So, after the Fontana Days 5K, I went home and showered and packed and headed down to San Diego for the Rock n' Roll San Diego Half on Sunday. I had to pick up my bib, etc. and I wanted to check out the expo. Although I swore I was not going to buy ANY running gear! Ha!
OH MY GOD, IT'S MEB
I got to the expo around 2 and picked up my bib and shirt:
After that, I went over to listen to Deena Kastor.
One not so good thing about them is that there are a LOT of vendors at the expo! I made it past all the skirt and shoe places. Though I must admit, I did stop at a couple. But my wallet was safe in my bag. As I was leaving though, I made the mistake of wandering by the Sprigs booth...and going in. I tried so hard to resist...no, I'm lying...I saw their headbands and fell in love and walked out with not one but TWO headbands! They are reversible though so it's like getting 4 for the price of 2! This is me in my favorite one:
Oops...better run more! Good thing I was running a half the next day! I went back to the hotel and tried to go to sleep but had a hard time. I woke up with the alarm at 4 am and got ready and ate breakfast and then left for the race.
CLANG, CLANG, CLANG WENT THE TROLLEY
In the race instructions and at the expo, they had warned that parking would be a problem for the start of the race. They suggested we stay at a downtown hotel and take a shuttle to the start or take the train or trolley. The hotel I had booked near Old Town was 2 blocks from a trolley station so I decided to take that to the start. I left my hotel a little before 5 to walk over there and saw the first trolley to the start go by. Oops! No problem, there was another one in 15 minutes so I waited with everyone else. At 5:23, the next trolley pulled in...and they didn't open the doors! It was already full so I was out of luck again! That's when I found out that even if I'd made the first trolley it wouldn't have mattered because it was so full they didn't let anyone on then either. Yikes! Now what were we going to do?
A group of us starting looking at the schedule and then calculating how far we were from the start and how to get there. We found out we were 6 miles from the start so getting there on foot didn't seem like an option. We were starting to panic when a trolley pulled into the station from the direction of the start and an announcement was made that they had added a special trolley to get to the start. They opened the doors and we all hopped on and waited. Not long but we were anxious to get going. There were a couple of marathoners on board and they started at 6:15 and it looked slim for them to make it to the start (if you didn't make it by a certain time for the marathon, you had to drop to the half). But finally we were off and we all breathed a sigh of relief.
But by the time we reached our station for the race and knowing it was a long walk to the start, I knew I would not get to see the start of the marathon. And I had another problem. I really, really had to go. I just hoped there would be enough port-a-potties that the lines wouldn't be too long. Ha! What a dreamer I am! I finally made it to the start area and the lines were horrendous. And not really moving. I waited in one for like 5 minutes before I figured I should just head to my corral. I made it into corral 9 at 6:41. The half started at 6:45! Close but I made it! But I'd had no warm up and I still had to go to the restroom. Uh, oh! Not a happy coyote:
But my red Sprigs bandana is pretty sweet, right?
IT'S ALL DOWNHILL FROM THERE
So, the Rock n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon course has more downhill than uphill in it. The last portion is a huge downhill. The weather was great for running and it would have been a great day and course to run a PR. Not to mention there is just so much energy at the Rock n' Roll races you can't help but get pumped up.
We started right on time and the corrals moved up and then it was our turn to go and we were off and running! I felt good for the first couple of miles. I can't say I enjoyed the views along the course but the bands, cheerleaders, and spectators more than made up for it with lots of cheering and encouragement. In mile 3, I realized I would not be able to hold it and would have to make a pit stop. Which was pretty disappointing. I stopped at the port-a-potties just after the mile 3 aid station and got in line. I lost around 6 minutes there and was bummed about it.
But I felt better and the got back to running and laughing at the sight of the big-boobed cheerleader guys, the monkey cheerleaders, the giant hands, the cheer squad dressed as Marilyn, and all the funny signs. Oh, and the beer and tequila "stations" and seeing people actually stop there!
While I thought I might not have a great run, I thought I might have a good run and was trucking along when...BAM! I hit the pavement in mile 10! My sunglasses when flying and the water bottle I was carrying splattered everywhere. Two very nice runners helped me up and another woman helped me find the top to my water bottle. I think I was in a daze. I couldn't believe I had fallen. :( I took assessment and realized that my right ankle hurt a little, my left quad and knee, my left pinky, and my right arm were the most sore but I thought I could still run. And I could. Can you say relieved? Not only because I wanted to finish this race but also because I had the Run Under The Stars 10 Hour Run in a week!
When I ran, I realized I must have also landed with my arm under my body because my stomach and back were sore too. But I ran on. Slower and easier than before but still moving. I wasn't tired but I just wanted it to be over and was grateful it was all downhill from there.
I was so happy when I could see the finish line and tried to run strong thru the end.
I look determined but I don't look happy! ;) Anyway...I got my medal:
Pretty, don't you think. Then I tried to make my way thru the huge crowd to get a little breathing room. I loved that they gave us a wet towel and we also got an ice smoothie from Jamba Juice and chocolate milk. The smoothie totally gave me a brain freeze but it was delicious! I started to get cold and since I hadn't done a drop bag, I decided to just head for the trolley and go back to the hotel. It was too crazy to try and find anyone anyway since we hadn't made plans to meet up. Luckily, the trolley station was across the street from the finish so I was there in no time. I got back to the hotel and showered and then headed home.
On the way home, I stopped at the burger lounge and got a burger, fries, and shake and it was AWESOME.
I can't believe I've already done 2 dozen half marathons. The Rock n' Roll was a fun way to celebrate my 24th half marathon. I wish it had gone better but I would do it again. I would just make sure I got to the start much earlier! And didn't fall.
The weekend started out with a bang and ended with a whimper but I think that's okay. It's better that I didn't tire myself out too much there because I have 10 hours of running to do at RUTs on Saturday night! I hope to get in 40 miles there...while I party with 70 Run It Fast Club members. :)
Thanks for reading! Wish me luck because it's going to be another Wild Racing Weekend!.
And I can't wait.