No Stupid Flu was Keeping Me Out of the 408k!


The leaders at the start of the 408k
(Photo from 408k Facebook page)

Last Thursday afternoon, it wasn’t looking good that I’d make it to the starting line of the San Jose 408k.  The race is 8 kilometers, or five miles, not 408 kilometers  (408 is the San Jose area code) and started from the HP Pavilion and finished at San Jose’s upscale Santana Row Mall, benefiting the Pat Tillman Foundation.   I came down with this horrible flu which pretty much knocked me out for a couple days.  I’ll spare you the gory details except to say it involved headaches, a slight fever, and lots of urgent skedaddling to the bathroom.  But by Saturday, I was feeling much better and my condition had, um, solidified, and I think  “Hey let’s give this race a go.”  I went in with no high expectations, and  certainly didn’t want to kill myself.  But I’d rather run a race when I’m a little under the weather than stand by and watch it.

So without further ado, here’s a mile by mile run down of what was going through my head each mile of the race.

First Mile
Hey, I don’t feel so bad.  And whoever you are cranking out the Chuck D and Flavor Flav jams, thank you!!!

One of the three Mariachi Bands in the Last Mile
Serenading the Runners (photo from 408k Facebook page)

Second Mile
I am not sick!  I am a racer!  I live for this stuff!  (Passing several people as I work my way up the field.)

Third Mile
Keep working the middle miles!  That’s the key to a successful race!

Fourth Mile
C’mon!  You can hang in there for just a couple more miles.

Fifth Mile
I am sick.

That’s right, the last mile was pretty tough, with my being less than 100% finally catching up with me, and was really dragging the last mile before gathering myself for a decent finish through Santana Row Mall.  This despite the fact the last mile was “The Mariachi Mile” where three Mariachi bands were assembled along the finishing stretch.  While I appreciated the Mariachi bands, giving them all a little fist pump salute as I ran by, I could have really used some more Chuck D and Flavor Flav.

Despite straggling in over the last mile, I finished with a time of 32:02, or 6:27 per mile per, good for 4th in the old guys 45-49 age group.  Since this race was intended as a tune-up for the Santa Cruz Half-Marathon in four weeks, this plan when I signed up for this race was to get a five mile run at a pace significantly faster than half-marathon goal pace.  Since I don’t expect to be going much faster than 6:45 per mile pace at Santa Cruz, I’d say “mission accomplished”.

And that called for a beer, even if it was only 9:00 am. Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub held the race after-party, and it didn’t take long after the first finishers crossed the line before the place was jumping.   As much as I would have liked to savor malt-hop balance and flavor profile of the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale I ordered, I was too drained to really think, and sipped it slowly down while watching English Premier Soccer on the big screen TV with all the festive commotion around me.

On the way back home, I stopped at Campbell’s Psycho Donuts for a Dead Elvis, a donut stuffed with banana pudding topped with bacon, with peanut butter and jelly icing heavily drizzled over all of that.  Trust me, they’re great and do not taste anywhere near as heavy and clunky as you would expect.  The Dead Elvis Donut seemed to go well with the bling-like finishers medal that Elvis would most certainly approve of.

Just four more weeks until the Santa Cruz Half-Marathon!

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