Tuesday, November 2, 2010

the half marathon

so i always hated running... perhaps the best shape i was ever in was when i was around 15 or 16... that's when i ran 2 miles in under 16 minutes.. went to do situps and pushups and weights and swam like crazy. that was before i got knee injuries and my PE teacher labeled me (and 2 fellow wopo teammates) "the Gimp"....

during college i never ran - maybe jogged.. like once.. but yea, was too afraid to try anything huge (like the EBCB 3-mile fun run. sounds like death!)

i DID do a triathlon once and the running was the worst part..a 10:33/mile split = PAINFUL!

but in Taiwan, i caved to the peer pressure and the enthusiasm my fellow teachers had towards running and i even found the best running buddy ever! She and i would run and talk at the same time! we would even take turns pushing her daughter in her stroller! Did it faze me that my pace was that of a mom of two? not at all. we "trained" in a lovely park in Taiwan amidst the interesting locals and ended up running the Supau Supau 9k! (a SUPER cheap run: 100NT (~3$))... it was fun. it was whatevers. (51.34.85.. but I think they messed up.. i think i was slower..)

Anywhoos, around that time, a BUNCH of us decided to sign up for the Dean Karnezos Silicon Valley Marathon...

Ashley, my running-friend extraordinaire counseled me and said half-marathons are fun.. and marathons, granted, you get the "sense of accomplishment", but they are never fun. Considering how this lady is a RUNNER, I took her word for it...

The eve of the half, i was skeptical.. it was NOT going to be fun. lena and i stayed up making food for the next day (i realized how IMPORTANT it is to EAT... because I totally lost all energy on the triathlon i did when i came home) ... we made almond butter bagels with peanut butter and cold-toasted creamcheese bagels for choe...

then we pillowtalked.
then i slept.

and woke up the next morning to Lena's voice (i had slept through the alarm).

Choe came soonafter... and i was a nervous wreck.
Because I was cold
and i was borrowing Lena's tanktop
because the cheapo shirts we got from the SV Marathon were SUPER SEE-THROUGH and i didn't come prepared with another tank.. >:O

when we got there, i tried to pump myself up and smile and be happy (because Ashley said if you smile while you run, you trick yourself into thinking you're having fun)... but I knew I was going to die.

Especially considering how
A) I twisted my ankle in June (thus did not train)
B) I totally ate it on my July 17th Triathlon
C) I didn't train.. (even though I planned on training/vowed to..).. I mean the extent of my training can be counted on my two hands... and on the Thursday before the half, I ran with stupid DannyBoy 4.88 miles (although I told everyone it was 5).. and it took like.. an hour and twenty minutes. (although granted, running with dannyboy will be a PAIN!). and then i was SORE the next two days!!!!!!!!
D) DChoe said he'd just leave me if i was slow
E) so granted, I was scared...

But of course, when we got there, they have music pumping, and I'm getting excited (and scared) and i meet a few people who are also running for the first time. i see a lot of middle-aged-out-of-shape people (and feel encouraged haha) .. annnd I saw a HUGE row of portapotties.. so i tried to use one.. but i didn't shut the door properly.. grabbed it closed before an awkward incident occured. (whew) . I couldn't poo though :-(

Choe, Lena and I stretched, took pictures and after debating a bit, i decided to check in my jacket (it was SO cold, i thought maybe I could run with my jacket on) .... it was FREEZING.. the MOON was out.. i waS COLD. What the HECK was i DOING OUT HERE IN THE MIDDLE OF SAN JOSE AT 6AM!?!!!!!


7AM came quickly and Choe, Lena and I started on a brisk pace. At the first mile, there were people cheering and i drank water too fast and cramped a little. It was fun though, nothing bad.. i could smell bo and perfume. not pleasant, but not bad. we were running through residential areas so it was pretty and i got to see festive (and freaky) halloween decorations. as i passed the first mile, i tried to psych myself into thinking that that was not a mile (when i do any sort of long-distance exercise, i try to pretend i have accomplished less than I already have... IE, when I climbed the stairs to my 4th floor dorm freshman year, i'd pretend I was on floor 2 when I was on floor 3 so that when floor 4 appeared I'd be pleasantly surprised!) ....

then it took a LONG time for the next water stand to appear.. for some reason, i thought there'd be a stand every mile, so i was like WHAAAT??? WHY IS THIS TAKING SO LONG WAHHH. but it turned out that it was actually the third mile~!! and that there would be around 9 stands... and that there'd be markers for the miles.


Anyway, it was okay, in the first 5-6 miles, we would randomly make some conversation, have some moments of laughter and smiles... have brief spurts of energy... and i'd try not to let my heart sink at the fact that I had to do 13 miles....... I tried to do math in my head, and the whole time, my song soundtrack in my head was "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen, "Pump It" by Black Eyed Peas, and "Our God Reigns." HAHAHAHa. towards the end I had some Aguilera and Destiny's child, but not much. lots of times it was just blank..
I really liked the scenic areas... and such. towards the end, there were a few small hills, and during the last 2 miles, i was dying.. er not dying, just falling behind. CHOE AND LENA KEPT SUCH A ROBUST PACE!!!!!! and at certain times, my breathing/pace was perfect.. and i felt like i could keep it up forever. Also, every time i saw an official looking camera person, i tried to look HAPPY (just like Gloria, the random blogger I read who inspires me to eat healthy and run... well, she inspires me in my head, i never actually do anything she says.. because heck no will i ever wake up at the crack of dawn to run and become a vegan..) but instead of her "thumbs up", I'd just wave my hands madly in the air.. after all, in the end, what do we have besides memories and... PICTURES? I also tried to thank people or say good morning to the policemen (again, Gloria) but.. I couldn't keep it up. it's too awkward. maybe in Canada and Taiwan, people are nice, but in America? much less the Silicon Valley? yeah, just smile nicely and stare.. hahahahha

other times, i realized that when i talked, i'd fall behind, and when i stopped talking, i could keep up. around that time i realized wow, i'm tired... i can't talk and run at the same time.

I also mused about "Accelerade" or "Excelerade" i was wondering if it's from the idea of to Accelerate or from the idea of to Excel? Anyway, i won't look it up.

I side-cramped maybe twice.

I also tried some accelerade gel.. it was nasty. like the fluoride mixture dentists put on your teeth. i felt gypped ....

OH i LOVE how during races, you can drink and just TOSS the CUP!!! (But then of course, you have to be careful of people around you).

It's different though how in Taiwan, they yell "JIAYOU!" and clap for you, but here, there weren't many verbal affirmations. I cheered this old indian man, and he chuckled behind me. hahaha.

things like that kept me happy and my spirits up. the weather was nice, it was shady... and yeah, Lena and Choe kept a great pace.. and would occasionally laugh. I think during the whole time i felt okay..


but by the end, i was feeling it..
and finally, when we hit the last mile mark, i was like.. okay. good. glad to end..I tried to sing Don Maclean's "American Pie" in my head since that song is 10 minutes long and my mile should be 10 minutes long, but it was slow and making me sad... and i forgot the lyrics... since it was SO long.. and there's only so many "chevy to the levee"s you can say...... I was planning on just jogging and jogging b/c i doubted I'd have a 'last spurt of energy'... but then we were on a track, and i HAD to try to pick it up.. so i did..I had been saving "Don't Stop Me Now" after the first few miles .. and so with that song bumping in my head, I began to pick up the pace and actually, you know, raise my knees up.... because each person you pass, is a person you pass... but MAN. they tRICKEd you because after the track, i had to run ONE MORE LOOP (when i thought i'd be done)... but by then, you can't call it quits, so i ran through the wet grass and saw the ticking timer... and it was 20 seconds away from 2:20.. and i wanted to BREAK that.. so .. i SPED THROUGH!! and my mom didn't come in time :-( but that's okay! I got a medal and someone bent down and cut off the timer from my shoe (i felt like a Roman goddess!) .. and i got a free banana!! and drinks and stuff....


and then my mom found me, and we went home.. and i was starting to feel sore.. but seriously, I can't believe it happened/ I did it.
I jogged the whole thing (couldn't stop with Lena and Choe).. well except for when I stopped once to tie my shoe and another time to carefully drink my water (but i don't count it)...
and yeah.... i didn't die.

now i feel like dying though.
but i don't know.

I'm all inspired.

Not to run a marathon
or a half marathon.

but I want to jog regularly.. and 5 miles don't seem bad anymore
and I think I'll try the EBCB Fun Run this year!

Final Stats:
Bib: 3146
Gender: F
Age: 23
Race: Half Marathon Individual
Class: F29Under
Class Rank: 31 (out of 78)
Gender Rank: 182 (out of 434)
Overall Rank: 490 (out of 945)
Pace: 10:38
Time: 2:19:25



  1. Congratulations Junia! I'm so impressed and inspired too! I even ran yesterday and tried to keep a 6mph pace. I really miss running with you though. You are the best. Till we run together again.

  2. Tracy! ACTUALLY it's like a 5.5mph pace. i stink at le math!

  3. yayyyy!!!! proud of you girlie =D great time! miss you!