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? ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

 

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Posted in Running, Thoughts

Ready or not, here I come

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. It’s that time again. Time for me to run the Rock N Roll San Diego Half, the first half I’ve ever run, for the 4th time. LOL. You would think that I would be bored of it by now, but honestly I’m not. It’s a wonderfully run race and a LOT of locals run it. I even have friends who have moved away are coming back to run it too. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m super excited to meet up with everyone at the expos on Saturday and at the race itself so if you see me, please don’t be shy. Come and say hi. ๐Ÿ™‚

That being said, I’m also a bit worried that I’ll I won’t finish the half. My plantar was feeling a bit better a few weeks ago where the pain was minimal. I obviously took that as a sign to start running 20+ miles a week and bam, the pain came back annoyingly. It’s really my fault though. The moment I had a few good runs, I felt like I was a puppy who was just released from its cage. I wanted to run free and wild and uhh, my body had other plans.

I was hoping I’d be in better shape by this point, but truth is, I’m not. I have good runs and I have bad runs and unfortunately, this year happens to consist of more bad than good ones. I have high hopes that it won’t always be like this as it’s only been two months, but honestly, two months where I can’t just go out and run every day is getting to me.

It hasn’t been all bad though. I’ve resumed playing Pokemon Go when I do run to distract me from the fact that I can’t run far. I run a bit, stop to catch a pokemon, and continue on. It puts less stress on my legs by breaking the mileage apart and although my endurance has suffered a bit, I’m at least able to find joy in playing an offshoot of a game I really loved as a child. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, because of Pokemon Go, I’ve been able to take it easy and just enjoy the sights. I even stopped mid run to eat some ice cream. I then resumed my run. LOL.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that being injured as taught me to enjoy my runs in a different way so maybe this race will also be new experience. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wish me luck!

 

Posted in Running

Are you Team Commando or Team RunderWear?

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Women’s RunderWear hipsters 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!

A few weeks ago, Bibrave asked the BibRave Pros about whether they’d be interested in testing out some running underwear and I, of course, was intrigued. I’ll admit the concept of running underwear was a bit foreign to me. I definitely do wear undies when I run, but apparently half of the running population does not, which SHOCKED me. LOL.

Trust me when I say that when the BibRave Pros discussed our undie preferences, I was in disbelief that some of my closest friends do not typically wear undies when running. Seriously, it took me days to wrap my head around it. LOL. But after talking to a few of them about the reasons, I get it. What are those reasons? Well, let me tell you.

CHAFING – This is probably the main reason most runners will end up going commando. Many pairs of underwear have seams where they rub against the skin and I have experienced this first hand. The showers after my first few half marathons started with yelps because of the water hitting my lower back where I had chafing from the band or label of the underwear.

So some of you may ask, why just not wear undies at all? Many running shorts have an underliner so you could just go commando. Well, to those people, I say No! LOL. I personally prefer to change my undies daily rather than my running shorts. I love wearing my shorts for multiple runs throughout the week and if I go commando underneath my shorts, well let’s just say that ruins everything. ๐Ÿ™‚

RunderWear’s Solution to chafing? – No side seams and no labels on the undies so there’s no irritation and rubbing. The company is so confident about this that they have a chafe-free guarantee. They have a 28 day, no fuss guarantee. If they cause you to chafe, they’ll refund you. I’ve run in them for up to 8 miles in rain/humid weather and had no issues.

Restriction of movement – Depending on the type of underwear you wear, you can wear some are not the most comfortable and when running, you want the most free range of movement possible so many just go without it.

RunderWear’s Solution to restrictive fabric? – Runderwear has ergonomically designed their undies to move with your body. The fabric they use is very soft, breathable, and kind of reminds me of spandex, which allow me to move freely without feeling restrictive. I will mention that the hipsters do cover a lot more of my bottom than I’m used to, but I noticed that I don’t get wedgies with these, which is a bonus. Hah. I also forsee this as being a bonus in the winter time when it gets cold and the more coverage, the better.

If you’re interested in purchasing a pair for yourself, use code “BIBRAVE20” for 20% off your purchase. Valid only until May 30th, 2019. They have both men’s and women’s undergarments and also sell other performance wear. 

So tell me, are you team undies or team commando? 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

To Streak or Not to Streak…with BibRave

Disclaimer: I received an annual Strava Subscription and Strava merchandise 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!

To streak or not to streak, that is the question. ๐Ÿ™‚

Now what am I talking about, right? If you thought I was talking about anything other than a run/walk streak, get your mind out of the gutter. ๐Ÿ™‚

For 31 days, the BibRave group is run/walk streaking and we want you to join us on Strava. A run/walk streak consists of someone running or walking 1 mile a day for however many days. If you miss a day though, the streak starts over.

Back in 2016, I participated in a run streak held by Runner’s World. From Thanksgiving to New Years day, I had to run/walk 1 mile a day. I had so much fun with it that I kept it going for 120 days until I got too busy and too tired to run every day. LOL That being said, I’m pretty excited to try another run streak and lucky for me, it’s only for 31 days. I still have plantar fasciitis, but I’m still determined to try.

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I think it’ll a great way for me to start increasing my miles again. Even though it’s 1 mile a day, it’s still 1 more mile than I’d normally do during my rest days and that adds up.

If anyone is looking to start running or just get back into it, this is a great opportunity. There is no cost to it. Just sign up to Strava, join our group, and start logging those miles in. ๐Ÿ™‚

And I promise to give as many kudos as possible to get you all motivated. So how about it? Will you be joining me? Feel free to add me on Strava and I’ll add you back. ๐Ÿ™‚

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

Being a User…On Strava

Disclaimer: I received an annual Strava Subscription and Strava merchandise 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!

Let’s talk about Strava, shall we? ๐Ÿ™‚

When I first started seriously running, I wanted a way to track my stats. I’m a metrics kind of girl and I loved seeing how many miles I could put in and seeing if I could push my limits. Seeing the mileage increase from month to month made me happy.

I tried various running apps, but the one that stuck was Strava. I found its interface to be user friendly and the fact that it was a popular app in the running community made it more appealing to me. I know I know. I’m such a victim to FOMO. LOL.

But really though, I am such a fan of Strava.

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Challenges

Not only is it free to sign up, but you can also participate in challenges and this is my favorite part of it. A few years ago when I first started training for my first full marathon, New Balance was having this challenge on Strava. Run a negative split in a marathon, track it in Strava, and get a free pair of New Balance shoes. A dream come true, right? It was my first real Strava challenge and I did end up completing it.

Clubs

Ever since then, I’ve been hooked. I also really enjoy being part of clubs where you can check your mileage with others and compete with one another. I did this for a while when I was using Hanson’s marathon method and was logging in 40-50 miles a week. Strava fed into my competitiveness. After all, if you didn’t log it, did it really count? LOL. If you want to join the Bibrave club, click here to join.

Kudos

Strava is just a great way to communicate with the running/swimming/cycling community. Facebook has likes. Strava has kudos. Who doesn’t like validation, right?

Ease of Use

When I first started running, I didn’t have a GPS watch to track my runs. So I took my phone on my runs. I opened the app, hit the record button, and started running. When I finished, I’d hit finish and the run was automatically uploaded. And you can choose to post it publicly or you can keep it private. If you do post it publicly, you can also prevent the app from mapping certain areas for safety reasons.

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My logged Hot Chocolate 15k Race

The Last Mile

Strava’s latest promotion is called The Last Mile and it’s kind of cool. Just by joining the challenge, you’ll get a 30 day free trial of their Summit, which unlocks extra features to help you train. And if you run a half or full and your last mile split is faster than any other mile in the race, they’ll donate $10 to one of the countryโ€™s leading youth running charities. Isn’t that cool? Getting a free trial with extra perks and if you work hard enough, you can get them to donate $10 to a youth running charity. ๐Ÿ™‚

So that’s Strava in a nutshell. Now my question to you is if you use Strava, what do you like most about it? Also, add me and I’ll add you back! And if you don’t use it, what app do you use if any and why? I’m always on the lookout for cool apps. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

 

 

Posted in Running, Training

It’s Race Weekend and my Goal is to NOT have a DNS/DNF

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Hot Chocolate 15k – San Diego 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 knew there’d come a time where I’d be injured and it’d be my fault and dun dun DUN, that time is now. I’ve had this pain at the bottom of my heel for several weeks now and honesty, I had been in denial about it for so long. I knew I was getting injured. I mean, getting out of bed first thing in the morning and still having to walk on the ball of your left foot is NOT a good sign. LOL.

So here I am on Friday morning, wondering if I’ll be able to finish the Hot Chocolate 15k on Sunday.

I think that I will. I’ve always been the optimistic type when it comes to running. I’ve been resting most of the week with the exception of a Monday and Wednesday run. And instead of running on Tuesday, I swam. ๐Ÿ™‚

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My first swim of the year

I’ve practically been living in my Oofos all day long and I even got an indoor pair since it was still painful to walk around my house barefoot. Yes friends, my heel pain is real. -_- After talking to some people, they think it’s caused by not stretching. Surprise surprise. So for the past two weeks, I’ve been stretching pre-run, post-run, and even on days I don’t run. I’ve been foam rolling and even used those crazy Hypervolts that are $350 a pop. (I didn’t buy the Hypervolt. I borrowed someone’s).

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Chasing the sunset since we have more daylight now 

I have a very short shakeout run (maybe 2-3 miles) on Saturday and then I’m off to pick up my bib. Then, it’s more foam rolling and stretching the rest of the day. I am determined to finish even if it means walking a chunk of the course. Do not fret though. If the pain becomes unbearable, I will not be finishing it. I’m going to play it smart…at least as smart as I can. Wish me luck!

Question for you: Have any of you had a DNF or DNS? When did you know it was time to throw in the towel? 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! – I’m Signed up for Grandma’s Marathon

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Grandma’s 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.

Yep! You read that right. I am officially signed up for my 5th marathon and it’s going to a fun one! (I mean, aren’t all marathons fun?)

Come Saturday, June 22nd, I’ll be racing through the scenic Duluth, Minnesota at Grandma’s Marathon. Now, you may ask, why Grandma’s? Ever since I made my announcement on other social media platforms, I’ve gotten a mixed bag of reactions. Those who have run it have nothing but good things to say about it. Those who have never heard of it have asked, WHY? LOL So I guess I’m here let you know why I’m running it and why I think it’s going to be an awesome race.

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The Reasons Why

  1. FOMO – Yes, FOMO was a huge reason why I decided to run this race. I heard about it in a podcast and everyone I spoke to about it had again nothing but good things to say about it soooo when BibRave partnered up with them again this year, I was ready to register in a heartbeat. What can I say? I’m easily convinced. That and I’m starting to make my way through races in different states. If I keep going and maybe pick up my pace a little bit, MAYBE I can do a race in every state. I’ve already done California, Nevada, New York, Illinois, Florida, and Hawaii. Why not add Minnesota to the list? ๐Ÿ™‚
  2. Scenery/course – The course itself is a point to point and I have heard that it’s beautiful. You get to run right along Lake Superior so you are guaranteed to have great views of the lake. When I ran Big Sur last year, I was mesmerized by the ocean and it was a running joke that my neck would hurt from looking in that direction the entire time. ๐Ÿ™‚  I also just like point to point courses because I get to explore more of the city.facebook-image
  3. Support – This race, despite being in a small city, has a BIG race feel to it. This will actually the smallest marathon I’ve ever run, with a mere 9,000 runners, but I heard that the entire town comes out to cheer the runners on. Runners are treated like celebrities during this marathon and I do like feeling popular. LOL.I kid I kid. Sort of. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am not going to lie. I am SUPER NERVOUS about this next training cycle. I had every intention to try and shoot for a personal record as this course is fairly flat, but because last month’s runs and races didn’t really go all too well, I’m not sure I want to attempt it. I don’t think I gave my body enough time to recover from the last marathon and now I’m paying the price with sluggish runs and plantar fascitis. Boo. Thankfully, I don’t have any races coming up until the end of March so I am doing my best to run smart and not over do it. Then, come March 2nd, when my official training starts, I will decided what my goal for this race will be.

Question for you: What are your favorite type of races? Big ones? Small ones? Themed ones? 

Also, if you want to join me on this crazy marathon adventure, use code “BIBRAVE10” for $10 off Grandma’s registration. ๐Ÿ™‚