Tuesday, May 23, 2017

San Diego Beach & Bay Half Marathon Recap!

I would like to start out by saying this race was AWESOME!  Oh my gosh, I have always dreamed of running a race along the ocean and the beach and I did just that on Saturday!  I wasn't actually planning on running this race, but at the last minute someone in my MRTT group could not go and I was able to do a bib transfer into my name! So kudos to the race director for having that option available for me!  And since my husband had a friend visiting from Minnesota, I was not able to go the the packet pick up the day before the race. Once again I relied on my MRTT group and someone was able to pick up my race packet for me. She just needed a signed waiver and a copy of my ID from me. So another kudos to the race director for allowing others to pick up someone else's race packet. Woohoo!  

My day started at 3:30am because my ride down was picking me up at 4:15am. I made my self some coffee, peanut butter toast and grabbed a banana for the car ride.  We also picked up two other ladies on our way down.
We arrived to the sun runner parking lot around 6am. It was a quick 5 minute walk to the starting line where our friends were waiting for us.  I quickly pinned my bib on and then dropped by backpack off at the gear check.  I had to pack a bag because I was going to stay at the beach after the race.  After that I had enough time to use the bathroom twice and then I got in line. I was in wave #2. They placed us in waves according to our pace.

Here I am all ready to run!!  As far as my shoes go, this was the last race I wore them for. They will now just be my short distance running shoes. 

Once we took off we ran along the road right behind sea world and around mile 2.5 I started to see the bay again. Isn't is so pretty with those tall trees? There were just a few boats out in this part of the bay that morning.

Around mile 3 we crossed over this bridge with more beautiful views!

And finally around mile 4.5 we turned the corner to see the ocean!  And I could smell it right away! Oh it was so awesome!  And around mile 5 I ate my first GU.  I really think GU helps me during my runs. It gives me the little boost that I need.

We ran up Mission Beach until we hit mile 6.5 then we had to run just a little on city streets and trails before we were back next to the bay again. 
I was actually doing great running, I had kept the 2 hour pacer in my sight for a long time. I think it wasn't until mile 8 that I lost sight of her.  That is also when I had to tell my legs to shut up because they started to get heavy.
Around mile 8.5 we came down around a point and I swear I could see the finish line. Of course I still had almost 5 miles to go so I thought that was just cruel.  
Around mile 10 I felt the urge to pee, so I stopped at a bathroom and not a single drop came out. I couldn't believe it, I swear I could have went. This is when the 2:10 pacer passed me. I couldn't believe that I was ahead of her the entire race.  My PR for a half marathon is 2:14. However, one more potty break with no result set me back even more. I finally finished at 2:21. It is not more worst time for a half, but surely I wished I could have done a little better. I try to not be too hard on myself considering I took three full months off running and just started running again in the end of March when we moved out here.

This race was so beautiful and flat! I will totally do it again next year! I would highly recommend it to anyone! They had a post race party with beer and of course there were lots of vendors there too with samples and information. Not to mention we did get a really nice tech tee and I love the finishers medal!
This was the actual course and I loved it!

After the race Mike and his friend Mark came down and met me at the beach. They did some SUP at the bay and then we spent the rest of the afternoon at Pacific Beach. It was a great day!

I am running a Memorial day 5k next monday and will recap that next week!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Races I have planned for 2017 so far...

As soon as I knew I was moving to California I started looking for a running group. I loved my Moms on the Run group and I knew that if I could find a group like that out here then I would have no problem getting my running groove back.
So thankfully facebook pulled through for me and I found a chapter of Moms Run This Town right here in my new home town.  I joined them on facebook right away so I could figure out how they do things.  I think I lived here all of three weeks when I first joined them for a group run.  And of course what do you talk about during a run? Well races of course.  Most of them had just run Ragnar So Cal and were still talking about it, and some of them were planning future races. So naturally I wanted to get in on some races too.  Well, since I technically don't have a paying job at this moment (start an online job next week) I can't just spend money I don't have. So I have to be careful and not sign up for every race that I see.

However, since there are a few local races that were not too bad in price I did sign up for some. And I was lucky enough to get a bib transfer for a race this coming weekend.

Here are the races I am planning on doing so far!

1. San Diego Beach & Bay inaugural Half Marathon at Mission Beach in San Diego on May 20th 
2. Memorial day 5k at Diamond Valley Lake in Hemet on May 29th
3. SoCal Wine Country Women's Half Marathon in Temecula on June 3rd
4. Aloha 10K in San Diego on September 10th
5. Ragnar Los Coyotes in Warner Springs on November 10th & 11th 

Here are some virtual races I also have done/will do:
1. Ragnar Chase the Moon Challange May 11th
2. TC Red, White and Boom Half Marathon July 4th

There are lots of other races that I am looking at doing, but have not committed to them yet.
I am just excited about running races out here in California because they are new for me and I feel like back in Minnesota I ran some of the same races year after year and it will be nice to try new ones. 

I will take lots of pictures and do a race recap for each race I do this year!

As for today, I am going to run a smooth and easy 5k just to keep my legs loose and hopefully my stubbed toe will not give me too much grief!


Friday, May 12, 2017

Slacker..but for good reason!

Yes! I am a major slacker, but I promise that will end now!  I have not blogged here since October and I have good reasons why!

1. I have ran only 1 race since I last blogged. The Night Crawler run at Essex Park on November 14th.

2. I had a major surgery on December 16th and was out of running for three months.

3. I also moved across country from southeastern Minnesota to Southern California in March.

4. I am just now getting my groove of running back.

So here are some things I will be blogging about soon!

1. Recap of Ragnar Trail NW Wisconsin

2. My surgery and how it has changed my running life

3. Moving across country and trying to get my running groove back.

4. New races I will be running this year

That is all for now. Check back soon!


Saturday, October 22, 2016

In the beginning...

I want to get back to the beginning of when I started running and why...and throw in a few old pictures for fun!  But real quick I just want to say I am still figuring out this whole blog thing, I am making an effort to read every pin on pinterest about it and hopefully the outcome will be wonderful ;) (insert sarcasm). But for real, I am going to give this my best effort!

It all started back in the fall of 2011, my baby was almost 3 years old and I had not completely lost all the baby weight. I still had about 10 pounds to go and felt frumpy. So one day after dinner I told my husband I was going to go for a run and that is exactly what I did. I laced up whatever pair of shoes I had and threw on some workout clothes and out the door I went.  I think I ran about 2 miles but I have no idea how far I actually went. And I felt like I was going to puke when I was done, but for some reason, I loved it and wanted to do it again the next day.  

And so it began, my love of running. I can't even tell you how many races I have ran or how many total miles it all adds up to but I can tell you I don't ever want to stop. There are so many good feelings I get from running that I don't think there is anything that can replace it.  

I have since learned that I need a supportive stability shoe and the best running clothes are made of technical material. 

And now for some fun!

Here I am with my son, Gavin after my very first Half Marathon. The Med City Half Marathon in May of 2013

This is me and my sister at the Dirty Girl Mud run back in 2012.  

And this is me at the Warrior Dash in 2013, I actually had just found out I was pregnant in this photo. I think I was about 6 weeks along at the time.

This was my first race after I had my second baby. I was only 6 weeks post-par tom at the time. I am with my friend, Kara and we ran the Unleash the She that raises money for Ovarian Cancer research.

Lastly, here is the one year after that last photo. I ran the Unleash the She again and all my baby weight was gone!

That is all for tonight, I want to do some race recaps for some of the bigger races I have ran especially Ragnar! 
Stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Metronic Twin Cities 10-Mile race recap!

This race is run on part of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon course. It is labeled as "One of the most beautiful urban marathons in America" according to their website. And let me tell you it sure is! I love running this race for so many reasons and a few of them are: they have an epic race expo, the spectators are the best in the world and the race is run on a super beautiful course. If I were ever to run a marathon this would be the one I would run! But that is somewhere in my far away future. For now I will stick to Half Marathons or shorter distances other than a Ragnar. 

OK on with the race recap. But first a few pics from the expo which was at the River Center in St. Paul! There were so many booths with so much great gear for all your running needs and more. It was actually hard to check them all out there were so many. I did love the signs that were up for the runners. 
This was on our way in!                                             This was on our way out!

After the expo we decided to eat at the Liffey which was just down the street. It was crazy busy because there was a MN Wild Hockey game starting soon. So we had a bit of a wait for food. But it sure was delicious. I had the fish with fries, it is not my normal pre-race dinner, but it was good.

 Here is my best running friend Tracy and me.  You will see her in lots of my photos because we run together a lot!

After dinner we headed to our hotel, we stayed at the Hyatt just down the street. And it was a very nice hotel. Our room had the tallest ceilings ever and it was just fancy. There was a total of 8 of us and somehow the hotel over booked their double queen bed rooms and we ended up with a king bed and a pull out couch in our room. So we had 3 of us in our room and there were 5 in the other room. I need to tell you that as soon as this race lottery opens all the hotels in the Twin Cities book up super fast. We were lucky to get these two rooms. We went to bed by 10pm because we had to get up at 4:30am to get ready.

Morning did come fast. I did sleep pretty good, but I was anxious and a little nervous.  I had my regular english muffin and banana for breakfast. We had to walk a few blocks down to another hotel to catch a shuttle bus.  The race started at the brand new US Bank stadium!

That place is huge! I had not been there before that morning.

Here we are all freezing our butts off. We were not allowed in the stadium because there was a Vikings game happening at noon that day.

We hit up the porta potties a few more times and headed to bag drop. Which meant we had to ditch our warm clothes. But I have to say this is one of the best bag drop experiences I have had with any race. At packet pick up we all got a clear plastic bag and a sticker with our bib number on it to attach to the bag. Then there were lots and lots of UPS trucks lined up with numbers on them and we just had to find our number range and drop the bag off and they would transport them to the finish line. 

We headed to the start line and Tracy and I were in corral B.  The race started at 7am, but we didn't start running until 7:12am.

As soon as we started running we both realized that we had to pee again. And we went to the bathroom at least 5 times that morning, I guess it was just nerves. As soon as we saw the first porta potties we stopped. And that was around 2 1/2 miles. Of course I love to take pictures during my runs so I captured these beauties within the first 5 miles of the race. 

I am not sure which bridge this was, but it was so pretty!

The last 5 miles I really enjoyed all the spectators and their signs and music. It is so inspiring to hear Beach Boys music blaring and strangers cheering you on. I just love the atmosphere around this race. It is just awesome! 
Unfortunately I had to use the bathroom one more time, so around mile 4 I stopped again and Tracy kept going. Which was fine with me, I would have felt bad if she waited for me but didn't have to go. After that I was good to go the rest of the race. I did eat some GU around mile 7 because I felt like I needed a boost of energy. At mile 9 they have this huge tunnel that has music blaring that you can run through. On the inside the walls say "Go" and "Run".  It is a nice little boost to get you through that last mile! 


Once you come around a corner and see this gigantic American Flag and the State Capitol you know you are close to the end.

And I finished at 1 hour 42 minutes. It is not my best time for a 10-mile race, but I did stop a lot and just really enjoyed this race.  


The bag drop was so efficient I was able to get my warm clothes within minutes of finishing! Then I headed over to find the rest of my group. We waited for everyone to finish since we all started out in different corrals and then had to take one more group picture.

We had just over a mile walk back to our hotel and then got to shower. I just love showers after a race, they are so refreshing!  After we got all cleaned up we checked out of our hotel and headed out for some brunch. We decided on IHOP.  I had never been to one before and let me tell you it was amazing!
I had an egg, ham and broccoli omelet and pancakes. I actually only ate half of all of it and saved the rest for dinner/breakfast the next day!


Once we were done eating we headed home. It was such a fun time I can't wait to do it again next year! The lottery opens in July!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Weekend Plans!

I am going to do a weekly update on Friday to let you know my weekend plans! This will include any long run plans or any races I plan to run. And of course I will sprinkle in any other fun activities too!
This weekend I will be running the Twin Cities 10-mile race. I ran this last year and I am looking forward to running it again this year. I will be heading to the race expo around 5pm Saturday and the race is at 7am on Sunday. I will have a race recap on Wednesday next week.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

About Me!

My name is Jessica and I am a wife and mom who loves to run! I have been running since early 2012 and haven't stopped! Well, I may have slowed down during pregnancy, but never really stopped. I have been married to my husband Mike for 13 years and we have two boys. They are Gavin age 7 (almost 8) and Logan age 2. Our family is complete and we live in Minnesota. For the record, I hate the cold and snow, but we were both born & raised here so that is why I tolerate it! I am starting this blog to help give readers information about all things running! I hope you enjoy and share with your friends! 
Here we are November 2015!