Traveling to San Diego & the Coronado

Saturday LCCDad and I headed down to San Diego for the Rock n Roll Half Marathon (where I set a 9 min PR, running 2:02. Read the race recap!) We packed up early…

And hit the road. But not without stopping at Clementine for breakfast, obviously.

I started the carb loading early with a bagel and lox. This is probably one of my favorite breakfast items, after pancakes. And bacon. And breakfast potatoes.

I also had a latte, which I promptly spilled all over my white blouse. I have issues. We know this.

Because of the spilling incident we had to go back home but pretty soon we finally hit the 405 South.

You might remember that one of my goals for 2011 was to explore California. Signing up for races is really a great way to explore more parts of the state. I’ve never been further South (in CA) than Corona del Mar. Dad and I decided to take the 405 until Long Beach, cut over to the 1 and then after going through the beach towns in Orange County cutting back to the 5. The ride was long but the views were gorgeous.

We stopped in Laguna Beach for Starbucks and a bathroom pit stop. I restrained myself from doing impressions from Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County. I loved the area near the beach! The vibe was perfect for this beach girl.

And then we hit the road again, but stayed within view of the beach.

Before we knew it we were in San Diego. The city is so beautiful! Now I know why so many of my classmates are working there this summer.

We stopped in at the expo which was a mad house! Dad was illegally parked so I ran in, grabbed my packet and ran out. There weren’t that many freebies but I did get a new technical tee:

Not a huge fan of black running shirts (too hot) but I’m sure I will still manage to get plenty of wear out of it.

After getting out of the expo mess we drove somewhere much more relaxing: Coronado. Coronado is an island and to me, Coronado is like Martha’s Vineyard, Marco Island, and Palm Springs had a love child and placed it on the Pacific Ocean. I pretty much never wanted to leave. I was very fortunate to travel with my Dad, who wanted to stay at the Coronado Hotel. I am a very fortunate girl.

The Coronado was absolutely beautiful!

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The outside of the hotel is pretty iconic and it sits on the beach. I am 100% a beach girl so it was pure bliss. The rooms were also very nice! I was lucky to have my own room on this trip.

LCCDad is making a cameo in that one!

Laying on the bed.

I was a happy camper.

This was the view!

The hotel itself is HUGE! There were two weddings that I saw taking place on various parts of the beach. This place is a well oiled machine!

The rest of the day consisted of frantic sun screen applying, pool hanging and a bananas pre race meal at the 1300 Ocean restaurant in the hotel which included a glass of malbec, burrata cheese with broccoli and a blood orange sauce, seared diver scallops, mac and cheese, and an orange crème brule. I didn’t photograph but it was a great pre race meal.

Overall between the drive south, exploring a new city by running through it, staying at the Coronado and setting an incredible PR it was a pretty special weekend. Special thanks need to be given to LCCDad for an epic trip and weekend.

The past two days have been crazy busy between work picking up and LCCDad not leaving town until this AM. I am still on cloud 9 due to my new PR. I tweeted this and this true:

I’m already debating returning to the scene of the crime in August for another half marathon. Sub 2:00 or BUST!

Anyone know of any good half marathons in So Cal this summer? Or alternatively what hotel have you always wanted to stay in? I seriously want to stay in the 7 star hotel in Dubai because I seriously love luxury (I know, you’re probably not surprised)

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San Diego Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon Recap

What a day it has been!

When I set out this morning on my second half marathon I wasn’t sure what to expect. I set some conservative goals a week or so ago on the blog and truthfully, I wasn’t sure myself what I was capable of. I knew it would be nice to set a new PR (personal record) but I certainly didn’t expect to set a new PR. Well, not only did I set a new PR in San Diego I trounced my old PR by 9 mins!

Backing up to this morning…

I woke up in the Coronado (another post about the Coronado to come later) at 4:00 AM. Even though it felt extremely early I rolled out of bed and got ready. Traveling for a race meant I was forced to lay everything out the night before.

It takes a village people.

Then I dined on a typical pre race meal: coffee, huge glass of water and a bagel with peanut butter.

Hotel coffee was nasty. It made me miss my little French press but I dealt with it.

Dad came over and I handed him a bag of things I’d want at the finish (flip flops, camera etc). He took a picture of me before I headed out.

This is my “it’s 4 am, don’t eff with me” face. Please ignore the fact that I’m breaking out like the before picture on a proactive commercial.

The Coronado was great. They provided a shuttle to the start line. I picked up the shuttle at 5. There were several more experienced runners on the shuttle and it was fun to chat with them. Many of them had run Chicago so it was interesting to hear what I have in store for me this fall!

The race started in Balboa Park and was very well organized. I managed to make it to bag check and drop my bag with very little trouble. Then I waited in line for the bathroom and ran into Melissa! Melissa ran the FULL because she’s a rock star like that. Melissa also was with her boy friend Whit, who was running his first half marathon and her friend who was so fast she got seeded in corral 2! Melissa, Whit and I slipped into corral 18. I saw a 2:10 pacer and thought to myself that as long as I could stay in front of them I would be able to PR. Before we knew it we were walking forward to the start, the gun when off and we were running. I lost Melissa and Whit quickly.

I wasn’t sure when I crossed the start line but I felt great. The first three miles my foot felt a little tight but it loosened up and I was cruising but I actually didn’t feel like I was killing myself. I just felt like I was out for a casual jog. At mile 1 I finally saw a clock and it said we we’re 30 mins in (because I didn’t cross the start line immediately). At mile 2 the clock said 39 mins. I realized that I was running 9 min miles and feeling fantastic. I hit the 5k at 26:56 which is only 1 min and 30 secs off my 5K PR. I was pretty excited about this development.

Seriously, I cannot overstate how good I felt for the first 10 miles of this race, especially miles 1-5. I was doing my thing, enjoying my music and looking around. The first 5 miles were beautiful, shady and every short uphill had a downhill. The bands along the course were having a good time, keeping the energy up, and there was good crowd support including a little boy clutching a sign that said “I thought this was supposed to be a Justin Bieber concert”. So adorable. I was a happy camper for the first 5 miles.


At mile 4 the full marathoners split off from the group and we ran onto Route 163. Again, this part of the course was shady and I felt great. My legs were starting to feel tired on the up hills but the down hills revived them. I felt nothing like I did in Malibu. At this point in Malibu I was already digging deep and swearing I would never run another race, not even a 5k, as long as I lived. I walked though all the water stations. We were running on the 163 for a while (I believe it was miles 4-8).

At one point there was a water station staffed with all Big 10 School Supporters. They all had flags and T Shirts representing the different Big 10 schools. For those that don’t know my Dad went to Northwestern and I grew up walking distance from the school. We are season ticket holders for Football and Basketball plus I worked at NU in a social psych lab for two summers in Undergrad so my family has a close connection with the school. Sadly however there was no Northwestern representation. I yelled at a Michigan man asking where NU was but he said there weren’t any. Thus I was forced to take water from an Ohio State supporter. I ran over the 10k strip at the 55:02 min mark which is faster than I ran a 10k in October. Can’t lie, that makes me feel like a baller. I also took a Gu between mile 5 and 6. Mile 5 was also the magic point where I stopped really caring about my finishing time.

Miles 7 – 9 are kind of a blur. I was still feeling and chugging along. A women ran up beside me with a 2:10 pace number on her back. I tapped her on the shoulder and asked her if she was doing her pace and she said no, she was doing 9 min pace. I felt good at that point. I knew that I had built up a good bank of time. I was on track to PR even if my pace dipped down a little bit. Then, just before Mile 10 I saw LCCDad! I actually saw him before he saw me. I’ve only ever seen family spectators at the finish line and seeing him really put a pep in my step. Later, he said he was shocked by how good I looked.

Waving back between mile 9 and 10.

I crossed the 10 mile mark at 1:30:19.

After mile 10, the heat started to get to me. It wasn’t even that it was hot, it was more that it was very sunny. There was no marine layer this morning (layer of clouds that keeps the sun away until the late morning, its common along the coast in CA in June) and the sun in Southern California is HOT. I knew I had time in the bank and I didn’t want to burn out by forcing myself to run like crazy. I was feeling hot and a little bit nauseous so I decided that for the final 3 miles to use a walk/run method. I walked through water stations, taking two and pouring them on my head. It was hot but I ran and walked my way through the final 3 miles. Between mile 11 and 12 I grabbed a cup thinking it was water and poured it on my head. Sadly, it wasn’t water, it was Cytomax a nasty sports drink that I was not partaking in along the course. Then I threw some water on my head to water down the Cytomax. One of my head phones was in the line of fire and got water logged. Whoops.

Before I knew it I was coming up to the Mile 12 sign. I started to run again. There was a short incline just before the mile 13 sign…

This is me at mile 13. After I saw the mile 13 sign I took off at an unreal pace to the finish. Way faster than I ever sprint at the end of a run.

I crossed the finish line at 2:02:58. Not only is this a PR, it is 9 mins faster than I ran at Malibu! Average pace: 9:20. I also finished 214 out of 1092 in my division!
This is a major step up from my last half marathon and I am very, very proud of this accomplishment.

Post race photo! LCCDad even got me flowers. I believe that I was tweeting the good news in this photo. You can see in this picture that I ran in my new running skirt. It worked out well and I didn’t chafe. This is for sure going to be my go to skirt for marathon training.

After the race we walked about a mile back to the trolley station, took the trolley to Qualcomm stadium where we parked. My legs felt good while walking but I am sore and I will be feeling it tomorrow. I also had a lovely blood blister on my right foot which is not going to be pleasant tomorrow. It actually grossed out LCCDad. I am almost at the point where I need new shoes. Hopefully I can remedy this blood blister issue with the next pair of shoes. We made our way back to the Coronado, showered and grabbed lunch. I was starving!

The lunch view.

I never want to leave San Diego. Seriously, a 9 min PR AND this view? Not leaving.

To start I had a beer, because running makes me crave beer (don’t ask). This was a local seasonal beer but I forget the name. It was like a lighter version of Blue Moon.

To eat I had a chicken BLT. The bacon might steal the title of best bacon. It was so thick! Plus, the tomatoes were heirlooms. Obviously, I also had fries. Duh.

After lunch we hit the road back to LA. I will be back later this week with posts about the Coronado and a running post about the two halves I’ve done and laying out how I will cover my training for Chicago on the blog.

Overall, I had an amazing experience at Rock n Roll San Diego. I will definitely be back for another race! Extra thanks for all the tweets, texts, facebook notes, and blog comments I got during and after the race. You guys are the best! 

Getting Ready for San Diego

For the first time in my life I’m packing more socks for a trip than I am shoes. I have more “things” than I have tops and bottoms. I’m packing snacks. OK, so I always pack snacks. That isn’t so different but I am packing some serious Gu.

Seriously, how do I know which pair of running socks I’m going to want on Sunday? Clearly they all need to make the trip. I’m still working on my playlist for the race and I will post it in my recap. I also am packing copious amounts of body glide because chafing is bad.

LCCDad arrived today and I met up with him after work for cocktails poolside at the W and an amazing dinner at Pecorino in Brentwood. Oh my goodness it was good. I had a grilled eggplant appetizer, pappadelle with fava beans and pesto for an entrée (the same that I had over spring break) and pear gratin for dessert. It was fantastic! Didn’t blog because I was catching up with my Dad and didn’t want to feel like I was working (plus I have an insane blog backlog right now).

LCCDad brought me a little something which I know LCCMom had a hand in picking out…

A running hat and a running watch! Pretty much the best gift ever. I need the hat to keep the sun off my face while running. The California sun is hot and this hat will prevent sunburn and wick sweat. I have never run with any kind of watch and I don’t plan to wear it for the half. Running with something new seems like asking for painful chafing but I will need this for marathon training. The watch is small and it will be nice to finally be able to track my runs. You can also see my packing list, which has pretty much every possible item I could even possibly need to run. Running takes so much more than just clothing and shoes.

Tomorrow morning I head out with my Dad for the drive south. We will probably meander down the coast, drop in at the expo and then pool hang in the afternoon. We’re staying at the Coronado which should be beautiful! I can’t believe I’m running another half marathon in 48 hours. Can’t wait to share the experience with all of you!

In the meantime, if you want to read about my training and race goals, click here!

San Diego 1/2 Marathon Update

Hey gang!

I haven’t really updated about running in a while so I thought this would be a good time for a running state of the union.

You might remember that I am running the San Diego Rock n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon in less than two weeks. I am so excited! I’ve never been to San Diego before and I am so excited to run my second 1/2.

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I haven’t posted about my training much. In all honesty, the build up to this 1/2 hasn’t been the same as the build up to Malibu (my first 1/2 back in November. Since Malibu was my first 1/2 the training was more special. Every long run was a new personal distance record. When I signed up for Malibu (almost a year ago!) I had never run further than 4 miles. After I had a runners high that lasted for a week. It really was the most incredible feeling.

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This time around I haven’t been as excited but in the past few weeks, especially since finals, I’ve been starting to get excited again. I’ve also learned some great lessons. For starters, I made an ambitious training plan which I didn’t really follow. I shouldn’t have made my plan before classes started. I have, however, been working out hard.

In addition to running I’ve consistently gone to yoga twice a week since January. I’ve noticed some changes in my body. I’ve toned up and right now I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in. I’ve lost another size since my last 1/2 and have upped my mileage to greater than 20 a week. All in all, I’ve been working out 6 days a week nearly every week with the exception of some random rest weeks, like Spring Break for example, when I let shopping be my cardio.

I don’t time myself when I run so I’m not totally sure what to expect in terms of my time on race day. It would be amazing to run faster than I did in Malibu. I ran Malibu at a just over 10 min mile pace for 2:11. Malibu was super hilly and hot plus when I was training for Malibu I was ONLY running and not cross training at all. In terms of race goals I just want to have fun. So much is left to chance with a race. Who knows how I will feel on race day or what the weather will do. My major race goal is to have fun, but don’t get me wrong, I really want to set a PR. We shall see!

Another reason to be excited for SD? LCCDAD is coming to So Cal to watch me run! He has never seen me run a race before and I haven’t seen him since December so I am very excited to spend some quality time with him.

After completing SD I am going to turn my attention to marathon training! You may remember that I registered for the Chicago Marathon last February. I am so stoked to tackle the marathon. I’ve been reading up on marathons for a while and I am working on a training plan for Chicago. For the record: its only going to be a partial plan. I’ve learned from my mistakes this semester. I haven’t selected classes for Fall yet and I refuse to commit myself to something I’m not 100% sure I can keep. Once I pick classes I will plan my week day workouts. I will however plan out my weekends (which I know will consist of long runs and my favorite yoga class).

So many amazing things are on the horizon, I cannot wait to share it all with you!