8th Rock 'n Roll Half, 10th Half overall of 2012: San Diego, California
Before I get to the San Diego adventures, I want to share one of my favorite reasons for being HOME during the Spring and Summer... the Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball games. When I got home from Portland I was actually able to make a few of the games before leaving again for San Diego. The Hoppers are a minor league team associated with the Miami Marlins franchise and, in my humble opinion, we have one of the best minor league stadiums in the country. Plus, it's walking distance from our house! It is really so wonderful to be able to walk to the park, catch up with good friends, relax and enjoy great baseball. If you're ever in town when they are playing, you should treat yourself to a game!
|View of the Grandstand from our seats in Box 19, with a view of Natty's Hill in the background. This photo was actually taken at a game during the ACC championship, held here this year.|
|Here's the game I caught before heading back on the road to San Diego...what a great show from Mother Nature!!|
This was another one of those trips where it was more affordable to fly out of RDU (1 hour and 15 minutes from Greensboro) than the GSO airport. The bad news is that we had to leave town at 3:30 in the morning to make the flight out. The good news is that we had the airport practically all to ourselves!
|RDU terminal, heading to the gate. Hello? Is there anybody out there? Bueller? Anyone?...|
**Is it just me, or does the word "smooth" just look wrong when you type it? I keep thinking it reads like "tooth" and not "soothe". Okay, now even "soothe" looks wrong. But I digress...
|Not too many folks in the pool this early but at least 'someone' was enjoying the facility!|
|Skinny dipping before anyone was around to catch her!|
|The view down the promenade behind the pool as the sun gets a little higher in the sky.|
I worked for a few hours when I got to the room then headed back out to explore before my parents (2 of my 4 anyway) arrived at the hotel.
|Bayside view from Harbor Island, this is actually the same view from my room but a few floors lower in vantage point.|
|Not my boat. :-(|
|View of one way down the shore, my legs were so grateful to get this workout after so many hours in the airplane.|
|Just another view from further down Harbor Island.|
|Finally the rest of San Diego hits the bay... California-style Happy Hour?|
|After 5pm it seems the boats appeared out of nowhere...this is the view from the hotel room.|
They arrived at the hotel around 7pm and after checking into the room went walking with us along the harbor to a spot that Jim and I had found earlier, The Boathouse restaurant overlooking the marina.
Thursday, May 31st:
One great night's sleep later and we're off early on a walk along the water to Harbor Island Liquor & Deli... not for the liquor but for the coffee and the view, of course.
|Bob and Jim waiting, with coffee, for the made-to-order breakfast. Just another beautiful day in sunny California.|
|The view from our table.|
|I swear, we came for the small font, not the large font.|
|Practice putting green with view of the clubhouse in the background.|
|Golf in the front, hang-gliding in the back!|
|Overcast skies but beautiful views throughout our round.|
|Bob probably thinks I took this shot of his spectacular swing, but really he got in my way as I framed the Torrey pine tree and the hang-glider on the ocean. :-)|
|Jim, smack-dab in the middle of the fairway. Why would anyone assume otherwise?|
|I never get the opportunity to forget how blessed I am to have such wonderful family. Thanks so much, Bob, for my chance to play Torrey Pines and for a wonderful birthday weekend!|
|My stepdad and my husband, in the way of my shot of the clubhouse on the green of the 18th hole.|
|What a great birthday present this was!!!!|
|Mom patiently waited for us after her day in La Jolla... complete with a spot of tea!|
So off we were to the Stone Brewing Co. in Escondido, California. If you've never been here, as I had not, you might be surprised to learn that this highly popular, highly acclaimed national favorite is located quite discreetly in an industrial park. From the outside it looks rather plain and if you weren't expressly looking for it you may never know it was such an amazing place.
|The menu at Stone Brewing. Not exactly your typical bar food.|
|We sat outside on the patio for our dinner, an amazing oasis totally unseen from the street.|
|The view behind my chair. I wish I had taken more photos of the rest of these Japanese-style gardens, which extended well beyond sight from the patio seating area.|
|Bob, awaiting a bottle of one of Stone's many, many beer selections.|
I mentioned earlier that my mother is not usually of fan of brewpubs but she couldn't stop talking about this one. She's an amazing gardener and thoroughly enjoyed the beauty of these gardens. Since my photos weren't thorough (I got side-tracked by food!!) here's a link to more images:
We had a fabulous dinner and when the sun went down and the bullfrogs started croaking so loudly we couldn't hear each other any more, we said good-bye to Stone Brewing Co. and headed back to the San Diego harbor for another great night of sleep.
Friday, June 1st:
After yesterday's great adventures I was reminded that I came to San Diego on a mission... to run the Half Marathon in an effort to share our Get Back Up message. Usually I don't get this much time to appreciate what each city has to offer but I took it upon myself this trip to celebrate my birthday this weekend, too. Also, despite great efforts to reach out to the local media we had not secured any interviews to this point so I had a bit more free time of which to take advantage.
Still, there's the business of the race details to take care of and we chose this morning to get to the convention center for check-in at the Expo. Mom and Bob accompanied us, meaning, we got a free ride to the show... another great perk! We met in the hotel lobby where I ran into a familiar face:
Enough of this hob-nobbing with the American Olympic team, I had a race to run. Driver, on to the Expo! (Did I say "thanks", Bob?)
|Still had Portland D-tag on my running shoe. They ask you to check all of your runner information on your new tag for accuracy and I noticed they had something wrong... I'm 45, not 46!!! Oh, wait... yes, after tomorrow I will be 46. Sigh. Goodbye 45!|
|A friendly, familiar face...my friend, Emily, who works for RnR Marathon Jewelry/Terryberry working the Expo. I bought my San Diego bib charm to add to my bracelet... this makes 11 charms in all for the year.|
|Another stop, another friend! Merle plans to run the San Diego Half after working the Expo all weekend. Sweaty Bands rock, but Merle Rocks and Rolls!|
|The menu at Coronado Brewing Company.|
|The exterior of the brewpub, from our seats on the quaint little patio.|
|Hmmmm. I knew Californians had a reputation for being liberal, but a Kid's Night in the Tasting Room? Somebody needs an early bedtime!|
|Just another shot of Coronado Brewing, street-side.|
Saturday, June 2nd... Happy Birthday to Me!!!
I'm not sure exactly what time I woke up, but I did sleep in and sent my husband off with my parents to enjoy my birthday without me. I had a full day's work to do on my computer, plus make my Get Back Up sign for the race tomorrow, plus get all my gear and planning done for the race coordination. Ugh. This is what I get for procrastinating!!!
I did receive wonderful birthday messages from friends and family but had agreed to celebrate AFTER the race tomorrow with Jim, Mom and Bob here in San Diego. Back to the computer for me. One wonderful surprise I received after logging on was this image sent by a friend from the East Coast:
Sunday, June 3rd...RACE DAY!!
By now you are all bored and completely unimpressed by my photos of wake-up-time alarm clocks. Suffice it to say that it was early and dark.
|Another "0'dark-thirty" meeting time in front of another hotel for the journey to the start of another Half Marathon. When Jim and I got downstairs Bob had already pulled the car around in front for us... I feel like a DIVA!|
|Proof that Bob was up with us before the sun was!! Thank you so much!!|
|How cool is this? Table decorations at the start of the race!! San Diego is the home base for all the Rock 'n Roll/Competitor Group events and they spared no efforts to make sure all runners felt like a Rock Star!|
|My bib had me starting in the 3rd corral but with no time to spare I missed my start and jumped in with Corral 5 runners.|
|And we're off!!! Sort of anti-climactic, really. All you can do is shuffle your way the long block to the real starting line, and only then are you really on the clock.|
Official time, 1:52:55!
At the finish we met up at the VIP tent. I arrived before my parents since they had a long walk from mile 9 around the secured-portion of the finish area to access the tent. I spent my time engrossed in the sights and conversations of the elite athletes who had competed in today's events. The coolest thing to me about running is that it must be one of the only sports where the elite athletes compete in the same "arena" at the same time as the everyday Joe/Joanne. You can't jump onto the field at the Super Bowl or take an at-bat at the World Series and yet you can run in the same event, on the same course, in the same conditions, on the same day as the fastest runner in the world... albeit a stride or 5,000 behind them!
|The scene at the VIP section of the parking lot.|
|Elite runners in the background, elite running gear in the foreground.|
|Too cool!! I told you I wasn't the only one to travel with a foam roller for pre- and post-race body work! Ryan's working his quads while talking on the phone after his 2nd place finish.|
|Another of my favorite runners! Tim Fennell, lost 128 pounds through pure determination and hard work, on his way to "12 in 12"...12 half marathons in 2012. Congrats, my friend and hope to see you in Chicago!|
|A new favorite athlete! Congratulations, Gerard!|
|My wonderful parents in the background at the table with Jim and Tim. What a beautiful group of people to celebrate with!|
|It just gets better and better! Merle (of Sweaty Band fame) has just completed her first Half since knee surgery. Plus, she worked long hours at the Expo the last 3 days and still sports an ear-to-ear smile! Way to go, girl, you are an inspiration!|
|Go ahead, just try to find a hair out of place on the Sweaty Band Team after their Half Marathon finish!! Congratulations ladies!!|
After the race I got to enjoy time with my family. We celebrated our finish, the Get Back Up journey, and my birthday together with a few special friends. Thank you all for making this a great 46th for me!!
|Celebrating on the beach near Escondido.|
|Family and long-time friends... plus pizza!!!!|
|Jim and I say goodbye to San Diego. :-(|
|Just thought I'd share the glamour of baggage claim upon return from the long flight back to the East Coast.|
See ya next time!!