This past weekend, Elise and I had the opportunity to run the inaugural Women’s Half Marathon, San Diego as part of the X-1 Audio team. I was excited to run this race even though it was only 3 weeks before the Asics LA Marathon because it is so close to my home town.
Elise and I headed down Friday afternoon. The drive was pretty smooth and included my favorite road trip indulgence – In N Out (Grilled cheese, fries, strawberry shake… calories don’t count in the car, right?). Besides a little traffic in LA, the ride was pretty quick. We caught up with my parents over some wine and then we were off to sleep.
The next morning, we ran a few easy miles with some strides to prep our legs for Sunday. Then my parents and I introduced Elise to the best breakfast place in north San Diego County – Break Break Cafe. Yum! My godparents even joined us for the meal. After, we headed down to San Diego for the expo. My parents were nice enough to drop us off (and they scoped out the course while we were inside). After picking up our race bib and getting some fun new compression socks (which we both wore the next day), we met up with Kate the founder of Graced by Grit – a new women’s athletic clothing company. We changed into our awesome new tanks & capris. Seriously, this might be my new fave tank, so comfy! We met up with the rest of the X-1 Audio team. X-1 Audio makes headphones specific for women, they are great for races and fit really well. They come in lots of colors too! And they even make waterproof headphones.
Then we were surprised with a pair of new Smith Optic sunglasses. These are awesome! I am in love with glasses. They are light weight, have crystal clear lenses, come with extra lenses for different lighting conditions, and are all packaged in a sweet case!
Finally, CEP compression hooked us up with some nice new calf sleeves. I didn’t wear these in the race but they were awesome for my drive back up to Nor Cal. My legs felt great! After a couple hours at the expo, my parents picked us up and we headed home for a relaxing afternoon and dinner.
Sunday morning I woke up bright and early at 4:30am. I ate a banana, changed into my Graced by Grit gear, and we all headed down to the race. Parking was easy and navigating the start line was no problem. Elise and I settled in the first corral ready to go. We were positioned between the 1:35 and 1:45 pacers. (I have to admit, it was a bit of a bummer to see a guy pacing the 1:35 group at a women’s race). After a nice rendition of the national anthem, the race began. I had waffled back and forth between racing or training at this race. But within a few miles, I opted to use it as a training run.
The course was too flat for me to race – only two small hills – and I perform better with some good rolling hills. I tend to bonk on flat courses so instead of destroying my legs, I ran the race at just under my goal marathon pace (with a mile or two above that pace). The course was beautiful, including both Shelter Island and Harbor Island, and some incredible views of the SD skyline and Coronado Bridge. There seemed to be many port-a-potties and lots of aid stations. I think there were a bit too many turn arounds, but it allowed for the course to cover many miles in a short space and it meant that I was able to see many of the other runners throughout the race. I finished with an official time of 1:44:42.
After the race, I waited a quick minute for Elise to come in with a brand new PR! We picked up lots of food and a giant medal! (Seriously some serious bling!) We met up with my parents and I headed out for 3 easy miles to finish up my 16 miler for marathon training. As I finished, it was time to meet up with the X-1 team. We came together at the end of the race to celebrate X-1’s sponsorship of the event. After the race, we headed back to my parents, ate some breakfast, and were headed back to Santa Cruz.
It was a whirlwind trip but a great one! I was so happy to be a part of this team and meet some great new runner friends!