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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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San Diego Hot Chocolate 15K Race Recap

I ultimately chose this odd-distance race because I had heard so great things about the Hot Chocolate 15K from friends in Colorado. And although a warm March morning in San Diego doesn’t quite match the theme as well as crisp fall day in Denver, I still had a blast at this race.

Highlights include:

*Expo/Race Day travel

I was so proud of myself for driving solo downtown two days in a row for the expo and the race itself. In the past, for whatever reason (mostly the fear of parking garages and parallel parking) I may have turned down the opportunity. I really enjoyed the well-run expo and got a glimpse of what RunShine might be participating in at the same time next year… more on that later!

*Course

Sure, it was hillier than I expected, but it’s hard to beat running through America’s finest city. I also loved the start/finish at Petco Park. Originally I planned to skip the on course chocolate stops (I believe there were a total of four) but as I summited the first monster hill and viewed the offering of chocolate marshmallows, I decided to try them all.

Hot Chocolate 15K San Diego Race Recap

The hilly San Diego course was challenging but not too difficult. I loved the chocolate marshmallow fuel stop!

*Medal and post-race chocolate refreshments

The medal was brand-new for this year, and it’s clear that the race organizers did their research on what attracts runners to a race. The big, flashy, city-specific design certainly caught everyone’s attention and will probably remain one of my favorite designs. The giant chocolate fondu mugs filled to the brim with dipping pieces (banana, pretzels, Rice Krispy treats, etc.) and cup of drinking chocolate were pretty amazing as well. By the time we finished the race it was almost 70 degrees. That combined with the fact that I’m not really a sweets person allowed me to get through a quarter of my treats before I called it a day. A true chocoholic would have been in paradise!

Hot Chocolate San Diego Race Recap

Post-race treats. As a lover of organization, I can really appreciate the great system the Hot Chocolate Race has for handing these out.

Overall it was a very fun, very well organized event. I love the fact that the 5K started early enough that it was possible to finish and still run the longer race. I will try to be back next year with the entire family to run the 5K and take on those hills again for the 15K.

Hot Chocolate San Diego Race Recap

All smiles at the adorable finisher photo op. See you next year Hot Chocolate! 

❤ Jessica


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San Diego Holiday Half Race Recap

Hello lovlies! It’s been a long time since I posted an update of any kind. The last few months have been filled to the brim with holidays, races, and orders. I have a lot to share and I’m so excited where RunShine is headed! Before I get ahead of myself though I’d like to recap my last two races, starting with the San Diego Holiday Half. I know someday I will be happy I spent the time to record some of these awesome memories.

San Diego Holiday Half Race Recap | RunShine

Serious Christmas Spirit

 

I had all intentions of treating this race as a light training run in preparation for the upcoming Star Wars Half Marathon. So I came dressed in my holiday racing best, including a tech gear ugly Christmas sweater that ironically got me a lot of “how cute!” compliments. Good thing I wore the sweater because the morning was chilly, super chilly. I think it was 29 degrees outside at the starting line (I know, I know, if you’re from just about anywhere else you are probably rolling your eyes, but for here that was freezing). As I lined up I found myself standing next to the 2:00 pacer. Here’s my confession: between my last half (Avengers in November) and this race, I had barely trained. Just a few sporadic short runs. Overindulging in holiday food and drink had taken a toll on my overall fitness, and I was generally exhausted from three months of nonstop activity. I had no business of even thinking about it, but as I looked at that pace sign, I thought, “why not”?

The course was FAST. We started 13.1 miles inland and ended at the coast, with a straight, slightly downhill path almost the entire way. I honestly don’t remember much about the race because I was so focused on that 2:00 pacer. Around mile six, just when I thought I was done for, the 1:50 pacer and a small group blew past! No wonder it felt like we were sprinting for the first half. After that I was able to slow my pace considerably and for the first time I pictured myself crossing the finish line with a sub-two PR. I admit I was hurting pretty bad by the end with a leg pain I had never experienced before, and I spent the last mile pleading with myself “just make it to that lamppost, just make it to that tree”. Pain gave way to pure joy when I crossed that line at 1:57:31. I could not believe it! I thought that a sub-two half would be a goal I’d work towards over the next few years.

San Diego Holiday Half Race Recap | RunShine

PR Smiles!

 

The elation carried me through the long wait for post-race refreshments, the long wait for my race t-shirt and goodie bag (I opted to have my bib mailed to me, and these things did not accompany it), and the loooong wait to be bussed back to the start. By the time I got off the bus and walked the half mile back to my car, I was limping and had a visible bruise at the site of my leg pain(I still have no idea what that was all about). It didn’t matter though, I’ve never been happier. Not only did I have a proof of time that would place me in the front corrals at Disney races for the next two years, I finally realized that with proper training I have the potential to be even faster.

With dream conditions to set PRs, great race medals and race shirts, and a perfect amount of runners (approximately 2,500), I highly recommend the San Diego Holiday Half to anybody. I can’t wait to sign up for this one again!

❤ Jessica