Chasing the White Rabbit

Blurry action shot courtesy of Brazen Racing
If your birthday falls on a weekend, I highly recommend finding a race to run on your special day. On Saturday, March 3rd, I ran my first birthday race and had an amazing time. I was turning 33 on 3/3, the sun was shining, the birds were singing, and excitement was in the air. I had no goals for this race, only to have fun and enjoy the run and that is exactly what I did.

Since the Brazen Hellyer Half took place in my neck of the woods in San Jose, Ultra Miles Matt and I decided to sleep in. We were a little behind the time when we pulled into the parking lot of Hellyer County Park. From that point on we were rushed with using the restroom, hugs and hello’s to friends, sweat check, and the typical pre- race stuff. Before I knew it we were lining up at the start line. As the gun went off so did the white rabbit. Yep! We actually got to chase a rabbit on a bike. Not a real rabbit mind you, though that would certainly be a sight to see! As I started to run I noticed Ultra Miles Matt and Katie in the lead just barely out of reach of the rabbit.

Ultra Miles Matt flying
Katie in superb form
Since it was my birthday, I had a shirt specially made. I wore my running skort and had red and white soccer knee high socks to match. Not even into the first mile the knee high socks dropped down around my ankles. It wasn’t a big deal, as I didn’t want to stop to pull them up so I let them be. I looked like a dork. 

Knee Highs magically turn into Dork Highs
The first few miles flew by. I felt really good and was having fun. I settled into a nice pace and zoned out. By mile six, I shocked myself at how good I was feeling. I did not wear my Nathan Hydration pack so I stopped at some of the water stations. I was surprised at how little water I actually needed during this race. In comparison to Katie, I drink a lot of water and during our mid-week training runs I stop at every water fountain. I am an expert on water fountains, so if you ever need guidance on the best fountains in the area – I am your girl! Hmm – Maybe I can write a book; “The Best Water Fountain Stops in California.” What a snoozer of a book that would be… Anyway, back to the race recap – The course was an out and back. By the turn around which was around 6.70 I had a burst of energy. Sadly, that burst disappeared just as quickly as it appeared. Even though I had run this course many times before, miles eight through ten felt soooo long. I kept having to play mind games with myself to make it tolerable. Finally at the last water station I gulped down some Ultima and water, and off I went! 

Mile 1 - 7:53
2 - 8:09
3 - 8:09
4 - 8:26
5 - 8:16
6 - 8:28 

Up until this point, besides some mental games, I was feeling great. However, during the last three miles I had to dig deep to keep my pace up. I was getting tired. I thought about taking a Hammer Gel, but with only a few miles left, I decided against it and powered through. It was getting hot, and I just wanted to be done. As I neared the finish line, I heard some of my friends cheering me on while the announcer mentioned that it was my Birthday. What a treat! To add to my Birthday surprise I looked at the clock to notice that I had finished at 1:48 exactly thus PR’ing by 30 seconds! It is only 30 seconds sure, but it is my 30 seconds and a Birthday PR to boot!! I found out that Ultra Miles Matt had placed 3rd overall, Katie pushed through some demons and placed 5th woman overall, Jessica placed 3rd overall in the 10k event while another friend reached her goal pace in the 5k, and friends Shannon, Shila, and Sabine all PR’d running the half!

7 - 8:33
8 - 7:59
9 - 8:04 
10 - 8:19 
11 - 8:46
12 - 8:33
13 - 8:11
.10 - 7:03

I felt like this was the best Half Marathon I had run yet. Not because it was my birthday, or that I PR’d, but based on how I felt. I ran really strong throughout, and didn’t even have a desire to walk, not even through the aide stations. This is huge for me. Maybe it has something to do with the Brazen races, but in the two events of theirs that I have participated in, I have PR’d each time! 

UMM posing with the girls Shila, Shannon, me and Jessica T.
Jessica W., Katie and I
After the race, some of my friends took my medal and got it engraved for me, which was a really nice gesture. The time was printed wrong so instead of saying 1:48:00 it stated 2:48:00. LOL an easy fix I am sure. We then headed out for brunch where we celebrated with a little beer and mimosa action. 

 Overall I couldn’t have asked for a better Birthday! Have you ever ran a race on your Birthday?

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