Monday, June 8, 2015

San Diego Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon Race Recap

Who's ready for the next installment of my RnRSD Weekend?! I sure hope YOU are, cause it's comin' whether you want it to or not ;) And just in case you have missed the last few posts, make sure to catch up before reading any farther.

And now on to the BIG DADDY OF THEM ALL, THE MAIN EVENT... The San Diego Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon.

Flat Carlee includes: Turquoise Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Jailbreak Pro Compression Socks, Brooks Ghost 6 (with Sparkle Athletic Silver Shwings), Garmin Forerunner 220, Black RoadID Sport, #WeRunSocial Tank and #WeRunSocial Trucker Hat.

Like most race mornings, it started EARLY... LIKE REALLY EARLY...

I think I was asleep by 8:30pm and up around 3:00am

But thankfully, unlike the night before the 5K, I actually got some sleep (I honestly don't remember waking up to look at the clock every 30 minutes like normal, so YAY for that!).

I decided to be a nice wifey and let the hubby sleep in and miss the race (there were gonna be a TON of #WeRunSocial crew to hang out with and since we were going back down to San Diego for the Pro Compression Meet Up later that night I wanted him chipper and well rested ;)). Instead of driving down for the race, I figured I'd take the easier (but MUCH EARLIER) route and ride the Coaster to San Diego (BIG props to Rock 'N' Roll for setting up the "before the butt-crack of dawn" extra train).

The Coaster!

Oceanside is the first (or last depending on which way you are heading) stop on the Coaster. With that being said, it was the EARLIEST pick-up time. The train was set to depart the Oceanside Transit stop at 4:10am - OUCH! I would rather be safe than sorry so got over there around 3:55am.

I think I had the train to myself for the first few minutes ;)

I sat on the bottom level so I could be one of the first off, since we still had to take a bus from Old Town over to the start line. My plan worked to PERFECTION because I got on one of the first buses and made it over to the starting area with no issues at all.

First thing's first, port-o-potties. Thankfully there were tons. (Can you believe that before I was a runner I couldn't go in those things?! My gag reflex is so bad that I would get sick before I could even open the door... Now, as long as there is some paper I am golden ;) )

On the way over to gear check I ran into Jenn - YAY! Who doesn't love friendly faces at 5am?! She had a team of amazing runners with her (check out her recap here), so I was thrilled to see them out and ready to conquer the course!

Jenn is such a lovely lady!

Because hubby is normally with me at races I never have to use gear check, but this was a different story. I brought an outfit to change into (since I knew we were going to go back out on the course and cheer on friends and fellow runners after we finished and figured I'd want something dry), my phone charger and external battery (um... DUH), my water bottle, and a couple wipes for my salty, sweaty mess and the #WeRunSocial banner - PRIORITIES. As I made my way to the UPS trucks (I think it is a cool idea that it is MOBILE GEAR CHECK and can then drive to the finish area) I came across THIS CREW:

Like LEGIT, these three ROCK MY SOCKS!!

I knew part of the #WeRunSocial crew was taking on the FULL MARATHON (which started at 6:15am as opposed to the half which started at 6:50am), so I began heading towards the starting line to meet up with everyone. Obviously you KNOW we need #AllThePictures before we can send those runners off to DO THEIR THANG!

We were waiting for more of the crew to show up ;)

I guess Dani is scared of me... 

These guys... FLAWLESS! Brian, Linzie, and I
Source: Linzie

The speedy and ever-so-sweet Pam with myself and Brian

The #WeRunSocial crew was holding it down at the starting line!
Source: @WeRunSocial's Twitter Feed

This is Alicia. She KICKED BUTT on the course and ran
a sub-3:30 marathon!

Brian, Pam, Sarah and I
Source: Brian

As Brian and I were taking a picture with Pam and Sarah, they asked us what our game plan was for this race... Um, good question ;) I figured if I had folks to run with, then I would take it easy. If everyone was doing their own thing that maybe I would try and race it (even though the half marathon distance is my favorite, I don't often race it because I am doing them at Disney or with the hubby, so I don't have too many "race" times for it). I looked at Brian and he said something along the lines of "I could do 8:00's, 8:15's, maybe 8:30's" and I said "Sure, I could try that".

Once the marathoners took off, we had a few minutes to chat with the half-sies and OBVIOUSLY TAKE MORE PICTURES!

My #WeRunSocial partner in crime for the morning
Source: Brian

Somehow Shane and I didn't get a picture at the Pro Compression
Shakeout Run or the 5K the morning before, so we made
sure to rectify the situation before the half!

How funny... Shane was rocking #TwoPairDontCare, which worked perfectly
with my Jailbreaks and Brian's Classic Stripes

Megan is AMAZING. Not only did she have to run the half in
shoes she borrowed from her hotel's lost and found, but she is
just so friendly and bubbly! SHE ROCKS!!

A quick selfie with the starting line in the background and it was time to jump in our corrals. (They were jam packed, so Brian and I sort of hung out next to the second corral until they let the first corral go and people started moving towards the starting line and made room for us.)


And just like that, we were OFF. I told Brian from the start that I am a terrible pacer. I ALWAYS start too fast because of the adrenaline of a race, my fresh legs, etc. and have a hard time keeping even splits. He mentioned that he normally runs with music so not to be offended if he put it in. Hey, these are the things you've gotta talk about when you run with a friend, right?!

I knew that running 8-8:30/mile pace wouldn't be a PR for me, so why not have fun along the way?! The course has so much crowd support that it is like a party for 13 miles (I ran the half marathon in 2013 as well, but have not done the full so can't speak to the party vibe along the rest of their course). And Hillcrest starts the party off right!

When I first moved out to San Diego in 2006 I lived down in Normal Heights. I remembered when I ran the course in 2013 that we ran a good portion through my old stomping grounds and was stoked to see the familiar area again.

Used to walk down here on weekends to LeStat's Coffee House

Around Mile 3.5 we had our first decision to make. There was a resident with a box of Krispy Kreme glazed donuts. Although I try to eat healthy 90% of the time, it is hard to turn down free donuts, right?! I ran over to the guy and grabbed two pieces - "Don't mind if I do, thanks so much sir!" I originally thought it would be one for me and one for Brian (he didn't veer over to the box), but when I offered him one, he kindly turned me down. I did try and give it away to some runners around me, but they all said no... MORE FOR ME. Well, I guess that's one way to fuel for a race - half a donut. I guess the sugar will keep me going, right?!

Excuse the blur, it is hard to run and eat donuts and selfie at the same time!

Uh oh, next decision... Mile 5 had a lady with Dixie cups on a tray and a Patron bottle... FREE TEQUILA SHOTS... I looked at Brian, he said "Uh...." and I said, "Uh.... YES!". Here we go. We didn't grab a picture (maybe it is better that way), but we did kindly thank the resident for the drink and lime slice ;) Maybe it wasn't the "smartest" idea on how to hydrate for a race, but it seemed to work for us!

Thankfully the questionable fueling practices didn't effect our run. There were more amazing spectators out offering Irish whiskey shots, beer, orange slices, licorice, etc, but we turned them all down. Next time... Next time I tell ya ;)

This Brooks ROCKER was right on 36th Street, where I used
to live! How fun! ROCK ON FRIEND, ROCK ON!

The course was a bit hilly (it is funny that people think a coastal Southern California race should be flat.... WRONG!), but I will let you in on a little secret... I LOVE HILLS! I think hills make you a stronger runner and I love pushing up them! Brian would take them conservatively but then catch back up to me on the downhills.

It was great having a friend to chat with along the course. Although it is a "Rock 'N' Roll" race, I felt like the music is a little lacking... Maybe it is because when you run by the bands you really only hear them for a good minute or so, or maybe it is because there only seem to be like 4 or 5 bands out there, but whatever the case, it was nice to have someone along for the run who I could chat it up with (and hey, he didn't even put in his music, so I guess I wasn't that boring after all ;)).

We were STOKED to see AJ and Ivie when we hit mile 11.5 (apparently I didn't notice them at first and the series of pictures Ivie got of me are HILARIOUS!). They were holding down the #WeRunSocial cheer zone until some of us finished and made it back. We stopped for a quick selfie and then kept on trucking since we knew we would be back shortly.

THESE TWO! The drove down from Lakewood to CHEER!
Source: IvieAnne's Instagram Feed

Oblivious to my surroundings...
Source: IvieAnne's Instagram Feed

Don't ask why I thought I needed to go SCARED face with
a triple chin for this shot...

About a mile or so before the finish was the Meb Zone. Meb had finished second (like an hour before we were coming through) and actually came back to cheer on runners - HOW AMAZING IS THAT?! I mean, he is a SPEED DEMON, a New York Marathon winner, a Boston Marathon winner, a San Diego native, and he goes back on the course to cheer US on?! Well, I tried to get a selfie with Brian, Meb and I and I FAILED. Meb said that we had to keep going, so maybe next time (but it is still awesome that he even wants to go back out and give high-fives to "normal" runners!).

Right before the finish we saw Liberty and her friend, the chicken. She gave us a cheer and we told her we would be back in a few once we got our medals. I LOVE SEEING FRIENDS OUT! It is so much fun!

The last mile or so was downhill, so we were able to pick up our pace a bit, but really this race was all about the friends and fun (I mean if I got a PR while eating donuts and taking tequila shots something might have been wrong, right?!).

As we were coming across the finish line we heard the announcers mention Deena Kastor had just finished. Um.... RUNNING ROYALTY! She happened to be right in front of us, so Brian and I asked if we could grab a quick picture with us. SO SWEET OF HER! (She even commented on my Instagram picture once I posted it - AMAZE BALLS!)

HELLO Olympian and American record holder!

Next time she said she'd
#DoThePavey with us! LOVE IT!

Our official time was just over 1:47 (my watch had its auto pause on, so when we stopped for shots and selfies it must have lost a couple of the official seconds) - not too shabby if I say so myself...

My shwings help me FLY!

Official timing from Rock 'N' Roll

Those splits tho! Look at how even... 

We made our way over to Petco Park so we could grab our Remix Challenge medals (for having completed the 5K the morning prior) and then started making our way back up the course. First up, we had to see Liberty and give her hugs for being out there. Oh yeah, and I might have had a jello shot before we seflied with the chicken ;)

One cannot simply turn down a jello shot...

Brian, myself, Liberty, and "the chicken"
Source: Brian

Then we were off to meet back up with the #WeRunSocial crew. Apparently we hadn't spent all of our energy, because Brian and I thought it would be a good idea to run to get there faster. Obviously we were cheering on the runners as we went by, but I think some of them were annoyed we were done and now running the course backwards...

This was my "Carlee, look thug" face...
Source: Brian

Dr. Seuss? AWWWWW YEAH!!
Source: Brian

Once we made it back to AJ and Ivie, we grabbed our noise makers (thanks for sharing you two) and started getting our cheer on! We stayed on the half side until about 10:00am, which was closer to the time we thought some of our friends would start coming through, and then crossed the street to cheer on the marathoners.

I LOVE ME SOME CHEERING!! I even gave out a
couple of free hugs to runners who wanted them!
Source: Ivie

The #WeRunSocial crew LOVES teamwork!

Gotta improvise when it comes to banner hanging ;)

Michael and Andrea made their way back to the cheer squad shortly after. Brian and I were able to see them about a quarter mile from the finish on our way back through the course and they were looking GREAT! Once they came we noticed how much Pro Compression LOVE we had and were forced to snap a couple pictures...

It's like a guessing game of WHO'S LEGS ARE THESE
Source: Ivie

We asked a fellow spectator if she could take our picture... "Yes, just of our legs"
Source: Ivie

Dani and Sarah came through looking so strong! Dani was helping to pace Sarah to a PR (which she got, by the way), so they didn't stop for a picture, but Ivie was able to grab a couple shots of them coming through for high-fives.

Look at Sarah looking all speedy and everything!
Source: Ivie

Source: Ivie

Linzie sped on by us (make sure to read his recap here - but don't believe that we were throwing shade on him ;)). Although he didn't stop for a picture, we made sure he felt #AllTheLove on his way down the hill towards us.

Source: Ivie

After we saw the last of our friends, we had to head out (we stayed on the course until about 11:30am so we still were able to cheer in a good portion of the runners). I had to make it over to the train station by noon (so, yes, that did mean running another 2 miles after the 14+ miles I had already run that morning), Andrea and Michael had to head back to their hotel to check out, AJ and Ivie had to grab some food (and a nap in their car), and Brian had to shower before the Pro Compression Meet Up later that evening. We grabbed a few last pictures together before parting ways (at least for another couple hours).

Unofficial BEST CHEER SQUAD of the RnRSD Races...
Source: Ivie

The girls TWINNING and the boys TWINNING! And it was NOT planned!
Source: Brian

The #WeRunSocial crew HELD IT DOWN! (And I think the GIRLS
wore it better if you ask me ;))
Source: PavementRunner's Instagram Feed

Thankfully I made it to the train with time to spare (the Coaster app said the train was arriving at 12, but it was closer to 12:15 or so, so I probably didn't need to run) and took the relaxing train ride back to Oceanside.

Another empty train?! Well, shortly before we left a fellow
passenger came and sat in front of me... No big deal of course,
but I thought it was funny because most of the car was empty
AND he sang out loud (not sure if he realized it or not) the
ENTIRE trip...

Although I don't think Rock 'N' Roll races are necessarily my jam (pretty packed, pretty pricey, etc), the PEOPLE (both the runners and spectators) MADE this race! HUGE THANKS to everyone out on the course - I loved all the signs, high-fives, fist bumps, funny instruments, etc. (One last story, I saw a sign that said "Go Chris & Sally" and thought it said "Chips & Salsa"... As you know, they are my FAVORITES. When I asked if they had any to share they said they did not, but did offer me some of their breakfast.) Like I have said before, we pay to be out there, but the spectators and volunteers... They are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts (or a nudge from a loved one) and THEY deserve ALL the credit!!

Do you prefer big races or small races?


Anonymous said...

Love this post, Carlee! RnRSD weekend was amazing and it was great to relive it through your post! I'm glad I got to meet you and the rest of the #WeRunSocial crew!

Erica @ Erica Finds said...

Dude! I can't believe how fast you ran with all that funning and photo taking and donuts and tequila (barf!) You played that one perfectly. Someone captured Meb cheering for runners and I was SO jealous that I missed it. LOVE LOVE LOVE Meb and Deena. So awesome. Thank you for sharing!!

Unknown said...

Yesssss, love that photo of us! More next time, for sure... you know, when I don't have to scramble to get shoes! ;) xoxo

SD Mom said...

There is so much amazing in just this one post! Add it to your other two recaos? Brain explosion!

Kelly @ Miles To Go said...

Love this recap!!! Looks like so much with #WeRunSocial! Great time for taking a tequila shot and eating donuts :)

Unknown said...

Amazing recap! Seriously a tequila shot..I can't even do that in the best of times let alone during a race. Glad you guys had all the fun, I hope to make this race next time.

Gina said...

YOU are amazing AND ... KNOCK MY SOCKS OFF!! For realzzzz ... just love you girl!! And, you inspire me to get blogging again (I've taken a bit of a hiatus. <3 xo

Silvia said...

YOU rock!! I love this blog, I love your posts and I'm a new follower!! WOW!! You are amazing, girl!! :D

~Mel said...

Such a great recap, you're running amazement to me! Sounds like a you all have a wonderful weekend. I love your blog!