San Jose Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon, 2013


Posted by Lauren


Oh San Jose Rock ‘n Roll… I have so many things to say about you.

  • San Jose, hometown race!!!
  • 2006 – inaugural race – my mom ran (this was before she got me into running)
  • 2007 – mom ran again… I stayed in school like a good statistician
  • 2008 – my time was 2:11:56 (ran with my momma)
  • 2009 – October I had terrible calf pain (bruised and “burned”) that kept me sidelined
  • 2010 – my time was 1:41:58
  • 2011 – was a DNS – I got terrible shin splints from Oktoberfest the day before the race
  • 2012 – was also a DNS – we had a family emergency that took us all (minus David) out of California and we were unable to do this race
  • 2013 – my time was 1:41:54 (4 seconds faster than 2010 time! LOL)
  • For some reason I thought I’ve finished this race more than 3x but I guess I’m getting confused by the Turkey Trot, which covers a lot of the same route

How about I start with Friday?

After work I avoided the happy hour treats (pizza from downstairs and beer pong on the conference / ping pong table) so that I could get a run in before Sunday’s race. I did a giant loop around downtown Mountain View that put me at my gym ~mile 5. I did a few leg and arm exercises and then ran back to work. Seven pretty sweet miles.


Saturday Morning – Let the carbs begin!

Kyle and I grabbed a stack of pumpkin spice pancakes from Crepevine in downtown Mountain View. We walked there – hoping to actually get pancakes from the local fire station. Turns out I read the fundraiser sign wrong and the pancake breakfast was at Firehouse #4, not #1. My bad. Our Crepevine pancakes were only oookaaayyy. We made a promise to order an actual crepe next time.


I quickly packed my race gear and drove down to San Jose for the expo. I did my very best to not miss the TweetUp that Brian (@PavementRunner) organized.


Of course this crazy lady (=mom), skipping none the less, distracted me for a little bit. My mom and David arrived at the expo around 12:15 and gave me extra quarters for my parking meter. I ran out of the expo, a few blocks to my car, and somehow cut the side of my toe along the way. Not sure how that happened but a bloody toe kinda surprised me when I got home.


The expo was great! It was nice to chat with Twitter folk before the race and hear about their past and future races (Paris! Vegas! Chicago! oh my!). I picked up two boxes of Power Crunch protein bars in the peanut butter creme flavor (these). OMG they are sooooo good. It’s like a white chocolate Reese’s peanut butter cup made love to a Little Debbie bar. I ate one on the way home, one on Sunday after the race, two on Monday, one Tuesday, and one today. #addicted

Around 6:30 my mom, David, and I went to Los Gatos for a feast of more carbs Italian food!


I Gatti

25 E Main St, Los Gatos, CA


The {running} Lovebirds

This dimly lit, white-tablecloth Italian restaurant had an impressive menu. Indecisive minds chose to order family style so we could try a bit of everything…


Top to bottom:

  • PEAR CARPACCIO – Sweet Pear, Wild Arugula, Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese, Polenta Croutons, Toasted Hazelnuts, Warm Honey Shallot Vinaigrette
    > polenta croutons = genius
  • PROSCIUTTO & SCALLOPS – Special of the night… with mashed potatoes and almond slivers
    > I looOOoooVe scallops, a little too buttery though
  • LAMB LOLLIPOPS – Grilled, Port Glaze, Garlic Potato Puree
    > port glaze was perfect
  • [unpictured] SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS – House Made Meatballs, Ground Chuck, Veal & Pork, Veal Bolognese, Grana Parmesan
    > balls were a little dry (TWSS) but the veal bolognese helped


  • MAHI MAHI – Special of the night
    >> probably wouldn’t order this again, wasn’t bad… but it didn’t WOW me



Reppin’ the original PHS Dance sweater (jk I stole it from Nicole’s closet) but still… it was really nice out weather-wise and the race started at 8 am. You should really consider signing up for this race because San Jose is like destination #1 in CA (ha!) and the conditions are always perfect ;)


I split up from my mom and David and joined Corral 3. We started ~4 minutes after the gun, and off I went on the familiar streets of San Jose! I didn’t have any goals for this flat and fast course, just go out and have a good time. Surprisingly, I decided to put my headphones in my pocket and run without music. The course has a handful of bands and cheer squads, but usually I just mute iPod music when I run by them. Not this time!

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 3.16.56 PM

You wouldn’t know it unless you look at the elevation, but Mile 1 – Mile 2.5 represents a 30 ft elevation loss. Couple that with the excitement of a race and the thrill of weaving/passing people, it’s no wonder why my first few miles are my fastest. I leave no juice in the tank for the end, but that’s fine by me. We ran towards San Jose State University, made a left to run in the neighborhood north of downtown, and then took another left at Mile 2 to go through Japantown. There was great crowd support from SJSU fraternities here. I kept my 7:23 pace until Mile 5, even hitting low 6 for 200m or so when I passed the start line at mile 4.5 (and the 1:45 pacer) I’m realizing that crowd = running motivation.


At Mile 5 I took a bathroom break at a portapotty in front of the Shark Tank (GO Sharks!). It maybe added :20 rest time, not bad. I made sure to still be ahead of the 1:45 pacer for good measure. We passed by “The Alameda” (shops) and then ran a boring part of town until Mile 7, where we passed by fancy homes. I really like this part of the race because I imagine what it would be like to have $3 million to spare for an overpriced Silicon Valley home… oh, and there’s always a great band here too.


Miles 7.5 – 9 are also kind of boring and there’s a slight incline. Max elevation clocks in at 118 feet so there’s really no room for complaining on this course. Mile 9 was my slowest of them all at 8:01 avg pace. By this time I was ready for the race to be over and I knew that if I could dig deeeeeep inside me I could maybe squeeze out a 1:40+seconds… but that didn’t seem like a good idea considering I have 2 more half marathons this month (!!) Instead, I averaged 7:49 for the remainder of the race.

So many memorable spots on the last half of the course:

  • Mile 9.5 – Rose Garden where we took photos for dance team in high school
    189471_4864777028_346_n(back row, third from right)
  • Mile 10 – Lincoln High School where we had many dance competitions
  • Mile 10.5 – Cross the street where my high school bff Vanessa’s family lives
  • Mile 10.75 – Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, 6th grade field trip spot
  • and of course, Mile 12.5 the SAP Center where my beloved San Jose Sharks play!


I bobbed & weaved a bit too much, so I still had ~ mile to go after passing the tank. I kept thinking “are we there yet??!” At Mile 12 I kept thinking about form and a longer stride and a faster stride and water and just finishing and finalizing my fantasy football lineup (#truth). I had a slow pace alert of my Garmin that let me know when my pace rose above 8:25. It went off only a handful of times towards the end of the race, not counting water stations.

san jose rock n roll race photo

And then…. the finish line! Sprinted in sub 7 to an official finish of 1:41:54. That’s 4 whopping seconds faster than my finish time in 2010.



Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 3.29.45 PM


Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 3.17.27 PM

Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 3.19.07 PM

(Incline is very much exaggerated here. I wish I could change the axes.)


Screen Shot 2013-10-09 at 3.17.49 PM

(start off fast, end tired. that’s how you’re supposed to race, right? :)

I love where the race ends… the Tech Museum!


I grabbed my finishers’ medal, a water bottle, and then headed to the sides to use my remaining 4% battery to finalize my fantasy football lineup. I picked up Kerley from the Jets and only had time to place him on one of my teams. I made the wrong decision to start Eli Manning instead of Russell Wilson but overall everything worked out and I won both of my games! Even when my other team had a benched QB (RG III) and the temp replacement I put in scored a laughable 2 points (he tore his right ACL mid-game and is done for the season). I sure know how to pick ‘em.

My phone died. So I ran over to Starbucks and asked my step-bro Ben (he works there) to text his dad and tell them to meet me at the “L” sign.

Photo Cred:

While I waited for David and my mom to finish, I ran into my Ragnar SoCal teammate Rachel and Mr. PR (PersonalRecord) PavementRunner. It was great to catch up with Rachel, hear about Brian’s 1:37 race, and meet some of his SF run club friends like Jennifer of KineticFix. I’m sad I missed Sonia the Mexigarian, but by the sounds of it she had a pretty fulfilling, PR-worthy race experience.

p.s. all the links in that paragraph point back to their recaps – I love reading race recaps!!
p.p.s. like this one by Jacqueline, who did the Mermaid Duathlon on Saturday and covered 11 extra miles while still smiling. You go girl!

I finally ran into the lovebirds and they said they had a pretty great race…


lovebirds san jose rock n roll

Except Shirley thought there were too many walkers in Corral 5.

Welp, that’s another race for the books! I really should update the Races Page… EDIT: I DID!


And might I add that next year will probably be a very ROCK n ROLL focused year. I’m thinking Chicago, St. Louis, Vegas, San Francisco…. the list goes on.

What’s your absolute favorite thing about race day?
Post-race brunch!! We went to the San Pedro Square Market and had burgers and hot dogs :)

Do you race with headphones?
SO many people sported the Jaybird bluetooth headphones and I heard someone say they made them feel nauseous

Rock ‘n Roll fan? Who’s your band?


Comments (3)

  1. Kelli H

    I’m so impressed by your pace! Looks like you had a good race!
    Kelli H recently posted..Brew Review: Bridgeport Hop HarvestMy Profile

  2. Jane

    Awesome race girl! A PR is a PR. I was supposed to run but had a family emergency myself on Sunday. Looks like I missed out on a fun race.
    Jane recently posted..#RagnarNapa (10/20 + 10/21)My Profile

  3. Jennifer

    Awesome race, so great to meet you & thanks for the shout out! Must have been fun ‘running’ down memory lane…literally and figuratively. If you’re up in the city and wanna run, you know who to call!


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