Wednesday, March 25, 2015

McFarland USA

The Puff asked if she could scooter alongside me on my run Tuesday. I immediately had brief flashbacks of trying to run alongside her about 4 years ago when she was first learning to ride her bike with training wheels. 

I spent the entire time then running and leaned over her handle bars, trying to guide her bike along and every few feet pulling her forward. Not the most productive run for me, but fun for the Puff, so that counts for something. 

Anyway, fast forward a few years and it's the Puff, now on her scooter, leaving me in her dust. Thanks a bunch, Sweetness! She did generously pause and turn around every once in a while to make sure I hadn't passed out or anything. 

Good run today. Still following the below advice from Coach Kastor for post-marathon recovery: running 20-40 minutes every other day until April 15th. I'll probably start to kick up my runs before April 15th, but the way my run felt today, I hate to go against the program. I feel like I'm doing something right.

After my run, my sister and I took our own 2 kids and our niece/nephews (our older brother's kids) to the local drive-in theater to finally watch McFarland, USA.
 I first took my nephews to the drive-in a year or so ago and they totally loved it. I'm always ecstatic to find something we can do together with the niece/nephews, because now that they're teenagers they want less and less to do with their 2 old aunties. But I'm not ready for them to grow up and be off doing  their own thing yet. The drive-in was perfect for a Spring break night out.
Getting situated in the car before the movie. Claim your spot!
Intense racing scenes in McFarland, USA
And what a FANTASTIC feel-good movie it was!! McFarland USA is based on a true story about a cross country team in McFarland, CA. McFarland is a tiny dusty town in the Central Valley where the residents are mainly farm workers (pickers). It's a pretty bleak place. But of course the success of the cross country team puts McFarland on the map. Super inspirational movie for our family at the drive-in.
Drive in casualties, the littlest ones feel asleep an hour into the movie, of course.
Afterwards the nephews wanted to go out for milkshakes but this Tia Irene had to work today, so that was a rain check for another night (we got home well past midnight). I don't mind though because that's another excuse to have a night out with my awesome niece/nephews. 

Next run is on Thursday! Until then,happy Wednesday! 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hot Chocolate 15K/5K San Diego Recap

We left the condo a little too late (around 6:20am) still having to stop for gas and get some cash from the ATM. Family is definitely great, but trying to move efficiently when you're with a group of people can be impossible stressful challenging. Petco Park was only 1.5 miles from our condo, but we didn't get very far away from home before we found ourselves in a solid line of cars.
Lots of runners wearing their HC hoodie.Californians are cold weather wimps!
The 5K waves started at 6:45am. We pulled into the jammed parking lot around 7:05am and thought we would probably be running the 5K alone (which was fine since we had our timing chips) but we quickly realized the 5K waves were still being sent off. We actually made it to the start arch just as the last wave started, literally we were the last of the 5K people to cross the start line. This race was massive--much larger than I'd imagined. There must have been thousands of runners.  

This race overall was a ton of fun and super well organized. And being that there was chocolate everywhere, I thought the volunteers were even a little more enthusiastic than at other races. Coulda been my imagination. Just before the first water station there was a guy handing out chocolate chips. Funnily enough, it was GREAT. I popped a few into my mouth and felt pretty good from the sugar rush or from the novelty of it. 

But the HILLS omg. The route was way hillier than I knew San Diego to be. There was more than one hill that felt like it was straight outta San Fran. They killed me. I walked up the uphills and tried to make up the time on the downhills. That sorta worked out ok. 

I finished this 5k in 42:05 13:33/mi. I'm ok with that and can attribute the slow time partially to the number of hills and the amount of walking I did plus weaving around people. Starting out dead last, I was pleased with the number of people I passed and that I caught my "rabbit" with more than a half mile left in the race.  
There was a really cool KidZone at the finish area. The Puff would have loved it, but she also loves to sleep so I don't regret that she missed this. But I'll know this is available the next time we run a Hot Chocolate run.
Arizona Cousins
Of course, after the run, we got our awesome cup of YUM! A big mug containing a bag of mini pretzels, a marshmallow, a banana, a rice krispy square, a wafer cookie and chocolate sauce to dip them all in. Your own naked fingers work great for dipping too! In the center was a steaming hot cup of cocoa. 

This was worth waking up for. Being the sucker that I am Because I love my kiddo, I saved my mug to take home to the Puff. 
Besides having my sister in San Diego, my cousin and I have lots of family there as well. We met up and all went out for breakfast at World Famous in PB (aka Pacific Beach). 

Maine lobster eggs benedict, thank you
After breakfast we tooled around the B's (PB, IB, MB) and La Jolla, took some fun pictures and called it a day. We made it home late in the afternoon, just in time to get ready for the week ahead.


The good bad and ugly about the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K San Diego: 
  • Great volunteers, really enthusiastic, I even was not annoyed by the MC
  • Love the chocolate being handed out everywhere, this was fun
  • Great signage-I didn't miss any mile markers! Gatorade and water stations were clearly differentiated
  • The race t-shirt was an awesome jacket
  • the Mug o' Yum....was YUM
  • KidZone! 
The Bad: There was not much to complain about but
  • Parking was a drag. I know we were running late but there was so much congestion. Perhaps reserve lots that aren't all right at the start/finish? 
  • The Hills. They were brutal
The Ugly: 
  • this is weird to comment on but there's a picture above of runners going under a freeway overpass. That area stank of urine and who knows what else to the point that I had to hold my breath going through there or I'd have passed out from the fumes. Not sure what could be done about that. it was gross. 
Overall this was a great race and a great weekend. It's these kinds of races that get you excited about the next one. Bay to Breakers, here we come!