It isn't often that one can feel good about finishing in 6,240th place. But when you have more than 11 thousand competitors, I believe this becomes perfectly respectable.
Even better, consider that only 8,787 people even managed to FINISH the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in downtown San Jose. So even if my worst loserville nightmare of coming in last had actually come true, I still would have finished better than 3,000 people.
Some more numbers: I ran the 13.1-mile race in 2 hours, 34 minutes and 20 seconds. This is almost a four-minute improvement over last year, which is impressive only because I didn't exactly follow a traditional running-based training program. (But on that note, I guess yoga ain't exactly for the wussies, now, is it, SUCKA!!!!) Also, I had another one of those stupid sharp cramps sneak up on me at mile 11. Only this time, instead of getting all panicked and blubbering like a five-year-old, I calmly came to a walk until it subsided after a minute or so, and then I began to run again. No big deal. Happened two more times, including a nasty jolt of pain as I sprinted toward the finish line, but at that point, who the eff cares?
I wish I had lots of ridiculous sights and comical moments to write about, but on the other hand it feels great to say the race was simply an all-out blast. I can't even describe how cool it felt to turn the corner onto Santa Clara Street on mile 4 and see thousands of beaming people lining the street, like it was a freaking holiday parade. I just couldn't believe my eyes. Hollering, clapping, ringing cowbells, waving their arms, reaching out to high-five us or pat us on the back as we ran by. I mean, that kind of thing just doesn't HAPPEN to regular old boring adults who spend every day in a cubicle. "Hey, I just finished editing that girls golf story." "WOOO-HOOOO! ALL RIGHT, AMY! YOU'RE AWESOME! YOU ROCK! YOU SOOOO ROCK!" Um, no.
One more cool moment: While I was enjoying my post-race meal of an In-N-Out double-double with a side of my own french fries (no sharing, that's the rule after a race) this guy came up to me and said "Congratulations!" Now, I was wearing the race T-shirt, but this dude wasn't, so I was confused about how he knew. Then he grinned and pointed down at his feet, clad in the plastic sandals every runner got after crossing the finish line. Then he limped over to wolf down his own cheeseburger. I'm glad we all recognize the REAL prize at the end of a 13-mile run.