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Inspired Living

FIT Project ( San Jose edition)

Sarah Stanley

Sept. 30 - Oct. 3, 2011 (race on Oct. 2) Oh my gosh. Another race recap. I feel like that's all I write these days. Ha!

So, if you read my Vermont 50 recap (if you haven't, you might want too), I bet you are wondering how in the world I ran a half marathon six days later. In fact, I do as well!

After flying back from Boston, I had an extremely LONG week. After getting home, throwing my clothes in the wash I hopped on my bike and went to work. I would have done ANYTHING for a nap. ANYTHING. But duty calls! My legs were not entirely thrilled at riding a bike. Remember, it hadn't even been 24 hours since the finish of the race AND I sat on a plane for four hours! Moving on ...

Tuesday morning came way too early (as in 5:30 a.m.) and I had another long day ahead of me. But thankfully, I had a chance to sleep. And sleep I did. For 13 hours. Going for three days straight is exhausting! Wednesday and Thursday were both early mornings and I just tried to keep awake! Ha! By the time Thursday night came, I had put in 45 hours. Plus 40 miles on my bike and 10 miles of walking. And three ice baths. However, I guess forced recovery works. So much for taking it easy.

Friday morning I hopped on a plane and made my way to San Jose, Calif. I do heart California! This is my fifth time this year that I have been privileged to be in this great state! I had another great flight. I sat between two families who had two kids under age 5. I got to hold two of them. I had a window seat and the 1-year-old wanted to see the planes out the window. It was a blast and I made new friends (with the parents)! 

After landing in the heart of Silicon Valley, Justin picked me up. And then I took a beyond much needed nap. For a hour. We went out to this adorable sushi place in Willow Glen. The staff was AMAZING. Can't spill all the details because some things are better left unmentioned :). But if you are ever in San Jose, go to Yuki Sushi. The place seriously rocks.

I did a little work on my laptop before watching some TV. And of course falling sleep.

Saturday, I spent FOUR hours writing the VT recap (you're welcome) and then had to get out and move my legs. I have to run tomorrow! So I set out on a two hour LEISURELY walk. Went to the Willow Glen Farmer's Market which was really small. The larger farmer's markets are on Friday and Sunday. Hey, I'll take what I can get!

Went to lunch at Haymarket. Another really cool place. Because I attempt to eat grain/dairy/sugar free, finding worthy places to eat can be a challenge. This place is all about great, local, farm fresh food and a really cool vibe. Go visit them!

Then I took a nap. I didn't want to wake up :).

Because I am on the road 90 percent of the time/year, I try to attend churches to keep me grounded. And I found Westgate. So Nathan and I went there Saturday evening (always thankful for Saturday evening services!) It was a really good service and got me excited all over again that I serve a risen Savior and Lord! Oh and my legs were feeling pretty good :).

Then because I was in Calif., I HAD to go to Trader Joe's. Love the place! I got some fresh veggies and meat. Hm, good! Cooking when traveling is one key to staying healthy. I baked a Butternut Squash. Perfect fall dinner! Along with a California avocado and chicken. Race dinner was delish!

After relaxing a bit (a new concept to me), I attempted to get some shut eye, but go figure, wasn't able to. The race start was at 8 a.m. I GOT TO SLEEP in till 6:00 a.m.! What is the world coming to?! I was up, dressed and out the door to the rail station by 6:30 a.m.

While waiting I sipped on my Gen UCAN (another reason to love this stuff? It makes traveling and having breakfast SUPER easy) and chatted with another runner. Her name was Jennifer and it was her first half marathon. And she was nervous. So I put her at ease and gave her some tips to get her through the race.

Soon we were at the race start. I love the excitement of race morning! Although this Sunday morning was a little different then last Sunday morning :). Part of my pre-race routine is praying beforehand. Usually my friend Nghia is at the races and we pray together, but he wasn't today. So I asked Meb if he would like to pray. And of course he said yes. So that was pretty cool.

Then to the start line we made our way! I somehow managed to bump into Jennifer on the way to my coral and we got a photo together. And I gave her a big hug and high five. Sweet! Then I found Brian in the coral and we also got a photo together. Pretty soon, the national anthem was being sung and the gun went off. Another race has thus begun!

I had a pretty - OK VERY - aggressive time goal for just having run Vermont 50 miler six days ago. But like everything I do I put my entire heart, soul and body into it. No excuses!

I ran the first mile (8:11 minute pace) and was right on target. Wanted to start out slow and save my legs for the end. Although I was feeling great, I know anything can go haywire at anytime.

We ran through part of downtown SJ, then through Japan Town, a neighborhood, back through downtown, past the HP Center and out to some really lovely neighborhoods. Mile 5 was fast (7:57 minute/mile pace). Oops. I took photos as I usually do. But by mile 9 I was tired and wanted to focus on running. And so I did.

The San Jose course is flat. With three little bumps along the way. I actually was thankful for them. Variety is good for your legs (IMHO)! I came to mile 10 and was SO thankful that I only had 3.1 to go! I pushed a little harder and reminded myself of VT50. The sun had come out and it was getting warm. I wanted to be done!

Mile 11, 12  and the end was in sight. Kind of. The course turns a sharp left and you can't see the finish line. I pass mile 13 (faster again - 7:47 minute/mile) and I know that home sweet home is almost mine. I tried to out-kick a woman beside me, but that didn't result well :).

And then!! I crossed the timing mat in 1:48:55! I was SO STOKED! For as bad as I felt just mere DAYS ago, I just ran an overall pace of 8 minutes 19 seconds per mile! I guess the forced recovery DID work :).

And then after some Gen UCAN Chocolate Recovery I got more good news. The all-covented stats. I am not much for stats. More for just getting out the door and being active. But I will share them with you because I think they are cool!

Age group: 50/1005

Gender: 265/5416 (top 5 percent!)

Overall: 1374/9831

Indeed, it was a GREAT day.

I took a nice recovery walk around downtown in the afternoon. Made the last 30 minutes of the art museum, and THEN - don't be shocked! I found a yoga studio and a 90 minute "yoga for athletes" class! Sign me up baby! Yoga felt AMAZING.

Made it back in time for ice baths. And sleep. And good food. And a slice of gasp - pizza. I wasn't that thrilled with it to be honest. I'll stick with my veggies, thank ya!

The next morning I was awoken by a 6 a.m. call. Happy Monday! Since I was already up, I got some work done with kale chips as my side kick :). One more ice bath, then Nathan and I went down to Santa Cruz. I love the ocean! But when you have a healing blister, don't walk on the beach :).

Then it was back to the airport. SJC is fairly small. And I guess ALL the TSA agents decided that noon was a really great time to take a nap. Or a lunch break. Because there were about 500 of us in line. And only ONE agent checking IDs/boarding passes. People were going nuts.

The line took forever, but finally I was through it and to my gate. And back on another plane. Blue skies!

Denver Half Marathon in six days!