I started this post over a month ago and kept forgetting to finish it. LOL. Oops. But now that I’ve graduated (Hooray!), I will have a little more time to talk to you about some of my upcoming races. I only have a few left for the year with the big one being the Chicago marathon, of course. After Chicago, I will have two Rock N’ Roll races, both of which I’ve never run before so it’ll be pretty exciting.
The first Rock ‘N’ Roll (RnR) race will be RnR Los Angeles, which this post will focus on. (The other race will be RnR Vegas and I’ll post about that later). I’ve been to LA more times than I can count, but I’ve never really explored the city by foot so this will be a fun one to run. It’ll be nice to actually NOT be stuck in traffic for hours. LOL. The Rock ‘N’ Roll race series know how to organize a great race. My first half marathon was one of theirs in San Diego. It was so much fun that I have gone on to run 16 more half marathons since then.
In addition to looking forward to running by all the sights, I’m looking forward to exploring their Health and Fitness expos. I know it sounds weird, but I just LOVE meandering through aisles and looking at things. I don’t necessarily buy any of it, but it’s just so interesting to see what different products there are out there. Also, the energy is contagious. There are a lot of first time half marathoners and you can just tell how excited they are when they hold up their bib for their photo opp. RnR Health and Fitness Expos are probably one of the largest out there and I could probably spend a few hours there.
This particular race is Halloween themed so there are a lot of people who dress up for this race. The Cosplayer in me in still figuring out what to wear for the race. I’ve never dressed up for a race before so I have to figure out what I’m comfortable running in. I do not want to be chafing all 13.1 miles. That would just be brutal. I’m thinking Velma from Scooby Doo or maybe even Tigger.
Discount: If you want to run Rock N Roll LA, you can use the code “BIBRAVE15” to save $15 off the half marathon registration. This code is valid until 10/22/17 when online registration closes.
Question for you: Have you ever dressed up for a race? Is there any advice you could give me on picking a costume that will NOT chafe? I’ve seen a bunch of people wear tutus, but someone mentioned that it’s not very comfortable. Any advice is highly appreciated!
Disclaimer: I received an entry into America’s Finest City half to review 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.
Happy Friday everyone! The America’s Finest City half was my 6th and 17th half marathon and I can confidently say that I’ve improved – by 18 minutes. 🙂 Yay! Now, let’s get down to how everything went down the weekend of the half. 🙂
Went on a Saturday to the hotel where packet pick-up was being held. There were no hiccups along the way and I got my race bib and technical tee and was in and out of there pretty quickly. The expo was medium sized and would have been a great place to pick up any last minute fuel items for the race. I even bought a 26.2 sticker for my car. 🙂
I had been feeling ill the past week and had been waking up really congested so I made sure to sleep as much as possible the night before the race. I ended up with 7.5 hours. Hooray! Woke up at 4 am still pretty congested and got to Balboa Park by 4:30 am and shuttled over to Cabrillo National Monument where the start line was. This race only allows you to park at the finish line because it’s a point to point race and for safety and security reasons, no one is allowed to park at the start. I then waited for about an hour and a half for the race to start. LOL. Luckily, I met up and chatted with several of my running friends to pass the time. 🙂 It was also COMPLETE OVERCAST and was perfect running weather. Hooray!
I was still sick and didn’t want to stress out my body even more so I stayed true to my promise to take it easy. After crossing the start line, you immediate run down a hill and run past the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, a cemetery that is dedicated to veterans. The first 2.5 miles had rolling hills, which weren’t that great for my not warmed up legs, but I managed. We headed into neighborhoods and were greeted with people cheering and shots of whiskey. LOL. We then headed towards the bay and ran along the bay from mile 4 to 10. This was really a scenic route – one that is much more different than the San Diego Rock N’ Roll half that I ran earlier this year. At mile 8, my lower back started hurting and I had to slow down my pace by quite a bit. By mile 9, I was mentally drained. I didn’t want to start walking because I knew once I started, I’d be more likely to walk again later on so I just pushed on. At mile 10, we started entering downtown and at mile 11, something amazing happened. People were handing out mini sliders! I took one and munched on it as I made my way towards the 6th avenue hill, which everyone pretty much hates. LOL. It’s probably a 150 ft increase in elevation and just destroys runners because it’s so late in the half. The mini sliders must have given me magical powers or something because I powered through that hill. I also grabbed half an otter pop that someone was handing out and munched on it. It was great. I normally don’t eat during halfs, but these were what I needed to get my head back in the game. At mile 12.5, we entered Balboa Park, which is this beautiful HUGE park that has museums, a botanical garden, and even street performers on the weekends. With about a half mile to go, I sprinted again. LOL. I don’t know what it is, but something about finishing strong is really invigorating.
They funneled the runners and gave everyone a paper bag with SO MANY GOODIES inside.
I was definitely a happy camper. I grabbed my medal and headed over to the finish line festival. There were huge lines to take the infamous Triple Crown photo. The organizers had even brought in single sofa chairs and royalty paraphernalia for Triple Crown finishers to take pictures with. I didn’t even do the challenge and I wanted to take a photo with the props. LOL. They also had a live band with a lot of 80s themed music since that was the theme. Heading out of the parking lot was probably the only thing I didn’t really like about the race. Since so many people were leaving and finishers were crossing the streets, it took a solid 15 minutes to get out of the parking lot.
This race was a lot more scenic than I remember it being. Two years ago, it was hot and humid and that’s all I could remember. This year, running by the bay was breathtaking and I thoroughly enjoyed all the yummy goodies they passed out along the route (sans the alcohol; I’m not crazy LOL). I took it easy and don’t regret it. I’ll try and do the Triple Crown challenge again next year. I really want that photo opp.
I should be focusing on preparing for my defense, but I just couldn’t wait to tell you all about my race experience at SeaWheeze in Vancouver. It could be all the endorphins running through me, but I have to say this was one of the best half marathons I’ve ever run and I’ve run quite a few in the past three years. Apologies in advance for the length of this post and all the LOLs in it. I had a fantastic time and I can’t contain my love for this race.
First off – Package Pick up at the Expo
SeaWheeze is a little different from most races in that you don’t actually wear a bib when you race. So what exactly did I pick up? Well, I picked up a Lululemon cinch bag (which had a water bottle and Nuun tablets in it), my D-tag, and my Sunset Festival bracelet. I also got to exchange my Lululemon shorts at pick up. Hooray! At package pick up, you get to walk around their Runners Shop and of course, buy their merchandise. I am proud to say that I didn’t buy anything. Don’t get me wrong. I do like their clothes, but since I’m graduating soon with no current employment plans, I decided against splurging for a pair of $58 shorts. The urge to spend was great though and Lululemon knows how to market themselves for sure.
The expo had a lot going on. There were a lot of great photo opportunities (I took advantage of all of them LOL), 15 minute yoga classes and a few vendors (Flow, Vega, Clearly, Saje) to check out. I stopped by most of them, found out my stomach didn’t agree with the Flow water, and then headed out.
I easily took the bus from my Air BnB to Canada place, which by the way is home to the Olympic Cauldron from the 2010 Winter Games. It’s a really cool piece of artwork and I wish they had lit it while we were there. Anyway, I met up with fellow BibRave Pros (Jeannine, Amanda, and Bradley) and then headed to the start.
At this race, you self seed based on your expected finish time. Pacers, which they call Pace Beavers, were holding up their finish time so I made my way over to the 1:55 pacer and tried to stick with them as long as possible. I had never seen so many people in Lululemon wear in my life. LOL. As I waited to start, I saw this guy with two basketballs in his hands and a temporary “Doctor Dribble” tattoo on his back. Veterans of the race told me that he actually dribbles the entire course. I was impressed. At 7:05 am, the race started and I was on my way.
I, without a doubt, started out WAY TOO FAST. I had a really rough start. I was debating about whether to keep with the 1:55 pacer or just run my own race and ended up with the pacer. That was mistake #1. The pacers were consistently a minute faster than where I needed to be and I struggled to keep up with them. Also, there are A LOT of things going on during this race. Around mile 3, we were on a bridge and there were people on stationary bikes cycling. I believe they were from a spin studio and it was really motivating to see them cheering us on. I tried my best to take pictures, but I also didn’t want to get in anyone’s way when I slowed down to take those pictures. The first time I took out my camera, I dropped my bus pass and a runner almost collided into me. That was mistake #2. I ended up taking a quick pic and was on my way.
Then my shoelaces got untied and I had to step to the side to tie them – mistake #3. THEN, I found out that the water they were giving out at the aid stations, was the Flow water they served at the expo. I took water from one station and within minutes of drinking it, I felt ill – mistake #4. Like I said, I had a rough start to the race. To make sure I didn’t have to stop by a porta-potty, I ended up bypassing all the water stations and holy moly, I was super thirsty by the end of the race. I was so thirsty at the end of the race that I ended up paying $3 CAD for water at the convention center. Who does that??? LOL. I ended up losing the pacer around mile 6 and at mile 8, “Doctor Dribble” passes me by with his two basketballs and I’m just in shock. What a talented man. LOL.
Despite all the mishaps, I had a fantastic time along the route. There were so many things to see. The things I saw?
Drag queens with pom poms
People on stilts in animal costumes
People dressed in mermaid costumes sitting on the rocks waving at us
Rows of people spinning on their stationary bikes
People on row machines
People on paddle boards ringing their cowbells on the bay
Hippies giving out high fives
Firefighters and policemen/women sprinkling people with water
“Yoga. Run. Party” shrubbery
Just to name a few. 🙂 The neighborhood support was awesome. Also, a huge part of the route is along the seawall and honestly, running along that route made me want to be a Canadian. LOL. The city is just so beautiful and I was so happy I got to explore this city by running through it. I even stopped off to the side to take a picture of the Lion’s Gate bridge. (I have NEVER stopped running during a race to take a photo. It was that picturesque). Honestly, pictures do not do this race justice. With about a mile to go, I ended up pushing myself to sprint. Normally, I can’t sprint for very long, but this time around, I felt strong enough to put everything I had into that last mile. Hooray! Marathon training is paying off. 🙂
After crossing the finish line, I grabbed my shiny medal, a pair of Clearly sunglasses, my complimentary brunch, my Runner’s Reward from Saje (it contained a “Muscle Melt” lotion, a 6ml headache remedy, and 6ml analgesic remedy), found water, and waited for my friend to finish.
As part of SeaWheeze, all runners also get to attend their Sunset Festival, which in short, is a huge yoga party with musical headliners. It didn’t start until 4:30 pm so my friend and I got lunch and went back to our place to nap before heading back out. I’m not really into yoga, but I thought I’d attend anyway to see what it was about. At the festival, there were more shops for people to buy Lululemon gear. They make SOOOOO much money out of this race. I ran into a woman that said she had used up her mother’s day present, birthday present, and Christmas present for that year. LOL. Wow. There was an hour long yoga class followed by Young the Giant and Cold War Kids. I ended up leaving mid yoga class so I can’t really comment on the rest of the night, but it was a nice event to unwind at.
Honestly, the best part (for me) about the sunset festival was the fact that there were three people in t-rex costumes, two of which participated in yoga. LOL. Can you spot them in my pictures?
If this was too long to read, here’s the short version. I had a blast at SeaWheeze and I already want to try and run it again next year. I recommend EVERYONE to run this race. They’ve already set the date too! It’ll be September 22, 2018. 🙂 The registration date hasn’t been released yet, but if I hear about it, I’ll let you know too.
So have you run SeaWheeze before? Or are there any amazing races I should know about? I already want to do another racecation. LOL.
Okay, Vancouver isn’t too far from San Diego, but I’m still counting it. 🙂 This race popped up on my radar sometime last year and after looking into it, it made it onto my bucket list race list.
Why you ask?
Well, I’m going to be honest with you here. A large part of it was because I heard it was so difficult to get into and trust me, it was. On Nov, 16, 2016, thousands of yogis/runners descended down on the SeaWheeze registration site and made it crash. LOL. I was one of those thousands of people and within minutes of registration opening, I was greeted with a webpage that said “Tickets have been sold out.” My jaw dropped as it was literally MINUTES into registration. I immediately went to their facebook page and asked if tickets were actually sold out. Turns out, they hadn’t. There was a glitch or glitches in their system. People were getting their credit cards rejected (despite typing the number in correctly), getting kicked out of the waiting room, or just getting the sold out webpage. After what seemed like a hundred refreshes on my computer, I was able to secure a ticket. Whew. I know. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real.
Tip #1: If you get redirected to a sold out webpage, hit refresh about a hundred times. You might get lucky and get onto the registration page.
Other noteworthy things about the SeaWheeze race? Well, instead of the usual technical tee, you get a pair of Lululemon Seawheeze limited edition running shorts to train in over spring/summer. That’s right. They mail it to you.
Tip #2 Make sure to select the appropriate size of shorts when registering for the race. I chose the incorrect ones and they wouldn’t change the size even though I emailed them minutes after confirming my ticket. I have to wait until the expo to change out the size. Lame.
The post-race festival is one huge yoga party. Makes sense, right? SeaWheeze is organized by Lululemon afterall. What better way to celebrate than with stretching those weary muscles. I’m not a huge yoga person so this will be an interesting event to attend. This year, their headliner is Young the Giant with guests Cold War Kids. I’m not going to lie. I have no idea who these people are, but I’m set on having a good time anyway.
Oh and you know how most races will reveal their medals months in advance? Yeah, not SeaWheeze. You see your medal at the finish line. Hopefully it’s a good one this year. Last year’s was gorgeous.
Anyway, I have my lodging and flights booked, but have done no other planning. 😦 Planning is usually my favorite part, but because I’ve been so swamped with grad school, I haven’t had a chance to look into things.
So here’s where I need your help. Have you been to Vancouver and if you have, do you have any suggestions for things to do or places to eat at? I will only be there for a few days (2 full days) so time is limited so your top notch places to hit up would be much appreciated. Thank you in advance! 🙂
Disclaimer: I received an entry into the San Diego – Craft Classic 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 did it. I ran another summer half marathon after swearing not to. LOL. And to be honest, my 15th half marathon wasn’t half bad. Here’s how my race weekend went.
Packet Pick-up: The packet pick-up was held at Road Runner Sports on Friday and Saturday. I went on Friday afternoon and packet pick up was a breeze. There was no issue with parking because Road Runner Sports has a pretty big parking lot. Yay! Also, you don’t have to pay for parking. Amazing, right? I hate having to pay just pick something up. With registration, you get your race bib, a nice “On a Beer Run” shirt, and a shiny Craft Classic pint glass. I ran into a few people from the running community that I knew, chatted with them for a bit, and was on my way.
Pre-race: I’m getting better at sleeping the night before races everyone. 🙂 I got in 7-8 hours and woke up feeling refreshed. Hooray! Left my house around 4 am and got to the parking lot by the finish line with no delay. There was no traffic, no waiting in a long line of cars, and no paying for parking. Double hooray! Their parking lot was big so I had no issues finding parking. 🙂 I parked, took the shuttle to the start line, and waited only about an hour before the race started. The hour flew by as I met up with more people from the running community. I cannot stress enough how much I love meeting new people that I follow/they follow me on IG. If you’re ever running the same race I am, please feel free to hit me up and say hi. 🙂
The Course: The race starts out on a bike path, which causes a huge bottleneck at the beginning. The path ran west along a freeway (route 56) before diverting south. For the most part, the first half of the race is downhill. At mile 8, you hit your first big hill. At mile 10, you hit the “king of the mountain,” which is of course a monstrous hill. At mile 12, it’s a glorious down hill run and at mile 12.5, you hit your last hill because honestly, the organizers of the race really wanted you to earn that beer. LOL.
My experience with the race: I wanted to finish around the 2 hour mark so I initiall stuck by the 2 hour pacers. Unfortunately with the initial bottleneck, I struggled to keep up with them. I rushed out too fast to catch up with them and ended up paying for it later around mile 10. (Tip: Don’t rush at the beginning. You won’t have enough energy for the end.) After the first mile, the path cleared up and I got into my groove. I was on pace until mile 9. I slowed down quite a bit knowing that THE hill was coming up. Unfortunately, due to my initial running burst, I was pretty mentally drained at that point. I saw the hill and said “F— it.” I walked up a chunk of the hill and tried to stay positive. I was able to jog up some of the hill, but I spent a lot of time just encouraging others up the hill. I also kept telling myself that I didn’t need to push hard for this race because the end game was to finish the Chicago marathon strong. I didn’t want to tire myself out too early in the training plan. At the top of the hill, a spectator told everyone that we’d love what’s around the corner and boy was he right. What goes up must come down, right? 🙂 I ran my legs off on that downhill only to see another hill near the finish line. LOL. I ended up walking a bit of that last hill, but pushed for it when I saw that I the gun time sign said 2:00:20. I had no idea how close I was to 2 hours so I sprinted for the finish line.
My official time? 2:00:01. LOL. I did say I wanted to run this race somewhere between 2:00 and 2:10. I got my wish. 😛
Post-race: I got my shiny new medal, met up with some more people, and headed to the beer garden. There was a Nuun hydration station, which I was super grateful for. I think I hit up that station three or four times to get electrolytes. 🙂 I stayed for the announcement of the overall winners who won their weight in beer (wow) and headed home. Overall, I had a great time and will probably do it again next year. I mean, I have to take another crack at “king of the mountain.” I’m all about redemption. 🙂
So what did you do this past weekend? Did you race or just have a chill weekend?
I just finished the San Diego Craft Classic and I already want to run another summer race. LOL. There are a few summer races left and I’m considering running America’s Finest City….again. I know. I know. I didn’t have the best AFC experience a few years ago, but I feel like it’s time to redeem myself. I also came up with my top five reasons for others to run it.
It’ll be their 40th anniversary so you know they’ll be pulling out all the stops for this special milestone. I don’t know about you, but I love anniversaries. I’m hoping for a really nice finisher’s medal. 🙂 They promised a custom “40th edition, dazzling finisher’s medal” so I’m pretty excited to see its reveal. It’s rumored to be a spinning disco ball medal. Yay!
This race is the last of the three races that you must complete for the Triple Crown. For those unfamiliar with the Triple Crown challenge, it’s a series of three races (Carlsbad half or full, La Jolla Half, and AFC half) that must be completed within the same calendar year. Once you complete it, you get bragging rights, a ton of photo opps, and a BIG Triple Crown Medal. I completed the series in 2015 and it’s an accomplishment I like bringing up from time to time. LOL. Even if you didn’t do the other two races, doing the AFC this year will prepare you for next year. 🙂
The neighborhood support is great. San Diego races are awesome. People wake up at the crack of dawn to cheer on friends and strangers alike. The volunteers and neighbors come out and bring their A game even in the summer. When I ran this race, I was having a tough time regulating my body temperature. It was hot and I wasn’t used to summer running. However, at mile 10, there was a volunteer group that grilled up mini sliders for all the runners. Can you believe that? They were grilling up food for us in the heat! If that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is.
The course is a pretty scenic point-to-point course. I love these types of courses. It’s the best way to see a city. 🙂 You start off at the historic Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, run by the Embarcadero along the bay into downtown, and finish in Balboa Park. If you’re a tourist, this is the best way to end a race. Balboa Park always has something going on during the weekends. There are yoga classes, museums, street performers, and beautiful gardens.
And this year, they’ve also included complimentary Ballast Point beer and Rubio’s chips, salsa, and guacamole in the finish line beer garden. Run for beer anyone?
If you’re interested in running a summer half marathon in San Diego (and I mean, who wouldn’t), you should definitely look into the AFC. You can also use the code “BIBRAVEAFC20” to save $20 off the registration for the half marathon. Even if you’re not ready for the half marathon, AFC also has a 5k option if you want to try part of the route. The half marathon and 5k are at $115 and $45, respectively, through July 19th so sign up before the price increase!
If you’re worried about the heat, think of it this way. Once you cross that finish line, every other half marathon will be a piece of cake. 🙂 Seriously.
Disclaimer: I received an entry into the San Diego – Craft Classic 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! We are exactly one week until the San Diego Craft Classic half marathon! And judging from this past weekend’s weather of 80°F, I’m going to say that it’s going to be a warm one. LOL. Damn. I will probably be checking the forecast all week long in hopes that the temperature goes down. Ack. Thankfully, the half marathon starts at 6:30 am and I’m hoping it won’t heat up too quickly. My fingers will be crossed. 🙂
Goal for this race: Training has been pretty consistent. I’ve maintained a weekly mileage of at least 21 miles a week for the past several months so I have a fairly strong base for the race. I think that this race’s goal will be to try and run the race somewhere between 2:00 and 2:10 though. I know I can run a sub 2 half, but I’ve decided on this goal for three reasons.
I don’t want to put myself at risk for heat stroke. I don’t fare too well in heat and humidity as indicated by my AFC race a few years ago. Preventing heat stroke will my main priority. If I feel myself overheating, I will definitely slow down or even start walking.
I will NOT be tapering this week. As wrong as it feels to not taper the week before a race, I’m trying to focus on the long game, which is to run the Chicago marathon with a sub 4 time. Hanson’s marathon method schedules me for 39 miles this week and I’m trying to stick to that as much as I can.
I need to continue marathon training. Again, this is my long game. I’m trying to treat this race as more of a training run. I will be running it a little harder than my easy runs because it is a race afterall, but I will try and pace myself so that I have enough energy to continue the runs for the upcoming week.
Things I’m looking forward to:
Medal – The medal is a BOTTLE OPENER! Sticking true to the theme of a beer run, the front of their medal is in the shape of a tap handle and the back is a bottle opener. I’m such a sucker for unique medals. 🙂
The hill at mile 10 to 11 – LOL. As crazy as it sounds, I am actually kind of excited to test my running skills on this hill. I just found out about this recently, but apparently there’s a massive hill and I want to see if my training has paid off. (I’m hoping it has).
Meeting up with friends – Some people I’ve been running my long runs with are signed up for this race so I’m excited to see some friendly faces among the crowd. 🙂
Finishing my 15th half marathon – Yep. I said it guys and gals. This will be my 15th half marathon. Yay! 🙂
If you haven’t signed up and want to sign up online, you can do so until Wednesday, July 12th. You can use the code BIBRAVEHALF for $10 off your half marathon entry fee or use code BIBRAVE5k for $5 off your 5k entry fee.
Question of the day: Have you run a summer race yet? How did it go?