Friday, April 3, 2015

San Diego Mermaid Half - Part Two - Race Recap

This is another trip to knock off a state in my friend Claudia's quest to run a half in all 50 states. (You can read about the rest of the trip in this post.) I've now been to ColoradoGeorgiaTexas and California with her. This is a super fun way to get in some traveling (especially to warm places in the winter) and some races. Claudia's friend, Becky, was also on this trip and I was so glad to get to know her better!

Spoiler... this one certainly wasn't a personal best but not a worst either. Although it was my first over two hours in three years. All of the fun (and walking and hiking) we had contributed I'm sure, but it was all worth it. ~On that note, one of us did get a PR, so I probably shouldn't use the walking as an excuse. :)~

First up... Packet Pick Up - a little less than exciting and, in retrospect, we should have probably just gotten there a little early on race day. (Lots of traffic to and from and out of our way since we weren't staying in the city.)

On the way to the race, Claudia was looking up things to do afterward. She asked if we wanted to hike as she had found a few that looked interesting. I tried to convince her to go for a win on the race so she may be too tired to hike later. :) It didn't work. We did hike later and it was great.

We got to the race only a little early and probably should have gotten out of the car a little sooner but it was chilly that morning. My biggest complaint about the whole race was the very limited number of toilets at the start line. This is a race for women. I swear there were only 20 of them. For over 1000 women and their spectators. Needless to say, we didn't make it through the line before the start.

Other than that, the parking and start line were pretty well organized. First, an obligatory pre-race selfie...

Yes, there were men in the race. Not sure why. But, they weren't prohibited. They just couldn't win any awards.

I took no photos during the race. The first part was beautiful with the sun coming up over the bay. I was also running way too fast (I was ahead of the 1:50 pacer until mile 5 or so) which began to catch up with me, oh, around the time the 1:50 pacer passed me. In general, it wasn't a great feeling race for me. I also don't remember very much. Here's what I do remember...

There was a guy who kept passing me and getting directly in front of me after he did. This was not a crowded race or one with a lot of curves so no need to do that. When he came back in front of me, he would slow down considerably. Or, one time, he stopped to tie his shoe. It was incredibly annoying. 

I talked with a lady around mile 11 who was gunning for under 2 hours. She was right on pace by our watches. However, the mile 10 (or was it 11) mile marker was way off. There is no thing much more discouraging than that. So, she wasn't sure. I ran with her a while but then took another walking break. I'll bet she made it. 

Speaking of those walking breaks. Man, I took a lot of them from mile 10 on. I was out of juice and hot. I really didn't have much left so I don't feel terrible about it. Plus, this is the first time I've done two races within two weeks, so maybe I didn't recover fully. Either way, it was a pretty cruddy feeling race and I was thrilled when it was over. 

These are not the most flattering photos. I'm sharing them with you to show the agony. And, because I know you all love me anyway. (I didn't know these were being taken - I may have tried to smile if I'd known!)

I was so glad Matt was able to come to the finish line! I've said it before and I'll say it over and over again, race spectators are just the best! 

Claudia and Becky both won prizes in their age divisions! Way to go girls! 

Most excitedly, Becky got a PR, which is highly impressive on so many levels! But, particularly impressive when it's a new course, across the country and after Mexican food the previous day. :) Way to go Becky!

Aside from the lack of toilets at the beginning of the race, everything was well done. Plenty of water stations and a well marked course. Easy to get to and really nice scenery. It was pretty darned flat too. They gave out little necklaces instead of medals which is a cute idea. The only other downside was that the shirts were generic Mermaid series shirts and didn't say San Diego. Not a huge deal, but notable nonetheless. 

Glad to have race #2 out of 5 for the year checked off the list! And, always love the destination races!

San Diego Mermaid Half - Part One - Everything But the Half

Only a month and half late... I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath. Well, here it is. The race itself was fine and I'll recap that in another post.

This is another trip to knock off a state in my friend Claudia's quest to run a half in all 50 states. I've now been to Colorado, Georgia, Texas and California with her. This is a super fun way to get in some traveling (especially to warm places in the winter) and some races. Claudia's friend, Becky, was also on this trip and I was so glad to get to know her better! She was a lot of fun, always up for whatever and really a lot like me. We all got along great!

A crack of dawn flight got us to San Diego with some time for breakfast with my brother. (Matt and his fiance, Sarah, live near San Diego and were our awesome hosts for the weekend.) He met us near Torrey Pines since we were heading there next. He scored us some free passes to the PGA Tour Event that day. Claudia and Becky had never been to something like this before and it was a lot of fun to walk around and check it out. Plus, the views were amazing!

And, my new phone lock screen...

Years ago, Tom and I used to play Fantasy Golf on Yahoo. (Yes. Really.) Back then, I knew a lot more of the players. I only recognized a few this time though. We caught Phil Mickelson and then hung out for a few at one of the greens until Tiger arrived. He had his usual crowd of people but we had great spots since we'd been there for a while. As he was walking off after they were finished, Matt said to me, "Does he look like he's limping?" Well, he was and dropped out just a few holes later. (We were not supposed to take pictures, but we did anyway.)

That evening was spent at Matt's after a little grocery shopping. He cooked for us and we were able to relax. And, go to bed before 9. That time change and early wake up call did us in!

After the other two got back from a run, we went out for a hike at a place very close to Matt. It was a beautiful morning and we soaked up all the sun that we could!

Getting ready to head up the hill behind us...

At the top of the hill...

It was a great view...

And then getting ready to head down...

We took what we thought was a path down, but I'm pretty sure it was just eroded from water run off. It was a bit steep!

For the mid-morning, we went into Carlsbad for an Acai Bowl which was beyond highly recommended by Matt. (And, a totally California thing to do it seemed.) They were delish! And, a perfect morning snack. Carlsbad is beyond cute. I'm so excited to spend some time here in August for Matt & Sarah's wedding.

Claudia's face? Well, Becky had just dropped my phone and the screen broke. She felt so terrible! But, it was an easy fix and no big deal. When this Groupon came through on my phone a few days after we came home, I had to send it along. What a coincidence?!

We did some beach walking too. I seriously think we just wanted to soak up all the sun we could! We met Matt at Swami's, which is an ocean overlook and a great place to surf. Again with the views! 

If you look super close, you can see the little specks in the ocean and those are the surfers. 

We split up again after some fantastic Mexican right on the PCH. It's always a good idea to eat Mexican less than 24 hours before a race right? The girls had to hit the packet pick up but first, we needed to do a drive by of a house where the in-laws of one of Becky's friends lived. Well, we didn't exactly find it but we did find something else super cool. The Mt. Soledad Veteran's Memorial is pretty spectacular and it's location gives an awesome view of the city. 

The clouds/marine layer just over my shoulder are hiding the ocean - I'm pretty sure anyway.

Onto the Packet Pickup. I kept wanting to call it the "expo," but it wasn't one. In fact, it wasn't really even a "packet" pickup. More like a bib, some safety pins and a shirt. Matt, who is in sports marketing, had considered coming along just to check it out. I'm glad he didn't - nothing exciting. 

A quick dinner of spaghetti and we hit the hay to get ready for another early wake up. 

Check out THIS POST for details on the actual race. 

After quick showers and some lunch, we went out to find our next adventure. Another hike was on the schedule. Yes. A hike. After a half. It was not an insignificant hike either. But, it was beautiful and maybe helped get the soreness out.

See that little tiny house at the top of the mountain? In the center of the photo? That is on the peak that was across from where we hiked. We were at the same elevation, or even higher, at the top. 

We were sure to read the warnings before heading out. Matt neglected to mention the mountain lions. Although, to be fair, he did disclose the rattle snakes.

Once again, though, the views were amazing! A beautiful lake was waiting for us at the very top.

And, my phone's new lock screen.

Did I mention it wasn't exactly an easy hike?

More showers and we were ready to head out to dinner in Little Italy. No, our day was not finished! I think Matt kept thinking we would crash. But, we made it out for a delicious dinner. Another area of San Diego that is just too cute! Little Italy will be a stop on my next trip there too.

Saturday night, my Garmin Vivofit said I had taken 44,877 steps and I had fleeting thoughts of a lap around the house to get over 45,000. Instead, I flopped into bed. And, the other days, we didn't exactly slack - 18,900 steps on Thursday (with a cross country flight!), 17,800 steps on Friday and 13,340 steps on Sunday. 

Becky and Claudia were fantastic traveling buddies and Matt & Sarah really made us feel at home. What a trip! I definitely came home from this one refreshed yet exhausted! Another one for the books!