Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Rock N Roll San Diego Half Marathon Review

  This was the race that was, then wasn't, then was again at the last minute. 

  We had purchased our RnR Tour passes when we lived in Delaware with plans to run on the East Coast. Since it was My wife's and I 5th wedding anniversary this year we decided to run RnR Arizona Half Marathon in January of this year. Well we came out and ran the Half and I got a job while I was here so two weeks later we moved out to Arizona for good. This meant we had to find at least two races out here on the west coast to run. So we choose San Diego and Vegas as our two other runs. We were all set to go to San Diego but then Mandy found out she was pregnant with our third child. I was battling back from Pneumonia and a severely sprained right ankle. So it looked like we just weren't going to be able to do it. What made matters worse was this would also be my step son's first official Half marathon. So in the week leading up to the race we bounced back and forth with a decision to not go and even up to Saturday morning the decision was to not run and stay home.

  While out on an easy run with Deion Saturday morning I had a few thoughts. Mandy would be pretty far along by Vegas and Deion trained really hard for this. It wasn't right in my mind that they be denied the chance to run. So mid run I called Mandy and told her to search for a hotel, that we were going. I got home and we finalized everything including baby sitters for the kids. RnR actually provides a baby sitting service at some of the runs and while it is pricey I felt comfortable with them watching the kids. So we loaded up the Yota and headed to California.

  We had to stop for gas twice and the drive took longer than we originally thought it would so we were running late. We even had to call to see if they would hold the door for us. We arrived at the convention center just in time to slide in before the shut the door.

The rest of the day was spent checking into the hotel and carbo loading on our favorite pre race treat, PIZZA!


  We had two full size beds and 5 people, hoping Mandy and I could share one bed and the kids the other. Well the kids weren't having that so it was 2 adults 2 toddlers while Deion slept alone. Needless to say Deion was well rested in the morning while Mandy and I looked like we battled pirates all night. One of these days I will learn to just sleep on the floor.

Race day morning we dropped the kiddies off at the sitter and headed to the park where Mandy and Deion needed to use the port-a potties. I had learned long ago that its best to do your business before arriving or moments like this happen, 
Port-a Pottie Line Selfie

 Soon Deion and I departed to corral 1 while Mandy hung out in corral 6. Its awesome that Deion is fast enough that we can start closer to the front. One of my main pet peeves of racing is having to zig zag around slower runners who try to start up front. Yet there is always those people who sneak up there and can't hang and just get in the way (NOT COOL!) So the start went off well and we resisted the urge to sprint off and held our pace whilst zig zagging around the slowness!!!

We were supposed to run a negative split race starting our pace around 8:20 and kicking it in to a 7:20 in the second half. Well I didn't get time to make a pace band and our first mile clicked off around 7:48 so I attempted to chill us out, I failed. I thought the worse that could happen is we would get tired but could use the downhills in the second half to make it up if we did. The funny thing was, it was so cool out and the course wasn't that hilly so the faster pace wasn't  hurting us so. I did my best to hold us between 7:55 & 7:37 for the first half and drop it down to 7:28 & 7:08 for the second half. Speaking of the course it was awesome and had some of the most supportive neighborhoods. I saw so many people out in their yards with food and drinks for the runners. What was even crazier was some even had full bars and were mixing drinks. I was tempted many times by Tequila and Whiskey touting fans to "Just Have A Shot!" I prevailed though and kept my sobriety through the race. I could have been hammered by mile 5 there was so many alcohol stops. 

I noticed at mile 10 we were on pace to run 1:40:00 and by mile 11 we could even go sub 1:40:00. Deion was fresher than I was. So at mile 11 I told him "Go now Deion, you have a real shot at going sub 1:40 just don't let me catch you!" It was a joy watching that boy dig deep for the final miles. He gapped me by 39 seconds heading into the final mile as I just cruised on in to the finish. 

  Deion ran an very good 1:38:20 and I ran a decent 1:38:59. By those numbers you would have never guessed that just a little over a year ago Deion couldn't even run a 30 minute 5K. Shortly after he crossed the line race officials and the medical crew grabbed him and began to interrogate him about his age. I immediately got to him and assumed responsibility for my son and asked them to kindly to remove their hands from him.

Sub 1:40:00 in his first official Half

  We waited for Mandy to arrive and she crossed the line in a respectable 2:06:00 even. After bathroom and refueling we went back and grabbed the kids. Hot long showers were had by all before we loaded the truck and headed back to AZ.

 All in all it was a good weekend with some awesome running and time with the Team!