"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Monday, June 2, 2008

Race Report: San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

Race Report: San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon, San Diego, CA. June 1, 2008 (Time: 5:33:12)

First things first

Thank you all for your cheers and tracking me yesterday. It was very cool to feel you all with me during this marathon. It was filled with challenges, but I survived: a little wiser, a little redder, and a little prouder of myself, than when I began. Coming home to all the comments was so sweet. I actually got a little teary that you all took time to be a part of my race. Thank you so much!

You guys rock!

Picture: Race schwag: Number with RBR on it. So cool! (obviously post-race, it will become clear later why is looks like that), medal (VERY COOL. You should do Rock 'n' Roll Events for the medals alone), and the pink hat that my run buddy bought me after the race (LOVE HER!)

Pre-race Day

My run buddy and I flew to San Diego strapped to the back of a epileptic carrier pigeon called an American Eagle commuter flight. It wasn't the smallest plane I have ever been on, but it came in a close second. (The first was when going to a foreign country called Cheyenne,Wyoming. Don't go. Just don't.)

We met up with my LA run buddy at the hotel (She came down too. I am seriously the luckiest person alive. I have the BEST friends. I am unworthy!), and we went to the convention center for packet pick up.

Hmmm, that little sentence make it sound so easy. Unfortunately, the San Diego Rock 'n Roll Marathon is held in San Diego (who knew?) and getting around San Diego when there are more than 20 people visiting is NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE! It took us 1 1/2 hours to go from our hotel to the convention center parking lot (an 8 mile trip). Once inside the expo was extremely well directed and organized and I had my packet, t-shirt, and goodie bag in less than 5 minutes. I bought some race schwag (cute fleece and running shirt)

We had an awesome girl's day out. We went back to the hotel, took a nap and then went out to get pedicures, and off to a less than healthy, but totally delicious, pre-race dinner (can you hear the eerie, foreshadowing music?)

Race Morning

I got up extra early as usual, we left early, got horrifically lost, and then we got stuck in the traffic nightmare that is San Diego on event day.


At 6:15 am (race start was at 6:30 am) I, and about 150 other runners, had to bail out of the car, in traffic, and hike/run up a 1/2 mile, steep as hell hill to the start. Have you ever had the misfortune of walking up a San Francisco trolley hill?

Yeah, like that.

Super awesome.

By the time I got the the corral (corral 21 I was supposed to be in 17, but I didn't make it. You KNOW how much I LOVE being late) my shins were killing me and I was already sweating profusely. I had no time to wait in the port-a-potty line (more eerie, foreshadowing music) and it was time to go. My friends showed up about 20 seconds after me. Turns out IMMEDIATELY after I bailed out they found a way to get up the start. By car. As in, not hike/running up the steep as hell hill.

Awesome squared.

Picture: Me and the RBR girls moseying forward after the gun start. Picture taken by very sweet TNT runner. Damn we are cute!

Marathon lesson # 1: When running a HUGE race in a poorly planned urban community. Do not plan your departure time based on an assumption that the directions you have are accurate, or even fucking close, to the actual layout of the city.

Miles 1-7

The first 7 miles wind around downtown San Diego which was quite pretty and there was a nice cool breeze off the water. It was a beautiful start, still slightly overcast and cool. Gorgeous running weather. Pictures: Running through Downtown San Diego. View of harbor from run course.

Unfortunately, at about mile 3 I realized that my pre-race dinner of spinach/artichoke dip, tortilla chips, an Asian chicken wrap, french fries, and chocolate cake with ice cream, was an extremely poor choice. A fact I would NOT forget for the next 23 miles.

Marathon lesson #2: Greasy, fat-laden, nutrient-poor foods ingested less than 12 hours before an event WILL come back to haunt you. Repeatedly. And often. With much vehemence.

My stomach was a nightmare from that point on. Which sucks all on its own, but sucks doubly hard (Both my mother and my English teacher are SO proud of me right now) because I was running really well. No knee, or leg issues. I felt great everywhere. Everywhere, but my tummy.

Miles 7-10

The freeway. For those of you that have read other race reports on the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll course this is the dreaded section of the race. Picture Elevation profile for the course.


Not so bad.

The hill seemed pretty gradual, but the concrete and the slant was pretty rough on your legs. I actually didn't mind it and running on a closed freeway with cars zipping above you on the overpasses was kind of cool.

Pictures 1. running on the freeway. This is mile 10 where we h
ave crested the hill and are heading down. 2. is an absolutely GOR-GEOUS gal I met and ran with, Tina-Louise, from LA. and 3. Me being a goofball, as usual. I can see in my face that I don't feel good and let me tell you, I DID NOT FEEL GOOD. But I was determined to have some fun.

Mile 11

I finally decided that I had to wait in the 10 minute port-a-potty line (
This was one of the shorter lines. Hey San Diego, with 22,000 runners, well over half being women, you need more f-ing porta-potties!) I didn't stop before because I feared the porta-potty stop would make things worse. I was right. 13 minutes lost and nothing to show for it so to speak. (Sorry! Totally TMI)

Mile 12

RBR Girls! So excited to see them! I missed them at first, so I had to actually turn around and run back to hug them. I forgot to take a picture! I found out later that getting around San
Diego to cheer on the runners was VERY difficult. I so appreciate all the hell they went through for me!

Miles 13-19

Slog, slog, slog.

The sun came out, it got pretty hot, and this
long flat section was pretty brutal. Stomach VERY unhappy. RBR very unhappy.

Some very kind neighborhood people were out with their hoses spraying runners. Sent straight from God, these people.

Thank you San Diegans!

Pictures At least it was pretty. I don't know where these were from. Everything was icky at this point.

Mile 18

Another 10 minutes in the port-a-potties. Unhappy, unhappy, unhappy. You know the saying "Nothing tastes as good as 'thin' feels"? How about "Nothing tastes as good as 'not running as a huge, bloated, gas bag' feels"?

Marathon Lesson #3: Spandex drenched in sweat will
NEVER return to the same spot on your body as it was when you took it off. Never. Wedgie or saggy ass, choose one and move on.

Miles 19-25

Another freeway stretch that was flat, boring and I wanted to be done. Here is when I first realized that, Hey, maybe all that talk about sunblock was actually directed at pasty white girls like me and I should have worn some! Picture No, I am not wearing a white tank top that is my sunburn. Nice job, RBR!

Marathon lesson #4: When running in June, in San Diego, and you are admittedly as white as a newborn's talcum powdered ass, WEAR SUNBLOCK, DIP SHIT!

Picture Me and T-L at Mile 20

Miles 25-26.2

I don't know if it was psychosomatic, but I felt a little better. I just wanted to be done. I picked up the pace and finished strong. Had I known they were filming the damn finish for the live tracking I would have done something cool instead of just slogging across the line looking at my Garmin. Sorry about that!

5:33:12. It could have been much worse. Considering the excessive time spent port-o-pottying it I think I ran pretty strong. Next time sub-5, baby! Oh, and no Fried Food Fiesta the night before.

Marathon #2 DONE! Go me.


Stef0115 said...

WOW Congratulations!!! The pictures are GREAT! Your report and the pics actually planted the seed in my head that maybe I could run this marathon.

You look GREAT! Granted I don't know you but I cannot tell from these photos that you did not feel well. You will definitely go sub 5 next time.

Would you recommend this race to someone who has never run a marathon before? Seriously marathon = not on my radar but now, maybe I will want to do this one at some point in the future (being purposely vague here).

Way to ROCK IT!

Erin Leigh said...

Congrats on finishing your 2nd Marathon!! Sorry about the tummy issues. That does not sound like fun.

E said...

Congrats! Love the race report.

Southbaygirl said...

Oh my god have I been there in the porta pot hell hole! My 2nd LA Marathon the same thing happened to me!!! I so can feel the pain you were going thru! SUCKS!!!!! But you pushed thru and finished and have now run 2 marathons! yeah you is right!!!

So glad you had friends there to cheer you on! unlike bad me friend who didn't come down from LA to cheer and scream Run Bitch Run from the freeway!!! next time I promise!!!

Pictures are great! you look great-just as cute as your new friend from LA!! And that hill-sorry looked UGLY! Why would they do such a thing???

Calyx Meredith said...

You are my hero! You ran that far, that fast with a sad tummy?! Well done! Truly impressive grit, my friend. OK - if you're going to be like those crazy 50-staters, you know you're going to need to do a marathon in a state other than CA, right? :D

Congratulations on your marathon chica!

Reese said...

What a great job, and with all the problems you had, it is more impressive. Your attitude is good considering that so many things didn't go your way. And no one I've read describes running a marathon like you do. I enjoyed your report.

Angela said...

Rock on! Congratulations, girl! You are seriously, my running super hero. What I mean is that you are awesome! I love reading your race reviews. Sorry about your sunburn. It looks painful. I need to remember the sunscreen thing.

Hey, I have four weeks and two days til my first race. It's nothing compared to a fucking marathon. But it's a lot for me.

You rock! You roll! Rock N Roll Marathon, baby!

Lou said...

Congrats! Nice job stomach issues and all. You should run Chicago with me and Lindy :)

L Sass said...

I'm a fellow marathoner stopping by from Lou's--CONGRATS! Despite the dreaded stomach troubles, it sounds like a very fun race!!

Jane said...

Whew- that is a bad sunburn!
Yeah, eat nothing weird the day prior. Great pics and report. That hill looks brutal.

Willie said...

Rockstar! (that pretty much says it all!)

I had a ball tracking you, I was yelling and cheering as loud as I could. Your pace was pretty consistent considering the potty stops. You should EASILY break 5 hours next time. I can't wait for it, I hope I'm there!!

I can relate to the stomach troubles but not to pushing through them. I have never been able to get past them if they show up. You are either extremely tough or totally insane (maybe both!?!?). I've always heard that women have a higher tolerance for pain, now I believe it. Will you still love me if I ask... "WHAT WERE YOU THINKING EATING LIKE THAT"?????? I love you babe, but that's just nuts! LOL

I am so proud of you and so happy to call you friend. Keep up the training. I know you love tri's but I think I detect a bit of a marathoner lover in you.......

ShirleyPerly said...

CONGRATS!!! Great job on your race, esp. with the stomach issues. I used to live in the San Diego area and know what a nightmare traffic can be. Glad you had pretty nice running weather, though. You look great in the photos!!

Tater said...

Way to GEAUX RBR!!! You are the Bionic Woman! I hope one day I can run like u chick!
I can't believe you ate the pre-race stuff *burp*! If I had eaten that I'd have sh%t mah pants for sure!
This race sounds like so much fun. My friend did it a few years ago on her honeymoon.
My new wheels are heavy training ones too and unfortunately I will have to race on them too. But I have to have something strong and laced tight to support my abundance for now.
Thanks for all your comments on my blog!
Whats next on your calendar?

Lindy said...

You continue to amaze and inspire me! And yes, your run buddies are AWESOME. Congrats on another great race, and thanks for the food tip. ;)

p.s. that super cute hat makes me want to run San Diego, LOL!

Maryland Girl aka Michelle said...

Way to go!!!!! You are awesome! Love the medal! Very similar to the Country Music Medal. That pre-reace eating is such a tricky thing! Now you know what NOT to eat! Hope you are recovering well!

Unknown said...

I am about to run my very first marathon ever. I was a "non-runner" (couch warmer) until 4 months ago. I joined LLS Team-in-Training after the death of my Mother from Leukemia. I found your blog by searching for race reports on San Diego Rock 'n' Roll. I was feeling scared, unprepared, alone, even desperate. Now, after your delightful race report with your hilarious writing style, I have told my husband to whisper in my ear, "RUN BITCH RUN!" if I feel like giving up. (We have to whisper it because our other TNT runner partner, and BFF, is a wonderful woman but a minister. No bad language. LOL) Thanks, RBR, you were just what I needed! :D

Unknown said...


How are you? Hope all is well!

Anyway, I noticed you mentioned COMPETITOR GROUP (Rock N Roll Maration) on your site: (http://rbr-runbabyrun.blogspot.com/2008/06/race-report-san-diego-rock-n-roll.html).We really appreciate the mention! I'm glad you wanted to share information about Rock N Roll marathon with your readers.

Would you mind linking back to use as a reference for anyone that is interested in learning more? Here is the URL: http://runrocknroll.competitor.com/arizona.

Please let me know if you will. Thank you so much and I wish you all the best! :)

Abby Michaels