Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon 2015 Recap

 

I’m currently in route to Atlanta whelp, it’s been over a month so it’s probably time to get a recap written about my last race, yes? I’ve been so out of race mode lately that I haven’t even thought about it. Currently I’m just trying to build back my fitness and endurance and get the miles in when I can between Pre-K workbook sessions with the boys, lizard catching, park hopping, teaching classes and cleaning out closets. There’s a lot more on our summer list, but I won’t bore you. Judah is on the search for the best snow cones though so if you have a place we need to go, let me know.

Smile

 

So I had registered for the Suja Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon way before I went into the Boston 2 Big Sur Challenge and the OC Marathon. I figured I’d be all recovered and ready to race another marathon distance after those three back to back. Funny, right? Some people can pull it off, in fact my friend Pam did and she’s a rock star. I am not one of those people.

The night before I was leaning towards switching to the half, but still preparing mentally for the full since I had nothing really coming up afterwards. I thought I could try to be hero. I had a huge quinoa bowl with chicken and veggies and a cheese less gluten free sandwich.

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I had my usual Mizuno shoes and outfit all laid out with a couple different sock options because I couldn’t decide.

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The whole outfit changed when I woke up the next day and just wasn’t feeling it though. Have you ever done that? Put out a whole outfit and then changed your mind at the last minute? It actually happens a lot around here. I’m the worst decision maker ever.

We got the VIP treatment again this year. Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series doesn’t mess around with their VIP.

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I still brought my own pre race breakfast though since I had had the exact same one for my back to back marathons. Love Grown Foods Super Oats and Powerfuel NuttZo are the perfect combination. Add a banana that has a slight green tip to the mix and your golden.

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I hung out with the cool kids for a bit and grabbed a couple cups of coffee. (Cool kids- Silent Assassin (Shane), Pam, Sarah).

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Then the really cool kids showed up and might I say one of them had a rather large head.

 

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Too funny, right? I couldn’t stop laughing at that Meb head. Wait, that’s not true, I stopped laughing long enough to ask to jump in for a picture.

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I chatted with Deena Kastor a bit too and told her for the billionth time how awesome she is and how much she inspires me.

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It was right after that when it was time for all the marathoners to head to corrals since they had an earlier start time. It was also right about then that I made the best decision on my life to not try to be a hero and run the half instead of the full.

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I texted Mom right away and told her I was going to be done about two hours earlier than I had originally told her. I’m pretty sure it was one of the best texts she’s gotten from me. Ha. Kidding.

Then Brian showed up at the lasts minute. I think he just wanted to take advantage of the short private port a potty line.

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On the way to the corrals I bumped into a few more fun running friends. Most of them were at our little Pro Compression shake out run the morning before.

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Seriously, such a fun group of people.

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I was all smiles at the start of the race. I was so happy I had decided to only run the half.

 

I started out at a faster pace than I’d been running. There’s a huge difference between running a marathon and trying to conserve your energy and running a half and trying to convince yourself to go a little harder. At mile one I was really happy about the whole half decision. I felt good and just wanted to run.

I had heard that the half course was a really good one and holy smokes it was. There were very few hills and you still got to run all around downtown San Diego. It didn’t take you by the coast at all, but through a lot of old historic neighborhoods. I really loved everything about it. I wasn’t paying too much attention to my pace, but just trying to push myself a little harder than I had been. We all know I’m getting slower by the day, but I wanted to see if I could push it a little and go a little faster. I wanted to see if I still had that fight in me.

Last year I placed 3rd in my age group for the full marathon with a 3:20. Times have changed. This year it wasn’t quite the same at all, but I gave it all I had given the circumstances and I was really happy. 

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Sure, just a couple of years ago I got my half marathon PR with a 1:30 and even beat the time I got this year just a few weeks later while pushing the boys in a double stroller, but life is different. There’s been a lot of ups and downs this year and I’m slowly learning to just take it a bit easier and not be so hard on myself. I’m grateful for the fact that I can still run pain free and I’m learning to enjoy all the other little things life has to offer.

This race felt like a game changer. It gave me hope that there’s more to come, but I’m not in a hurry. When the time is right, the time is right and I’ll be ready to fight.

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I’m not totally sure what was going on here with the black stripes down my legs. I’m guess it was from my soaked shorts. Lovely though, yes?

I met up with the family as soon as I could. I get so darn excited to see them at the end of every race. I really think it’s my favorite part. Theirs too obviously.

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Ha ha ha.

I promised the boys some yummy breakfast afterwards so we hightailed it to the VIP. The only stop was for my gear and to chat with Deena really quick just one more time.

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The boys are big on the Rock ‘n’ Roll VIP hospitality suite. They really love this one since it’s inside Petco Park.

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I chugged some Vega Recovery Accelerator right before hitting the lounge. I never leave home without this stuff.

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Once inside we went for the egg and omelet station and filled up a couple plates.

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Then enjoyed our eggs with a view and a couple of Suja juices.

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We were on our way out (we kind of did the dine and dash thing since Mom and Carol were waiting for us) and happen to run into Meb. He looked so different without such a big head. Ha ha ha.

The boys recognized him right away though. I’ve met him a few times and talked with him quite a bit at his Boston Marathon viewing party last year. He is the nicest guy ever. He just chatted with us and asked the boys all these questions. He’s definitely a family man.

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He didn’t even seem to mind Judah getting all up close and personal with the arm on the leg thing.

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Too funny.

 

The Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon was my third full marathon back in 2012 and the first time I qualified for Boston. It definitely holds a special place in my heart. I’ll be back next year. I have no idea if I’ll be running the full or the half or walking right along side Harriett (The 92 year old who finished the marathon), but I’ll be back and I’ll be smiling from ear to ear.

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My fastest days are definitely behind me, but I have so many more days ahead of me to just appreciate all the small things. I have so many days to still give it all I’ve got and do everything I can to get the best out of myself.

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We all have so many of those days left. Maybe it’s not running, but whatever it is do what you need to do to get the best out of yourself.

Smile

Our First Attempt and Second Attempts at the Urban Hiking Thing

 

So, if you’re on Instagram you saw that a friend and I went on a 50 mile urban coastal hike this past Saturday. I’m still not sure if an “urban coastal hike” is really a thing, but I guess the whole urban hiking thing is real. It’s a great idea. You hike by Starbucks and can stop and use the bathroom and fill up water bottles, etc. It’s definitely my kind of hiking.

Well, a friend of mine had this idea that he wanted to hike 50 miles in a day. As soon as I heard him even mention it I said “I’m in”. Sure it sounded a little crazy, but it was just walking so how bad could it be, right?

For our first attempt was back on May 10th and we had a route all planned out. We started from my house at 5:00 am and figured we’d be back around 11:00 pm or so.

Well, that didn’t quite happen. We called it quits at mile 35 for two huge reasons- we figured out if we completed the entire thing we’d be home at 3:00 am (our calculations had been way off) and we both had sever blisters.

We said we gave it a good attempt, but thought we’d try again at some point. Here’s a little photo recap of our first attempt.

Coffee from home to start.

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A friendly send off by Rocky.

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Hitting the trails.

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We did not agree with this sign, but decided to obey the rules.

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We got lost on the trails and we stuck out there a lot longer than planned before we rerouted. Luckily I had a Strong and KIND bar.

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Another bar on the road. This time it was a Vega Sport bar and was consumed inside McDonald’s. Funny, huh? Oh, that reminds me, free training plans, Vega DISCOUNT and a huge GIVEAWAY still going one HERE.

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By the halfway mark we finally made it by the coast. Too bad we were both hurting big time by then.

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More hydration.

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The biggest chicken wrap ever that was consumed in less than three minutes.

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At mile 30 my blister popped and I felt it oozing everywhere.

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We still walked five more painful miles though. Finally we called it quits and called the Dr.’s wife to come and pick us up. (Yeah, that’s right, my friend is a doctor. Pretty cool, huh?)

We found a Starbucks to hang out in until our ride got there.

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Luckily she got there just minutes before they closed and kicked us out, but after we faked a few smiles for the camera.

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It only took us about three days to start talking about our next attempt.

We had a better plan this time and a better route that was all along the coast with 25 miles up and 25 miles down. And on our second attempt we made it. I had everything I needed in a Starbucks bag.

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Yes, Rocky was there again for the send off.

It all started off quite nicely at 5:30 am with a beautiful brisk coastal walk.

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I had these two in front of me for awhile at the beginning.

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IT was my own fault because I was trying to take pictures of my feet while I could still feel them.

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I’m sure it’s no surprise that the first stop was at Starbucks at mile 8.

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We weren’t tired, but it was weird to think we still had about 12 hours to go.

Walking along the coastal cities was super fun. There’s a lot to see and a ton of people to watch. It helped the time go by a bit.

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Our biggest stop was at Whole Foods for a lunch. I’ve only been there once so I was like a kid in a candy store. I hit up the salad bar and threw as much as I could into that container. I got a comment about my “utilty belt” so I had to tell the nice lady that I was on a 50 miles hike. I’m sure she thought I was crazy.

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My ginormous salad wasn’t enough so I had a Vega Sport bar afterwards.

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I’m in love with those bars.

After 25 miles, we turned around. I think that’s when it really hit us all mentally. Yeah, we were halfway done and just walked 25 miles, but we still had almost 8 hours to go.

We weren’t too uncomfortable, but it’s just a really long time to be on your feet just walking. I swear the whole mental time thing was the hardest part.

We even had this whole discussion about if it was harder than a marathon and the two of us that run marathon both said “yes”. Running a marathon is super hard, but you know no matter what it’s going to be done in a matter of a couple hours and that the pain is temporary. This was different. You had to just convince yourself to keep going and that you had multiple hours to go.

We kept trucking though and had this big hill to climb around mile 38.

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(The Torrey Pines hill is in the distance, but this was the only picture I took.)

Our last stop was at mile 45. The same Starbucks we stopped at to begin with. It was starting to get dark. I was hungry, but nothing sound good. I went for a green tea soy latte and these random truffle almonds.

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I’ve been craving truffle salt ever since and been adding it to anything and everything. It might become a problem, but these almonds were so so good.

Yep, not looking good, but trying to smile. Just about two hours to go.

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The two hours and the last two miles were the longest EVER.  There were so many stages along the way of being super grumpy and wanting to quit to laughing hysterically at something random. I could even look up at the end because my head was tired and I didn’t want to move my neck. Every curb I saw coming up was annoying.

Waiting for my friend’s darn GPS to tell us we had reached 50 miles seemed like forever. When we only had about 1/4 of a mile to go and I figured it would take us around 4 minutes I asked, “If you could do anything you wanted for the next 4 minutes, what would it be?”

His response was “Anything buy this.”

We had a good laugh and agreed that neither of us ever wanted to do it again. We had to finish so we could mark it off our bucket list and not feel like we needed another attempt.

FINALLY we reached mile 50 right about here.

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We contemplated having a beer, but then decided we’d rather just call Uber to take us 2 miles back to the car and get home as soon as possible.

So that’s exactly what we did.

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We made it. And I didn’t carry the backpack once. Aren’t I nice?

We went by his GPS (and Google maps).

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I actually had my Polar GPS with me the entire time and had it hooked up to a battery the second half of the hike. I paused it at every stop and one of them I forgot to start it again on time, so it came up a bit short. WE weren’t about to go an extra .32 of a mile though. We didn’t care that much. We knew we had gotten our 50 and were done.

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So hey, that’s the ultimate urban hiking recap.

The whole experience was a lot harder and more painful that I thought it would have been. But at the same time it was a lot more enjoyable than I had imagined too. Kind of weird.

I was wondering recovery wise how I’d feel. I was pretty sore the next day and my calf was really not happy with me. My legs were super swollen and I couldn’t get enough to eat or drink. It’s definitely different than marathon recovery though. I’m still a little fatigued, but I just want to sleep. Ha ha.

I don’t really feel like packing either, but I better get on that since I leave for Atlanta tomorrow for the AJC Peachtree Road Race. I better remember my jacket. Ha ha ha.

 

See you soon. Maybe I’ll get a little SUJA Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Marathon (half marathon actually) recap written on the plane. It’s only been a month. I’m on “summer time” I guess.

 

Hope you’re having a fabulous week!

 

Have you ever tried urban hiking? Would you ever want to?

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