all, it was a fantastic inaugural race – one that will be annual event for me going forward…I love the local races! I can’t do the SF Giant race in September, as I already scheduled another race on my calendar for that date…maybe I’ll do it next year.
- Garmin time: 37:44 at an 7:32/mile pace.
- Official time: 37:43 at an 7:32/mile pace.
Based on my current pace plan goals, which are calculated from my Pleasanton Half Marathon results, my goal time/pace for this race/distance was 38:29 @ 7:41. As you can see, the flat course allowed me to beat that. After running in the Florida humidity last week (I squeezed in 35 miles!), I wasn’t sure how I’d do. At the 7:32 pace, which was about well below where I was able to train at in FL, I was tiring at about mile 4. I sucked it up and kicked it at the end – averaging a 7:03 pace for the final 1/2 mile and a 7:00 pace for the last quarter mile. BOOYAH!
As for pre-race fuel and prep, with the shorter distance, I didn’t really “carb load” other than eating an additional 300 calories on Friday (a big bagel); though I did have spaghetti for dinner, but that wasn’t outside my normal caloric intake for the day. One race morning, I ate a bagel thin, a couple of GU gels before the start, and drank about 12 oz of GU Brew during the race. The start line was right next to the San Jose State track, so I did stretch and do a few warm-up laps before the race.
Since both distances were started/run at the same time, it was hard to know where you were placing in your distance until the two groups split at about mile 2.4. Needless to say, I was pretty jazzed about my placement in each category. The training seems to be working!
- San Francisco Marathon – First Half on July 29th
Training Journal – 6/19/12:
- Current plan: Half-marathon program
- Today’s session: 6 Mile easy run @ 9:19
- Comments: I did 6.5 @ 8:45