Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rock and Roll San Diego Half Marathon Race Report!

There are many reasons to run a race: You may have a twisted obsession with splashing Gatorade on yourself, or might love any excuse to pee in the woods, or you MAY even enjoy the thrill of pushing yourself to the limits of your body.  But, no matter the reason, everyone has a reason.

On Sunday, I ran the Rock and Roll San Diego Half Marathon with my little sister, Christine.  It was her first half marathon and her first race longer than a 5K.  She ran as part of Team in Training and raised thousands of dollars to go towards cancer research in memory of our late grandmother.  On Sunday, my reason for running was to help my sister complete a months long goal.

Time: 2:34:26
Pace: 11:47
Place:  10438 out of 17152
AG Place: 752 out of 930 (Male 25-29)
Average Heart Rate: 140 bpm
Time Lost in the Port o Pot: None!! (I went before)

We flew to San Diego on Friday and, even though the race wasn’t until Sunday, went to the expo later that day. No matter the race, I am a ball of constipated nerves until I have race bib in hand. That, and I LOVE expos. Seriously. Love them like a boy band loves hair mousse. I could go to the expo each day it was open and still spend 90 minutes wondering around looking at all of the booths.

Since it was a Rock and Roll, the expo was huge. While Christine had quickly toured the Rock and Roll Denver expo, I told her that San Diego would be much bigger (like, Dolly Parton Hair Big (what were you thinking?)).

Based on the scared look on her face, I'm pretty sure that Christine is trying to get away from someone
While I am being tripped by the finisher tape 

Much like seeing a train wreck, words escape me to explain this

As promised, I wondered up and down the expo isles looking for free samples of anything that looked remotely edible.  For example, there was a booth with a big gallon jug full of "egg whites" complete with 80s weight lifter types complete with 70s style mustaches.  I did NOT take their samples.  I did however try everything else that helps you run faster that you've come to expect from a huge expo: Snickers Marathon energy bars, GU samples, baby whale tears, muscle milk, magic green leprechaun tights, and wine.  Oh yes, there was wine.

Mmmm, liquid gold.
After a few of these, I was feeling good enough to kick Meb in the junk and try to run away

Oh what the hell, I might as well stop at the other wine booth too

Of course, not all booths are made for my taste buds or my man bits.  BUT, that doesn't mean that I couldn't play along with the fun.  Afterall, I like to think of myself as a pretty cosmopolitan guy.  I drink Lemon Drop Martinis. (Seriously) I watch the Real Housewives of Orange County (Also seriously).

My legs go all the way up (to an even whiter tan line)
The best part? Not even a look of confusion from anyone as I took this picture.

As is usually the case, there were a few elite athletes at the expo that were signing autographs.  The winner of the Half marathon, Meb Keflezighi was there as well as the runner up to the Boston Marathon, Desi Davila.  I talked to her for a bit, but the guy before me had a video camera and was all in her face TMZ style so I decided to keep my bit short and sweet - just like Desi.  Seriously, she was 5'0 and 90 pounds soaking wet:

My final stop at the expo was the MGD 64 tent.  I had seen people walking around with FULL MGD 64 bottles and wanted to get in on some of that action.  They were $3, and I am cheap, so I passed.  However, and I'm sure somewhere Jamoosh has a headache because of it, there were people lined THIRTY deep to buy beer MGD 64.  Crazy

Once I was all hopped up on baby whale tears GU and red wine, I headed over to the Pacific Beach Ale House and met up with The Manly Runner - also known as Chris K.  We chatted about all things running as well as a few things not running - like running blogs and running podcasts.

Is the girl behind us laughing at Chris or me?  
I'd like to think that she is laughing WITH us and not AT our sweet tender embrace when we met

Soon Chris K and I said our manly goodbyes (hugs followed by the little hand-heart thing the kids are doing) and before I knew it, it was 4:00am - race time!

After a short cab ride to the start, I met up with Christine who had already been there for over an hour.  I guess that the Team in Training people got used to very little sleep while raising all of their money because they had team pictures at 3:45am. IN THE MORNING!!! Far too early to do anything - let alone smile. Fortunately for everyone, after a quick stop to the port a potty, we were both awake enough to at least pretend to smile.

At the start - all smiles!

As we lined up in Coral 30, I think Christine really got a sense for how big the race was.  Each coral went off every 2 min or so which meant that after "go" we still had 40 or 50 min to kill before our race started.  I tried to make small talk with her, but Christine seemed to be pretty much "in the zone". That, or my small talk skills were still waking up. But, either way, before we both  knew it we were off!!

Mile 1 - 3:  Holy sh*t, there are a lot of runners!
The first 3 miles were great.  It was still cool, there was lots of shade, and the number of booty short clad girls was much higher than hairy old men - all was right with the world.  We broke free of the starting line "traffic" (when people under estimated their finishing time) within the first mile or so and really started hitting a groove - pushing out 10:30 min miles the entire way stopping for a 1 min walk break each mile.

Mile 3-6: Downhill, but leaning a little to the right. (That's what she said)
Once we broke free of Balboa park, we started to run on a 4 lane divided hi-way.  While this section of the course was almost all downhill, the camber (tilt) of the road really bothered me.  This was probably my only complaint about the course (and I think I had the same complaint last year).  The tilt of the road didn't bother my IT band too much, but I based on the people stretching on the side, some must have had issues.  I could tell that my sister was starting to slow down, but the downhill was providing some nice artificial speed. That is until....

At mile 8 - Purple shirts were everywhere!

Mile 6-10: In races, what goes down, must crawl back up
Once our legs were sufficiently thrashed by the downhill tilted road, we were greeted by a mile long uphill.  This effectively took the wind out of our sails and ground (grind-ed?) us to a 1 min run, 1 min walk strategy.  My sister was battling through some upper back issues that caused some intense pain that needed to be stretched out.  The best part?  The sun.  I had anticipated a bit of June Gloom clouds but only received glorious skin burning sun.  Regrettably, I also didn't put on any of my Scape sunscreen so as I sit here and type this my nose is already peeling.  Miles 6 through 10 were the hardest by far.

Mile 10, I think the sun was getting to our brains

Mile 10-13: The home stretch
Once we hit the 10 mile mark, I noticed a pick up in my sisters step.  Not that she had more energy, but the simple drive to "get it over with" was pushing her towards the finish.  Either way, I was proud of her for digging deep and finding another gear to get her to the finish line.  We continued a 3 min run, 1 min walk (approx) through the last few miles and even ended up running the last 3/4 of a mile non stopped to ensure a strong finish.

Racing towards the finish with less than half a mile left to go!

After the finish, we grabbed some water and Christine and I tried to catch our breath after the mad dash to the finish.  While I do not know if it was set up any differently at all, the layout of the finisher area seemed to be a bit better than last year.  As we sat and soaked up even more sun in the finishers area, I asked my sister if she had fun.  The response was as quick as it was honest after a long hard fought race:  "Sure.  I guess".

Finally, since this was really her race, I'm going to have Christine provide her perspective on how things went in the days to come.  The thoughts from a first time half marathoner - who had to spend 2:34 next to me.  Stay tuned for that!

Finishers! Sadly, because of all of the sun, my face is now the same color as my shirt


Nobel4Lit said...

Aww, that's cute that you ran together! Cool medal!!

RunningLaur said...

Desi makes you look like a GIANT

Jennjustruns said...

I HATED the "slanty" road too! My left foot started aching during that stretch and I NEVER have foot issues. I was going to try to find you at Corral 30 to meet you in person (in my world, you're a celebrity!), but I was a victim of the porta potty line from hell. I had to go. Partly because I REALLY had to go, partly because it's just part of my routine and I don't like change.

Runners Fuel said...

Congrats to both of you for finishing and opuching til the end!

mikemilzz said...

Way to go Adam. Nice job helping your sister and THANK YOU for helping her support Team In Training!

I totally know what you mean about that uphill stretch on the freeway. That killed me last year and totally wiped me out for the last half of the race.

Good luck on your next race!

Jamoosh said...

I have no beer comment for you. None. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

BTW, the blog has moved back. Blogger/Google have some internal crap going on that affects the redirect.

Anne said...

You sure know how to write a race report! Congrats to your sis on her half-marathon in that crazy heat! How sweet of you to be there to support her...and drink with her :)

giraffy said...

Desi looks precious. I want one.

A ginormous THANK YOU to you and your sister; LLS has been a fab resource for me, and it wouldn't be possible without the support of TNT runners.

And congrats to her on her first half!

Courtney @ I CAN DO THIS said...

Love the recap.
PS: The MGD was $1 when I was there.

Evolving Through Running said...

Looks like a great weekend all around. Beers with Korn and running with family - hard to beat. Congrats to your sister on finishing her first Half.

Brian said...

Congrats to both of you! Nice medal and thanks for a good, funny recap.

Baby whale tears! So that's the secret!

pthomas said...

Tell your sis congrats on her first half! Great race report! Believe me, you made the right choice skipping the $3 MGD. I've had MGD 64 in the finishing area of the CA Intl Marathon and it literally tastes like Miller Lite with water in it.

misszippy said...

You are a good big brother to run it with her! Sad you didn't buy a skirt and wear it, but that's ok. Meeting Chris K. must have made the weekend complete!

Chris K said...

Looks like I can cross off one of the highest items on my Bucket List; meeting THE Boring Runner.

Adam, you forgot to mention that we also talked about our innermost feelings and deepest fears.

Al's CL Reviews said...

Ew on the MGD 64.

That's awesome you ran with your sister.

And WTF were you doing in that picture?

Lesley @ racingitoff.com said...

It was nice meeting you for a whole 15 seconds in the lobby. And that slant killed my IT bands. Ouch.

Congrats to you and sis, but disappointed you didn't try on a skirt at the skirt bar.

Rose @ Eat, Drink, and Be Meiri said...

The slopping really got to me in SD last year, too. They need to work on a different route.

Huge congrats to your sister!

runningwithoutborders said...

That is SO FREAKING GREAT that you ran with your sister to help her reach that goal. Kudos to you both!

And you got to meet Meb and Desi?

Color me green.

Kovas said...

Aaah, familial love, running together with your earphones on. Not to belittle you Adam, but Chris needs to get out more if meeting you is on his Bucket List.

Madison said...

Seems like you were much more excited about this race than she was..lol. That's okay, that's how I am when I get people to run with me. I'm always the one that says things like "this is going to be fun" and they are like "yeah I guess". Haha. Your sister did awesome. Love that Elvis photo. Is that even an Elvis photo?

The Green Girl said...

Loved this. So great that you sister not only trained for a race but she did it for such a good cause.

SupermomE12 said...

Looks like a blast and how fun you got to run with your sister.

And I love Meb! I am running on his charity team for the NYC Marathon. Great job!

Quix said...

That is seriously awesomesauce. Congrats to your sis for completing her first half, and you rock for sharing it with her. :)

Alisa said...

$3 for expensive beer flavored water? What a rip off!

Way to be a good bro and run with your sister. I don't think I could pay my brother enough to run with me!

XLMIC said...

I am so sad you didn't try on a skirt for the blog :( Even after all that wine...

You are a good brother :) And so awesome for your sister to run with TNT... and complete that half :)

Kiesha said...

Yep, any excuse to pee in the woods for sure. ;)

funderson said...

Aw..you and Chris are so cute..
Way to go Boring Sister!!

Psyche said...

Congrats, Boring Siblings!!!
Yes...More peeing in the woods!!

Run Jess Run said...

Such a good big bro! You guys must have similar personalities b/c some of those photos cracked me up!

The Laminator said...

Congrats to you and lil sis! How awesome is that to be able to share your love of running with a love one. I ran a marathon with my lil bro (his first) just last week so I know exactly hpw you're feeling :)

Awesome job and a great race report :)

Adrienne said...

Way to go Christine! And what a nice brother for you to run with her on her first half marathon. Good stuff.

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

I've never seen wine at an expo before, then again, I've never ran a marathon in California before either.

Speaking of wine, that's about the only thing missing from your romantic photo with Chris K. I kid, but it would be awesome to meet both of you one day.

Shelly said...

Thank you for being a great role model for your sister and helping her achieve her goal! Kudos to you both.

chandy said...

The freeway part of the course kind of reminded me of the Autopia ride at Disneyland...at least that's how I managed to distract myself from the superelevation.

Congrats to your sister on an awesome first half marathon!

(I'm a new-ish reader and a first time commenter...I enjoy reading your blog and I live in Phoenix too!)

Lucas R. Tucker said...

I'm glad your sister doesn't have your looks.

The Banter said...

I'm confused. You reported that your finishing time was 2:34:26 but the picture of you and your sister tripping over the tape was just under 5 hours. What gives?

Dash said...

Love the pictures and the commentary. The expo sounds awesome and the race even better. congratulations to your sister, that is AWESOME!

Aron said...

I LOVE that you guys ran together!!!! What an awesome brother you are :) I personally hated that race though :-/ The medal looks pretty awesome! Big congrats to your sister for finishing her first distance event!

Whitney said...

What a great big brother you are! Congrats to your sister!

Kathy said...

Your sister is really pretty! I did my first half marathon last Sunday and my hips were KILLING me the last 6km and a good day afterwards! Hope your sister is feeling better by now. I think yesterday was the first day my quads weren't screaming. I did 9:1 (run/walk) and I think that saved me (allowed me to finish)

Congratulations to your sister!!

Her Name Is Rio said...

A big congrats to your sister on her 1st half! Glad you guys had a great time!

kilax said...

I love that you ran this race with your sister! Too cool! I guess my brothers want to get in to running. I think that would be awesome. Although, they will probably be naturally faster than me and piss me off.

And way cool that you got to meet Desi!

Jill said...

Bummer!! I didn't know you were there, I ran the race also!