Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Silver Strand Half Marathon Race Recap

The Silver Strand Half Marathon was the first race of our #SD2LV adventure on Sunday morning.

Flat Carlee included: New Balance Fresh Foams (with pink Shwings, Momentum
 FootNotes and LOCKLACES), We Run Social tank topgunmetal Sparkle
Athletic skirt
, WRS Boom Pro Compression socks,
reflective Sparkly Soul headband, Garmin Forerunner 220, RoadID,
booya black Handful bra, Momentum Jewelry wrap, MudLove bracelet,
and Garmin vívofit2.

The lovely Smitha was able to pick up my bib for me (which was SUPER great, that way I didn't have to drive down to San Diego to pick it up on an already super busy weekend) and brought it race morning - SHE'S DA BESTEST!


She was also able to help me out HUGE on race morning. You see, with this whole San Diego race in the AM and Las Vegas race in the PM, there can be some tight turn-arounds with the time frame. The race is a point-to-point course (meaning you start at one spot and run to a different one {in this instance, about 10 miles away}) so your options are to park at either the start or the finish. Parking at the finish line was the smartest choice for me, since we would then rush to the airport and needed the car close. The race offered shuttles from the finish to the start before the race (for folks parking at the finish - the one I was planning on doing) or after the race (for folks who parked at the start line).

I guess I didn't read the directions well enough because I didn't realize you had to BUY a shuttle pass... So when I got the "Final Instructions" email the day before the race and saw that the shuttle for before the race was SOLD OUT I started to FREAK! I texted Smitha and she said that her sweet friend Tara was taking both her and Kristin to the start. I asked if I could jump in with them and crossed my fingers. Thankfully Tara loves Smitha and let me join in the caravan to the start (THANK YOU LADIES! YOU BOTH (and Byron) ROCK MY SOCKS!).

Race morning came quickly. I obviously got craptastic sleep (not only was I worried about sleeping through my alarms, but I was flying to Vegas for a couple days after that morning race and was slightly panicky that I would forget something I needed). I had a few alarms set, but didn't need them because I was out of bed by 3:20am.

Yes, I set multiple alarms and NEVER sleep
till them. (And, YES, I have an alarm in my
phone for Disneyland mornings :) )

I got ready, triple checked my bags and made my way down to Imperial Beach (which, don't kid yourself, is just about Mexico). Traffic was very light (but what would you expect before 4:30am on a Sunday morning?), but I did hit some rain (EEKS - I was NOT expecting that! Thankfully it didn't make an appearance during the race!). I was meeting Smitha, Kristin, Tara and her hubby Byron at the finish by 6am. I ended up getting down there around 5:30am and sat in the car checking social media till they arrived. (I would ALWAYS prefer to be early and have extra time to kill than to be rushing. For me, on time is still late.)

No, I was NOT planning on running in a denim jacket
for a THIRD race... I was using it as my throw-away
layer to keep me warm before we started to run!

We warmed up a bit, drove to the start and enjoyed MANY-o-LAUGHS together (those ladies are my jam!). Thankfully, the weather wasn't as chilly as it had been the previous few mornings (when Ryan and I ran on Friday morning it was 36* so I was expecting COLD, but it was already in the 60s by sunrise). The four of us ladies got out, meandered around the starting area and waited for Brian and David to show up (they were staying at a local hotel and were meeting us at the starting line).

Pre-race shenanigans (trying to stay warm in our throw away layers)
Thanks for the picture Kristin!

Pretty ugly morning, huh?! HA! We are BEYOND BLESSED in SoCal!

Once the guys arrived, many more laughs were had... and OBVIOUSLY plenty-o-pictures! We are not only a social bunch, we must document every step of the way ;)

This is what happens when you leave your phone with Brian when you go
into the port-o-potty... Oh, Smitha, you should know better ;)

And THIS is his favorite... Floating heads... I decided I would try to lick the sky

This guy. I can't even... He's like an older brother (or
grandpa - HA!). He believes in me more than I believe in
myself and is always willing to help me out!

Did you know that We Run Social did a collaboration with Pro Compression?
The WRS BOOM Socks will be available in a week or so! Be on the look out!

Isn't the honeycomb look pretty bomb?!

Seflies for DAYS with this crew!

The We Run Social crew is the BEST crew around!

These ladies ROCK MY WORLD!!!

Before we knew it (since we were just having a grand ol' time), it was time to actually get our booties to the starting line and run a race. Brian was going to run the race fast, as was Kristin (well, too fast for me to keep up with her, even if she doesn't think her times are speedy). I looked at David and asked him his game plan. He said something around 1:53 or so (we were thinking we would need to do close to sub-2 so that all of our travel time would work out), which I thought sounded perfect for a week after my marathon and the first race of a double race day, so I decided to hang with him for the race. My left calf was still feeling sub-par, so taking it easy definitely sounded better than screwing up my leg any further.

Thankfully the cloud cover helped a bit... Otherwise we would have been running
right into the sun!

3, 2, 1, GO! There were about 3,000 of us doing the race (which I believe included the 10-milers, the ones racing on roller blades and EliptiGo's, etc), so there weren't corrals but they did have some pacers so folks could try and line up properly.

The course is pretty flat and pretty straight for the first 9ish miles. You are running along the Pacific Ocean and the views are pretty fantastic! There was a decent cloud cover, which helped the temperatures stay pretty perfect for the majority of the race. I know in the past they have had to deal with some rough weather (too hot, rain, etc), so I think we totally lucked out with Mother Nature.

As you can imagine, the course was full of terrible views ;)

The bumps in elevation were overpasses and a little hill. Nothing too terrible, but you could feel them.

Around mile 8.5 David started to get a cramp in his calf. He told me I could go ahead and that he would catch up, but I reassured him, I was not planning on winning the race, so at this point I was absolutely okay taking as many walk breaks as we needed to make sure we all made it to Vegas in one piece (and able to run another 13+ miles a few hours later).

A big thanks to the Race Guards out on the course. I've never had to ask them for anything before (although I always try to thank them when I see them), but at one point David thought he'd try and get some extra salt in case that was what was making him cramp and they were there to assist (although... um... I guess I assumed it would be some sort of salt tablets, since that's what I've seen people train with, so when he pulled out a vile of table salt I was a little taken back, but, whatever works is fine with me!).

You know what else we got on the course that was AMAZING?! GUMMY BEARS! I don't think I've ever used gummy bears as fuel (although Brian did have Skittles as his for the race ;)), but it was SO GREAT (I later found out from Kara that gummy bears are what Jeff Galloway recommends as fuel... Maybe I'll have to try it out on a regular basis!)! Some of the volunteers had them on a tray divided by colors, while others had them in the little paper ketchup holders. I think I grabbed some gummies two or three times during the race and they were DELISH!

So, I mentioned that the course was a pretty straight shot for the first 9ish miles. Well, after that the 10-milers kept on heading to the finish, but the half marathons had to turn off to do a few little out and back portions on a loop. It was a little weird, but at least we were able to cheer on our fellow runners and hand out high-fives. We were even able to see Brian and Kristin kickin' butt and takin' names.

I realize they had to "make up some distance", but the little out
and back portions definitely played with your mind at this point
of the race.

David and I were able to knock out a sub-2 hour half marathon (just barely squeaked it out, but hey, we made it). But, really, racing isn't always about the time on the clock (I've gotta be honest, it rarely is!), it's about the time spent on the course, the people you spend it with and the smiles and memories you make along the way!


Like I said... Sub-2 :)

Not too shabby for the first half marathon of the day!

After we crossed the finish line we met back up with Brian, Smitha and Kristin to snap a couple quick photos and head to gear check so we could grab the guys' stuff and make our way to the airport.

Love that we were all able to meet up after the race was done too!


This crew ROCKS my WRS BOOM SOCKS :)

I would give this race a 7 out of 10. It is well organized and not too expensive (but, for me, it is a bit far from my house for nothing too special). If you are local or happen to be in Coronado/ San Diego, I would totally recommend it, but I don't think it is necessarily worth a destination race.

Participant tee and bling

Close up of the bottle-opener medal

And with our quick finishes, David, Brian and I had plenty of time to change out of our race gear ("showering" with Shower Pills and baby wipes) and make our way to the airport before the next portion of our adventure began.

We had plenty of time to spare! Next up - a quick 45-minute flight to
Vegas and another 13.1 miles ;)

What's the best treat you've received while running a race? (My top three are: gummy bears, otter pops and tequila.)


SD Mom said...

I LOVED every minute of it! Such a fun morning!

Kc said...

What a fun day!! I may just have to join you for the double race day next year ;)

Unknown said...

Peanut butter M & M was my favourite!
The double race looks so fun. Tom and I really considered joining but with the shape of my foot I'm glad we decided against it.

FitFam6 said...

Can you please not drip in my salt! =)

Sue @ This Mama Runs for Cupcakes said...

I used gummy bears to fuel my marathon in October. It was the first time I did it...a big no no...although I used them in Ragnar and they worked so I figured why not. You guys are serious rockstars. Bummed I didn't get to chat with you on the course in Vegas!