13.1 Miles Along the Ocean

Last fall, a girlfriend and I were chatting about registering for a half marathon together. We had our eyes set on the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland, but we couldn’t get our shit together to register before it sold out.

We were excited about the possibility of going to California and before you knew it, we were on Google searching for another half-marathon taking place in January.

We landed on the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon & Half-Marathon and were immediately sold. The event takes place along the ocean – yes, 13.1 miles along the water.

Carlsbad Race ExpoSo last weekend we headed to San Diego for race weekend!

Monique headed down Friday morning and I met her late that night. She picked me up from the airport {sweet rental car} and we headed to our new home in Pacific Beach. We found an oceanfront gem for a super reasonable price!

We were both excited to run the half together, but also spend some time getting to know each other better. The short story on Monique and my relationship is that we met through the social media world – and have a lot of common interests. Running for one. ;)

She lives in Edmonton {I know… I know. Poor girl. ;)} and we get to see each other… well, pretty much, never.

On Saturday, we headed north to La Jolla for breakfast {Resto Reco: The Cottage} and then onto the race expo in Carlsbad. The weather in San Diego had been terrible all week. Vancouver-like conditions and pouring rain. It was still sprinkling in Carlsbad and Southern California was in a deep fog. We were both hopeful that the sun would miraculously come out in the morning!

The race expo was meh — a few tents outside and really crowded. We stopped by Snuggbuds to pick up M some headphones, bought a few Gu chomps and got the heck outta there. A quick stop at Target to pick up race socks and then we headed south to the Las Americas outlets {helloooo Victoria’s Secret outlet!}. We got lost a few dozen times and we finally realized that we were headed in the right direction when we hit the USA/Mexico border. The Las Americas outlets are pretty much in Tijuana haha.

We were exhausted by the time we left the mall and at that point where we needed to eat — or we would turn into raging women. We took advantage of the fact that pasta is supported the night before a race and headed to Little Italy for a bite to eat {Resto Reco: Mimmo’s Italian Village}.

The plan before race day is always early to bed. That generally never happens. We planned our race outfits — totally matching, totally cute. M worked on her playlist. No idea what I was doing, but it was a little after 1am before I finally got to sleep.

Bathroom Line!As we were staying in Pacific Beach and the race was in Carlsbad, we knew we had to be up early to minimize stress on the road. We were up at 5:30am and out the door about 45 mins later. We made a quick stop at Starbucks and 7-11 {ha ha… unprepared} for a banana, trail mix and cliff bar breakfast on the drive.

The race was set to begin at 7:30am and our corral starting about 20 mins later. It was music to our ears to find out that both were running behind. A quick trip to the potty and we were in the queue at the start line.

I didn’t have a good feeling about this race from the get go… the weather was bleak, I was hit with a mad case of lady cramps and felt somewhat unprepared for the day {maybe it was my recent fall on my face, maybe it was because my legs were still sore from the 20k I did on Thursday}. It was about this moment that I realized that I hadn’t synced my playlist — goodness me.

The race started, we high five’d and we were on our way.

Erin had warned me about the rolling hills on this race and boy she was right. They weren’t beastly, they were just constant. Every time you were up and over one, there was another. I can’t stand how crowded races are in the first few kilometres, so I stayed focused on listening to The Script and not tripping.

Finish Line!

About 3km’s in, the blisters hit. I HAVE NEVER HAD A BLISTER ONCE SINCE I STARTED RUNNING. GAH. I could feel them on my baby toes — rub, rub, rubbing and not too happy. At that moment I decided this wasn’t the race to hit a sub-2:00. :)

We averaged about 6:00/km for most of the race. M is a strong runner — and super consistent in form and pace {I definitely think she could have hit a sub-2:00, but she stayed back with my blistered feet and monster angry ovaries ha ha}.

We laughed, took photos {YES, to jumping photos on the race course} and before you knew it, we were at 12 miles. There were a ton of spectators along the course and it was great to see the Lululemon crew out cheering too! The last mile went on and on {like they usually do} and then we finally crossed the finish line!

Official time: 2:12:05

Pace: 6:10/km

{10 mins off my last half! Woop!}

We were given our medals, space blankets and a bag full of goodies. It was a very grey, chilly day, but we were sparred from the rain.

We found a spot in the parking lot and camped out, laughing, drinking chocolate milk and admiring our matching socks. We were covered in salt and soon enough the chill of sweat hit us. We motored back to the car in search of Starbucks.

9Carlsbad Beach0 mins later {and too many u-turns to count} we still hadn’t found the Starbucks…

But we did find the ocean!!

Somehow we ended up along Carlsbad beach and decided that this was the perfect opportunity to take race photos. It was windy as hell and we headed out to the rocks. We were greeted by a fisherman who was caught off guard by the girls in short shorts wanting to take photos with space blankets. ;) We taught him how to use an iPhone — AND, taking jumping pics. ;)

I had read about a vegan restaurant in San Diego that specialized in fast food, so we headed south for milkshakes and burgers {Resto Reco: Evolution Fast Food}. Quinoa and kamut burgers, french fries, cajun ketchup and a vanilla shake were just what we needed. In fact, I kinda think I need a vanilla shake after every race. :) Mmm goodness.

We had quite the chilly picnic in Balboa Park!

I had a nap that afternoon and M hit the beach. We met up at sunset to soak up the sunshine that finally arrived! M did cartwheels on the beach and we faked yoga moves. All in all it was a great time. ;) That night we headed to a lounge down the street for happy hour {Resto Reco: JRDN} and before you knew it we were knee deep in champagne and pimm’s. We talked life and laughed the night away. Let’s be real, I think we got there at 5pm and were in bed at 8pm. 

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On Monday, we decided to get up early to see a bit more of San Diego before we had to head to the airport. We hit up a breakfast joint in Mission Beach {Resto Reco: The Mission} — and oh my word, it was divine. We then headed out to Sunset Cliffs and then back downtown for a stroll around Gaslamp Quarter. I hobbled, M walked — and we window shopped through the city.

Before you knew it, M had to head to the airport and our 3 days in California had come to an end.

Lessons learned from our race weekend away:

  • Always double check that your playlist is sync’d while in airplane mode.
  • Camera men on the race course love matching outfits. 
  • Running a race is a lot more fun with a friend. Fact. 

Thanks for a lovely weekend away M. xo

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  1. […] body took a beating at the Carlsbad Half Marathon and I lost a lot of the momentum I had from last year. I went from running 20k comfortably to […]

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