(M)e (A)nd (R)oger (C)rush (H)ills

(I know it’s Roger and I, but there’s no month spelled RAICH hehe)

hill seeer

San Diego Winter’s “triathlon off-season” means run season. A few events sprinkle in to motivate in January and February, but the following month is exactly that: march.  You’ll see below how we’ve been pretty busy in our spring, I hope it’ll be worth the wait!

3/13 The San Diego Half Marathon is awesome; the course layout, the organization, this finish line shoot with the jumbotron screen is the closest local race to the Boston Marathon, and they top it off with a big headliner for the post party.  Since they started a legacy status with stars on swag each consecutive year, you get hooked.  Last year talking at mile 9 and missing an aid station dehydrated me leading to crossing in at 1:32. This year I was focused on fixing those failures. The first 5 miles you have to hit 10 seconds faster than goal pace to make up for the “San Francisco style” steep inclines at mile 7-9. Once I crested Washington Street hill, I finally saw the 1:30 pacer pass me.  There’s one suspenseful mile before the last 5k downhill to catch an empty trolley track.  I wonder if the two women that flew by me at mile 10 were in the relay, which unlike triathlon your calf is not marked with your race distance, because I was not going slow. 1:29, course revenge complete! We biked to and from the race just a few miles, yet someone managed to door me incoming into the race. Thankfully I flew into the grass. Ah, San Diego drivers.

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My sister was visiting and shared a race experience with us for the first time! We were so happy to have her there.

3/19 The inaugural Mission Hills 5K, which supports a local elementary school’s expansion plans, circles around the gorgeous mansion district of Mission Hills.  It’s clear that local parents planned this event because packet pickup is hosted at a wine happy hour serving tacos with live music! (WIN! p.s. unless you’re racing the next day haha)

When we get there Meb Keflezighi is with his kids and family entourage that blend into the crowds of parents and children. There are only three elite local runner guys that Roger knows. Roger and I toe the line with kids and stroller parents where we start to get worried at the future bottleneck. The race director finally comes out to separate the crowd into  3 waves: race runners (kids can only stay if they run 6/min mile), kids/parents, then strollers/walkers.  Some guy yells out to me, “Are you going to win?” I say, “I better.”  This is a looped course with few turns and a short yet sharp incline at mile 2. I crossed as first female, not a PR, but I’m happy I held onto a respectable sub-20 time. Overall winners got a signed copy of “Meb for Mortals” from Meb himself!

Meb wasn’t racing, he was there as a Dad taking pics and cheering on his young daughter, that attends this school, on her race! It was very cool to see this world famous athlete as a normal person in a crowd.  The finish line party was a kid festival with healthy food, live music, hopscotch contests!  What’s the best way to remind event participants that there was a soap brand as a sponsor? SOAP FOAM SPRAY MACHINE! Oh yes, it was messy and a joy to watch. I highly recommend this race!

3/20  By chance I won two free entries to the Hot Chocolate 15K by 2XU compression brand on Instagram! Although this became back to back racing, I couldn’t pass it up! 2XU gifted 2 compression socks and calf sleeves with the entries for 2 people. Jackpot!  At the start line I see my familiar faces including Maija Rhode who is a strong sweet running barbie doll machine! Also Gwendloyn Twist, c0-producer of the upcoming Triathlon Film, who came down from Los Angeles to run this in preparation for a marathon.  We biked the 2 miles to the event to stretch. Even with the compression gear on I still felt that previous day’s 5k on my calves. I’m not crazy about the chocolate afterwards but the bowl-style mugs are cool.

When you get into a race for free, you still have to decide whether to work hard to justify their investment or to shrug it off as a “training race” since you didn’t invest your own $$$; the kicker is that the race results posted online do not care.  

  • Run your best at every race because you have been given an opportunity to! 
  • Run your best at every race to pay respect to the spirit of those who can’t for illness or other roadblocks.

4/1-2 Ragnar SoCal where my team #bspe (best slumber party ever) won 1st place in the all-women Sub-Masters! Ragnar SoCal relay runs 1200-ish miles from Huntington Beach to Coronado.

4/3 Carlsbad 5000 could not be missed!  Our friend, David Martinez visited from Colorado to join our All Day 5K crew since we all coordinate outfits for each of the 4 waves. It was a social festival “run-union” with exhausted legs but super fun.

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4/24 La Jolla Half Marathon 1:40 Pacers experience was extremely rewarding as we helped a small group reach their goal, including a 13 year old boy that stuck by my hip the entire time until the last 2 miles where we told him to go for it. He came up with his parents afterwards beaming that he got in at 1:37!

The races leading up to the La Jolla Half pacer task was to prepare us to pace & talk during the 440′ elevation gain of Torrey Pines at mile 6.

Mission Accomplished!

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