Race Recap: San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon 2016

Two weekends ago, Sean & I ran the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon & Half Marathon.  This was my 4th time running this race & Sean’s 5th.  If you would like to read my recaps from 2014 & 2015, click on the years.

AND…Rock n’Roll has a special place in our hearts because we met the day before the 2104 race.

This year though was a bit different in that Sean was going to run the San Diego 100 the two days before Rock n’ Roll.  We also were training with some of his co-workers for their first marathon.

So the lead-up to the race was a bit different than normal since we would be out in Julian/Lake Cuyamaca for the majority of the 2 days prior to the race.  As soon as we finished up at SD 100, I drove us back to San Diego, with a Jamba Juice pit stop and then on to the expo.

I dropped Sean off, paid $15 to park in the lot behind the convention center and then ran to meet him.  We got our bibs, saw our friend Adrian, realized that we needed to deal with parking, so we stood in line to buy parking & shuttle passes, and then I made him walk around the expo so we could collect as many goodies as possible.

Expo, San Diego Rock n Roll, RNRSD, Half Marathon, Marathon

Rock n’ Roll actually had a lot more swag in the bag this year than normal.  We got Kashi cereal, Smarty Pants Vitamins, Hidden Valley salad dressing and some laundry detergent in addition to our race shirts.

After the expo we headed home to shower and relax, we actually decided not to sleep until after dinner and so at 4pm we walked into Olive Garden for a tasty dinner before bed.  While Sean slept I got our bottles ready and did my flat Jenny photo.

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The next morning, we got up at 3:45am and were out the door by 4:20am, it’s a quick drive for us to downtown and we would just take the 94 straight to the parking lot.  It literally took less than 30 minutes and then we were on the shuttle to start.  I’m pretty sure we were at the start by 5am, which is probably a record for us.

Start Line, San Diego Rock n Roll, RNRSD, Half Marathon, Marathon

We always hit up the port-a-potties as soon as we get there because with 30,000 people the lines can get pretty long!  Then we ran into 2 of our training partners, Miguel & Kaela.  We, of course, had to snap a photo and then I needed to drop off my bag.

Trainees, Start Line, San Diego Rock n Roll, RNRSD, Half Marathon, Marathon

As per usual, Rock n’ Roll and UPS partner up for the race and we dropped my bag off.  I don’t typically put much in the bag, but I know that this race has a tendency to be very humid and I’m normally soaked by the end so I like to bring a change of clothes since I have to wait for Sean to finish the marathon.

Friends, San Diego Rock n Roll, RNRSD, Half Marathon, Marathon

We ran into Smitha & Jenn by gear check and then we ran into Brian, Michael & Andrea on the way to the starting area.  We were going to do some photos with my fellow ProCompression ambassadors a bit before the race.  We all wore the June sock of the month, the waves, to the race.

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we run social, procompression, waves, Start Line, San Diego Rock n Roll, RNRSD, Half Marathon, Marathon, keep it tight, socks

Sean was scheduled to be in corral 2, I was in corral 13 but since I was with all the other ambassadors, we all started together, I believe it was in corral 4.  It was fun being with a sea of waves lol.  I started out with them and then Kristin (StuftMama) took some photos out on the course.

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I was running with Megan for a while before I lost her at the first aid station.  After that I just plodded along.  I was feeling ok, but as we continued on, my head was getting hotter and hotter.  And it wasn’t hot necessarily, but very humid.  I started dumping water on my head at about mile 3 and when I saw someone with ice, I grabbed it, opened the bag and dumped it in my hat and down my shirt.

I have to say the that the first 6 miles when pretty quickly and I was surprised to see we were already at the relay exchange point.

Meb, San Diego Rock n Roll, RNRSD, Half Marathon, Marathon

The course was a bit different at the beginning than it has been for the last 2 years.  I’m not sure I liked it.  It was a lot hillier than either I or Sean remembered.

So I just continued on until we were finally at my favorite part, heading down Pershing towards the finish.  This I believe is mile 11, then there is a little climb at the start and end of mile 12 before we finish on a downhill.  Personally, I wasn’t super impressed by the course.  I have to say the SD Half course was a lot prettier even with the crazy Washington St climb, this course on the other hand was almost all through the city.

I made the last short climb and then we had a nice downhill to the finish.  I smiled for the camera and raised my hands for a cool finish photo and then I was done.  I think I finished around 2:12, which I was happy with.

I got my medal and all my snacks before heading down to the Finish Line Festival which was near the harbor.  It was kind of a walk and I desperately wanted my bag so I could get changed because I was soaked.  I think I asked a half a dozen people where to find the bags because it wasn’t marked anywhere.  I would have loved to have had signs telling me where things were.

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I finally got my bag, I had thrown Sean’s bag in there too so I could put my wet clothes in a different bag separate from all my snacks.

After changing, I checked my phone to see how Sean was doing and saw he had run a 1:53!! half marathon – almost 20 minutes faster than me even after a 100 miles the day before.  WOW!

By the time I made it back up to the finish I saw Michael & Andrea so I congratulated them & chatted for a few minutes before heading up to see Smitha & Jenn come cross.  By this point I saw that Sean had passed the 20 mile mark so after a few photos & cheering for Smitha I headed over to the marathon side of the street.  They had the finish lines split so that the marathoners and half marathoners were on different sides.

I hung out there for a bit maybe 35-40 minutes before I saw Sean’s pink shirt coming down the street.  He was right next to this other guy who was trying to race Sean lol so I didn’t get the best of photos.

And then he was done!!  I was so freaking proud of him for a sub 4 hour finish after a tough & hot 100 miler.  And surprisingly one of his friends, Chris, also ran both races and they finished pretty close together.

Post Race Photo

We walked down to the finish so Sean could get his marathon finisher jacket, a few free bottles of Suja and then lunch.  We were going to go over to the We Run Social event at the Hard Rock Hotel but we had to wait for the team to come in and by the time they had finished it was pretty late to walk over.

We made it up to the finish in time to see Chelsey finish, we chatted with her for a bit and then probably about 20 minutes later we saw Miguel & Kaela and a few minutes later Zibby came through too.  It was pretty exciting see them at the finish of their first marathon.  And it was interesting how differently they all felt afterwards :).

We met up with them for a few photos and then we headed home so we could rest and relax the rest of the day (it was already after 2pm and we still had to walk back to our car).

All in all, Rock n’ Roll SD is a great party and a fun time.  While I don’t love the course, I do think they do a great job of organizing this event.

Things they improved upon from last year: The shuttles & parking were sooooo much better.  I really liked the finish line festival down by the harbor, everything was together vs at Petco Park.


Running with Meb

I had the pleasure of being a part of the shake-out run with Meb Keflezighi this past weekend as part of the Suja Rock n Roll San Diego Marathon & Half Marathon weekend.  I had seen the shake-out run advertised, and since my birthday is coming up, I decided to give myself an early birthday gift & so I signed myself and my friend and running buddy, Pete up to Run with Meb.

This event took place on Saturday, May 31 at the San Diego Hall of Champions and would include the following: (from the RnR SD website)

  • 3 Mile Shakeout Run guided by Meb Keflezighi
  • All participants will receive a pair of CEP Progressive+ Run Sock 2.0, the same socks Meb won the 2014 Boston Marathon in. which run $60
  • Post Run, light Brunch
  • Limited Edition Run With Meb Bib
  • Photo Opportunity with Meb
  • Run With Meb Gift signed by Meb Keflezighi
  • Guest appearances from other participating Elite Athletes

I told Pete that we were going to do this and he was a “little” concerned about it being a super fast shake-out run, but I assured him it would be for all levels, they weren’t going to just limit the event to super fast runners – LOL.

Saturday morning, we started out with a semi-light breakfast in the morning, well, light for me, just an egg sandwich and some potatoes, around 7a.  The event started at 9:30a and I knew I’d be starving if I waited until after the run to eat so I needed something.

After breakfast we headed over to the Hall of Champions and arrived around 9a.  There was already a line to get the limited edition Run with Meb bibs, so we lined up too.  All in all, I believe there were about 150 or so people there.

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We got measured for our CEP Progressive+ Run Socks, there are both mens & womens sizing and then there are 3 sizes and multiple colors.  I normally wear ProCompression when I wear compression socks during runs, but I do have a different pair of CEP compression socks too.  I found them super compressive so I typically only wear them when I’m in recovery.  Meb wore these when he raced and won the Boston Marathon so we got the same style in white.  This was an awesome gift since they retail for $60.

I tried these new Progressive+ Run Socks out and they are amazing, padded sole and don’t feel nearly as tight as the other style I have.  I especially like the padding on the sole.  I still love ProCompression and they are my go-to socks, but these have been nice since the bottoms of my feet have really been bothering me.

After that, we headed over to some tables that they had set up and Alan Culpepper, the director of the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon & Half Marathon, but also a super accomplished runner, himself, came up to introduce Meb and a few other elites that were there.  He ran in the 2000 & 2004 Olympics, the later with Meb, when he won the Silver medal.

They introduced the other elite runners, including Alan Webb, who holds the American record in the mile, 3:46:91!! That’s 3 minutes 46.91 seconds!! For one mile!  Also introduced were Jeffrey Eggleston, who placed 8th at the 2014 Boston Marathon.  Tyler McCandless, a Newton Running Elite (I love Newton Running Shoes!!), and Andy Wacker, all three of them have run a 1:03 half marathon and train in Boulder, CO.

And then came the main event! Meb coming up and talking to us for a few minutes.  Check out my video of Meb talking with us on YouTube.


After this, we all headed out for the run.  By this time it was close to 10am and the sun was out, so we grabbed some water and headed out.

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Silly mid run selfie
Silly mid run selfie

I tried to start out kind of slow, we were going to be racing the next day after all and I had a big goal in mind, so I didn’t want to overdo it. I forgot to start my Garmin, so I only ended up tracking 2.84 miles but those were at a 8:54 pace.  I was towards the front of the group, and actually was running with/near Tyler McCandless for a while, he was talking to another runner.  It was a fun run, and great talking to lot of other people, I even met 2 ladies who live in the Phoenix area and are training for the San Francisco Marathon too (I’m just doing the first half).

I high-fived Meb post run, he finished a few minutes ahead of me and then post run, I had to do some downward facing dog, my calves were so stiff, I was a little concerned but we only ran 3ish miles and it normally takes me a bit to get loosened up.

Post Run photo - i don't look like i'd even been running do I? This is why I love Lululemon!!
Post Run photo – i don’t look like i’d even been running do I? This is why I love Lululemon!!

I was waiting for Pete to come in before heading in for a light brunch.  I knew he would be a little bit behind me, but I saw Meb run back to go find the slower runners.

I saw Daniel, who introduced himself to me earlier, he recognized me from my instagram account, how exciting! Lol! It’s the little things, right?  He was with his sister and he was going to be running the marathon on Sunday, his second.  He had done NYC last year as well as his first.

It's pretty cool how you can meet amazing like minded people via social media.
It’s pretty cool how you can meet amazing like minded people via social media.

Soon after this Pete came in and was a bit hot, so we headed in to get some food.  They had a nice little buffet with yogurt, granola and 3 types of breakfast burritos.  It wasn’t anything super special but it was decent.  By the time we had gotten inside most of the tables were taken and they were just about to start with some Q&A with the other elite runners.

Meb ran in with the last of the runners and then got ready to start signing.  They lined everyone up by the number on your bib so obviously being numbers 96/97 we had a bit of a wait, especially since they were grouping everyone in groups of 20.  Eventually it got to the point where they had to speed things up, the first 20 or so people got a lot more time to chat with Meb and have more things signed than we did.  I ended up having my bib signed and then got a photo with him.  It was kind of rushed so I don’t think it’s the best photo, but you can tell I was excited. One with just me & Meb & then the other with Pete added in.

Me & Meb Me, Pete & Meb

My autographed bib :) This will be framed and added to my collection
My autographed bib 🙂 This will be framed and added to my collection

After this, there was still a long line of people behind us so we ended up heading out.  All in all it was a good event.  The only thing I think that would have been better would have been if Meb could have done a little Q&A with us as well, but there were a lot of people and only one of him :).

Have you ever done an organized shake-out run before a race?