Time To Rock N Roll, #EndlessSummer

I’d never thought I’d run this race again. After dealing with horrible logistics in 2010 and again in 2011 I swore I was done with San Diego Rock N’ Roll. I hated running on the 163 and the finish at Sea World was miserable. I do not exaggerate. It’s not fun trying to get out of that place when 30,000 other people are trying to do the same thing.

And then they changed the course.

And I was tempted.

I knew I was running Ojai so I hesitated.

And then I was offered an opportunity to run it. Done. Challenge accepted.

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The race is this Sunday, June 2nd. Registration is still available at the Expo today and tomorrow. I believe the half is now $165, Full $175 and Relay $195. I heard Jamba Juice is handing out smoothies at the finish so if that doesn’t get ya maybe the course will.

The half course looks to be fast (no freeway running, YES!):

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The full offers the challenge of getting over the hill at mile 21 and then it’s all downhill :

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Both courses finish downtown next to Petco Park. If you haven’t had the chance to hang out downtown SD it’s pretty darn nice.

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Bonus? Padres are in town all weekend so you can hit up a game while you’re here. Tickets are cheap. CHEAP.

view from the cheap seats
view from the cheap seats

My only concern is getting to the start. Options are limited and with the early start time of 6 am, getting to SD at the BCOD is pretty much the only option. There is parking available downtown but the walk to the start is all uphill. Not ideal right before a race. What to do, what to do. Fingers crossed that public transportation is going to be ready.

I am really hoping that the changes to the race are going to be for the better. If you are in town this weekend come join me before sunrise for a little 13.1 mile jog through my old neighborhood.

What?

You didn’t think I was going to run back to back fulls did you? Come on, I’m still celebrating my 3:3o!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mountains To Beach Marathon Recap

I am still on cloud 9. What a race.

As you saw in my last post, and probably on Twitter and IG I had a major PR. A 15 min PR to be exact. And I BQ’d. There were lots of tears at the finish.

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Sunday morning I woke up late. Really late. Lucky I didn’t miss the race late. I accidentally set the alarm for Mon-Fri. Ooops. So thankful that my husband randomly woke up, freaked out and got me up. If he would not have gotten up I would have slept the day away.

Back to the race.

I threw my clothes on, heated up my oatmeal and we were on the road just after 5 am. By the time we got to Ojai I had just enough time to go to the bathroom (the line was crazy long) and get to the start line.

As I waited for the gun to go off I chatted with a gal from Orange County about goals for the race. I told her my BQ was 3:40 (hers was too). She had a pace band and offered to make sure we stuck to the splits if she saw me on the course. I told her I was gunning for a 3:30. I hadn’t told anyone but L that. In fact, I knew I could run better than a 3:30 if I ran smart. There was no way I was running this race with anyone but me.

About 10 min after 6 it was finally go time.

I took off a little fast in knowing miles 2-4 were an uphill climb. I knew I would slow a bit during those miles and felt good where I was at. Plan was to try to run an even split.

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As we finished the 10k loop around Ojai and started downhill toward the beach I was cruising. I was talking to runners around me. I felt awesome. Crazy awesome. I felt like I could run forever. I couldn’t freaking believe it! I crossed the half right around 1:44. I was right on pace for my 3:30 (or better!).

Around mile 17 or so we lost shade. It started to feel warm but I still had some spring in my step. I couldn’t wait to hit the beach. At mile 19 I ticked away another sub 8 mile and knew that all I had to do was hang on.

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We made a turn out at mile 20 and there was the water. It was gorgeous. Much better than last year when the last 10k was out and back through a neighborhood! At mile 22 I saw my husband and gave him a giant smile. At that time my watch read 2:57. I just had to hang on for 4 more miles and I would get my 3:30.

Those last 4 miles hurt like a mofo. At 23 I pulled out my iPod and turned it up loud. I just needed to make it to the turn around at 24 and give it what I had. At 25 I was begging my legs to run faster. Finally at 26 I saw the finish banner. I passed a lot of people that last .20. It felt freaking awesome.

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As I crossed the finish line I cried. I ran a strong race. The past several months have been a roller coaster ride. So many highs and lows. Every emotion fueled me through this race. I freaking did it. I did it! Mama Kay would have been SO proud!

Oh, and my plan to run an even race? I came so close to nailing it! The last 4 miles were the pace killer, lol.

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I ran the tangent pretty dang perfect. Man, I had a day.

You know, last year I ran a 4:09 in Ojai. That’s a 39 min course improvement. Hard work totally pays off.

Boston HERE I COME.

30 days: The Rug Pulled Out From Under Our Feet

30 days…

I remember getting the text about Mama Kay not sleeping well. She would wake up in the middle of the night and think that it was morning. She once sent us a text at 3:30 a.m. our time apologizing for missing a trip out to a family ranch in Oklahoma. That trip was a long time ago and L and I didn’t go. At least we got a laugh out of it. While her waking up in the wee hours was not necessarily a bad thing for her, it was effecting my FIL. Poor guy needed sleep!

On Monday April 29th he called hospice (remember she was released from their hospital) and they suggested she do a 3 day stay to give him and L’s aunt a break. They would monitor her, take the night shifts and make sure all was good. In 3 days she would return home. Sounded like the perfect plan.

They checked in late that afternoon and FIL decided to stay with her. Close to midnight they were laughing and eating and just happy. I wish we could have just stayed living in that very moment.

Tuesday is when it all changed. Tuesday is when she stopped responding. Tuesday is when we got the call that we needed to get there ASAP. Wednesday is when we packed L’s bag and prayed that she would hang on. Then the stroke happened. We broke. Literally. We prayed, our church prayed, our friends prayed, our neighbors prayed, people we didn’t know prayed. We asked for comfort. We asked for guidance.

Thursday morning we took L to the airport. It was Deja Vu. We just did this same thing at the same time 30 days ago…last time it was better. This time would be different. This time the rug was being pulled out from under our feet.

He made it the hospital and got to spend lots of time with Mom, Dad, his brothers, family and friends. He would call me every few hours to check in. The emotion during each of the calls was high. It was really hard.

Friday I booked a flight for the kids and I to leave Saturday morning. That Friday was the longest day of my life. Everyone was calling. So many emotions, so many questions. Tick, tick, tick. It was like time was standing still. I just wanted to get there. That night I got us packed got everyone tucked into bed and then around 10:15 p.m. the call came.

No, no, no. This wasn’t supposed to happen. Not yet. She was just released from hospice care. She was just on the news thanking HIM for additional time. She was just at the gym. She was just out shopping and negotiating deals at a local thrift store. She was just butt dialing me at work. NO NO NO. Please no.

Our plans aren’t HIS plans. We’re not in control. And then the flood gates opened. Uncontrolable tears.

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. “For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.” Matthew 11 28-30.

On Saturday May 4, 2013 Mama Kay when home to heaven. She battled Pancreatic Cancer for 11 months. She never complained about it. Not once. She, in fact, thanked GOD for her cancer because it gave her the opportunity to speak to people about her faith. She was given a powerful voice. One we never saw her use until her diagnosis. She was a warrior. She encouraged so many. She loved, she laughed. She changed lives.

The first time I saw her I didn’t believe it. It was Saturday night. She looked like an angel. She looked so elegant and peaceful. She was finally healed.

We celebrated her life on Monday May 6th. At the graveside service the pastor read Isaiah 41:10. I lost it. That’s the verse written on my hand every race. He had no idea. “That’s just how God works” he told me. When we made our way to the church it was packed!! She was (and still is) loved by so many. She touched people she never even met. She will never ever be forgotten.

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I want to thank you all for sharing in this journey with my family. Thank you for letting me share my faith.This is real life. We all go through this. It has not been easy to share. There have been many times (like today) when as I write tears are streaming. It still doesn’t seem real.I don’t think it will for a while.

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The Ojai Marathon is a week from Sunday. I will be wearing purple to support the fight against Pancreatic Cancer. I will run with my heart and not my legs. It’s going to be an emotional race. The one thing that is certain is that I will have an angel with me for all 26.2 miles that day. It can’t get any better than that.

30 days

A lot can happen in 30 days. A lot has. I’ve changed. My family has changed. One thing that has not? Our faith. It’s stronger than ever.

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On April 28th I half dragged myself out of bed to run the La Jolla Half Marathon. I didn’t feel like running. My legs were still heavy and sore. I was on little to no sleep so the thought of running 13 miles of hills sounded awful. “Just get up” I said to myself at least 10 times. At least.

I made it down to the race start about an hour before go time. My warm up was pitiful (clearly my attitude was too). Each step felt like I had cement blocks tied to my shoes. This was supposed to be fun! Why was it feeling like work? Sigh.

When I finally found my girlfriends I perked up a bit. They were the attitude adjustment that I needed. Funny how friends can do that!

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They had shirts on in support of Boston which quickly reminded me that complaining about heavy legs was just plain stupid. It was time to run and give what effort I had and that I did.

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13.1 hilly fracking miles later I crossed the finish in 1:42:06 (this is a 9 min PB on this course!). My Garmin said 1:41:07 so not sure where my 1 minute watch fail happened, but it did. Still a strong effort and a great time on a difficult course.

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I called my family and gave them a spot to pick me up since LJ traffic gets really bad. This allowed me to jog a cool down and finish with 15 miles on the day.

As I got into the car and told the kids all about the race. They fought over the medal (this is standard stuff when you have kids) and per the usual bragged about how cool it is when “their mom wins medals.” It.was.awesome.

After the race we had an awesome afternoon spending time together as a family. We went to a ball game in flip-flops and tank tops. We ate junk food because sometimes we just need to live a little.ย 

That day is so fresh in my mind.

You see that day our 30 days was approaching. We didn’t know it yet but it was. If we knew that a giant kick to the stomach was going to be delivered 48 hours later we would have frozen time.

30 days.

A reminder that we are not in control.

To be continued this afternoon…