Posted in Race Reports, Running

5 Years and 25 Half Marathons Later – My RnR San Diego Race Report

I received an entry into the Rock N Roll San Diego Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Yes, that’s right. You read that header correctly. In 5 years almost to the day, I have completed 25 half marathons plus some other races and it all started with Rock N Roll San Diego.

It gave me such a good experience the first time around that I kept choosing to run it again and again and two days ago, I completed it for the 4th time.

Looking back on it, I really believe the reason I continued to race half marathons was because of this race.

Rock N Roll San Diego just knows how to put on a good time and after having a ton of pre-race anxiety, this was just what I needed.

Let’s summarize shall we? 🙂

Pre-race: I stayed with friends that lived close to a trolley station and at 4:30 am, we were out the door to get to SDCCU stadium. We then took a 15 min trolley ride to the Little Italy trolley stop and briskly walked about a mile to the start giving us a nice warm up. We arrived, gear checked, my friends did their porta potty thing, and chit chatted for about 30 min until the start of the race at 6:15 am.

Race:

The start – The race started on time, but due to there being so many corrals, it took quite a bit of time to release everyone. I was in corral 8 and I started at 6:30 am. This year, they had a new design to release runners more slowly. They had gates that funneled everyone through narrower paths so only a 10 runners or so could be released and get a running start to the official start line. This made the first 0.25 miles easier to run through because there weren’t as many runners to maneuver around. I appreciated them, but I think others were annoyed.

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The course – Starting out, I was a bit nervous. My plantar fasciitis still wasn’t terribly better and although I was running through it, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to complete the race. Fast forward two miles and everything started to move more quickly. My plantar wasn’t acting up as much and when we entered Hillcrest, I could see all the drag queens in colorful wigs and boobs screaming up and down for us. LOL. It’s one of my favorite parts of the race. Then up and down we go for a mile or two before we hit the blue mile, where runners are encouraged to wear blue to remember our fallen military heroes. I had run through this section the past three times I ran it and this was probably the first time I truly looked at the photos and honestly, it tugged at my heartstrings seeing all those young men and women who were killed in action.

Shortly after, the unofficial alcohol stations starting popping up and every year, I swear more and more start popping up. I counted maybe 4 or 5 houses that brought their A game (and by A game, I of course mean Alcohol). Some neighbors were providing shots of whiskey, some donuts and whiskey, some were handing out beer, and some were making some unidentified drink. 🙂 I did not partake as I did not want to throw up, but seeing them definitely brought a smile to my face. I even saw a Doctor Who themed alcoholic station!

The latter half of the race was kind of a blur, but I do remember how I felt at different parts of the course in previous years.

At mile 1.5 where I started out too fast one year and had forgotten about the rolling hills.

At mile 7 where I had started walking and crying because it had gotten so warm.

Around mile 11 where I had seen a friend and she ran with me the rest of the way encouraging me to continue.

At mile 12.5 where I had run with a friend for her first half marathon and she was so in the zone, I told her to keep going without me.

And of course at the finish line, where I had finished 3 times prior.

It’s hard for me to put into words how I felt during the race, but maybe the word that best describes it is JOY.

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I started this race with the sole intention of trying to finish. I had no time goal and no expectation to run fast. And then I went out, enjoyed the course, even played some Pokemon Go, and ran my 6th fastest half marathon (Official time: 1:58:50). If that’s not a win, I don’t know what is. 

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So tell me, has there ever been a time where you blew your own expectations out of the water? I’d love to hear about it. 🙂 

 

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Posted in Race Reports, Running

A 5k, Meb Keflezighi, and Pizza Oh My – My Carlsbad 5000 Report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Carlsbad 5000 as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Wheeee! I’m alive. I survived another race and my heel lives to see another day. Hooray!

And without further ado, my race report.

Bib Pick-up

Race weekend was uhmm a bit much. I was moving apartments and with all the heavy lifting, I was exhausted going into race day. Luckily, bib pick up was super easy. I opted to pick up my bib on Friday at Fleet Feet San Diego because it was on my way home and there was a 15% discount on their items, so I decided to also purchase some Superfeet for my inflamed fascia. 🙂

Race morning

Fast forward to race day and I arrive about an hour before my race and I find sweet street parking a few blocks from the start line. I met up with my male friends who were running the race before (Men’s 39 and under race) and wished them good luck. Then, I stretched out my legs, took my infamous jumping photo, and got ready to run. While stretching, I spotted Meb Keflezighi and was starstruck. LOL. He was at the expo on Saturday signing autographs and since I couldn’t attend, I was pretty bummed. BUT luck was on my side because I saw him and I got a picture with him!

The Race

The start of the race went pretty much as expected. I started out too fast and got winded a mile in. LOL. I felt extremely out of shape, but pushed on. My fascia was doing okay and wasn’t overly upset at me and when it did decide to hurt, I walked. I did take my time and I finished in 27:07. 🙂  Not a bad time considering.

Post-Race

The energy of this race is amazing. Probably because it doesn’t start super early. After crossing the finish line, I met up with friends ANDDDDD spotted Meb again and this time, he was signing people’s bibs/medals/ribbons so you know I had to get mine signed. He was so nice and patient taking pictures and signing things for us.

The Carlsbad 5000 will always be one of my favorite races. It’s short, sweet, and over in less than 30 minutes. 🙂 And there’s free beer at the beer garden. I didn’t drink, but my friends did and afterwards, we headed over to Pizza Port for amazing pizza. I had an amazing time and honestly, I can’t wait to do it again next year. 🙂

If you want to sign up for next year’s race, head on over to their site. Pre-sale is currently available until April 14th at 11:59 PM PST. 🙂 It’s the lowest price and if a 5k doesn’t seem worth traveling for, remember, there’s an awesome 20k all day where you run all four 5k heats so you can experience the start line and finish line energy 4 different times. 🙂

 

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

My Surf City Half Marathon Race Report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Surf City Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

It’s been almost three whole days since I last ran my 24th half marathon and let’s just say that I met my goal of not freezing to death and finishing the race. HOORAY!

How did the race actually go? Well, that’s another story – one that I’m willing to share. Now, let’s start off with the positives. 🙂IMG_3515

  1. The Surf City Expo – Despite the intense rain and wind, I had a blast at the expo. The expo is held outside every year at the Huntington Beach parking lot and thank goodness it was underneath a tent because that wind was HOWLING and the rain was crazy. I had some extra time so I helped a friend out and volunteered at the Honey Stinger booth on Saturday morning. I cut up samples, chatted up some runners, and sold Honey Stinger gels, chews, waffles, and hats! It was a nice change of pace from my usual routine so I had a ton of fun. Plus, other runners I knew would come by and say hi to me and I do love saying hi to other runners. 🙂 I also had a chance to walk around the expo and say hi to other vendors and gush over how much I loved their stuff. LOL.
  2. Parking was SUPER EASY. I don’t like having to pay for parking on race day so I appreciated this so much. The race organizers had marked a bunch a different lots for us to park at for free and shuttle over. Made race morning much less stressful.
  3. The rain or lack thereof on race day – Hallelujah! I was on weather watch the entire week and up until Sunday morning, I truly believed I’d be racing 13.1 miles in the rain. I was worried about not being able to feel my fingers, but luckily, it only lightly sprinkled for maybe a mile and was dry the rest of the time. 🙂IMG_3531
  4. Seeing friends on the course – Seeing other runners yell out my name and me yelling out theirs is a favorite experience of mine. When I needed that extra push, two fellow BibRave Pros yelled out my name (Renee and Linda) and with a smile, I pushed on. I also saw other friends along the way and with each one that I saw, it pushed me to keep going.
  5. I finished! – LOL. Wasn’t that the goal? I finished with all my toenails intact (with the exception of the one I lost at the last half) and was able to hobble my way to the shuttle to get home. J I also got a nice pretty medal to go along with it.

Now that I’ve highlighted the positives, let’s quickly go through the negatives.

  1. The wind – Oh lord, the wind was so intense and it was pure headwind on the way back to the finish line.
  2. The course – This course is an out and back and despite a lot of it being along the beach, you don’t get a lot of different scenery. I think due to the poor weather, everything seemed rather gray, which is really unfortunate, because I remember liking this course the first time I ran it. IMG_3530
  3. My tummy – I’m not sure why, but my tummy has been under GI distress a lot more easily lately. It did not help that whatever water they were handing out at the aid stations did not agree with me. Thankfully I did not have to stop by a porta potty (Gross!), but I did have to walk a lot more than I had wanted due to stomach pain.

So there were definitely more positives than negatives so in the end, I did come out a winner. 🙂 Hooray!

Question for you: How was your weekend? Also, are you a fan of pHed water? I’m not, clearly by my reaction to it. LOL

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Racing in the Rain – My Irvine Half Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Irvine Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Hooray! Half marathon #23 is in the books and boy was it an interesting one. It was my first time racing in pouring rain and woo, was it fun! The aftermath was not. LOL

Going into the race, I had no idea there was a chance of rain. I mean, I live in Southern California. We get rain maybe 5-6 days out of the year. Apparently, this last weekend was one of those weeks.

Bib Pick-up: Bib pick up was easy peasy. The location was at a community park and was extremely easy to find. I picked up the bib, race shirt, checked out the Nuun booth, and was off to get some dinner and sleep for a 6 am wake up time. 🙂

The Race: The weather forecast mentioned 70% chance of rain at 8 am, but when I drove to the start line, there were no rain clouds in sight. In fact, it was just a beautiful morning by the lake…surrounded by lots and lots of high school kids.

A portion of the race proceeds goes back to the local high schools so it made sense that a lot of the participants would have been the high school students. Unfortunately, having so many high school kids surrounding me completely threw me off my game. LOL. My friend and I joked that we’d get smoked by these kids and I of course, being the competitive person that I am, didn’t want that. So I, stupidly started out too fast at the start.

Below are my thoughts throughout the race. Feel free to laugh at them:

#1: Oh, what a beautiful morning. Man, this race is efficient. It’s 8 am and we’re off.

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#2: Hmm, there’s the 2 hour pacer. They’re going awfully fast, but I think I can swing that pace.

#3: Woohoo! I reached the 2 hour pacer. I wonder if I can catch the 1:50 pacer. Oo, I see the 1:50 pacer. Yoohoo!

#4: Wait! SLOW DOWN GIRL! A 8 min mile this early in the race is too fast.

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#5: Oh crap, my legs feel heavy. WHYYYYYY? Stupid me. Why did I think I could PR? I’m gassing out. Okay. The goal was to enjoy the process and try not to die. I guess I’ll try and do that. Oo, pretty course.

#6: Ack. I hate my allergies. I can’t breathe. I hope no one thinks it’s gross I spit on the course. I’m trying to not hit anyone.

#7: Wow, this race is really well organized. There are a bajillion turns, but there’s someone at every turn directing. Go race course organizers!

#8: UGH, don’t walk Mai. Don’t you do it. You know the moment you walk, you’re going to keep run walking and that slows you down a lot. Don’t do it.

#9: Okay, you’re almost at 6 miles. At 6 miles, take a little walk break.

#10: Hmm, I’m at 6 miles, but that’s not even at the halfway mark. God, I’m such a wimp. Let’s just hit the halfway mark and then you can walk.

#11: Okay, I’m at the half way mark now and I think I can keep running without walking. Maybe let’s try and get to 8 miles. oO, pretty river.

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#12: Well, I’m at 8 miles and I only have 5 miles left. Maybe I can run to 10 and then take a break?

#12: I guess if I only have a 5k left, I should just keep running.

#13: Oh what? It’s RAINING? Oh well, it’s just a light sprinkle. I’ll be fine.

#14: OH SHIT. IT’S RAINING HARD. I can’t see. So much water on my face. Is that sweat or rain? I can’t tell anymore. Wait, can I feel my fingers? Nope. Can’t feel my fingers. LOL. Wait, I see a photographer! Smile girl smile through the rain! There are free race photos! Smile til you can’t no more.

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#15: OMG, I SEE THE FINISH LINE. PUSHHHHHH!

Post Race

#16: THAT WAS AMAZING. I got my pretty medal and OH HEY FRIENDS! OH AND FOOD! YASS!!! POTATO CHIPS? HOORAY!

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#17: Crap, I am freezing. Oh, you’re going to give me a free shirt to keep me warm? Thanks Kona Brewing Co. You’re the best. Okay, get to the car. OH WHY WON’T IT STOP RAINING? LOL

Too long didn’t read? I started out too fast in the race, gassed out, then played mind games with myself to prevent myself from walking, and then froze to death when it started pouring. LOL

Truthfully, the race was extremely well organized and I really appreciated the atmosphere of a smaller race. And the rain was an interesting way to end the race. Too bad, it took me a few hours to actually warm back up and regain feeling in my toes and fingers.

Question for you: Have you ever raced in the rain before? How was it? 

 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Race Reports, Running

Aloha Honolulu…Marathon

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Honolulu Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Aloha! I have returned from my mini racecation in Honolulu and I come bearing stories of my adventures with the Honolulu marathon. 🙂 Let’s get right into it, shall we? Apologies in advance for the long recap.

I arrived in Honolulu with my boyfriend on a Friday afternoon after a 6 hour flight and was ready to stretch my legs. Luckily for me, I had to walk about a mile to get to the Hawaii Convention Center from my AirBnB so those legs were well stretched. 🙂 We arrived at the Convention Center, grabbed our bibs, bought some last minute gels I forgot to bring, and headed out.

The Expo

The expo itself is a bit different in that it caters to a LOT of Japanese people. If you weren’t aware, the Honolulu marathon is a destination race for many many Japanese tourists. They even have a specific registration link to use when signing up. There were signs in Japanese and lots of people at booths who spoke both Japanese and English. I’m also pretty sure I passed by a booth with only Japanese characters on them.  🙂

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Now fast forward to Sunday – Race Day

We missed both of our first alarms, but thankfully I set a second one and  we woke up to that one. I had never scrambled out of my house so quickly for a race before. We were out of our AirBnB in maybe 20 minutes or less and past me was smart enough to stay close to the start line so we made it to the race with 15 minutes to spare. Like Disney races, the Honolulu marathon releases the runners with an amazing fireworks display.

Fun fact: They accompanied the fireworks display with the song “Firework” by Katy Perry. 

With the release of the fireworks, I was off. My boyfriend and I had planned to stay together until at least mile 8 where the first big hill hits, but within 0.6 miles, he knew we were at different paces and told me to go on without him and that he’d be meet me at the finish line. After some more encouragement from him, I left and was making my way through the 26.2 miles.

Fact: The Honolulu marathon does not stagger their corrals. When they start to release the corrals, it is one big wave of runners crossing the start line. They also are not very strict about people lining up in the correct corrals, which means if you’re faster, make sure to be as close to the front as possible. 

I did weave a bit at the beginning to pass the slower runners, but I also did not want to expend unnecessary energy and bided my time until the course cleared up a bit.

Fun Fact: It did not clear up significantly until mile 4. LOL

For the first few miles, we ran through Downtown Honolulu and saw a lot of Christmas decor. At mile 4, we ended up looping back near the start line and made our way into Waikiki. At mile 5, I saw Team BibRave and Aftershokz cheering us on and that squad kickstarted all of the feelings. LOL

Interesting fact: I normally do not have people cheering me on with the exception of a few races so when I see people I know cheering me on, I get really excited and happy. 

At mile 7, we start making our way around the base of Diamond Head and at mile 8, we make it up our first hill. From mile 7 to mile 10, we experienced crazy headwind. It made for a very unique and fun experience as I had never raced during such windy conditions and for a few brief moments, I really thought I’d fly away. LOL. At mile 12 or 13, I saw the first of many BibRave runners making their way back towards the finish line.

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Fun Fact: From mile 11 to 15, you can see runners coming back as they make their way from mile 18 to 21.5. I was able to see the first place male and female runners this way.

With each BibRave runner I saw, the happier I got. 🙂 Everyone appeared so strong and happy on the course that it gave me boosts of energy to keep going. At mile 15, I encountered my first sponge dipped in ice water and was over the moon. LOL. There had been warnings of runners getting heat stroke and I was adamant about staying cool even if that meant walking through every aid station and getting water.

At mile 17, I heard someone yell “BIBRAVE” from behind me and I turned around to see a total stranger smiling at me. LOL. I had no idea who he was at the time, but he turned out to be affiliated with BibRave and was just happy to be chatting with someone. 🙂 Unfortunately, at that point, my energy was waning a bit and we parted when I stopped to take a few photos. I did pick up a bit of speed when I saw my boyfriend near mile 19 (He was near 14). 🙂

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I don’t know when I developed a blister on the bottom of my foot, but I did realize it at mile 19 and knew that the last set of miles were going to be painful. I knew that my cheer squad would be at mile 20 so I walked for parts of mile 19 and made sure to look strong as I passed them at mile 20. Yes, there is power in a cheer squad. Never let them see you falter. LOL I kid.

For the next 5 miles, I hit the struggle bus. The sun had started to come out and mile 20-25 were a gradual incline that never seemed to end. There were even Taiko drummers there to keep us going. Luckily, the last mile and a half was primarily  downhill and I ran through the pain and ran it as fast as I could to finish with a time of 4:35:38.

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Post-Race Festivities

Crossing that finish line felt like winning a million bucks. Okay, maybe not a million, but maybe $1,000. Haha. I grabbed my checked bag with my Oofos sandals and sat down to massage my legs and switch out of my shoes. I then grabbed my finisher’s shirt and a Portuguese fried donut (Malasada) to munch on and waited for my boyfriend to finish.

Interesting Fact: Gear check is actually done the day before the marathon. This allows for less stress the morning of. 

He finished in a little over 6 hours and we both headed out of the marathon quickly to avoid traffic and to nap ASAP. 🙂

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How was my experience overall? 

I had a wonderful time running the race and although, there were some dark moments (mile 20-25), there were also a lot of wonderful memories that I will always have now. 🙂 I highly recommend running this race if you ever get the chance. Now to patiently await for my results on Athlinks to show up so I can can claim them. 😛

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running

Overly Ambitious – My Wonder Woman 10k Race Report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the DC Wonder Woman Race Series as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Marathon training has taken a toll on my body, which is expected. I typically get fatigued after multiple 16+ mile long runs and this was right around the same time I got fatigued while training for the Chicago marathon.

Last week, I logged 27.5 miles out of my expected 38 miles. I logged 15 miles Tuesday through Thursday and rested Friday and Saturday, hoping my legs would be rested enough for the 10k. Spoiler alert: They weren’t. My PR attempt was simply just that. An attempt. Mentally, I set out to PR, but physically, my body had called it quits.

Below is my race report.

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Packet Pick up – Easy peasy. Drove down to SDCCU stadium, parked for free, and grabbed my bib with no wait. In addition to the race entry, the registration also came with a Wonder Woman racing tee, two Wonder Woman sweat cuffs, and a tote bag. The expo was small, but it was also packed with photo opportunities. If you love taking selfies, this is probably the race to do it at. 🙂 Side note: They also have FREE RACE PHOTOS.

Race day – Since this race was more of a fun run, this race started at 9 am. This was very bad for me as I run very warm. I do well in very cold weather and just get destroyed when the sun comes out. 😦 I got to the race about an hour early and was able to park very easily for free at the stadium. Almost everyone was dressed up as Wonder Woman and there was even an occasional Batman or two.IMG_1843

I even saw a mom who dressed up her four kids as various super heroes. Her cape read Super “Exhausted” Mom. 🙂IMG_1132

The course itself is not a very scenic route as it’s only a 5k/10k. We ran around the stadium and out for a bit and there were two out and backs for the 10k. The course is not flat and actually had a surprising amount of hills considering how short the course was. My biggest mistake, as always, was starting out too fast. I was ready to PR and starting running too fast and gassed out a mile in. My calves started cramping, the bottom of my feet started tingling, and I started getting shin splints. I started run walking about 1.5 mile in and the experience was all very humbling. I have run marathons and yet, even a 10k can still destroy my self confidence. At mile 3 and 4, I had to stop to stretch because my calves wouldn’t loosen up. At mile 4, I ended up needing Race Guards to spray BioFreeze and thankfully that helped and I was able to speed up a bit at mile 5 and 6. Both the 5kers and 10ker finish inside the stadium where you take a lap around stadium before crossing the finish line. Honestly, this would have been much more awesome had they differentiated the two distances. I had to weave in and out to avoid running into the 5kers who were walking towards the finish line.

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Post – race party: I do have to give it to the organizers of the race. They definitely know how to throw a fun run post race party. They gave out donuts, ice cream, and bananas and of course, had a really fun band playing in the festival. And of course, everyone had to retake their photos with their medals. 🙂

I finished the race in 57:01, which I of course added it to my Athlinks profile.  It is not one of my best times, but I’m still happy with it. I finished and got myself a nice shiny medal and some really nice race photos. 🙂 Next up will be Honolulu on Dec 9th. OMG, I can’t believe it’s in 3 weeks!

Question for you: Have you ever had a humbling race? If so, which one and why?

If you’re interested in running the Wonder Woman race series, there is still a virtual run going on from now until the end of November. Use code “WWBIBRAVE” for 10% off. You’ll get the swag and the medal sent to you so you and friends can run and complete it on your own time. 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Training

Running on Tired Legs – The Secret to a Course PR at the RNR Vegas Half

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the RockNRoll Vegas Half as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

I don’t want to bore you with another Marathon Monday training post so today, I will be forgoing it and just share with you all my Rock N Roll Vegas half experience.

Just know that I have been struggling with keeping up with the mileage as it’s been increasing. My legs have been a bit fatigued with 10+ mile long runs, but I know this fatigue is pretty normal and it’ll better prepare me for the full in a few short weeks. The target this past week was 20 miles during the week with a 20 mile long run totaling 40 miles. I was able to get in 16 miles during the week and a 19.3 mile long run totaling 35.3 miles. I was short 4.7 miles, but considering that *SPOILER ALERT* I beat my course PR on the Rock N Roll Vegas Half, I’ll still call it a win.

And with that, my race report of the Rock N Roll Vegas Half.

Health and Fitness Expo – Rock N Roll expos are large. If you’ve never been to one, be prepared. There a TON of vendors so choose wisely when deciding what to purchase or else you’ll rock around having dropped $100+. Bib pick up was extremely easy. I took a Lyft from the airport and was at the Convention Center in 15 minutes and then picked up my bib with no wait time.

I had a lot of fun talking to vendor reps that I had met at other running events. I’d like to give a shout out to the reps at the Oofos, HoneyStinger, and ProCompression booths for keeping me company as I waited 4 hours for my friend to arrive so I could check into my hotel. LOL.

Race Day (Pre-race) – Preparing for a night race is always tricky. Things to take into consideration:

Meals: Last year, I made the mistake of eating too early (10 am) and by the time I finished the race, I was starving and was grabbing anything the volunteers would give me to stuff my face with. This year, I tried to eat lunch a little later (12:30 pm) and hoped that whatever I ate would digest quick enough and not give me GI distress during the course (like during my Chicago marathon. Sigh). Fortunately, it worked, but I might have also upchucked a LITTLE bit of food during the course so I guess I will need to refine this a bit more. LOL.

Time on your feet: Time on your feet should be minimized for a night race. Knowing that, I still went out and ran 6 miles in the morning because I had a scheduled 20 mile long run for marathon training. LOL. In my defense, I did run much slower and tried to take it as easy as I could. After the run, I went back to the hotel and rested until it was time to get lunch and get to the start line. Even at the start line, I sat down and tried to rest and since I beat my course PR, I’d say it paid off.

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If you must go for a run on the Vegas strip, go at 7:30 am. Very few people are out.

Hydration: Holy moly is Vegas dry. I come from a fairly humid city so being in Vegas completely shriveled me up no matter how much water I drank (and I only drank water; no alcohol was involved). If you are going to run in the desert, drink up. It may be cool, but your body will thank you.

Gear Check: It’s a night race. It’s going to be COLD when you finish. You won’t feel it when you cross the finish line, but give it 10-15 minutes. You will feel it. So packing a jacket is a must.

Race Day (Actual race) – All day, I had been debating whether to race it or treat it like a training run. Since I ran 6 miles in the morning, I was worried that I’d hit a wall at mile 7. So I told myself to take it easy and run by feel. And crazily enough, I actually felt fine. I hadn’t raced a half since June so I was stoked be around other runners and was ready to cross that start line.

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At the start line

As soon as they sent off my corral, I took off. The course itself is fairly flat with a few minor ups and downs and you hardly notice them as the Vegas strip lights are pretty mesmerizing. I had seen them the night before, but running through the strip was another type of experience and you can bet I took it all in. The air was also cool and refreshing as I started to heat up. I hit my groove at mile 4 and at mile 5, I saw some BibRave peeps, which fueled me for another few miles.

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Before heading into our corrals

The bands and DJs that were set up along the course also really helped my energy levels. I would hear a Bruno Mars song and I’d just start dancing, which gave me more energy to run faster. LOL I also really like Bruno Mars. LOL. At mile 12, I was losing momentum. The dry winds combined with the sweat stung my face and I was struggling. Then, I ran into fellow blogger, Jim, and with some encouraging words, we pushed each other towards the finish line. (Hi Jim!!!).

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Immediately after crossing the finish – holy smokes, we’re sweaty

Honestly, I crossed that finish line feeling like a million bucks. I finished strong despite having run a total of 19.3 miles that day AND I beat my course PR. So maybe the secret is constantly running on tired legs?!?!

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My Shiny New Medal

Official time was 1:54:45 and now I’m just waiting impatiently to claim my results on Athlinks. LOL

Honolulu baby, I’m coming for you!

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Catching up with BibRave Founders: Tim and Jessica!

Question for you: Have you ever felt like a million bucks crossing a finish line? If so, which race was it at and why?