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San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon 2019

For those of you just tuning in, my journey to the San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon started in January of this year.  No, it was NOT a New Year's resolution!  I had spent the last two years dealing with sickness and death in my family, being physically separated from my husband while I dealt with this and struggling with depression. Instead of using running to cope, I used food and turned into a couch potato.

I was tired of feeling sick and tired all the time and not having any of my clothes fit - even the ones I bought many sizes larger - so I decided I needed to get back to running.  I also decided I might as well train for a marathon because the last one I ran (2016) was a time when I was fit, healthy and happy.  I also thought that focusing on running vs. weight loss would keep me in a more positive mindset.  So, I started a new phase of my running journey, going from being completely sedentary for two years to training for my 4th marathon.  I mean, why not? LOL

22 weeks, 800+ miles, a few set backs, a running coach and a few new running friends later, I found myself at the Rock and Roll San Diego Marathon start line!


My goal for this marathon was just to come in under 6 hours.  I have NO IDEA why this was the time limit I set for myself, but I made it, with time to spare.  The weather was perfect, overcast the entire time!  As a runner who does horrible in the heat, and more specifically direct sun, I was so happy.  I ran this event's half a few years ago and it was miserably hot so this was a huge win! 


I never really did figure out my nutrition plan before the race - I never used to document what I ate or drank when I trained before and so this training cycle I felt like I was just guessing at what I should do.  I tried salt pills for the first time with hit or miss results, I did peanut butter and crackers (good but hard to chew while running LOL), tried PB and jelly (jelly was too sweet) and basically decided I would stick with the PB and crackers.  But at the expo I saw Sports Beans samples so I grabbed some of them and thought I could use them as I did remember they worked fine on my tummy and the added electrolytes would help.

So, race morning...I met some friends to walk to the start line which was a nice warm-up.  I purchased the VIP addition so there was a nice heated tent with seats, some food and most importantly, clean port-a-potties with NO LINES lol  I hung out there and then went and said hi to a few friends who were also racing that morning.  The starting corrals were not monitored at all but everything seemed to go fairly smoothly.  BUT, huge race pet peeve, what is with people not showering and brushing their teeth.  I mean SERIOUSLY?!?

It was finally my turn to start and I had planned to do intervals - run 3 minutes and walk 45 seconds.  I skipped the first few walks because  . . . too crowded.  The first 5-6 miles had so much neighborhood support - people were passing out donuts, fruit, pizza, popcorn, you name it.  And on top of the food, I have NEVER seen a course with so much alcohol LOL LOL  There was a guy giving out mimosas with a sign saying he was single and looking for a lady LOL, there was a house passing out Bloody Marys, there was a guy in a kilt passing out whiskey shots, a few houses with beer and then at mile 4.5, one house set out a full bar - they had shots of every type of alcohol you could possibly want AND jello shots.  What?!?!  For some reason, I didn't partake in any of the beverages.  Hindsight being 20/20 ... I feel
like I might have had a MUCH better race if I had just had a shot or two LOL LOL

Also, right around the bar was the start of a tribute to those who sacrificed their lives in the defense of our country.  A full mile of sign after sign with picture after picture of these brave men and women with their names, rank, and dates of birth and death.  If that wasn't enough, after the tributes, the non-profit sponsoring this had both sides of the street lined with volunteers (military and civilian) holding American flags.  I'm not going to lie, I lost it a little.  

I wish I would have taken the time to take photos but I was afraid of being over my arbitrary 6 hour time limit LOL

The course was still super crowded at this point and remained so until mile 8 when the courses (half and full) split.  Now, from mile 7 to 8 I was thinking, I should just do the half, this is stupid, I can just say I got lost at the transition - yes people, I actually contemplated lying LOL  But when it came to it, I went the way of the full.  At this point I ate one of the sample sized packs of Sports Beans (assorted flavors).  Those gave me a little kick!

After the split, the run got tougher - there was much less neighborhood support and not nearly as many runners, it was just like - SIGH.  At this point I just picked two people I wanted to try and stay near since we seemed to be going about the same pace and that worked for a bit til I passed them - woot LOL

At mile 12 I finally gave in and decided to use a port-a-potty.  Normally I NEVER do this during a race but I hydrated TOO well before the run and had to go from like mile 2 on but wanted to wait til the crowds thinned out so I didn't waste too much time.  But OMG, every single person at this stop was obviously having issues because HELLO, they took forever!!  GRR   In fact, of the 5 stalls, only one emptied out the whole time I was waiting - and yes I am sure the other ones had people in them LOL

Once that break was over it wasn't too hard to get started again and I picked up the pace a bit because I was stressed from standing there waiting so long.  Shortly after, I had some more Sports Beans and everything was good.  I think somewhere around this point the course did an out and back because we could see the people who were about 3 miles ahead of us.  I was silently praying that when I got to where they were that there would still be people behind me LOL (Spoiler alert, there were LOL)

Mile 18 I took some more Sports Beans but OMG - I did the strawberry banana - YECK, BARF, GROSS, I seriously thought I needed to stop and spit them out LOL  So yeah, not doing that ever again lol

Really, the race was uneventful until 21ish where the HILL from HELL starts - it's not that it's so steep, it's just that it is like a mile long, near the end of the race, and it KILLS your momentum.  The only plus was that EVERYONE was walking and my walk pace is a little more brisk than other people (thanks to my coach's constant nagging that if I do intervals my walk breaks MUST BE BRISK LOL) so I passed quite a few people during that mile but DUDE, it killed me.  Once the hill was over, I just couldn't pick the pace up again.  It's not like I hit a wall, I was fine to keep plodding along, but
I couldn't find any other speed than plod lol

I have run this event 3 times before doing the half and I really don't like it LOL The streets aren't in the best shape, the road has a weird angle most places which causes you to run funny and messes with your ankles, it's hilly and you run on the freeway - so, take that and multiply it by two and add an extra giant hill - no, would not do again LOL  Honestly I only picked this race because it was one of the last "local" marathons before summer and it worked with my training plan.

I will admit I took an extra walk break or two in the last 3 miles but I stuck to the intervals as much as I could and before I knew it, this volunteer said to run because the finish was right around the corner, and then he said 0.6 miles.  UM, that is NOT right around the corner so there was no need for me to run the whole thing LOL  I took one more extra walk break and then ran it in.

I picked up my speed at the very end because the race announcer said my name and then another lady's right after and I was like - OMG is she right behind me?? I can't have her pass me - I do NOT like people to pass me at the end even though I have done it to others, including a friend LOL, so I sprinted the last few feet but there really wasn't anyone right behind me LOL LOL


I collected my medal, found my husband and then we did lots of wandering around to find the VIP finish tent - it was WAY too far away from the finish but I got a nice stretch and surprisingly I could still walk.  My hubs brought me a change of clothes so I changed and then found that even though I ran with extra anti-chaffing stuff in my race belt
I never felt any issues and didn't use it and I was regretting that LOL  After deciding the long ass walk to the VIP tent wasn't worth it, we left and did the longer ass walk back to the hotel.  There I showered, used a LOT of Bio Freeze, ate some pizza and took a nap and was grateful it was all over.  *THE END*

Oh P.S. my watch said 26.5 when I was done, I really need to take the inside of curves more lol

Now, it's time for vacation next week and then I am coming back strong for the 2nd half of 2019.  I have two more pant sizes to lose, a faster half (Oct) and full (Nov) to train for and I signed up for a 50k in January 2020 because obviously I am insane.

BTW, if you are considering running or getting back into running, what's stopping you?  If I can go from couch to marathon in 22 weeks - so can you!!

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