Great weekend, not so great race. Even though the weather was perfect, I fell empty from the get go and was never able to shake it off.
I was definitely not in last year’s shape as I have been taking it easi(-er) since I ran Boston in April. The day was perfect. I ran with my friend Alex for the first 6 miles then accelerated a bit for a finish of 1:34:11.
Visit of Boston to run the 119th Boston Marathon. Conditions were far from perfect with some wind and rain for some of the course but I still managed to run it in 3:15:34 or 7:28/mile. I am very happy to have reached this goal I set to myself what feels a long time ago now. Sharing it with Alicia makes it even more special.
With the new job and trips to Mexico and Argentina at the end of the year, my training has not been as good as it should be so I was not expecting a PR. No real goal though I wanted to finish faster than all the coworkers that I convinced to sign up for the event.
The weather was great and I managed to maintain an OK pace finishing in 1:39:31. Good enough to finish ahead of all of them.
I like this race because it is very close to home and the course is flat and fast. The first goal was to erase last year’s time when I ran with a sore throat. My second goal was to beat my half marathon’s PR I set earlier this year in Santa Cruz.
The weather was beautiful, a bit hot for the season and for running with temperatures in the high 60s, low 70s. Once I had parked my car and was getting ready, I realized my GPS watch had drained overnight and was now out of battery! I had no other choice but run without a watch and HRM.
It made for a somewhat anxious run as I was missing the data I use to set and stick with a pace and effort. Not knowing my splits, I ended up mostly running ahead of the 1:30 pacer for 7 miles without being able to distance him. It was clear by then that I would not be able to PR today.
The pacer finally overtook me at mile 8 so I decided to stick with the group since that would then solve the pace issue. In hindsight, maybe it would have been good to just stick with the group from the start. Anyway, I stayed with the pacer until mile 12 where I accelerated to complete the last mile in around 6:30.
My final time is indeed not a PR, but it is still my second fastest half marathon ever and the fastest of the five San Jose half marathons I have run so far: 1:29:26.
It is now official: I will be running the Boston Marathon in April 2015. The BQ by 2 minutes 38 seconds I ran in Santa Rosa in August was fast enough to get one of the coveted spots. No need to say I am extremely satisfied and excited!
After running a marathon PR in Napa Valley in March and half marathon PR in Santa Cruz in April, I have not been resting on my laurels and I have been training very hard in the last few months in the hope of breaking the 3:10 mark (a Boston Qualifier, a.k.a. BQ for me).
The Santa Rosa marathon is very well organized. Bib pickup was a breeze and the technical t-shirt is great. The course is nice and flat with a beautiful stretch alongside the Santa Rosa Creek.
My Sunday started a bit early at 3AM as I could not sleep anymore so I was awake when the 6.0 earthquake hit nearby South Napa and got to experience it all! Still, It had no to little impact on us or the race. Some runners mentioned they lost power in neighboring cities but I guess we got lucky and had no such issues.
The weather at 6AM when we started the race was perfect for running and stayed this way for my whole run. I had a good race as I completed the marathon finishing 62nd in a new PR of 3:07:28.
This is also a BQ by 2 minutes and 32 seconds and should allow me to run the mythical Boston Marathon in 2015. Fingers crossed!
Today, I ran the Water to Wine half marathon in Healdsburg, Sonoma County as a last test before running the Santa Rosa Marathon in 2 weeks.
The course was changed since last year transitioning from a point to point race from Sonoma Lake to Healdsburg into a less thrilling race starting and ending in Healdsburg. I hope the course is reverted back next year.
I did not push too much because of the upcoming marathon but felt very strong the whole race and even pushed a bit harder in the last mile. The result: 23rd in 1:30:46.
Today, I ran a the Santa Cruz half marathon in 1:28:32 (6:45 min/mile).
This is a new PR for me on the distance by 1 minute and 21 seconds. It pleases me a lot because I have been training very hard running 2,100 miles in the last 365 days.
Also, Santa Cruz is my favorite half marathon so it is nice to run a PR there again like I did in 2010. The course is really nice, the race well organized, and the field size is great to make it enjoyable without feeling suffocated.
New this year was the presence of a pacer team. I ran most of the race 100-200 yards behind the 1:30 pacer. I had not really managed to stick with him early on but having him as a target was good enough as it motivated me to keep on running hard even when I ended up alone. And then later, on our way back W Cliff Dr, I finally overtook him with a bit more than 2 miles to go as I was down to a 6:30/mile pace.
The table above says I finished 24th for the marathon (there was a 5K and 10K as well) but once you add back the 6 overall winners, 3 male and 3 female runners that all ran faster, then I actually finished 30th.
Back to Napa Valley for my 5th marathon. As I stated 3 years ago when I ran the same marathon, the race is very well organized. Bib pickup extends late in the evening on Saturday and I was given a duffel bag to use as sweat bag. In the morning, buses took us to the starting line swiftly and efficiently. Along the course, the water stations are well manned and at the end, the volunteers are very helpful after you cross the finish line. Since the marathon finishes in a school, you can even take a shower and they have hot soup served in the cafeteria!
The weather was good for March with temperatures optimally in the mid 50s. We did not escape the rain but still, there was a lot less than 3 years ago so I did not end up soaked this time.
For this race, I ran mostly on heart race trying to keep it under 160 BPM for the first half marathon and letting it go up after that.
I had a very good race managing to maintain an even pace for both halves, 1:36:26 for the first half and 1:36:39 for the second half, finishing in 3:13:05 for 84th overall.
That is a new PR for me by 12 minutes and only 3 minutes away from the time I need to qualify for Boston.
All those miles I have been running in the last year or so have started to pay. Looking forward to see if I can beat my half marathon PR in April and I will of course attempt to break the 3:10 mark for my next marathon.