Thursday, July 11, 2013

Race Recap: Costume Party Run HM - Inaugrual Race

Race: Inaugural Costume Party Run Half Marathon
Location: Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, CA
Race Date: Sunday, July 7, 2013

Ummm, yeah, that's the medal...6" in diameter.
Travel Day #1: Friday, July 5, 2013 
Thankfully after last weekend's 16+ mile drive, I decided to do the drive to San Diego (with the husband) in 2 days since it was also an estimated 15+ hour drive. This first day we traveled just over half way from home to Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, AZ. The drive was uneventful although we did end up leaving about an hour later than planned. I did make the mistake of stopping for gas at a small place about 22 miles east of Tucson only to find that the gas was $4.79/gallon for regular! Talk about sticker shock. I only put in $30 worth (even though we could have gotten away without) because I didn't want to pay for a full tank. This was the most expensive gas the whole trip...even more expensive than in California! 

We rolled into Tucson after about a 9 hour drive at about 6pm and unloaded our stuff at the lodging we had been assigned before heading to Sushi on Oracle, a great little Japanese place that I had the pleasure of going to when I ran my first race in Arizona early last year. I really recommend this's really small so try to get there on an off time. We didn't do anything else aside from chill in the room and sleep. Very quick and uneventful trip to Tucson.

Travel Day #2: Saturday, July 6, 2013
We were up by 5am and on the road around 7am after stopping for some breakfast at Mickey D's. I try not to drive with the AC on but in 100°F+ temperatures I made an exception especially since we were driving through the desert of Arizona. One of my most interesting sights on this trip was the border fence which we could clearly see on different parts of the freeway in the areas of the dunes. It's big and it's long...the last time I drove through here back in 2007 or so it didn't exist so just watching the length of the fence was pretty amazing especially how close it came to the freeway at times.
The border fence in the background.
The beauty of the AZ desert.
We arrived in San Diego at about 2pm and went directly to the expo at Road Runner Sports. It, the expo, was much smaller than I expected and the only goody we received was a funky trucker's cap (not even a tech running cap) with the race's logo. Now, having a race expo at a running store is just plain mean!! I wanted to buy so much but fought off the urge. However, in their "gently used" outlet I did find a pair of Kinavara's that were just half a size too big for me...could have had them (barely used) for $50 if they fit. Bummer! While at the expo I met up with Dianne, a friend from my TinkerBell HM crew, and saw inspirational runner, Misty Diaz, who has Spina Bifida. 

We checked in on MCAS Miramar into their brand spanking new lodging and then headed out to Dave and Buster's to meet up with some TinkerBell HM Facebook Group friends (Linda, Paige, Lyn and Sandy). BTW, don't trust Google navigation to get you to Dave and Buster's San us completely lost! We had a late lunch/early dinner with Paige and her family, Linda & Arman, Lyn and Sandy then played some of the games for a while. To my son and FDIL if you're reading this...I have some D & B tickets to mail to you guys! We headed back to the base and made a stop at the exchange to purchase some things that I had forgotten before heading to the room to settle down for the night. We made sure our gear was ready (but I forgot to take flat runner pictures so I took them post race) and turned in so we could be rested for the race.

Race Day: Sunday, July 7, 2013
Since the hubs and I were dressing up as Charlie Brown and Lucy from Peanuts I woke up at 3am to curl my hair. Since I have a natural wave in my hair you'd think it would take a curl pretty easily, but no. I have to use setting gel plus a super freeze hairspray to get it to stick. It took me over an hour to get that done (only to have it fall out almost immediately in the humidity). By 4:40am we were ready to go. We headed down to the car and lo and behold...a flat. The hubs changed out that bad boy and we were on the road at around 5:10am for the short 15 minute drive to the start. Again while Google Navigation got us to Qualcomm's surrounding areas it failed to get us off and onto the road to the stadium. Once we got onto the right road and parked it was about 5:30am. I picked up my new obstacle course race (OCR) medal rack from a friend in the Weeple Army (Russ at Epic Medal Racks) and then headed to the start to find some friends from Half Fanatics and the TinkerBell HM FB Group. We never found them only to learn later that they weren't actually at the start but at the race logo background by the start. Oh well.

Even before the race the humidity was crazy. I've lived in the desert for 20+ years now...I wasn't used to this coastline humidity anymore (grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area). I knew I was in trouble. When the race started it didn't take much for me to start sweating like a pig. I kept things slow for the loop around the stadium parking lot, but even then by the time we hit the roadway I was already sweating bullets. Within the first half of the race I look at the husband (running in a cotton shirt for the costume) with sweat literally falling off his head...not dripping, but pouring off his head. The course was rolling hills out and back on Friars Road. Have I mentioned before that I don't like hills?

The costumes were fairly varied with a lot of Thing 1 and Thing 2's, tourists, Ninja Turtles and others. There were some that stood out like the hot rickshaw guy (pulling a wheelchair transformed into a rickshaw...his real name is Samuel and is now a FB friend), the guy dressed as a large stripper, a 6'9" tall Richard Simmons (his real name is Ray) and a Hi-liter. I had friends who were Wonder Woman, Super Weeple, Ambiguously Gay Duo, Bat Girl, Thing 1 and Thing 2, the Grinch, etc. It was great to see all the costumes out there. I don't normally dress in costume for races (especially one made of cotton) but this time I decided that hubs and I would go full out as Charlie Brown and Lucy.

Inspirational runner, Misty Diaz, who has Spina Bifida.
Jess, the zombie 50's housewife.
Breakfast and stripper all at once!
Dianne and I.
Team Seuss.
Blind & deaf inspirational runner and guide.
I don't know him, but he's reppin' Team Red, White and Blue!
Hardest costume to run in?
The 2 Dave's (Weeple Army) as the Ambiguously Gay Duo from SNL.

Sandy was in the zone and didn't hear me calling her!
Hot Asian dude (inside joke), Samuel.
Matt from Weeple Army doing situps, push ups
and squats at each mile.
Hubs and I as Charlie Brown & Lucy.
Post-race flat runner Beth/Lucy.
Paige, Nate and Braden near the finish.
My new OCR medal rack.
As per custom by mile 8 I had started cramping. I had forgotten to pack my mustard packets, which are supposed to work wonderfully for cramping and instead started popping Endurolytes at a double dose, so I waddled the remaining portion of the race. When I tried to run just a 100 or so feet to the finish I couldn't because the cramping would start as soon as I tried to start running. The husband learned the art of the "fake run", you know when you're tired or cramping so you start an easy jog when you see the photographers...My pics doing this actually look pretty good! lol!

After turning in our timing chips, I had to ask how we got our medals because the turn in station wasn't clearly marked IMHO, we received the huge medals. I'd be lying if I didn't say that the only reason we did this race was for the medals. We hung out with Team Seuss for a while waiting for some people to finish and taking some pictures before heading back to the base to shower and head out to get our flat fixed, then a post-race brunch and finally to Coronado Island to look around.

It took us about a half hour of driving around after we were finally cleaned up  to find a tire shop open on Sunday to fix our flat. We then headed over to The Broken Yolk Cafe to meet Paige and her family for brunch. We had originally planned to hit Old Town and Coronado Island, but settled for the Island only because we were both pretty tired. After driving around in the traffic for about 20 minutes we finally found a parking space and walked down to the beach and around the Hotel del Coronado. Unfortunately in my 3rd or 4th trip to the Del (known as Hotel Del by locals) we still managed to miss the tour of the hotel since only one is done on Sundays. After spending $23 on a scoop of homemade ice cream, a chocolate shake and a bottle of Sprite (talk about sticker shock!) we decided to call it a day and headed back to the base.

Coronado Beach
Hotel del Coronado
I ended up doing most of our laundry (thankfully I always pack some detergent since the laundry rooms were out) before dinner time. Dinner just had to be at L & L Hawaiian BBQ because if you know me at all, you know that I do love my Hawaiian BBQ!! The rest of the night was just spent packing and chilling before the long 15+ hour in one day drive home.

Travel Day: Monday, July 8, 2013

Driving into a fierce desert summer thunderstorm...
with bad windshield wipers.
We were up and out the door just after 6:30am after having Hawaiian BBQ leftovers for breakfast. The drive was uneventfull until about a hour or so west of Tucson when a huge thunderstorm hit and pelted us with sheets of water, enough that I had to pull to the side because my wipers wouldn't move any rain away. Talk about scary! We made it to Tucson for lunch and headed to Holloman AFB in New Mexico where we replaced my wiper blades and had dinner. We finally made it home right at midnight. Thankfully a relative calm hit and I stayed up until about 2:30am before finally going to sleep since I had swimming lessons at 6:15am.

What I liked about this race:
Meeting all my new and old friends. The great costumes worn by many people.

What I disliked about this race:
A trucker's cap, really? The expo at a running store...okay, it wasn't that I didn't like the fact it was at a running store, it was just too much temptation. Hills. Two long loops around the Qualcomm stadium parking lot (they're taking away 2 miles of this next year). Humidity.

Would I do this race again?
Probably, yes, but not in any rush to even though the medal is supposed to be a full inch larger next year.

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