June 2, 2015

Rock 'n Roll San Diego 5k Race Recap

This past weekend was the Rock 'n Roll San Diego weekend. I ended up not only doing the half marathon, but the inaugural 5k the day before as well.  If you did the 5k on Saturday, and then either the half or full marathon on Sunday, they called that the Remix Challenge and you got a special medal at the end for completing both.  The 5k was a special add-on for me. I had registered for the half marathon, to use as a training run for Vineman 70.3, which is in July.  My son, D, wanted to do the 5k, so I signed him up for that.  Soon after, I thought maybe I should do it, too. I NEVER run two days in a row (it's usually too much for my body and its perpetual injuries) but I figured a 5k should be ok. I talked it over with my friend and coach, Steve, and he thought it was a good idea. In fact, he wanted me to run the 5k, then bike 90 minutes, in order to go into the half marathon on tired legs.  He wants me running on tired legs to simulate running the half marathon at the end of the half-Ironman.

The kink in all these plans was that I was sick all last week. Monday (Memorial Day) I was sick as a dog and in bed all day.  I think I accidentally ate something with meat in it. It was awful and I was miserable.  In addition to the nausea and vomiting I was experiencing, I also got a migraine. I was just as sick on Tuesday.  Wednesday through Friday I was much, much better, although not great.  From Monday through Friday, I only did one workout, which was a slow 30 minute run. No other runs. No swims. No bike rides. I was going into this weekend feeling a bit weak and not at all ready.

The day before, I headed to the expo to get our packets. I got there soon after it opened, as I wanted time to walk around but needed to get my kids from school.  $15 parking later (!!!!) I was in the convention center. I was excited to see my picture on the Runner Guy poster!  They had had a scavenger hunt contest earlier in the year, looking for photos of specific things. One of the items was "a Texan in San Diego". I submitted a picture of myself running the Rock 'n Roll San Diego Half Marathon from 2012, a race in which I wore my Texas running bra and Texas headband.  I won,  and my picture was in the collage.

pointing to my picture

there's me, at the bottom!

Once I got my bibs and shirts, I was free to wander around.  This is a pretty large expo, so there was lots to see.  I haven't bought anything at an expo in a long time, but this time succumbed to temptation. I ended up with two cute runner girl tank tops from Bay Six USA. I've also been eying running shoe charms for a while,  but never bought them because they're so frivolous. However,  I ended up treating myself to two. I got this cute 13.1 charm, and ordered a 70.3 one as well (they are mailing that one to me as they didn't have any there). I saw a few people I knew and chatted a bit. Such a hometown race, even though it's huge.

I also ended up registering for next year's half marathon.  They have a deal right now that the half is only $50 and the full is $59! I almost registered for the full, but as I'm doing a full in January (something I haven't disclosed yet on the blog, but will discuss soon once I wrap my head around it) I decided the half would be plenty.  I didn't think I'd be doing another Rock 'n Roll event (for reasons I'll talk about when I recap the half marathon) but hey, $50 is a smoking deal for ANY half marathon, let alone this particular race, which can get to over $100 in cost. As I was registering for next year, a Competitor worker came over and gave me a free tank top for registering. That was an unexpected bonus. So, I guess I know what I'm doing June 5, 2016 already!

On my way out of the expo, they were just introducing Meb and Harriette Thompson to speak. Harriette was setting out to become the oldest woman to ever complete a marathon. I listened to her speak and was so inspired. She didn't run her first marathon until she was 78 years old!  She said this last year has been hard, as her husband (I think of 67 years?) died this year, and and she has a hole in her leg from radiation treatment, but that she was going to try.  (Spoiler:  she did it!  Watch this!)  I spoke to her after and told her how inspired I was by her. I not only want to be like her when I'm 92---I want to be like her now, at age 45!

Harriette Thompson


After they spoke, I got to meet Meb!  I just inched my way through the crowd of cameramen and talked to him. I told him that I've seen him running on Fiesta Island when I was biking (I biked past him and really wanted to turn around and say hi, but he was training for Boston and I knew that would be wrong). When told him that, he grabbed my hand, looked into my eyes and asked me my name.  We totally shared a moment!  We locked gazes for quite a while.  Ah, huge crush. He wished me luck on Sunday, and I floated on air out of there.

treasured selfie!
 I shouldn't have been surprised that he was so nice. Every pro runner or triathlete that I've met (I haven't met a ton, but I've talked to Deena Kastor and Jeff Gallway, as well as Matty Reed and Chris McCormack) and they are always so nice and humble.  Runners are the BEST!

After that, I had to hightail out of there so I wouldn't be late getting the kids from school. I was on a high the rest of the day from my meeting with Meb.

The next morning D and I got up early to get to Balboa Park.  Although the website said to park off President's Way, I decided to bypass any traffic and park at the zoo.  Walking over the Prado bridge, I ran into my friend Smitha.

me and Smitha

Once at the race site, I ran into more friends, including my friend Ingrid and my friend Briana.  Briana is a new friend to me.  She is a very close friend to my dear friend Tammy.  A few years ago, I encouraged Tammy to run her first half marathon (now she's done several!) and in turn, Tammy encouraged Briana to complete her first.  Now Briana is just as addicted as I am and she did her 17th half marathon this weekend! It was great to finally meet her in person. (You can read her recap here)

Briana and me

Soon enough it was time to line up.  We self-seeded by expected pace, so D went to the 8 minute mile (he's been running 8:30 mm 5ks recently) while I went back to the 11 minute mile corral.  Corrals were let off minutes apart, so by the time I got to the start line, I saw D running back on his out-and-back.  I also saw Deena Kastor, who was leading the 8 mm group.  Yay Deena!

Finally it was my turn to start running. I had accidentally left my iPod in the car, so it was just me and my thoughts. It was just as well---before I even hit the mile marker I started to feel very sick. My migraine had started to come back.  Ugh!  I had migraine medicine with me, but didn't want to take it WHILE running. I decided to just suffer through.  I was so nauseous and in so much pain.  Not ideal conditions for running a race!  Since I didn't care about the time, I just shuffled through.  The course was one I've done many, many times----any 5k I've done in Hillcrest uses it----up and back on 6th Avenue, then through part of a loop in the Park.  Some little hills, nothing major, but when you're not feeling well, they seemed like mountains. This time I got no joy from it. I just wanted to be DONE!

When I finished, I got my medal and found D waiting for me. Briana was there too, so I got to see her again. I went to find a patch of grass, took my migraine medicine, and laid down. I was not doing well, at all.  Smitha walked by and was concerned but I waved her off. I knew I'd make it home. Finally I got up and we trudged back to the car. It was one of the worst 5k times I've ever posted...not that I was trying to go fast, but I can go faster than that!  D, too, had a bad race. He ran 11 minute miles; apparently he hurt his foot at karate the night before.  Not a great race for either of us.

post-race, looking miserable

I got us home and took a short nap.  Later I felt well enough to go on that bike ride, so I got that done.  I was nervous about the half marathon the next day----what if I woke up with a migraine? What would I do?

To be continued in the next post!

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