|Gray, gloomy skies|
I've been home for 5 days now. I'm utterly exhausted
My daughter, the 21-year old, needed to get away from life's crazy rat-race for a few days. She said she'd flip the bill if I wanted to go somewhere with her (score!), so like any running junkie would do, I combed the Internet for some races I could run and then planned "her" vacation accordingly :). California is stocked full of races; it's suppose to be sunny and warm; and we have some friends nearby that would be fun to visit. Southern California seemed like a great option and Abbey was game so I instantly registered for the San Diego Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Aren't all vacations planned around races? If not, I've definitely been doing it wrong for years.
We arrived on Saturday. First on the check list was to get to packet pickup so we parked near Seaport Village and walked over to the convention center. It was the only time during 3 days of San Diego time where we saw the sun - a whole 45 minutes worth. Abbey managed to get a slight sunburn on her shoulders and I got the flip flop tan line (a nice diversion to the sock tan line).
Having some Marriott points banked, we opted to stay in one in the Mission Valley area. We picked it based on the fab pool and had great intentions of using it frequently.
|Please note the sunny blue sky in the background. Aka: I did not take this picture|
It wasn't a big deal the sun wasn't out (at least it wasn't raining), it just make the weekend a little more challenging to find things to keep us occupied. Relaxing at the pool or beach doing nothing is so much easier than doing nothing in your hotel room where we were more restless. But we managed, just fine.
Sunday was dinner with friends Irene and Mary. Mary drove 2-hours down from Northern L.A. ... always love seeing that girl, she always makes me laugh and Irene is just a pure gem. I really wanted to keep the meet-ups while there low-key, I knew Abbey's tolerance for me trying to connect with many blog friends to talk about running with going to be limited...and this weekend was about her, so I didn't contact too many while I was there (sorry for those I didn't :( ).
|Mary, Abbey, me, Irene. I'm pretty sure Mary isn't afraid of Abbey. But maybe!|
I was thrilled at the thought. I decided to tag onto Irene and be her wingman when she told me what her pace was. I couldn't think of a better way to run this thing.. Aside from that failed 50k I did in March, and the pacing job I did a couple weekends ago, I've never run an entire race with someone (there's actually some psychotic mental
This race is ginormous - like 35,000 people huge. I have run races this large before (Boston and Bolder Boulder, come to mind) but I never felt so many people around me. Irene and I lined up in her corral #10. It felt great not to have pre-race jitters!
|I crack up every time I look at this picture :)|
Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezighi were both running the half (I'm guessing they weren't in my corral 10, just a guess though), but because the course is a point to point with no loop-backs except for mile 9-12 (for which they were well done by then), I never saw them racing. Would have been cool, but oh well (Meb won in 1:03:11, Ryan was second at 1:05:39 (Hall said he started out too fast. Be still my racing heart!)).
|Ryan and Meb. Admittedly, stolen pic from the Internet|
It's hard to tell what type of foot strike they have when no feet touch the ground
I think that's called flying. Must be why I'm so slow - I don't fly.
Irene was doing great. We didn't chat much....as you recall from my past pacing experiences, I'm not a good multitasker talker/runner. But I asked Irene now and then about the sights we passed and really loved the first half of the course and all the cool things we saw. I brought my camera since I knew I had time to dillydally, but I was finding it really annoying removing and replacing it from my pack. Plus, whenever I looked at the field of runners around me, I just saw a sea of purple Team in Training tank shirts. Nothing against them and their cause, but it was a bit overkill.
|How many purple Team in Training shirts can you count?|
Irene and I crossed, together, in 2:33.01. Got our medals, met some of her great track club friends, almost froze to death (thanks for the jacket, Irene!) then high-tailed it back to my hotel, courtesy of Irene's friend who came to pick us up. I had a great time running this race. The heart resonates in present and playful moments with special people we share our life with. It was a very fun course and I got to run it in the company of a dear, far-away friend...perfect!!
|The dorky girl I am LOVES the sparkly palm tree :)|
|LOVE this picture!|
|Seals ... everywhere.|
A little window shopping in the Gaslamp District. And a bit of drooling over the beaches at Point Loma that were way too cold to sit on :(.
We left San Diego on Tuesday morning, bright and early with a long lay-over in San Francisco before our flight home to Denver. We decided to rent a car since we had a few hours to kill and we hit about everything touristy that we could possibly hit in about 5 hours. Major bonus points: It was SUNNY. I've been to San Francisco about a half dozen times - even ran the SF Marathon in 2010 - and never once have viewed the Golden Gate Bridge not socked in a thick cloud.
But not today...
Really simply breathtaking. We drove up to some lookout point on the other side of San Francisco and wandered through this tunnel (I'm way too lazy right now to Google any official names of these landmarks!) to find this view....
Sooo pretty! If you look, you can see many trails throughout the hills...I'd love to come back one day and run them.
Lunch at Fisherman's Wharf with the sea lions...
Perusing the Embarcadaro's Farmer's Market...and eating way too many cherries...
|Pretty sure there's no such thing as too many cherries.|
|Definitely no such thing as too much sugar!|
|Driving up the hills of San Francisco|
I've been trying to get caught up on life upon my return, utterly failing it seems at times. Last weekend, some friends and I ran the first section of the Mt. Evans Ascent race, which is this weekend. I'm registered for this race, courtesy of a free entry I won in a race a couple years ago for winning my age group, which they let me defer to this year due to my inability to run it last year with my foot issues. A couple weeks ago, I sort of decided to blow this race off, knowing I am nowhere remotely close to the condition I need to be to scale 4000' in the allocated time frame. So I just thought I'd run it with friends as a training run and see where I landed at the first check point at mile 9 (BTW, the blog header picture is Echo Lake, the start of the Mt. Evans Ascent. Nice, huh!?!?)
|This is the road to the top of the race, 14,260'. UGH|
Hummmmm. Now my brain is teetering back to the possibility of running this thing after-all come Saturday.
You'll be the first to know what happens :).