Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon June 2012

If you missed it, I wrote about our first day in San Diego here and our Sea World Adventure here.

After a long day on our feet at Sea World, I was not ready to get up at 4:00 to get ready for the race. Friends were picking us up at 5:00 so that we wouldn't have to attempt to fight the crazy traffic and parking at the race, which was awesome. Since I had driven us to San Diego, I would have been driving and I was a little apprehensive about the logistics of getting to the race.

Once we arrived, we made the obligatory trip to the port-a-potties. Then we headed to the starting corrals, where we saw this guy:
He was juggling in the start line. I wonder
if he juggled throughout the race...
Almost to the start...
There are so many corrals at Rock 'n' Roll races that it takes forever to get to the start line. Since Tara and I had been doing low HR training, we had talked about running this race together and keeping it on the slower end of running. The problem was that at the rate we had been training, it would have taken us about 3.5 hours to finish, which is ridiculous. Even for us.

We decided to start off slowly and see how it went. We waited so long in the start corrals that I had to go to the bathroom AGAIN less than a mile in. No one was lined up in the port-a-potty line that early, so I said good-bye to Tara and Mara, and went to the bathroom.

The course starts on the edge of Balboa Park, so the beginning of the race is really cool.

I have no idea why, but I had to pee a second time at this point! Fortunately, I followed a couple of other runners into a public restroom rather than wait for the next set of port-a-potties that would have a mile long line.

There was even a line here, although it was not nearly as long as what I saw later at the port-a-potties. At this point, I'm adding extra time left and right with 2 bathroom breaks and all of my picture taking that I just decide I'm going to have fun and take as many pictures as I can because I finally have something other than my crappy cell phone camera to use.

How gorgeous is this building?
Next we ran past the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. They had an organist out playing as we ran by, so I popped out my ear buds, but the music was annoying, so I just enjoyed the sights, took a few photos, and went merrily on my way.

I didn't take that many more pictures after leaving Balboa Park. The route wasn't overly scenic, but I enjoyed the gloomy overcast weather. I see enough sun living in Phoenix, Arizona, so I was happy with the clouds.

There was a long - at least a mile long - stretch where the course was pretty steeply downhill. Score! I think that's why I liked this race overall better than the America's Finest City that ends rather than begins at Balboa Park. That course goes up a similarly steep hill at the very end and it's brutal.

Running toward Cabrillo Bridge
I think that running under Cabrillo Bridge was one of my favorite parts of this race. You can't really tell just how tall it is until you run right under it.

Around mile 8 or 9, I actually managed to catch up with Mara and Tara! I had been running faster than I originally planned so that I might make up for the fact that I had stopped twice and took a million pictures. I considered pushing myself and trying to make up time, but in the end, I ran the rest of the race with them. That's not to say that they are slower than me. Tara was actually following our low heart rate plan.

I'm glad I stuck it out with them because it was infinitely more fun to joke around and have fun than be by myself for the next 5 miles.

My usual mile 10 photo
We ended the race over 3 hours, which is annoying, but considering all of my stops and the fact that we are supposed to be slowing it down so that we end up faster, I was okay with that. I definitely feel stronger as a runner, so I guess there's a method to our madness.

After crossing the finish line, we grabbed some Jamba Juice and did some stretching. I iced my knees, which didn't feel too badly, but I felt like I should cool them down.

 I also took an amazing photo of Mara.

Jessica, Tara, Me and Mara
I would totally do this race again. While America's Finest City (recap here) is a much more scenic race, this race is a lot easier on the body.

Pretty cool medal, too.
After the race, I left Jen and Tara with Abby and headed out to spend some quality time my wonderful friend, Julie. I tried to steal her dog.

I was very sad to head back to AZ after a mega packed and fun four days in San Diego. I guess I will have to head back as soon as possible.

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