Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Race Report: Rock 'n Roll San Diego Half Marathon

June 5, 2016 | San Diego, CA

A few days later, and this is still kind of a rough pill to swallow. The short version? I ran my personal worst half marathon ever. I can't even use the word ran. I walked. I walked my personal worst half ever. And better yet, I crushed my personal worst time! 

Let's start with Saturday. While in the middle of a 13-hour day on campus (yay orientation season!), I started seeing tweets and Insta updates from lots of folks (namely the #Fontana2SD crew) about the Temecula fire that had I-15 closed for a number of hours. What should have been a 2 hour drive turned into 8 for some of these people! It was at that point, that I seriously contemplated not making the drive, backing out of Sunday's race, and just calling it a day. I told Doug this when I got home at 7 pm, but he kindly reminded me that I'd be pissed at myself later if I didn't go - so at 8:30 pm, I made my way down to San Diego. Though the 15 was half open, that still doesn't do a lot of good on that freeway, so I took a detour and made my way to the 5 and down from there - still a 2 hour drive - and crashed on Jessica's couch about 10:30 pm. What a day. 

Because I didn't make it to the expo on Saturday (duh), I needed to be up & at it extra early on Sunday to get to Solutions and get to my bib. I was up and out of Jess' place about 5:20 to jog the half mile to the start line, and the extra quarter-mile to the Solutions table (which was the furthest table from the start line out of all of them. What the hekc?!). On the way I ran into Michael - many thanks to the freakin' awesome Neon Waves. Lemme tell you, they stand out.

Post-Solutions, I ran my way back to the start line for the epicness to begin: pre-race photos with the Pro crew (heyyyyy, nice socks!), We Run Social crew, all the blogger friends I've been dying to meet - all in one place! Best ever.

All the socks! These Neon Waves POP, don't they?

Best crew ever.
So originally my race day plan was to run with Ashley and we were gonna push ourselves and run a nice sub-2. She pulled her hamstring, however, on Saturday during the 5K and wasn't certain about her abilities on Sunday (spoiler: she didn't even end up running!). :( This also contributed to my almost-decision to not even drive down for the race - I needed a new race day plan! After such a long day on Saturday, I wasn't even sure that a sub-2 was do-able, let alone on untrained legs lately.

Rock 'n Roll introduced a new course this year that was a lot gentler compared to last year's rolling hills. 
I actually REALLY enjoyed this new course - many of the killer hills we ran UP last year were ones we ran down this year, but you still got some of the great neighorhoods - the tequila shots and donuts in North Park, the drag cheerleaders, and tons of local high school cheer squads all along the way. 

I started the race with a few of the WRS / Rock n Blog crew, but ended up running a mile or so with David (sweetest family ever!). We caught up to Linzie and Sarah, who was struggling with some dehydration from Fontana the day before, so they were kinda run walking at this point. David took off (byeeee) and I hung around with Linz and Sarah. Good decision. We ran, we walked, we talked  a lot. We had donuts, drank some champagne... all in good fun.

Whatcha doin' there, Sarah?
Give me all the donuts, please.
And then, just before mile 5, it happened. Linzie and Sarah were just steps ahead of me, and mid-stride, I felt my whole body go in a circle and just said "Whoaaa" out loud. They both turned around and said that I had gone ghost-white, and I just felt dizzy. We walked back to the beer stand we had just passed in some guy's yard, asked if they had water. I took a few sips and sat down for a few, when Smitha had caught up to us and hung out for a few. I started feeling a little better, so we got up and kept moving - still a walk (mostly), but kept going.

At this point, I knew this race was going to be a whatever kind of day. Thank goodness I didn't have any real goals on the line. The new course is definitely PR-friendly in my eyes, but it just wasn't one of those kind of days. We joked about mile 6 that we could totally run a personal worst, if we were going to have goals at all (Sarah's was 2:46, mine 2:48). While we didn't want to aim for such a time, it was still totally do-able. 

And then we just kept going. Ran strides a block or so long, ran down hills, but walked and had fun. Truthfully, I would have been a mess if it weren't for Linz and Sarah, and I am grateful they were there to relish in the craptastic race it had become.

Lots of photos, lots of Snaps, lots of fun. Lots of laughing at the sheer disbelief about what the day had turned into. At least those two had run Fontana the day before - while I'd been on my feet 13 hours the day before, I didn't feel tired. After all, I had done the same thing last year (worked on Saturday, ran on Sunday) and felt fine. When I told my boss this on Monday morning, he said "Well, yeah, you were younger last year!" Thanks dude. Just a reminder that I'm getting old! 

New personal worst: check. 
And then we finished. The last three miles or so were the same as last year's, but instead of turning down to Petco Park, you run into downtown, up a slight hill and finish on Ash Street. The finish line funnel was a TOTAL cluster, and I immediately hated the new finish line area. Waterfront Park is great, but cannot sufficiently hold the size of the race that San Diego is. Sarah and I hung around, chatted with friends, found new friends, watched Gavin DeGraw for a song or two and then made our way to the We Run Social meet up: our crew!

I only got to hang out at the social for a bit, as I had stuff waiting for me at home, but I loved getting to see soooo many blends this year! Last year, I was pretty much in for the race and back out again, and hated that I missed so many people. This year was just lots of selfies, lots of photos and lots of FUN! Despite a terrible personal race day, this was a day that confirmed what the running community is all about. 

So there it is. A terrible personal race day experience. Awesome new course (minus the finish line). Awesome city - America's Finest City for a reason. But lots of fun - truly. I was definitely feeling the dehydration (what I've deemed the cause of my dizzyness) on Monday, and Monday was tough. Ya live, ya learn, right? 

On to the next one! I'm running Seattle in a week and  a half and determined to make that a slightly better race day!

Did you rock and roll through San Diego? What'd you think of the new course?

PST! You can get in on a limited pre-sale for next year's races. The half marathon is only $50 and the full is only $59. Act fast, it's closing soon! Race weekend is June 3-4, 2017. 


  1. That's a little scary. Good thing you were not alone. I thought the marathon course was kind of hard. I am glad I didn't have any goals because running on highway 163 is just wrong! I'm not sure why they did that to us. In any case, I had a good race. No cramps, no wall and my last 2.31 miles were my fastest of the entire race. No races on the schedule until September. Let's see how long that lasts!

  2. Megan!!! I am so sorry I couldn't run with you and that your race got a little wonky. But, I am so proud of you for pushing through and handling it like a champ. It was great to finally meet, you by the way... although it feels like I had already (in some weird way). Cheers!

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