San Jose Rock and Roll Marathon was held on October 7, 2012—it was a beautiful Sunday morning with a high of about 68 degrees. It was the perfect morning to conquer my 3rd Rock and Roll ½ Marathon.
I knew the drill, I had done it twice before. Got up, got the necessary breakfast in, said goodbye to the sleeping boys and I was off before the sun was up. By the time I made it to the HP Pavilion (home of the hockey team San Jose Sharks), the sun was up. You could feel the energy as fellow runners put on their bibs, snacked on a bagel, counted all their belongings and jogged over to the start line. As I made my way to the start, the thought of possibly doing a 5 mile run raced through my head as this was not an option that was provided in prior years. This year marked the 1st time that the Mini Marathon was introduced. It was comforting to know that should something wrong occur, there was an option for me to veer to the right and end my run early. However, a part of me knew that I would take my time and do what I was set out to do and run, walk or crawl, I would complete my half.
The sun began to shine as over 14K runners gathered in their corrals. Ronnie Lott a former 49er player took the time to speak to the crowd as did Brandi Chastain. As the start time drew closer, we began to finish our stretches, turn on our tunes and get the ball rolling. It took my crew of four about 15 minutes to actually get past the start line. The ambiance was electric. The photographers were snapping shots, the crowd was going wild with their respective signs and the bands were playing! It was what I had always expected and this time with a little bit more. I now had several runs on my resume and I had a sense of obligation to run on behalf of my wonderful supportive twitter followers, twitter friends, FB friends, non FB friends, family and our fearless leader Sean Astin. This year I had the absolute pleasure to carry with me the dreams, wishes, and dedications of many people out there who submitted their #Run3rd requests. It was an honor to #Run for all of you and I proudly carried your dedications in my runners pouch.
I took in the delicious smell of the morning air and watched the bands play on as I ran by. I could hear the echoes of all the strangers that had come out of their homes to cheer us on. There were hundreds of high school volunteers who participated as cheer squads and water distributers. I was humbled to hear all of the cheers and one cheer in particular resonated, it was a cheer from a group of volunteers distributing water who yelled out “Go Sean Astin”. It was clear that they recognized the #Run3rd logo on my shirt and that Sean’s message was getting across to different people of all ages.
The run felt fantastic as I was coming up to the 5th mile I saw the sign that read “Mini Marathon to the right, ½ Marathon to the left”. I was feeling too good to let this end early so I said a little prayer and jogged on my merry way past that 5 mile sign and off to join my fellow ½ marathoners. The bands and crowds were a little scarcer but the cheers from the cheer squad were stationed throughout the course and the bands were rockin every few miles. Mile 9 has always been a bear for me and this year was no different. The body was starting to curse at me for not choosing the 5 mile run but the little voices in my head and the song playing on my iPod ignored my tingly body. I had consciously timed songs that my boys like to listen to around the 9th mile to help me past the hurdle. My boys (2 and 6 yrs.) dedicated One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” to their mama. I played this song repeatedly during the last 3 miles to help give me the boost I needed to make it to the finish line. My husband strategically placed the kids holding up their signs at the 13th mile and this made the run all more worth running for. I completed the race in 3 hours 34 minutes, an average time for a slow runner like myself yet it was wonderful, predictable and amazing all at the same time.
My motivation: #Run3rd for you, run 2nd for my two boys and patient husband, and run 1st for me!