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Posts tagged ‘beach’

The #1 Reason to Run the La Jolla Half Marathon!

***Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the La Jolla Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

The La Jolla Half Marathon is coming up on April 23rd and here are my top 3 reasons why you should come run this race with me!!

#3 – It’s part of the Triple Crown Series!

 

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photo via lajollahalfmarathon.com

If you ran the Carlsbad half in January, then you definitely need to run La Jolla!  The La Jolla Half Marathon is the second race in the Triple Crown Series – which means if you also run America’s Finest City in August, you get extra bling and bragging rights! I always love extra swag!

 

#2 – The Swag!

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photo via lajollahalfmarathon.com

I know you probably think this would be number one on my list…but you’ll see why this came in a close second in just a minute.  However, this swag is DOPE!  You get a sweet technical shirt, cinch bag, beautiful medal, and beer!  Not to mention all of the extra goodies you could score at the expo as well as the snacks/drinks at the finish line festival!

So what’s the #1 why you need to run the La Jolla Half Marathon??  The Scenery!

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Check out this race course! Ocean views most of the way! (photo via lajollahalfmarathon.com)

I will disclose that there are some pretty decent hills along this course (see the elevation pictured above), but trust me…the views will be all worth it!  And yes, you could just drive to La Jolla to see some of these views…BUT, actually running this course will provide you a unique opportunity to view this scenery in an up-close-and-personal way.  I highly recommend taking advantage of this race so you can see these awesome views from a unique perspective (rather than driving around narrow streets, looking for parking, getting stuck in groups of tourists, etc.)  And here are some things you can do during/after the race…

~~You can visit with the Dr. Seuss inspired tree in Ellen Scripps Browning Park! Dr. Seuss spent many of his years in La Jolla and several of his illustrations were inspired by the unique trees of this beautiful city!

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Ellen Scripps Browning Park

~~Check out the coves and shores!  After your run, you’ll have some time to sit by the shore and reflect on your personal accomplishment.  What better way to relax and rest your feet!

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La Jolla Shores

~~Explore a cave!  The Cave Store in La Jolla allows you to view the inside of a cave! For a small fee, you can walk down a set of stairs and experience a real cave without having to swim or rent any equipment.

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Sunny Jim Cave

~~Get close to a seal!  La Jolla is also known for its seal population so don’t miss your opportunity to take a selfie with an adorable group of pups!

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Seals at La Jolla Shores

 

Ready to run?  Here are the deets:

Price through April 19th – $120 —> Use code “BIBRAVE20” to save $20 on the half!

Expo dates:

Friday, April 21st – 12pm – 6pm

Saturday, April 22nd – 10am – 5pm

Expo location:

Hilton San Diego/Del Mar

15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd.

Del Mar, CA 92014

Half Marathon – Sunday, April 23, 2017 – 7:30 am – Begins at Del Mar Racetrack

Not quite ready for a half marathon?  Have no fear!  There is also a 5k option!

Not quite ready to run a 5k?  Have no fear!  You can always volunteer and help out the community!

Not quite ready to commit to volunteering?  Then just come down and cheer on the runners!  We always love high fives, encouraging words, and clever signs along the course!

Find out more information including parking/shuttle details here!

I hope to see you there and be sure to check back for my review of this exciting event!

I’m off to train and hydrate! 😉

~SM

 

 

 

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Imperial Beach 5k

Last month I participated in the inaugural Imperial Beach 5k Beach Run.  I was little hesitant to register since it’s the organization’s first race and I prefer all of the kinks to be worked out before I participate in a race.  But they offered a promo code and a military discount so I only paid about $25 after the fees (darn you Active.com!)…and I always enjoy a nice run on the beach.  So I decided to go ahead and run this one along with a couple of friends.

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If you’re wondering how close Imperial Beach is to Mexico, it’s this close:

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I found free street parking fairly easy (the race started at 8:00 am) and I only had to wait a few minutes in the line to pick-up my packet.  The race was held on the actual packed sand of the beach and there were probably about 250-300 participants.  There was also a 1 mile fun run option for those not quite ready to tackle a 5k which meant there were two separate race courses.  The 5k race route was a bit odd to me – it was an out-and-back followed by another out-and-back.  We will get to the details on that later.  The terrain was sand (obviously) but there was an added hurdle that I did not take into account for this run – rocks.  There were rocks buried all throughout the sand, which made for an obstacle course that I was unprepared for.  It wasn’t too crazy, but since the beach was also kind of slanted, I had to pay attention a little more to my footing so that I wouldn’t trip or roll an ankle.  My friend pushed a stroller during this race, so it wasn’t an impossible feat – just a challenging one.  There was also a water station about halfway in and some volunteers directing the runners along the course.

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Note the rocks in the last pic and in case you’re wondering…no, I did not fall.  After the run there was a big expo with lots of activities for kids, including a bounce house and face painting.  There were also fitness demos, a band and free pancakes!  I would say the free pancake breakfast – which included, pancakes, syrup, sausage and juice – was one of the best parts of the event.  I have no pictures of this delicious ensemble because I consumed the whole meal in about six and a half minutes.  You’ll just have to use your imagination on this one.  I also thought the band was pretty great.  Since this event was held to benefit the Calvary Training Center in Mexico, the band played worship music but with a Mexican flare…and I totally dug it.  I didn’t bring my kiddos to this event so I can’t say I participated in any of the activities – but they looked fun and the bounce house seemed pretty rad.  There was also a raffle, but they weren’t doing the giveaways until two hours later.  In the words of the great Sweet Brown – “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.

Participation medals were not given out at this race, but they were given to those who placed in the top three of each age group.  I ran with a fellow Stroller Warrior and placed first in her age group so I did hang around for the medal ceremony.

Now, back to the course.  There was a big issue that I had with the race course and that was the fact that it was NOT A TRUE 5K, which drives me crazy when races are not the length that they are advertised.  This one ended up being around 2.38 miles so there was obviously some miscommunication or miscalculation when the course was originally created.  I will give them a little bit of a slide since this was the inaugural race and like I said, I expected some things to not go as smoothly as they would in other established races.  However, since I did pay $25 for a 5k, I expect a true 5k.  Other than that, the views were beautiful and everyone was friendly; although I feel like all those people who placed 4th or 5th in their age group kind of got screwed since they would have had at least half a mile to pass the people in front of them.  Anywho, besides that hiccup I enjoyed the event and although I didn’t bring my kids this time I like that it was a fun event for the whole family to enjoy in beautiful Imperial Beach.

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So what was the SWAG?!

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Aloe Gloe is a refreshing drink that comes in a few tasty flavors!

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~ A cotton tshirt – I love the design, but it runs fairly large so I’m not sure I will be wearing this one very often.

~Clif bar trail mix bar

~Kashi Go Lean granola bar

~Larabar

~Homemade cookie

~Beachside FroYo keychain

~D’ames Day Spa tube of something (not sure what this is as there were no instructions, perhaps a face scrub?  But it smells divine!)

~Suicide prevention pin

~Various coupons and pamphlets

~And Scenery, of course!

See you at the next event!

~SM

 

Ashley Horner – Camp Valor

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend Ashley Horner’s Camp Valor Boot Camp here in Coronado.  If you have not heard of  Ashley Horner, she is a fitness guru, bodybuilder, competitor, triathlete, ultrarunner…you get the picture.  But best of all, she’s a mother of three and a military supporter.  In addition to all of her awesome trainers (that you can learn more about on her website at Ashleyhorner.co), she owns two training facilities, a clothing line and runs various programs…but again, you can read all about how awesome she is on her website.  Another cool thing she does is host Camp Valor Boot Camps around the country.  Luckily, since one of her American Sled Dogs training facilities is located in Coronado, she comes her pretty often to facilitate the Camp Valor Boot Camp.

So, what is Camp Valor?  Basically, it’s an opportunity to workout with Ashley and her staff!  It’s only $10 and the event runs for about 2 hours.  No, you are not working out for the entire 2 hours (yes, she is hardcore – but not that crazy since all fitness abilities are welcome.)  She also stresses that it is a family friendly event, so you can bring the kiddos if needed. I left mine at home since the event was held at the beach and I didn’t want to worry about them running into the water.  You workout for about 45 minutes and the rest of the time is left for you to meet with Ashley, take pics and purchase merchandise.  The fact that this event was on the beach was a catch 22 – it was great weather and beautiful scenery, but working out and sprinting in the sand was quite the challenge!

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We were also asked to each bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots.  A few Marines were on hand to accept and sort the toys as well as monitor us during the workout to make sure we weren’t slacking and kept good form.

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I didn’t take pics during the workout because I was just trying to survive (also, the margaritas the night before did NOT help).  It was basically circuit training – using your own weight for resistance and sprinting around in the sand.  There was also some partner work (i.e. squat walls, sit-ups, wheelbarrows – or is it wheel barrels? hmmm) and it ended with a plank challenge.  The plank challenge was fun and reminded me that I really need to work on planks.  Ashley said that the plank record for her boot camps is around 11 minutes and no male has ever won the challenge.  On this day, a woman also won (sorry guys) and she held it for about five or six minutes.  Prizes were awarded to the last three standing “plankers”.

Ashley and her team were really motivating and inspiring throughout the day.  They were constantly pushing us and giving us lots of encouragement.  After the event, I waited in line and spoke briefly with Ashley and got a picture with her.  She really is incredibly nice and amazing in person.  This was an awesome event and  I would recommend it to anyone looking to get a great workout and be inspired, regardless of fitness levels (there were a couple of pregnant women participating along with some elite crossfitters – so anyone could attend). Checkout out future Camp Valor events here.

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*This last photo is courtesy of one Ashley’s awesome team members.

So what was the SWAG?!

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~A very sturdy and thick drawstring bag from BodyBuilding.com

~A sweet shaker cup from BodyBuilding

~A nice towel from Bodybuilding

~A drawstring bag from ReebokOne

~A full sample of Rock Tape

~A sample packet of muscle pain relief cream

~The amazing views of Coronado

~Free photo op and advice from Ashley Horner herself!

Again, big thanks to all of the sponsors!  I think this event was well worth the $10 and I would most definitely do it again!  If you are planning to attend one of her boot camps, be prepared to get sandy and sweaty!  Also eat something before you go and bring lots of water and a towel!  There will also be some merchandise for sale that runs about $20-$25 per item so bring some cash and/or credit card.  Hope to see you at the next event!

Also, I had to represent Stroller Warriors on this beautiful day since it was held right next to a military base! 🙂

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And to make the day even radder, it was also Armed Forces day!  This meant that the streets of Coronado were lined with beautiful American Flags!

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~SM

Margarita 5k

I recently participated in the Margarita 5K in Mission Beach and it was definitely a blast!  I used a coupon code for this race so I paid around $28 for this event.  Packet pick-up was the day before at Movin Shoes in Pacific Beach.  It’s a tiny store, so I was in and out pretty fast.  Here I picked up my bib number, swag bag and tshirt.  They were also offering a discount on merchandise purchased at Movin Shoes that day.

Race day parking was simple – there were a ton of open spots up close to where the event was held.  The race itself was pretty small – probably around 200 people – so it definitely wasn’t crowded at all.  Since this was a beach event, it started at 7:30am in order to catch low tide.  There was a lot of energy prior to the race start, including a Zumba instructor getting the crowd warmed up with some dancing and fun music.  The early start time combined with the previous day’s rain made it a nice and fairly cool run.  I also did this chip-timed run with a few of my Stroller Warrior friends which made the day even more enjoyable.

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The race course was on the flat, packed sand and there was water/Gatorade at the halfway point.

At the finish line we received our medals and were offered water and snacks.

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There were a few vendors at the event and we were required to get their signatures on our bibs in order to be entered into a raffle.  Race times were posted pretty quickly and awards went out to the first place winners of each age category.  There was also a DJ pumping music and keeping the party going.  Besides the Color Run, I would say this is the most energy I have seen at a race in quite some time.

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So what was the SWAG?!

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  • The vendors all gave out a few coupons, but nothing crazy
  • A nice medal (although no date or location)
  • A tank top – I do prefer tanks over tshirts, although these seemed to run kind of big as if they were men’s sizes.
  • Orgain protein powder
  • Bear Naked granola
  • Vegan Perfect bar
  • More coupons
  • And most importantly…A coupon for a free margarita from Café Coyote! Yippee!  I hold a special place in my heart for margaritas, so the free margarita is what first drew me to the race.  The only downfall was that the restaurant offering the free margarita was located in another part of town about 10 minutes away.
  • Beautiful beach scenery

Overall, I really enjoyed this race and found the volunteers and race director to be friendly and generous.  Besides the obvious free margarita, it was fun to run a race on the beach in beautiful weather (although the water was a bit cold.) I do have a few suggestions:

  1. Add the date and/or location to the finisher medal
  2. Offer the free margaritas immediately after the race or from a restaurant that is within walking distance of the event
  3. Either offer women’s and men’s sizes in tanks or inform participants that they run big

But I really did enjoy this event and I hope to see this race grow in the future!  See you at the next event!

You can learn more about the race organizer and future events from TogetherAs3pointone here.

~SM

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