"Disclaimer: I received a complimentary race entry for the Rock n Roll San Diego Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
I recently ran the Rock n Roll San Diego half marathon, celebrating 20 years of the Rock n Roll Marathon series. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have ran the RnR San Diego full marathon twice, and it is my current PR. So I kind of already have a special place in my heart for this race.
Fast forward 15 years later, here I am running the half marathon as an almost 50 year old! This was my first half marathon since having knee surgery in October. I had a lot of anticipation and uncertainty as the race got closer…would I be able to do it after everything my knee has been through?
I made this trip a quick getaway, just in on Saturday and out on Sunday to save on hotel expenses. I knew lots of other people doing the race, so that made it even more fun to look forward to.
After landing and dropping off my luggage at the hotel, I walked over to the convention center for the expo. Rock n Roll expos are known for being huge and having a fun atmosphere. I was looking forward to finding some new products to try. Pickup was quick but the actual exhibit area was quite crowded when I was there.
Next up was lunch. I was staying in the Gaslamp Quarter, where there are tons and tons of bars and restaurants. I found this really cool neighborhood pizza place where I chatted up some locals. I may or may not have tried some delicious local San Diego beer as well…
I had a meetup scheduled to meet 2 other BibRave Pro ladies – Mai and Fallon. I picked a fountain in seaport village for us to meet at but had trouble finding it in person – people were giving me conflicting directions, and even google maps sent me the opposite way! I hopped a pedi cab who got me close to the spot. The weather was cool and was “june gloom” – foggy cloudy overcast that just stayed there the whole time. I never saw the sun once in the 30 hours I was in town!
After the expo and meetup I wandered over to Seaport Headquarters, a little area with shops and restaurants I had been to last fall. I found this cool chalk drawing from a local artist that serves as a fun photo opp.
Restaurants were getting crowded so I grabbed some dinner and headed back to my room. I was so exhausted from walking all over town.
Shuttle buses started running at 4:30am, and it was just a 10 minute ride to the start. It was $5 for a one way shuttle ticket. Tons of porta potties, they were well prepared for the massive crowd. I had 3 photo opps I was trying to make on race morning, with 2 of them being at the same time, so that was going to be rough to coordinate. There were tons and tons of photographers, I almost felt “assaulted” by them there was so many. It was still dark out and I was getting stopped every 30 feet by photographers to take a picture. Enough, already!
I met up with some former Ragnar teammates for a photo, that was fun. I missed my Moms Run this Town Photo opp. I made it to the We Run Social photo opp where I met Runny Legs and saw Carlee McDot, Mats Miles Medals and Pavement Runner. The race had over 30 corrals, I was in #5. We basically started on time, with little fanfare. Within the first 2 miles, the hills started. I did zero hill training for this race, which was a mistake. I used nuun performance for the race, and carried a bottle with me for most of the race. I took breaks every few miles to walk and drink.
I had heard there was going to be a moving experience around mile 4, and it didn’t disappoint. There were around 100 photos of fallen military lining the roads, plus American flags. I'm an emotional mess during a big race anyway, so I started tearing up when I ran through all of it. It was really cool.
The thing that impressed me the most about this race was the amount of spectators. From start to finish, there were crowds lining the road and lots of cheering. It was much appreciated! Hills, hills, and more hills. Most were manageable – until one right after this Rock n Roll guy at mile 10. It was a punishing hill. I had read that much of the 2nd half of the course included downhill, which it did, but plenty of uphill too! I actually never looked at the elevation chart ahead of time, which was probably a good thing!
Going into this race, my first half marathon post surgery, my goal was to just “have fun” and not worry about time. This was honestly a test to see if my knee could do it. I am happy to report that my knee felt as normal as could be! The rest of my legs felt shredded by those hills though! I was discouraged to have a slower time than usual, but I can fully accept it!
The medal is nice, the inside spins like a record. Unfortunately, my D tag on my shoe malfunctioned and I have no official time results (hoping it gets corrected soon). My fitbit said 2:11:59. Not quite the sub 2 I had hoped for, but again, I had to put all that pressure aside...or at least try to.
San Diego is a fun time, I highly recommend this race for a racecation destination!! I’m looking forward to my next Rock n Roll half in Savannah, GA in November. I’ll earn this special double bling award, the Double Beat!!
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Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!