I ran my 3rd San Jose Giant Race yesterday, all alone. For the first time since its kick-off 3 years ago, my daughter wasn't with me. That was a tough pill to swallow. Having spent all of her elementary school years living just a couple of miles from Municipal Stadium, she grew up going to San Jose Giants games, and I always thought this 5K would be our *thing*. You know, that one special mother/daughter thing we always do together no matter what. Like our Disneyland *thing*.
Well, life is changing. Rapidly. So rather than dwell on the fact that she was away at cheer camp, I decided to take this race by the baseballs and do something I've never done before: run it. Because, with teenager in tow, I've always walked the San Jose Giants 5K. This was my chance to actually go out there and give it my best. In my mind, my fastest 5K (which was completely unplanned by the way...I ran that race to test out a brand new pair of shoes - not to PR) was in the range of 38 minutes. I figured any time faster than that and I'd be in PR territory.
Race morning was a breeze. I LOVE that this is close to home and easy to get to! I woke up semi-early, grabbed coffee and yogurt at my Starbucks, then drove straight to the start line. Literally, the parking lot is beside the start line. It really doesn't get any better than that. An hour later I was ready to run, but not until I said hi to Gigante.
My Nike watch started up and connected to the running cloud just fine, but Runkeeper immediately gave me problems. I had to go into my settings to turn on background refresh and tinker with it for about two minutes before I could really start running. It was frustrating. Finally, I hit a decent stride and ran for a total of 12 minutes, then took a 1 minute break. That's the longest walk / run interval I've ever tried, and I stuck with it for this race. The weather was great, and we really only ran facing the sun for a small stretch, so this was a great day to really push hard. It helps that this is such a fun course. I love running through Kelley Park, alongside Happy Hollow Park & Zoo and back into the stadium. It feels like home to me, because it's all part of my childhood.
I continued to push hard, and I repeatedly told myself that I am better than I think I am. I needed a mantra to really break away from the short walk/run intervals I am used to, and to give myself the opportunity to beat down my running walls. I kept an eye on my time and realized I would be coming in under 36 minutes, better than what I thought my fastest 5K was. A PR was about to happen!
Once I reached the finish line, I quickly grabbed my iPhone and looked up my Santa Run time, which was actually 35:48. I don't know why I thought my time for that race was 38:00! With my Nike watch reading 35:50, it was too close to call without official results, I decided to enjoy the activities on the field while I waited for times to be posted. Despite the ugly beast mode face, I love how strong my legs look in the finisher photo!
I visited the New Balance booth where I tried to win shoes, but instead won a cute little pin! (New Balance has been my lucky charm, and I am hoping I win a trip to runDisney's Wine and Dine weekend later this year.) I also visited the Rock N Roll Marathon booth, where I stared at the beautiful Cali Combo medal that I'll be earning later this year after I run the San Jose and Los Angeles RNR Half Marathons.
Finally, the results were posted and the gun time listed beside my name was 35:52. I had missed a PR by 5 stinking seconds. I was disappointed that I hadn't bothered to check my previous time before leaving the house. It would have been helpful to have a goal to beat!
I consoled myself by drooling over the SF Giants World Series Trophies. They're real, and they're spectacular.
When writing this post, I thought I'd take a look at my final race time again. As it turns out, the gun time was 35:52, but my race time was 35:47 - so I did PR this race! I beat my fastest 5K, and my fastest race pace, by 1 second. I will take it!
I know an 11:32 race pace is laughable to some, but for me this is a sign of where I am now with my fitness and my running, and I am happy with it. Dropping 18 pounds these last two months, working out 5 - 6 days per week, and adding Shakeology to my diet has made a huge difference in my life. I once thought I could never run a 5K in under 45 minutes. Now, I have bigger goals. I will keep pushing, keep working and keep trying.
Thanks to the San Jose Giants for all they do to support the kids and Junior Giants in our community. Baseball is a great sport, for boys and girls, and the Junior Giants is a FREE program that is worthy of donations.