Week 11: San Diego and Pre-Race Week Thoughts

Monday: I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but Monday brought another beautiful run up Lookout Mountain with the girls. Robyn, Meaghan, and I got in 9 miles and were happy to have some glowing sunlight before we made it down the hill.

Tuesday: It was cold and rainy, but I was about to get on a plane to San Diego so I had to run. I headed out to Pine Ridge road from our house and got in 6 miles with 577 feet of gain total. After I arrived in SD, I checked into my hotel in the Gaslamp District and got settled then walked to Little Italy to see the city and stop for dinner. I went to The Crack Shack and it was very worth the two mile trip (side note: this was a great place to dine alone – no servers feeling sorry for you.). I walked back along the harbor and ended the day over 23,000 steps. I walked to dinner in sandals, which was a bad call because my legs and feet were pretty tight afterwards.

Wednesday: I had been looking forward to getting to check out November Project San Diego where I’d see some familiar faces. I didn’t know what to expect out of the workout except for that the last Wednesday of every month is PR day in all NP cities, so I knew it would probably be pretty hard. I ran the two miles to Balboa Park. Then the workout was 30 minutes of a burpee and hill circuit. You ran one burpee then down a steep sidewalk to the bottom then back up and around the fountain, you did two burpees than ran it again, three burpees, etc. I ended up doing it a little over eight times which was good for 3.5 miles and 641 feet of climbing. We finished with a 2 minute plank burnout. I then got the second-to-last pair of turquoise Knockaround sunglasses from the legend himself, BG. Afterwards, I ran to the cutest coffee shop, Communal Coffee, so I could see that side of town before I took an Uber back to the hotel. I ended up with 7 miles of running for the morning. I worked for awhile before walking in search of lunch. Again, I walked about two miles to Little Italy and got a delicious bowl of rice, fish, seaweed salad, etc. at Pokerrito. I walked back, worked some more, and then headed out to Coronado for the evening. In Coronado, I walked around the famous Hotel Del Coronado, along the beach, and in the cute downtown. I had dinner and a delicious IPA from Fall Brewing Company at Leroy’s. I ended up with around 30,000 steps for the day and was pretty wiped by the end.

Sunset in Coronado.

Thursday: This was the first day of the Society for Behavioral Medicine conference, the whole purpose of my trip. My schedule was pretty jam packed, but was able to sneak out during the day for a quick 3.9 mile run along the harbor.

The view from the conference. #seenonmyworktrip

Friday: After a late night out and all the walking, I needed to sleep. No running and I tried to keep walking to a minimum but I still ended up with over 12,000 steps. As I mentioned, my feet were tight from getting around in non-running shoes and I was kicking myself for not packing my trusty croquet ball that I use to roll out with. I generally use a ball to roll my butt and feet every day at home and I had nothing in the hotel… until I realized I could use my smooth stainless steel water bottle as a roller. Resourcefulness, FTW.

Mid-run beach break.

Saturday: I knew I wanted to get a long run in, but I had a sort of weird schedule to work with. I had conference obligations from 8:30 – 11ish and then my flight was scheduled to leave at 6:45. I decided to not try to force a  run in before 8:30 and that I would do it in the free block I had in the afternoon. My hotel was in the downtown area and I wanted to get out of there and along the ocean, but I knew nothing about San Diego or how to get around. I looked at a map and decided that I could start at a point south of Mission Bay and I would be able to run across the bridge and would end up in Mission Beach where I could hop on a path that would go along the ocean.

Mid-run selfie.

So, I took an Uber to Liberty Station because my bosses had told me it was a neat area. I started running my planned route and ended up on what was practically a freeway with a bike lane. Cars were going over 60 MPH and there was no sidewalk. I was on that for almost a mile and clocked a 7:22 pace because I was so anxious to get off. Once I did, I realized that my plan to go across the bridge might be on a similar road and would likely not be safe. So, I called it there and sat in the parking lot of a Baskin Robbins and Domino’s and waited for an Uber to get me to Mission Beach. Finally, around 1:00pm, I was along the ocean where I figured I’d have a pretty straight shot up to La Jolla (though my Uber driver didn’t think this was the best “jogging” route for me and gave me other ideas). For a couple miles, I was dodging bike cruisers and pedestrians and roller skaters and spring breakers and bachelor party goers all along the beach path. That eventually ended and I got onto a road, La Jolla Blvd, which was much calmer and allowed me to see peeks of the ocean without any of the pedestrians. I ran north and stopped at beaches whenever I felt like it and was particular enamored with Windansea Beach. I just sat there for a few minutes before continuing to make my way north up the shore. Finally, I turned around after seeing the seals sunbathing in the cove. I ended my run at Bird Rock Coffee Roasters around 3pm. I had such a fun time exploring but I was pooped from being outside for so long. Also, PSA: wear sunscreen when running!! I got the world’s best Uber driver back to the hotel to grab my bags and change clothes then I headed to the airport where I watched the USC-Gonzaga game from a bar. I ended up with 13 miles of running, but a lot more time on my feet. I hit over 30,000 steps by the time I got back to Denver.

I had a really great trip and definitely got some of that California buzz. I love that Golden is home, but I think trips to California need to be a regular thing.

Mid-run posed picture by a stranger.

Sunday: I stayed in bed until 8, lazied around, hung out with the family, and am now on the couch writing this. I needed a total shutdown for my body to reset from the travel.

So, that brings us to…. RACE WEEK. The half marathon is one week from today. I had a couple thoughts about it this week. My goal is to run sub-1:35. I’ve been training with fast people who have all run below that time, and it’s like it is NBD. Running sub-1:35 will be a 2-minute PR for me, though, which is huge! I need to own that as my goal, regardless of what my friends have run. My second realization this week was that the Dirty 30 50k is only two months away. I sort of freaked out, worrying that I don’t have enough time to train for it and that as soon as the half is over, I really need to step on the gas to increase distance and vert. I was thinking I shouldn’t taper at all for the half and just push through in a buildup for Dirty 30.

And then I got to thinking about goals. What is my goal for Dirty 30? I want to be in the top 5. Why is that my goal? Because I like to compete and feel like I’m racing and not just running for a time. Which race is my priority – Platte or Dirty 30? When I signed up for Platte, I told myself that it would be my A race. I signed up for Dirty 30 later. But now when thinking about both of them, it’s Dirty 30 that makes me excited. That’s not just because it’s a trail race – it’s because I have a competition-related goal rather than a time goal. I actually don’t even know what my 5k or 10k PR is. That’s how little times mean to me.

If you’ve ever listened to a podcast with sports psychologist, Michael Gervais, you know he often asks athletes if they are internally or externally motivated. I hadn’t given this question much thought before until I was comparing my Platte and Dirty 30 goals. I now can articulate that I’m externally motivated – I wouldn’t race if it wasn’t for other people. It’s not just that I do it for headpats and kudos on Strava, but I do it because I believe I’m best when I’m pushed by my peers. It’s important to not take this too far and let it dictate your training, though, as NP co-leader Laura wrote so eloquently about in the San Francisco tribe’s blog.

Anyway, that’s a lot of words to say that I’m racing the half marathon next weekend and I want to run hard and fast and strong. And then I want to take a couple days off and then start training even harder for Dirty 30. I’m planning to do a mini-taper this week and will run 20-25 miles before the race on Sunday.

Mid-run seal spying.

Total mileage: 39.4 miles (womp, this looks so much lower than 40-something)

Total climbing: 3,251 feet

High: There were a lot of highs in San Diego this week, but probably running in La Jolla yesterday and getting to hear, smell, and feel the water.

Low: The sunburn on my shoulders from being out for so long!

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