Posted in Running, Thoughts

4 days til SeaWheeze

In 4 days, I’ll be able to say the following two things:

1. I ran Lululemon’s SeaWheeze half marathon.

2. And I ran it in another country.

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.

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Lululemon shorts are so comfy, but why did these have to have eyes on them!?!?
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! 🙂 

 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

I ran for beer (San Diego’s Craft Classic race report)

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. 🙂 IMG_0922

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. 😛

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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. 🙂

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So what did you do this past weekend? Did you race or just have a chill weekend? 

 

Posted in Discount Codes, Running, Thoughts

Top 5 reasons to run America’s Finest City Half – Discount code included!

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.

  1. 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!
  2. 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. 🙂

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    Carlsbad, La Jolla, America’s Finest City (AFC), and my Triple Crown medal from 2015
  3. 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.
  4. 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.17309657_1627117090637954_1504000611218057106_n
  5. 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.

Posted in Running, Training

Go away summer heat – it’s almost time for the San Diego Craft Classic!

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. 🙂

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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. 🙂img_0835
  • 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? 

 

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Third time’s the charm – SD RnR race report 

Hey everyone! It’s been over a week and a half since I last ran the San Diego Rock N Roll half marathon and I’m happy to report that the overall experience was a success! I ran this course in under 2 hours, which was a dream of mine ever since the first time I ran it 3 years ago. 🙂 Without further adieu, my race report and some lessons I learned throughout the trip.

Health and Fitness Expo

Lesson #1: Take the trolley from a transit center to get to expo. It’s $2.50 one day and $5 for an all day pass. If you’re planning on going by trolley to get to the race, buy a 2 day pass for $9 and save yourself the hassle of downtown parking and high parking rates.

I easily got to the expo in Saturday afternoon by trolley, picked up my bib, changed my corral, and spent a few hours volunteering at the HoneyStinger booth. I’m one of their ambassadors and when they asked for volunteers to help man their booth, I jumped at the opportunity. For two hours, I cut up waffles and filled up bowls with whatever they were running low on (while also tasting their newest products). It really was a fun gig and I walked away with some free product as a thank you for volunteering. Whoo. Thanks HoneyStinger! I definitely have enough HoneyStinger fuel for my summer marathon training. 🙂

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My HoneyStinger score 🙂

 

While I was at the booth, a few people who I’ve interacted with online came to see me. I had told them I’d be volunteering and they actually dropped by. I was estatic and extremely appreciative they took their time to see me. I met the talented Briana from @MatMilesMedals (IG),

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Briana

crazy ultra runner Chelsea from TheDancingRunner, and fellow BibRave Pro Fallon from SlackerRunner.

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Chelsea and Fallon

After working my shift, I checked out a few other booths. While at the ProCompression booth, I saw other runners I followed on Instagram (Brian from PavementRunner – the organizer of the #WeRunSocial ornament exchange I took part in last year and CarleeMcDot – an incredible runner who I won a giveaway from last December). I definitely had a fangirl kind of moment.

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The WeRunSocial crew and I

I also made a stop by the SportHooks booth for an add-on medal rack, but was sad to find out they had run out. 😦 I’ll be sure to stop by at the Los Angeles Rock N Roll expo in October to get one then. I also met up with BibRavePro Emily from @AZSunGoddess (IG) and Fallon again later that day. 🙂 I had a wonderful time circling the expo. They have a lot of variety and entertainment and is still to this day one of my favorites.

 

 

 

Pre-race

Lesson #2 – This ties back to lesson #1. If you’re local, drive to Qualcomm stadium or one of the other trolley transit centers and take the trolley to downtown. From the stop, you have to walk about 10 minutes to the start line. Consider the walk a warm up. Taking the trolley will save you LOTS of stress, time, and money. Even if you’re not a local and you’re not in central downtown, do this option. It is by far the best way to get to the race. 

This year, the race had different start times depending on which corral you were in. I was in the first 10 corrals and was amongst one of the first few corrals released. I got there around 5:45 am, dropped off my stuff at gear check, made it into the #WeRunSocial picture, met Maria from @Running_notybaby (IG), and was off to race.

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Maria, Briana, Fallon, and I

Race time – 

Plan A – Beat my PR of 1:52:34

Plan B – Run a sub 2 hour half marathon

Plan C – Beat my course PR of 2:07:31

My plan for this race was to try and PR. I had done so well in the past few races I figured why not shoot for it. Unfortunately, I had pulled a hamstring the week before and was just going “wing it” during the race. Mile 1 went off just fine. I wasn’t as fast starting out, but I was in under the pace time. I saw some drag queens in Hillcrest that boosted my morale, but mile 2 to 6 was a struggle. Even the mile 4.5 bar that some neighbors set up wasn’t enough to pump up my energy levels. The humidity was high and by mile 5, I was already wishing it was over. It also didn’t help that I had been having lower back problems a few days before. By mile 6, I knew I wasn’t going to PR. I was still on track for Plan B and I also planned on trying out my new StimGear compression arm sleeves around mile 7 so I tried to remain positive. At mile 6.5, I activated the cooling packets from StimGear and within seconds, a rush of cold hit my wrists and began cooling me down. The packets were actually so cold that I tried pumping my arms faster so I’d warm back up. LOL. The effects wore out after 15 minutes and the rest of the race was kind of a blur. I was so focused on finishing in under the 2 hours that I didn’t enjoy the rest of the race. I did finish the half in 1:54:11, but I regret not slowing down even a bit to make the event more enjoyable.

Lessson #3: If race conditions aren’t favorable to PR, slow down and enjoy the experience. There’s course entertainment and lots of things to see along the route. Not every race is meant to be a PR. 

Post-race – 

After crossing that finish line, I grabbed my medal and all the food in sight. LOL. Unfortunately, the race AGAIN forgot to provide bags for us to carry all the food given out at the finish line. Don’t get me wrong. I am super grateful for all the goodies they gave us at the end, but a bag would have been nice to carry all the stuff in. I instead was dropping things left and right and had to sit down on the side of the curb and eat some things so I could carry the rest of it with fewer problems. LOL.

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At the finish line

 

I made my way to the festival, grabbed my gear bag, and sat down to eat the rest of the food I received. After a few minutes, I quickly got cold to the point where I started shaking.

Lesson #4: Bring a change of clothes or a jacket and put it in your gear check. 

Luckily, I had stashed a jacket with me in my bag and put it on. Had I brought a change of clothes, I think I would have recovered a bit better. I was soaked in my sweat and was shaking for a bit even after I put my jacket on. I planned on meeting up with more friends after the race, but because I was so cold and by myself, I decided to just head home. I have never appreciated a shower more. LOL.

Overall – The expo was amazing. I had a great time interacting with other runners and wish I had more money to go to more races and meet other people I’ve interacted with online. The race was a little lackluster, but I think that could have been due to the humid weather. Ew. The race entertainment could have been a bit more interesting, but I will say that the neighborhood support was wonderful. It was amazing to see people come out and support us with alcohol, water bottles, and other things. 🙂

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The center spins too

Woohoo. My 14th half marathon is done. Now onto my 15th next month. 🙂 Have you run a Rock N Roll race? Which one? How was your experience? 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Half #14 here I come

Yes, it’s that time again: the week leading up to a half marathon, the San Diego Rock N Roll Half marathon to be exact. I’m not going to lie; I’m pretty excited about it. I didn’t race at all this month and I’ve been missing the racing atmosphere terribly. Maybe that’s why I’ve been doing more social runs lately; so that I can be around people when I run. LOL. I’ll also be meeting some online bloggers for the first time so I’m pretty stoked about that too.

Anyway, today’s post is a bit of a ramble. I’ve been feeling more confident with running as the months go by. I’ve managed to maintain my average of 21 miles a week and this past weekend, I logged almost 24 miles! I also ran every day this week, not because I was obligated to, but because I genuinely wanted to. Every day this past week, I woke up wanting to run. I didn’t necessarily run in the morning, but the feeling was there. At night before I fell asleep, I thought about how many miles I could feasibly run the next day. It’s kind of crazy. I might be enthusiastic to run because I’ve been so stressed out about my pre-thesis committee meeting that I’m using running to keep my stress level in check.

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Running around
Or maybe it’s because I’ve run for 3 years now and running has now become a part of me. And you know what? I love it. I love talking to people about running (probably a little too much) and I love encouraging others to run. 🙂

Speaking of which, if you are visiting the health and fitness expo on Saturday, let me know! I’ll be volunteering at the HoneyStinger booth from 1 – 3 pm and we’re giving out free samples. 🙂 Come say hi! 

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My personal HoneyStinger collection – can you tell I love them? 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

The Running Community

Apologies for such sporadic posts. I’m in the midst of writing my manuscript and preparing for my pre-thesis defense committee meeting and my blogging has dropped in priority.  I did set out a resolution to write at least one post a week so here’s my post for the week. 🙂

I wanted to write a little bit about the running community. During the past few months, I’ve met these fantastic runners and I just wanted to share three things I’ve learned about runners.

Runners are extremely supportive. I don’t think I’ve ever met a more supportive bunch of people. Every runner I’ve met online or in person has always encouraged me to pursue my run goals. They get excited hearing about them and push me to keep going even when I’m feeling discouraged after a bad run. Also, if you didn’t know, most runners will stop and help out a fellow runner in need (See examples A and B).

Runners are social creatures. Ever do 10+ miles alone? It’s not fun. Runners, for the most part, thrive when running with other runners. There’s some type of camaraderie that’s formed during a run. I’ve done a few social long runs and I can definitely say that there is a difference in the run. I go to these runs alone and always find it refreshing when other runners strike up a conversation with me during the run. Even if we’re not speaking, the fact that they’re there with me running the same course makes it better somehow. Speaking of which, if you are in San Diego and need a long run buddy, let me know! I have to start training for the Chicago marathon soon and running in the summer for 13+ miles is going to be brutal alone. 


Runners are just amazing people. Maybe I’m just meeting the right people, but every runner I’ve met has been awesome. Maybe it’s the endorphins? Last weekend, I met a runner who asked me if I took a minute out of each day to appreciate the fact that I was living in San Diego. He was just so grateful to be living here and it definitely made me take a step back and appreciate how lucky I was. 🙂 That same weekend, I met another runner who was completely supportive of my goal to run a sub 4 marathon. Yikes! Did I just write that – a sub 4 marathon? Ack. Anyway, she started giving me tips and was super excited about the goal. I told her I was concerned about running long runs alone this summer and she immediately asked her friend if he could tell me about social run groups in San Diego. Because of that connection, I found out about a lot of SD run groups and am hoping to check each of them out. 🙂 

So there you have it – a few things I’ve learned about the running community. What have you learned? Care to share?