The Road to 10: 10 wonderful miles!

After a week of catching up on “adulting”, I am finally getting around to recapping half marathon number 10: Rock N Roll San Diego 2016!

I flew into San Diego late Thursday night with the fam, where we checked into our room at the Hard Rock  Hotel. We got a room that looked right over the pool area which came in handy later in the trip! On Friday, I spent almost all day at the expo. A majority of the time I was helping out at the Sparkly Soul headband booth. Then I did some shopping! I heard that Brooks was offering VIP porto-potties at the race for anyone who purchased $150 worth of Brooks merchandise. I also saw 15% off shoes. Lately, my shoes have been DESTROYING my feet… I’ve lost two toenails recently. I talked with one of the shoe experts and discovered the shoes I had been wearing were a half-size too small. So I picked up a couple other items to meet the minimum for VIP porto potties and got some Brooks Adrenaline GTS 16 shoes… special London edition! I also converted to Pro Compression socks! IMG_5886

Friday night I hit up dinner with Briana (@matmilesmedals) and she introduced me to two more wonderful runners… Heather  (@sloluckyruns) and Ashley (@ratherberunnin). On the way to dinner, we took Briana’s daily Yoga pose photo. I always feel famous when I get to be on her Instagram page @matmilesmedals!

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Dinner was AMAZING! I shared a giant plate of food with Briana, which included some incredible sour cherry rice! I then headed back to the hotel and set out my flat runner! I was really feeling the neon green! And yes…those are my new shoes. I figured I would wear them for the 5k and see how they felt. I was contemplating what would be better for the half: small shoes that kill my toenails, or new shoes that I haven’t broken in yet. The 5k was going to be my test run.

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The whole family rocked the 5k! Thanks to Briana, we got a new sweaty family photo! I finished in 30:06…breaking 30 minutes is just so difficult! IMG_5884

On saturday, we ate some great food. I took lots of pictures of said food… Truffle parmesan popcorn…Jalapeno chicken and waffles…super delicious tomato stuff…lobster fettuchini…It was a good day!

We also wanted to lay by the pool, but Hard Rock had turned the pool area into a day club. It was CRAZY. We could see the whole thing from our room and I didn’t save any pictures of the ordeal because it was not G-rated. Basically, dancers in bikinis up on the tables and a pool area packed full of drunk people. At one point, a giant cardboard cut out of Justin Bieber’s face was on parade…Here is the pool area before the party started…

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Saturday night I put out my flat runner and watched the Team In Training pre-race dinner from our hotel window. I decided new shoes would be better than small shoes! Spoiler alert: it was a great choice! IMG_5910

Race morning, my mom and I had access to the Brooks VIP bathrooms, and they were SUPER nice and full of motivational writing on the mirrors. I just had to take a mirror selfie! IMG_5914

We headed to the corrals and took tons of selfies! Briana taught me this cool trick to take selfies before a race. Basically, all you need is headphones that have one of those buttons that changes songs. Then, if you have your headphones plugged in, pushing that button will take a picture! This was a life-changing morning for me! Rock N Roll also has snapchat filters now! I just had to use it on our selfie!

Now for the fun stuff…the race! For the first 3 miles, I was miserable. I was half asleep still, it was hot and humid, my calves were burning, and I never got a pre-race banana…basically, I was thinking “Let’s just beat that personal worst that I set in Nashville.” We were going to take a “run-walk” approach. Around mile 3, my mom and I picked up the pace! I don’t know if the Glukos gels kicked in or what, but we started booking it! The idea was that we would run a faster pace so that we could walk at least once per mile and maintain a decent pace. However, when it came time to walk, we didn’t really feel like walking! We just walked through water stations to get a drink and we were off again! Around mile 8, we finally split off and I was HAULING down the hills. I felt great, my calves felt great, and my lungs felt great. The perk of sea level is that my asthma doesn’t really bother me much at all! Around mile 5, my goal shifted to “I want to break 2:30 again today!” By mile 5, I was a little too far behind to try to break my 2:21 PR that I set in Denver back in October. I enjoyed the run and before I knew it, I was at the finish line! Let’s just take a look at these splits from my Garmin…they really show how the race was a complete roller coaster, but the last 10 miles felt way better than the first 3! I just like to stare at mile 12…mile 12 was a great mile! IMG_5948

After the race, I put on my Team Geico shirt to get my free massage! Here’s a pic of me with all my bling! I brought my Rock Trio medal from last year for photo purposes since the medal is the same this year. IMG_5941

I also went to my first ever #WeRunSocial meetup where we made mimosas with Suja Juice and champagne! I highly recommend it! Here’s a picture of the crew at the beginning thanks to #WeRunSocial and Pro Compression! I made so many new running friends!

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For the rest of our time in San Diego, we explored! We went to the Midway Museum, which is a FANTASTIC museum that allows you to see what life is like on a Navy ship. There’s also TONS of airplanes! As an engineer in aerospace, I LOVE AIRPLANES. I was so busy looking at everything, I only took one picture. Here’s some of the creepy mannequins performing surgery on a sick sailor. IMG_5960.JPG

Our last night in San Diego was my birthday eve! We went to the Melting Pot and it was delicious! We had a wonderful waiter who made it extra special for my birthday! He brought out a chocolate covered strawberry and drew a picture of me running on the plate with frosting!

I spent my birthday traveling back to Denver and recovering from half number 10! I hopped right back into my crazy life and the wonderful world of “independent adulting” and almost didn’t find time to write this post!

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