Sharks Fitness Faceoff 10K San Jose, CA Recap: Short Course, Good Photos

I almost bought the coffee mug option of this photo because it was cheaper than the downloadable file.
I almost bought the coffee mug option of this photo because it was cheaper than the downloadable file.

The inaugural Sharks Fitness Faceoff benefitting the Sharks Foundation on June 30 was a blast! I had typical pre-race jitters in the parking lot, but once the event got started I was able to relax into a steady 8:30 pace. Like any first year event, the organizers got a few things wrong. Luckily, the goals outnumbered the penalties.

GOAL: Something for everyone. The event had an activity to suit every fitness level, including 50- and 22-mile bike rides, 5 and 10K runs, a kids run around the arena, and a health festival with booths touting everything from massages to sensible footwear.

Michael K. Farrell tackled the 22-mile bike ride while I ran. Good times!
Michael K. Farrell tackled the 22-mile bike ride while I ran. Good times!

GOAL: Street closures! I love running where cars usually drive, and it was pretty awesome to take over the streets of downtown San Jose. The loop course went by the San Jose Museum of Art, offered up some challenging overpass hills along the Guadalupe Parkway and Hedding Street, and then flattened out on The Alameda and neighborhood streets back to the arena.

Hopefully they can add the missing distance onto the course for next year! (Or simply rename the event to Sharks Fitness Faceoff 6 Miler…)
Hopefully they can add the missing distance onto the course for next year! (Or simply rename the event to Sharks Fitness Faceoff 6 Miler…)

PENALTY: The 10K course was short. I was expecting a regulation 10K that morning, so when someone started their kick with more than half a mile to go (according to my Garmin) I was incredibly confused. I picked my head up to confirm that we were closer to the end than I’d realized, and kicked it into a higher gear for a speedy finish of my own. My watch reported a 5.89-mile run, and I later confirmed the truncated distance using Google maps. Such a bummer!

PENALTY: Not enough liquid at the finish. The race organizers probably weren’t expecting such a large turn out, because they ran out of Gatorade and water at the finish line very quickly. Luckily, I wasn’t too thirsty and I had a stash of water in the car.

GOAL: Great race photos! There were only a couple of photographers peppered along the backstretches of the 10K course, but I managed to smile for all of them. (Looking good in race photos seems to be my M.O!)

Have you ever noticed a course was shorter than it claimed?

Tell the Boss I’m Not Coming In—It’s National Running Day!

Happy trails! I'm celebrating National Running Day in Almaden Quicksilver County Park.
Happy trails! I’m celebrating National Running Day in Almaden Quicksilver County Park.

I’m my own boss, so I don’t really have anyone to answer to if I decide to slack off work for the afternoon and go for a run—which is exactly what I’m doing today.

National Running Day is the best day of the year to be a runner! With organized group runs around the country, there are tons of opportunities to celebrate with others who love the sport. Or to introduce your passion to someone new—take a friend out for an easy jog around the neighborhood!

It’s also a great day to reevaluate your running goals for the rest of the year. The chill of winter kept you inside, spring got you back into your running groove, and now that it’s summer you owe it to yourself to set some goals! Maybe it’s time to add more miles, toss in a weekly track workout, or sign up for a fall race. The options are endless, so have fun deciding how to challenge yourself next!

My plan for the second half of 2013 is to keep up the momentum. I’m super excited for a weekend of racing at the end of this month: Pretty Muddy 5K in Sacramento, Saturday Jun 29, and Sharks Fitness Faceoff 10K in San Jose, Sunday June 30. Then, I’ve got a half-marathon on the calendar in mid-July. I’d like to race in the fall, and I’m waffling between registering for another half-marathon or going all out and doing a full 26.2.

Scheduling work and personal life around a half-marathon is a lot easier than fitting in marathon training. Still, I’m pretty sure the boss would be OK with me taking a day off here and there to squeeze in extra miles or rest. Decisions… Decisions…

How are you celebrating National Running Day? What’s your running plan for the second half of 2013?

New Shoes, New Races, New PRs!

Sweaty shopping: My bank account took a hit during this spree—proof even healthy addictions can be expensive! But happiness returns make new running shoes a worthwhile investment.
Sweaty shopping: My bank account took a hit during this spree—proof even healthy addictions can be expensive!

You know that flat feeling your legs get when you’re running in dead sneakers? I had that feeling on Monday, so at the end of a 3-mile lollipop route instead of heading home, I hung a left and ran directly into Running Revolution. (This small shop just off the main drag of Downtown Campbell is definitely worth a stop if you’re in the market for new shoes.)

In seconds, I went from “flat” to “fantastic.” After trying several brands and styles, I walked out with a brand new pair of Brooks Glycerin 10. I practically hugged the box all the way home! (Running with a shoe box is awkward, so I was forced to walk.)

Happiness (and PR!) returns make these new Brooks Glycerin 10 Women's Running Shoes a worthwhile investment.
Happiness (and PR!) returns make these new Brooks Glycerin 10 Women’s Running Shoes a worthwhile investment.

I was on such a shopping high that I went on a registration binge, too. I have now signed up for three upcoming races, and I couldn’t be more psyched for each of them. They’re all first-time courses for me, which means PRs are guaranteed. (Score!)

I’m saving the dates for:

Pretty Muddy 5K in Sacramento, Saturday Jun 29, 2013 This will be my first obstacle-laden mud run, and I’m really excited to participate. I’ve been going to boot camp fitness classes lately, so the competitive part of my brain is throbbing with the possibility of completely killing this course. (Hey, Rope Ladder, my arms will be ready for you!)

Sharks Fitness Faceoff 10K in San Jose, Sunday June 30, 2013 The Sharks are huge in San Jose—sunny Californian’s are some of the toughest hockey fans, believe it or not. And I’m expecting a big turnout for this charity event. I’ll be tackling the 10K (there’s a 5K and a health walk, too) and plan to attack it like, well, like a Shark—fast and ferocious!

The Jungle Run Half-Marathon in Los Gatos, Sunday July 14, 2013 To be honest, I’m a little anxious about signing up for my first half-marathon in the great state of California. My last attempt at a 13.1-miler back in October resulted in a DNF, but my butt is feeling better and I think putting this race on the calendar will be good for my head—I’m a goal setter, after all. (And, again, it’s a guaranteed PR!)

Which of these races are on your calendar? Are you looking forward to an upcoming PR, too?