Sunday, June 9, 2013

See Jane Run Race Recap

Saturday morning I woke up at 4:00 am to drive to Alameda, CA for the See Jane Run Half Marathon. Originally I was planning on staying the night in the Bay area, but plans changed and I had to wake up much earlier than I planned to drive there. I picked out my race outfit the night before and tried to go to sleep early, but it's always so hard to sleep before a race. When my alarm went off I got up, ate a quick snack and began my drive.

At the start of the See Jane Run Half Marathon

I arrived at the race at 6:45am and there were not very many ladies there yet. I picked up my race bib with no line and then checked out the race map and did some stretches and a warm-up to keep my body loose. I ate another small snack and tried to keep myself awake. The race didn't start until 8:00 am so I had some time to kill. I met a fellow See Jane Run Ambassador and we took some fun photos of each other before the race. Here I am making a face during the warm-up put on by the staff of See Jane Run. It was a fun, carefree warm-up that helped get the pre-race jitters out. 

Pre Race Warm-Up

Here is a photo of Shauna, the See Jane Run Ambassador I met before the race. We both ended up coming to the race solo and had to ask some wonderful ladies to take our photos until we met up. It was fun to meet another runner blogger. She was doing the 5k because she had a triathlon to race in the next morning, which I hear she rocked! We chatted a bit and learned about our racing history and then I left to line up for the start of the half marathon which began before the 5k race.

Shauna - Another See Jane Run Ambassador!

At 8:00 am the race began and I was off! I lined up with the two hour pace group and started the race off strong. A few miles in I was feeling a bit sick to my stomach, I'm sure the change in my routine and eating had a lot to do with it. Getting up at 4:00 am is not something my body is particularly use to and I was starting to feel it in my racing. Still, I stayed running strong and on pace for a two hour finish. We ran by the water which was really refreshing and there was a slight breeze, around mile three and beyond the day started to heat up. There was little shade on the course and my body started to feel the sun zapping my energy. My pace slowed a bit as I tried to keep running strong. I need to train in the heat more so I am more use to the draining affect of the sun. The race weather was around 80 degrees and I was making sure to stop at every water stop to keep hydrated.

Around mile nine there was a lady who had set up a stand where she was handing out cold water bottles. I was so thankful for her generosity. She wasn't an official sponsor of the race, just a woman along the course wanting to help us hot, exhausted runners out. She was an angel! This water helped me so much! A little farther on another lady was spraying her hose off her porch for runners to run through to cool off. This was so nice! I could have stayed there and kept running through it if I wasn't in the middle of a race. These ladies, even though they weren't running the race, showed what it is to be a Jane. They truly showed the spirit of any woman being an athlete and caring enough to help another fellow runner out.

Around mile 10 we crossed a bridge and they had just raised it for a boat to go under! What, really? In the middle of a race? This was definitely the weirdest thing that has happened to me in the middle of a race yet. Needless to say, it drastically increased my finish time. Below is a picture of me and the other Jane's waiting on the bridge to be able to cross. It was somewhat of a bonding experience to all be stuck together on the bridge. When it finally was lowered, we were off again.

The bridge was raised and all of us Jane's were stuck waiting for it to lower!

I powered through the last three miles of the race and picked up speed at the end. I was truly impressed by all the women who came out to run, encouraged each other on course and raced to the finish in hot weather. The race finished on the beach and the view was gorgeous. I was so thankful to be done and finally get some food, bananas, bagels and of course...chocolate! I finished in 2:15, not my personal best of 1:53 by far, but considering the bridge I had to wait for and the heat, I was happy to have just finished.

Me at the finish line!

I wandered around the expo, picked up my See's candy and champagne glass and had some fun samples from vendors. I then headed to the See Jane Run tent to pick up my race shirt, ambassador shirt and see what fun products they were debuting at the race. 

That's right, I did run for chocolate.

The finish view was gorgeous. A sunny day in the Bay can't be beat and the water looked so inviting. If I didn't have to drive so far back I probably would have jumped in the water clothes and all to cool off! I spent some time just looking out onto the water. There were a lot of sailboats out on the Bay, everyone wanted to enjoy the great weather.

View of the Bay from the finisher's village!

The See Jane Run swag bag was pretty awesome as well. I came home with a great reusable shopping bag, which will be perfect here in Ukiah where they have banned the use of plastic bags in stores unless you pay an extra fee, a cool race tee, champagne glass (which will be used for my fancy juices since I don't drink), chocolate and of course my See Jane Run Ambassador T-Shirt! The ambassador tee is so soft!

Race Swag!

Oh yes, and then of course there was the medal. It is so cool! I loved that it cam with shoelaces for a lanyard and the design is really cute. I'm going to have fun hanging this on the wall somewhere. I still haven't figured out how to display all my race medals, but I'm working on figuring that out. They need to have a special place to be shown off and to motivate me to keep training!

Awesome Race Medal!

In conclusion, the See Jane Run Half Marathon and 5k event is a blast! There were over 5000 women and a few good men, who participated in the race. It was a fun way to get together and support each other and run for women, for Janes everywhere. I loved meeting Kerina - the Ambassador coordinator, and Shauna. I can't wait to meet all the ambassador's at another event in July. I was considering the See Jane Run Triathlon in October before I ran this event, and now I know I need to sign up for it. If it is as fun as this event I do not want to miss out!

Thank you See Jane Run for an amazing event. Thank you ambassadors for proudly sharing the Jane way of life. And thank you to everyone who made this race amazing and such a fun race. I hope to see you all again next year!

~Karen