Tuesday, June 4, 2019

2019 Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Half Marathon Recap

This past weekend I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego Half Marathon.  I’ve only run this race once before in 2011 and I didn’t really like the course so it’s taken me this long to sign up again.  We were going to be semi-close to San Diego this weekend because my boyfriend had a motorcycle event in Temecula so I signed up for the race at the last minute.  

We headed down after work on Friday and after about a 3-hour drive, we checked in to our hotel, the Radisson in Rancho Bernardo.  I scored this hotel on Priceline for $99 a night, almost 50% off their regular rates. We had a king room that also had a pull-out couch bed and it looked out at the center courtyard/pool area.  We spent Saturday night relaxing in the hot tub and then called it a night.

Saturday morning Henry was up and out of the room early to head to his event and I tried to sleep in a bit knowing how early I had to be up on Sunday.  After a quick stop at Starbucks (right on the other side of the freeway from the hotel) I was on the 15-south heading to the San Diego Convention Center for the Expo so I could pick up my bib and shirt.

It was about a 30-minute drive from the hotel to the Convention Center.  I get really nervous driving in unfamiliar areas but I was able to make it there and get parked just fine.  It was around 10:30am when I entered the Expo.  I think they opened at 9:00am.

I used the computers they had set up to find my bib number and then got in the correct line for bib pick-up.  It wasn’t very crowded; I only waited a few minutes.  After being handed my bib I was told they had no shirts and we could get them tomorrow after we finished the race.  Kind of strange…  This was where they also had the safety pins.

My next stop was around the corner to get my swag bag.  Once again, I was told the shirts would be given out the next day but I never got an answer as to why. 

I spent the next half hour looking at the official merchandise.  There was a ton of stuff for sale but I only ended up buying 2 shirts from the previous year because they were half off (and didn’t have a year on them).  

Next it was time to walk around the Expo.  There were a ton of vendors with samples and giveaways.  I ate enough free samples that I didn’t even need lunch!  Nuts and chocolate, cereal, ice cream, protein bars, beef jerky, coconut water, etc. 

I snapped a photo of the medal I’ll receive after I run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half in November.

Then I tried these awesome legs things.  They inflate and deflate and compress and after about 10 minutes my legs felt light as air! 

I almost forgot to pick up my pre-paid parking pass and shuttle ticket but luckily I saw the booth as I was headed to the restroom.

After spending about 3 hours at the Expo I was done and I decided to walk over to the Seaport Village.  It was about a mile away and I needed to get my Day 1 mile in for #streakingwiththecoolkids anyway.

I window shopped, took some pictures, bought a couple of cupcakes and then headed back to my car.  It was about 2:30pm by this time.  

On the way back to the hotel I stopped at Chicago Bros pizza to grab dinner.  I love a good deep-dish pizza and Chicago Bros makes a good one!  

I made it back to the hotel around 4:30pm.  I had an early dinner, laid out my flat runner and got in bed to relax.  I set my alarm for 3:45am and probably fell asleep around 9:00pm. 

I got up quickly and got dressed, making sure I had everything I needed for the race.  I was out the door around 4:10am.  I was really nervous about finding my parking garage and getting down to San Diego because of the road closures but everything went smoothly.  The printed direction I was given at the Expo were perfect and I was parked by 4:50am.  I then followed the crowd to the buses that would take us to the start.  We had the option of walking 1.5 miles (uphill) to the start but I splurged for the $6 bus ticket.  There was a small line for the buses and I got on the 2nd one in line.  We were deposited at the start around 5:20am.  The race started at 6:15am so I had a little time to use the restroom and make my way to the corrals.  

At 5:30am I made my way to the Pro Compression meetup/sock photo.  I hung out until 6:00am and then decided to use the restroom one more time.  I passed a tent with bottled water.  There were a ton of Port o Potties so even though the lines were long, they went quickly.  I got in my corral around 6:20am but didn’t actually cross the start line until 6:47am.

The race was a lot of fun!  I appreciated all of the spectators that came out to cheer us on and to set up unofficial aid stations.  There was a lot of alcohol on the course!  I may have stopped for a mimosa at the infamous Mile 4.5 Bar!    

And for a donut hole a little while later.

The weather was great all morning and I enjoyed all of the entertainment on the course.  The water/Gatorade stops were spaced out well and were all well stocked.  Before I knew it, I was crossing the finish line!  

I collected my medal, then walked down a bit to get my bottle of water, Gatorade, Cheese Its, Pringles and granola bar.  (I passed on the banana).

I hadn’t planned on going down to the Finish Line Festival but I had to in order to pick up my shirt.  After that it was a short walk back to my car and I was on the road back to the hotel by 10:00am.
Overall this race as a blast.  It may have felt like it was ALL uphill but there was a nice little downhill at the finish.  I might have to make this an annual thing!

Did you run San Diego?  What did you think?