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San Diego Half Marathon

Last year when I was fairly new to running, I was only just beginning to hear about the best races around town. I knew that running the San Diego Half Marathon would be high on my priority list as soon as I heard about it, and I couldn’t wait to run it for the first time this year.

San Diego Half Marathon Race Recap

The one downside to the race- it fell on the beginning of daylight saving time so we had to get up extra early! Made for a nice cool start though.

They don’t call San Diego “America’s Finest City” for nothing. The scenic course followed the city’s waterfront before winding up into the neighboring hills and finishing in the historic Gaslamp Quarter downtown. I loved everything about it, from the size of the field to the cheering spectators.

San Diego Half Marathon Gaslamp District

Perfect backdrop for a finish line party.

I have to give major props to Cristina from the San Diego Moms RUN This Town chapter. She single-handedly organized the effort to register the largest team in the race. We had over 150 members pulled from the San Diego, Oceanside, Carlsbad, and Menifee/Murrieta/Temecula chapters. Our reward was free parking at the race (just a stone’s throw from the finish line) and a post-race brunch.

San Diego MRTT

Just a handful of the MRTT team, but by far the largest pre-race photo I’ve ever been in!

San Diego Half Marathon Race Recap

Post-race whiskey cocktail. Our brunch spot overlooked the finish and we could hear the announcers continue their enthusiasm for runners of all paces.

In stark contrast to the DIVAS race last month, I spent a ton of time socializing with fellow runners from MRTT. It was awesome to see such a strong female presence kicking butt out there. My 2:15 time was significantly faster than it had been at the two previous races this year, and it was my first postpartum race without walk breaks. Without a doubt I will return next year and try to beat my time.

San Diego Half Marathon Medal

The gorgeous, detailed medal had five rhinestones to represent the five years of the race.

❤ Jessica

 

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Divas Half Marathon Race Recap

Almost every runner is familiar with the big name race series- Rock’N’Roll, Ragnar, Vacation Races, etc. One of my goals is to try at least one race from each of them at some point. The fact that the DIVAS half marathon series hosted a special edition half in a town just 25 minutes from my house seemed like the perfect opportunity to sign up this past February.

From the start I planned on my DIVAS experience being a one and done. For one, the races are extremely expensive. For my $200+ DIVAS Temecula Wine Country registration I did get a LOT of swag, including a beautiful medal and jacket, light up tutu, tiara, feather boa, and wine glass. The race ended at a vineyard and four wine tastings were included as well.

Divas Half Marathon Medal

The giant medal that doubled as a mirror. How Diva is that?

The other reason I banked on this being a once-in-a-lifetime experience was the whole “diva” theme. Simply put, I am not a Diva. Quite the opposite in fact. When we were handed tiaras and feather boas at mile 13 so that we could cross the finish line wearing them, I started to giggle. When the buff, shirtless fireman put my medal around my neck, I couldn’t look him in the eye for fear of cracking up. The whole thing was a little ridiculous.

Swag, pomp and circumstance aside, the rest of the race was just okay. Temecula wine country is BEAUTIFUL, and the first half of the race didn’t disappoint. We ran past gorgeous shaded estates and equestrienne stables. But the second half was on a packed dirt trail; a narrow out-and-back surrounded by boring pasturelands. I felt like an ant in a line following my colony, and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I’m sure the wine tasting party at the end would have been a lot more fun had I gone with a group of girlfriends, but I felt awkward by myself so I quickly finished my glass and hopped back on the shuttle.

Divas Half Marathon Race Recap

I embraced my (non-existent) inner Diva, if only for a day.

The DIVAS race capped my first post-partum training cycle and was a fun reward for my return to running regularly. While I don’t see myself running this race again, I was happy that I crossed the event off of my list.

❤ Jessica

 

 


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Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

Boy that was a long blogging break! I can’t image why the hiatus…

Adorable Baby Girl | HelloRunShine

Oh wait, yes I can…

In order to get caught back up I will be writing very brief race recaps from the past six months. There are quite a few, due to the fact that late-pregnancy boredom found me registering for aaalll the races. Currently I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight and fitness level and feeling pretty strong. So for fun, let’s start the recaps back in January when I had just barely started running again after the birth of my second daughter.

2017 Star Wars Half Marathon Race Recap

I was extremely nervous to run a half just eight weeks post-partum. Even though I had started walking the week she was born and running at four weeks, it was a far cry from a standard three month training cycle. I was very thankful that I had signed up for just the half marathon instead of the challenge. Getting away from a newborn for 24 hours would be challenging enough.

I chose a simple, conservative costume that hid the fact that I still had almost 30 extra pounds hanging around (fun fact: I gained 50 pounds in each pregnancy). Other than the headband, all of my gender-bent Han Solo pieces were store bought.

Han Solor Running Costume RunDisney | HelloRunShine

Chewie, we’re home.

To be honest I don’t really remember the race other than the relief of crossing the finish line (legacy status: maintained!). What I was most proud of was the social steps I took that weekend. I overcame some shyness and introduced myself in person to a group of runners I have come to know over the past year through a runDisney Facebook page. I had a great time hanging out with them in Corral A before the race and meeting up for drinks and rides in the park afterwards. Our small group grew throughout the day and cumulated in an epic inaugural meet up of the Storm Trooper Crew (more details about the Crew coming in a future post).

Womens Star Wars Running Costumes | HelloRunShine.com

Han & Darth Evel

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Race Recap | HelloRunShine.com

California Adventure Mickey!

Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend Race Recap | HelloRunShine.com

I couldn’t have been happier with the result of my first post-baby half. I felt like the effort to stay active during my pregnancy made finishing possible. And just a few weeks into the year I had taken great strides towards my New Year’s goal of saying “yes to friendship and adventure”. It was a great start to 2016!

❤ Jessica

 

 


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2016 Running Goals

So 2015 was a pretty awesome year with the arrival of Baby Girl #2, taking over as the Oceanside Moms RUN This Town Chapter Leader, and running four half marathons (three during my pregnancy). The only downside was how physically limited I was for the majority of the year because I was pregnant. I can’t wait to MOVE in 2016!

2016 Running Goals | Hello RunShine.com

It was hard to do much towards the end of my pregnancy with The Belly in the way! This picture was taken on my due date. Baby Girl came six days later.

I decided that this year I would push myself in ways I have never done before. Physically with a real training plan, socially by saying “yes” to adventure and friendship, and mentally by saying “no” to unnecessary commitment and worry.

In order to design a comprehensive training plan I decided to start by writing out my 2016 running goals. Here they are!

  • Train consistently. Do not skip workouts.
  • Train for a half marathon using speed and hill drills with the goal of obtaining a new PR.
  • Travel to a race (far enough away that a night’s stay is required).
  • Run a marathon – eek!
  • Cross train with swimming, biking, stand-up paddle boarding, etc.
  • Volunteer for at least one race.
  • Cheer on fellow runners at a race as a spectator.
  • Continue to grow the size and participation levels of the Oceanside MRTT Chapter.
  • Keep running gear organized.
  • Complete running costumes at least one week before races.

I can’t wait to get started on it all. What are some of your running goals for 2016?  I look forward to connecting with and meeting as many runners as possible, a major part of my “social” goals!

❤ Jessica


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Oceanside Turkey Trot Race Recap

For the past few years our neighborhood has hosted an impromptu “Wobble Before You Gobble” Thanksgiving day walk. While I always enjoyed it very much I’ve been dying to try the official Oceanside Turkey Trot. This was the 10th anniversary of a race that’s known as the eighth largest Turkey Trot in the country, and the medal and race t-shirt were adorable (not to mention the unbelievable registration price of only $36). It was enough of a push for me to sign up even though I knew I’d be just a week or two postpartum (I ended up being 12 days, to be exact).

In an effort to increase activity in my own chapter, I encouraged the local San Diego, Carlsbad, and Menifee/Murrieta/Temecula chapters to join one large Moms RUN This Town team. We ended up with about 28 team members and I have a lot of ideas of how to break this record next year! We tried to organize a group picture between the end of the 10K and start of the 5K, but it was a little difficult to coordinate everyone. It was fun hanging out with the small group that I did manage to meet and I loved everyone’s outfits/costumes.

Oceanside Turkey Trot Race Recap

Festive Turkey Day outfits and crashing surf

It was cool and cloudy that morning and the the tide was very high! One of the best parts of this race is a course that goes right next to the ocean, and the waves were actually crashing up against the seawall and over into the road. I walked the race veerrrry slowly and took in the scenery and costumes.

Oceanside Turkey Trot Race Recap

Free race pictures! How cool is that?

As I finished with my new slowest 5K time, I thought about how far I had come and how proud of myself I was. A year ago I probably wouldn’t have met up with anyone at a race, let alone organize a group as a MRTT Chapter Leader. And after my first daughter was born I waited MONTHS before I got back into regular exercise. It just goes to show that when you finally find your groove, your tribe, anything is possible.

Oceanside Turkey Trot Race Recap

My outfit details – shirt: Raw Threads, skirt: Sparkle Skirts, headband: RunShine

Thank you Oceanside for putting on a a fantastic event. I can’t wait until next year. I guarantee Moms RUN This Town will be making a legit run for the largest team!

❤ Jessica


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Avocado Half Marathon Race Recap

It looks like I’ll just barely make my goal of adding all 2015 race recaps before the new year!

Pros:

-Location! Fallbrook is a beautiful city in the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. I love going up there for the rolling hills, big trees and general change of scenery. This race was only 20 minutes from my house, so packet pick up the day before was convient and driving to the race was a piece of cake.

-Small Town Feel: I have a soft spot for small races that have a local feel to them and the Avocado Half hits this mark. I love how the race started from the Live Oak park, a personal family favorite. Most of the volunteers looked like high school students and the local marching band and pep squad were out on the course cheering on runners.

-Medal: Okay, this is a seriously cool medal. The race was on Memorial Day weekend, hence the flag.

Avocado Half Marathon Race Recap

‘Merica

Cons:

Course: Because Fallbrook is so beautiful, I was expecting the course to be more scenic. It mostly followed a business route main road. There were a little bit of trees and open space near the residential areas, but I really didn’t care to run past fast food restaurants and dental offices. The two out-and-back segments just weren’t that interesting. Side note: the 5K route (which comprised of the first segment shared with the half) was the worst I’ve ever seen at a race. An out-and-back straight down then straight up the highway road. I felt bad for the participants.

Course support: I’m not usually a back-of-the-pack runner, but by May I was well in to my second trimester and slowing way down. Nonetheless, I was within the course limits and there were still several hundred people behind me. Which was why I was completely shocked when I got to the second water stop and they were out of water! The next stop was out of cups, and volunteers were holding up giant jugs of water for runners to put their mouth up to the spout. This is completely unacceptable to me. I held out as long as I could before I had to give in and try and cup some water in my hands around mile seven. At mile 9 I was excited to see cups and water, until it turned out to be a clear, unmarked mystery sports drink. The day was cool and overcast but that was still the least comfortable I’ve ever felt finishing a race. Luckily I had scored one of the only parking spots in Live Oak park, because I heard stories of runners waiting over two hours to get bussed back to their cars. Basically the race directors need to step up the planning and organization.

Overall, I was proud to complete my third half marathon of my pregnancy at a local race. I have other plans for Memorial Day in 2016 so I will not be back to Fallbrook. Supposedly the course is changing next year, and I will be excited to see the new route because that will absolutely influence whether or not I would return in the future.

Avocado Half Marathon Race Recap

Baby’s Third Half Marathon

❤ Jessica

 


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La Jolla Half Marathon – Race Recap

Back from a blogging hiatus and ready to wrap-up my spring race recaps!

It’s hard to believe that the  La Jolla Half Marathon already happened four months ago. Looking back at the pictures I don’t even look pregnant! Part of the San Diego Triple Crown half marathon race series, La Jolla boasts beautiful scenery, a few epic hills, and a great North County vibe. The race starts at Del Mar (I decided to go EARLY and park at the start, best decision I could have made) and ends in La Jolla Cove at the Ellen Browning Scripps Park.

La Jolla Half Marathon Race Recap | Hello RunShine

I had so much fun meeting up with some Moms RUN This Town Mamas before the race!

Race Highlights:

*Memories! So many great memories are wrapped up in that course for me. From hiking in the Torrey Pines State Reserve, visiting my husband while he was a grad student at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, learning to surf at La Jolla Shores, and living nearby the Cove while I was in college, each mile I ran held something dear to my heart.

*Scenery. It’s hard to beat any race with ocean views!

La Jolla Half Marathon Race Recap | Hello Runshine

Last flat stretch before THE HILL to Torrey Pines

*Finish line festival. This was one of my favorite race finishes. Sitting on the grass listening to live music with an icy chocolate milk and a beautiful new medal sure felt joyful, especially having successfully completed the race 12 weeks pregnant! The only downside of the whole experience was that this was the first race I’ve run that included a free beer at the finish (a San Diego microbrew, no less!) and I wasn’t able to indulge, ha. No worries, I’ll be back next year La Jolla to improve my time and drink my beer!

La Jolla Half Marathon Race Recap | Hello RunShine

❤ Jessica