Encinitas Half Marathon 2019 Recap

This is the second time we have run the Encinitas Half.  I decided to sign Sean & I up in early February.

We enjoyed last years race but this year they made a few changes including running the course backwards and eliminating the crazy steep hill that we went up and down last year.

Sean had to do trail work on the Saturday before the race for AC100 so I went up to Carlsbad, did a fun silent Orange Theory workout with the Carlsbad Lululemon.  It was a blast! I had so much fun.

Afterwards I headed over to pick up our packets.  They moved the packet pick-up to a new location, a community center.  There was definitely more parking so that was nice but I personally preferred the outdoor expo we went to last year.  There were maybe a half dozen vendors? Nothing that interested me so I just grabbed our bibs & swag.  They allow you to pick up for other runners with their bib number & a photo of their ID.

You could also pick up your packet on race morning but they charge you an extra $20 for that so, we didn’t do that.

Sean didn’t get home until pretty late on Saturday night so we got our gear out & then headed to bed.

The next morning we got up pretty early because the race started at 7:30a and we had at least a 45 min drive.  We started up to the race and hit a dead stop on the freeway about 10 minutes later.  Not a good sign but fortunately it cleared up pretty quickly & we were on our way again.

We got up to the race area & headed to the dirt lot we parked in last year.  There was a car in front of us that decided to turn around after starting up so I got out of the car and guided Sean up around the rutted areas & my little Prius C made it ;).  It’s been in quite a few tricky spots over the years lol.

Behind us was our friend Jonathan so we chatted with him and his wife for a while before heading over to the start.  It was a little chilly out but we didn’t know if they were doing drop bags or not so we didn’t want to run with extra stuff if there weren’t drop bags.

We got over to the port-a-potties, which was a bit of a cluster, but we managed to get in pretty quickly and then realized that Sean forgot his bib because I had it on my side of the car.  So I walked back to get it for him.

By this time it was time to get into our corrals.  It was a bit more disorganized than I remember from last year.  With both the 5k & 1/2 marathon starting around the same time there were a lot of runners hanging out.  I tried to make my way to what I thought was the 2nd wave, but there were no wave signs just pace groups which seemed to help a little but it was really crowded.  I jumped in and just stayed put.

They started the National Anthem but it was really low so there were a lot of people talking.  Then they started the runners off! The first wave went and since they didn’t have anyone separating the waves, people just kept moving until finally one of the announcers, Rudy, started yelling no more runners, no more runners just Team Hoyt! It was crazy!  I was still a bit of a way back from the front so I was just chilling.

We finally got started and it was quite crowded, in fact the whole race felt a lot more crowded than I remembered from last year.  But I settled in and just ran.  I was enjoying the beautiful views, this course runs next to the ocean for a good portion of the course.  We cheered on the lead runners, I watched for friends and cheered them on.  It was a beautiful day and it started getting hot pretty quickly.

I just took it pretty easy and did my best to keep running up and down the hills, I took a few walk breaks but not many.

I finally got up the final hill and on to the final out and back.  It went up by Sean’s uncle’s house so even thought I didn’t think he would be around, I looked for him ;).  I saw a fellow radrabbit, one of my fellow run Arete teammates, Jonathan & then Sean.  Another friend saw me & I waved back.

I hit the turn around and headed back to the finish.  As we were running back, I see a guy bend down and stop to pick a poppy from the median, I yelled don’t pick the poppies but it was too late, he had headphones in and didn’t hear me.  Not cool dude, not cool.

We ran under the Encinitas sign and then headed to the finish.  I was getting kind of hungry by this point so I just tried to get in as quick as I could.  I heard Sean call my name and then it was over!

Half marathon 56 complete! I think I did about 2:08 which was 2 minutes faster than San Diego Half so that was a good thing.  I felt tired but good the majority of the race.

After the race I ate a half of a banana, got a bottle or box of water & we had a kombucha sample before we headed back to the car.

The medal was pretty, although I thought it was interesting that it seemed like the 5k got the same size medal.

We didn’t stick around for any of the post race activities this year, we headed to Plant Power for lunch and then on to The Carlsbad Flower Fields to check them out.

I liked the reverse course, but honestly it didn’t really matter to me, I just liked that we didn’t have to run up/down the super steep hill.

I did feel like the course was a lot tighter this year though, people seemed to be a lot closer together on the course and the turn-arounds were quite tight.

All in all, it’s a beautiful course & depending on our schedule I’d probably run it again.

Do you run races that you don’t have to travel for?

MarchRunAllTheRaces: Encinitas Half Marathon

I know, I haven’t blogged in forever! I keep thinking, I’m going to do better but then I get distracted and then it’s been way to long and I feel like I’ve missed my chance :).  I am going to try to do better & at least get my race recaps up.

After being sick most of February and missing out on my big race, Black Canyon 100k, Sean & I decided to pile on all the races for March.  I saw a 20% off code from Lululemon San Diego YAY! and we signed up the week of the race.

We went up to Moonlight State Beach to pick up our packets the day before, there was an option to pick up your packet day of, but it was an additional $15 per person.  They really made sure you were aware of this fee, it was on the website & then put it front & center in every email notice that went out.

Race swag was decent with a nice tech shirt, a bag full of Beanitos, a Kashi bar, a Larabar, Bare Republic sunscreen & a travel size bottle of Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Soap.  The next day we would also get a coffee mug.

We did a quick shake-out run, had a late lunch/early dinner at Veggie Grille with our favorite Pressed Juicery Freezes for dessert & then just headed home to chill.

The race was about 35 minutes from our house and the race started at 7:30a so I think we left the house just after 6am.  We managed to get to a great parking spot, were able to chill for a bit before walking over to the start.

It was cold out when we were getting ready to start and I wasn’t really thinking, I should have taken off my long sleeve or worn my arm sleeves instead but alas I did not.

We got over to the start line, after a surprisingly quick wait for the porta potties.  It was a little confusing at first because they had start on both sides of the banner so it wasn’t clear which side you were supposed to be on until they finally announced that we needed to be on the other side.

The course was interesting, we went down a pretty steep hill right after the start and then we headed down towards Leucadia on Hwy 101.  It nice and flat.  I felt like I was struggling from the get-go.  My nose was running and I just didn’t feel like I could breath right.  I just decided to relax and not worry about any time goals.  After having been sick for a good portion of February, I didn’t really run much so that might have been part of my issue, along with the fact that I probably still had a touch of the cough/cold going on.

We did a turn around at mile 2 and headed back towards the start line – as we headed up a steep hill, I took off my long sleeve and kept chugging along.

Around mile 5 we headed towards the water, I saw a booth with Otter Pops so I grabbed one, I love otter pops at ultras! Ok, so it wasn’t quite warm enough to merit a Popsicle but they are always nice!  But, and this cracked me up, they forgot to open them!  So it took me a few moments to get mine open.

The best part about this race is the view during this stretch.  We had 7ish miles of ocean views.  There were a few minor hills but nothing like Carlsbad.

Since it was an out and back, I spent the time looking for Sean & some of my other friends.  That took my mind off the fact that I couldn’t walk on the flat areas 😉 and that my nose was still dripping like crazy.

I finally got to the second turn around at mile 9ish, at Solana Beach.  I remember some of the shops from the time we had run with a few friends from Fletcher Cove.

As I was heading into mile 12, one of my running buddies from the #run619 group said Hi as he passed me.  And like all these races, there are always hills at the end of the race, lol.   After getting up that last hill, I ran into fellow Altra & OM ambassador Steve who was working as a race guard at the race.  He got this photo of us while I was heading into the last .1 of the race.

I finally saw the finish line and tried to move as fast as I could, my legs felt dead but I was almost there!  I honestly didn’t check my watch at all after about mile 3 so I had no idea what my time was.  Even though I didn’t feel amazing, I managed a 2:04 and change.  For me this is actually quite good.  And I did all but 2 miles under 10mins/mi.

Paces were 8:51, 8:42, 8:58, 9:15, 9:46 (I took off my long sleeve during this mile), 9:35, 9:01, 9:36, 10:09, 9:15, 9:55, 10:03, 9:48.

I got my medal, saw my friend Jenn, got some water, they had that Boxed Water, got a few texts from Sean congratulating me, grabbed my coffee cup and a packet of Barney butter almond butter and headed out to meet Sean.

We got a few photos before heading back to the car so I could change and we could get breakfast.  We went to the super yummy Eve Encinitas, a vegan place I’d been wanting to try.

Overall, even though my body didn’t cooperate fully, I really enjoyed this race and would go back.  I liked this race more than Carlsbad ;).

Pros: Good race swag, beautiful course, the run-through photo booth

Now for the cons: Photos took forever to be finished, over a week, and they are expensive! The run-through photo booth photos, they told me when I ran through they would be at the finish line, but they were in the beer garden/post party.  I didn’t have my ID with me so I couldn’t get mine, they did put it up on line, but it would have been nice to get it at the finish line.  I guess all my cons are related to photos, haha.