The first time I ever traveled for a race was for the San Jose Rock and Roll Half marathon in San Jose, CA. My SigO is from the big San-Jo, so I thought it would be a great way to kill two birds with one stone – visit his fam, run a race in a new city.
This October 3rd race came right near the end of my 70.3 Half Ironman training, and about 2 months after acquiring a slow and steady hip flexor injury. My physical therapist wanted me to skip the race, but Rock and Roll races are NOT CHEAP! So I decided to run it at a pace that would be comfortable for me, yet slow. It took weeks of mental preparation to kill the competitor inside, and my goal was 2:00 hours, about 17 minutes slower than my Half Marathon PR. The hardest part was knowing that my SigO’s whole family would be up bright and early to watch and cheer me on, and I’d be cruising at what I’d consider an easy training run pace. I stopped twice to stretch, and had to slow down at the very end so I wouldn’t have to lie to my PT, and finished with a time of 1:59:29.
Now on to the race itself. the San Jose Rock and Roll is one of the oldest Rock and Roll races, and only has the half marathon, no full marathon. I’d gotten used to running big races with halfs and fulls, like Carlsbad and San Diego RnR, so this was kind of relaxing. The course is almost completely flat, with no intimidating hills whatsoever, and is definitely a fun race for beginners. In October, San Jose is beautiful. The fall-like weather reminded me of running in real seasons when I was on the Cross Country team in high school back East. Fall is my favorite weather for running, and I was completely comfortable in a t-shirt and shorts with crisp almost-autumn air. I definitely recommend this race, especially if you’re new to the half-marathon world!
One cool thing for me was that marathoner Deena Kastor ran it too, though I didn’t see her on the course! She won the women’s division with a time of 1:12:23.
Sightseeing in San Jose
This was also my first time to San Jose, so Zac’s parents took us to Capitola with the family for the day. It was really nice, just a tad chilly for San Diego blood. The next day it rained and we went up to the Montalvo art estate for some sightseeing. Despite the rain, it was a nice and relaxing day out!