Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Posts tagged ‘san diego running’

Are You Ready to ROCK?!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon San Diego 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!”
I can’t believe the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series in San Diego is finally here!  I have been waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for this awesome weekend!  So before I get into the Expo highlights (there was a parade involved), I’ll fill you in on what’s happened since my last Rock ‘n’ Roll post.  Here are a few highlights!
I met MEB (again)!  Road Runner Sports held a “Rock ‘n’ Roll hype night” last month to get us all stoked for #RNRSanDiego.  Meb spoke some runspiration into all of us, we got to check out the RNR medals, and we had the chance to win some prizes!  Sadly I didn’t win anything, but I did get another photo op with my old pal, Meb Keflezighi. 😉

 

I took to the lake!  I really enjoy doing training runs around the lakes in San Diego because I don’t have to worry about getting hit by a car and they include stroller friendly paths.  Also, ducks. 🙂
I scored FREE Lululemon!  The #morethanmilestour made its way to San Diego and I took advantage!  Basically you wait in line (length of time depends on location), pick out some shorts, pants, or a shirt to wear.  Try it on in their pop-up fitting room and run on a treadmill for 2 minutes – yep, exactly 2 minutes – you watch a video while you run.   You also may receive some free healthy samples while you’re waiting in line and might even do a sample strength routine led by an instructor.  And that’s it!  You get to keep the gear you try!  I scored a free pair of running shorts and they are sweet!  Check out #morethanmilestour and #thetesttruck on social media or visit the Lululemon website to find out if #thetesttruck is coming to a city near you.  The employees were super nice and the treadmill is glorious!
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Then, disaster struck 😦 During one of my surge runs, I rolled my ankle on a slanted driveway in my neighborhood (should’ve stuck to the lakes that I’m used to).  I hope you sung that TLC style.  Anywho, I had to R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate); however, I did rack up some miles on the stationary bike to keep up my cardio.
And as far as nutrition goes, I’ve been fueling up on oatmeal, sweet potatoes, bananas, peanut butter, veggies, eggs, and chicken breasts!  Love this gluten-free spicy coating from Aleia’s!
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So that brings us to Rock ‘n’ Roll weekend!  The expo was held yesterday and today.  I went yesterday because I participated in the 5k this morning.  The expo is held at the San Diego Convention Center.  The good thing about this is that it’s a HUGE space so lots of room for plenty of vendors.  The bad thing about this is that it’s downtown, which means – parking $$$$ boooo.  Parking at the Convention Center is convenient, but will cost you $15.  You’re good for the whole day though so essentially you could park here, hit the expo, and then go sightsee around downtown.  I had my daughter with me so I was just going to hit the expo and leave.  I parked at the Convention Center, but the parking meter thing was broke sooooo I parked for free.  There’s also some handy public transportation options available.
I arrived around 3pm which meant I just missed an appearance from Meb – good think I saw him last month!  It wasn’t overly crowded and there were tons of volunteers directing traffic and keeping things orderly.
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First, I grabbed my bibs, shirts, and gear check bag.  Then I let my daughter take some pics with overly sized props and we headed into the merchandise section.  They have a HUGE area dedicated to Brooks running shoes and then a big area of Rock ‘n’ Roll merchandise.  Then we headed into the vendor area to score some samples and SWAG!
This place was happenin’ to say the least.  It felt like a big party!  There was a DJ, photo booths, and even a parade with confetti, balloons, and glitter!  My daughter and I actually made it into the parade video.  Blink and you’ll miss us, but we were there livin’ it up!
I also liked that the café was open so you could snag lunch and drinks while you’re checking out all of the vendors!  And my favorite thing about the expo was that they had a gaming area complete with a giant Jenga set and Connect Four game!  This is a great idea especially for parents who have to bring along the littles.  Also, I’m sure adults enjoyed this, too. 😉
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Overall,  I felt like the expo really delivered!  Everyone was super nice and generous with samples and coupons.  I wished I had time to get taped from one of the tape booths, but maybe next time!  The only negative I will say is that there was only one way into the expo and one way out.  And they were pretty strict about this.  I’m sure it’s to keep everything orderly and safe.  I was just annoyed that I had to walk all the way across the expo hall to get to the exit.  It also looked like everyone really enjoyed themselves as well!

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Stay tuned next week for my review on the 5k, the half marathon, and of course, the SWAG!  And if you aren’t running in the event tomorrow, come out and party with the bands and cheer on the racers!

See you! 😉

~SM

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Running for Autism Awareness

Last month, I ran the ACT Today! for Military Families 5k/10k for the third year in a row and it did not disappoint!  I really love this event for a few reasons: 1.  It supports military families and autism awareness.  2.  It’s family friendly and offers fun activities for all ages.  3.  The course is fast and flat which makes it much easier to push a stroller – and Bonus: There’s even a Stroller Division!  So here’s my race breakdown:

Pricing: The pricing ranges from $20-$45 depending on your distance and how early you register.  But they do offer a few promo codes throughout the year so be on the lookout!  I paid around $30 for the 10k, which is a fantastic deal!

Expo: There are two options for packet pick-up: Pick up at Woodstock Pizza in Pacific Beach the evening before OR pick up the morning of the race.  I had a friend pick-up my bib at Woodstock, but picking up the morning of the race is really quick and easy too.

Parking: Free parking is available all around the event location.  The later you arrive, the further you will have to park.  I parked about .5 mile away in the dirt “Sun Runners Lot” and it allowed me to warm up on the way to the start line.

Race Course: The course runs around Fiesta Island in Mission Bay so it’s a pretty flat and scenic route.  The weather was nice this year so it made for an enjoyable run.  The 10k starts a half hour before the 5k so that everyone is funneled into the finish line area around the same time.  I like that it’s staggered that way and the course was not crowded at all.

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Course Support: There were a few water station, energetic volunteers and police officers directing traffic and cheering us on.  If you notice in the above pictures, there was one thing missing: Spectators!  There were spectators cheering us on around the Finish Line area, but none on the course.  It wasn’t a huge deal, since the course was peaceful…but it would have been nice to have that extra energy at times.

Post-race: After you cross the finish line, you are given a medal and a volunteer will remove your timing chip from your shoe.  Then you are free to grab water and fruit.  This event has a lot of vendors and they were all generous with their products and free samples.  There were also some areas for the kids to do crafts or jump in a bounce house.  And since it is an event that benefits children with autism – there was also a quiet zone to accommodate children with sensory sensitivities.   And like I said in the beginning, there are activities for all ages…meaning: There was also a beer garden!  I didn’t get a chance to sample any adult beverages because I had my daughter with me, but it was a packed area so I’m sure it was tasty!

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There were also a few contests that included: highest fundraiser, largest team, and best costume.  Winners received gift cards and free wine from One Hope Wine.

And some free hugs!

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Since this year’s event was held during Easter weekend, there was also an Easter Egg hunt and appearance from the Easter Bunny!

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So what was the SWAG?!

I love the color of this year’s t-shirt and the beach ball is still going strong in my house.  Not pictured: lots of other drinks and snacks that got consumed before the photo. 🙂 And I always count scenery as swag!  Plus the Easter Eggs that were filled with stickers and coupons. Also, Naked Juice is pretty delicious!

And of course, the medal!

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I also ran with my running group, Stroller Warriors and because we had such a large group they provided us with a tent, table, and extra snacks!  Score! It was nice to have a meeting spot for everyone before and after the race.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this race and would totally do it again next year!  So grab your family and friends and get prepared to register for next year’s event!  Start your own team or begin a fundraiser and you could even win a prize!

See you at the next event! 😉

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~SM

Running for Food

I recently participated in the John Hancock – Cooking Light & Health Fit Foodie Race Weekend in San Diego.  This year, the event occurred in Fairfax, VA; Austin, Tx; Tampa, FL; and here in San Diego.  It’s a full weekend filled with fitness demos, cocktails, parties, and a 10k/5k with celebrity appearances.  The Fit Foodie Race also proudly supports the American Diabetes Association.  The event ranges in price from $55-$160 depending on how involved you want to be with the weekend; however, there are usually Groupon deals with significant discounts.  I actually participated in the 10k for free!  But more on that later!  Let’s move on to the review…

Packet pick-up was at Road Runner Sports the day before the race and I got in and out pretty quick.  I received my bib and t-shirt, but they were also selling some cuter t-shirts and tanks.  Then, the best part happened!  We got to meet not one, but two race legends – Bill Rodgers and Meb Keflezighi!  Bill was super friendly and chatted about his time running through the streets of Boston.  Meb was also quite gracious and his daughters were even sprinting behind him on the treadmills!

The race was held downtown and the course ran through the Embarcadero and Seaport Village.  It started around 7am, but I got there a little late and ended up parking almost a mile away.  Oops.  I was a little confused on exactly where the start line was, but that was just the beginning of my confusion.  But it was actually a very beautiful day and even got pretty hot later in the morning.  I also ran with a fellow Stroller Warrior and friend as well as my 4-year-old – whom my friend helped push along the way.

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Now, let’s talk about the course- The 5k course just did one loop around Embarcadero and was pretty simple.  The 10k course, on the other hand, was a bit of a cluster.  First, there were a couple of splits during the course where the 5k runners went in one direction and the 10k runners went in another.  Then, at one point, the course took you down a not so glamorous part of San Diego – filled with graffiti-covered industrial buildings and glass in the streets.  I also had the pleasure of running by a homeless gentlemen who was yelling out obscenities and threats to us.  I am not normally bothered by the homeless, however, for a moment it slightly took away from my fun race experience…especially since I had my daughter with me.  Anywho, I digress.  My biggest complaint about the course was that after a while it just became a bunch of confusing and never-ending loops.  I even encountered a woman who had run an extra 3 miles because she got misdirected on the course.  However, I will say that the course was filled with a good amount of friendly volunteers who were directing the runners as well as passing out water and keeping the energy flowing.  I just didn’t like having to ask, “Is this the right way?” at every turn.

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Then came the post-race fun and food!  We were greeted at the finish line with a tote bag of goodies and medals! There were a lot of live demos, raffles, contests, samples, and the chance to test drive a Lexus.  Now, since we started the race a little later than everyone and got confused along the course, this meant that we ended later than most people and ended way later than the 5k runners. Many of the sample areas had pretty long lines by the time I arrived and I didn’t have the patience to wait at all of them.  Also, some tables had run out of things which was a little disappointing.  Then there was the big “food area” that was really hyped up leading into the event.  But I was a little let down to discover that this was nothing more than a tiny plate with two tiny food samples on them. 😦

The DJ was good at holding everyone’s attention and kept the party atmosphere flowing.  I was also thankful that I got my pics and autographs from Bill and Meb the day before since the lines to meet them after the race were pretty long.

So what was the SWAG?!

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I will say, there was actually quite a bit of swag and I like the phrase on the back of the shirt.  If I had more patience, I would have waited for more swag but I felt that I received a good amount! My two favorites from this haul are the Country Archer Beef Jerky and the Jambu full-size notebook with pen.  There was also a beer garden, but I didn’t check it out because I had a little one in tow.  I also loved the medal, especially the pink ribbon! (The 5kers received a medal with a blue ribbon).

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Overall, I enjoyed the event – although I don’t think I would pay the full price for this one, at least not for the 10k.  Next time I would do the 5k to avoid the confusing course and so I could get to the post-race party quicker to score more samples and swag.  I’m not sure what the Friday and Sunday festivities were like, but I guess I was expecting a little more food on race day since “Food” is what the event is supposed to be all about.  I also recommend running it with a friend so they can join in on the party fun.

There were also free race photos!  Bonus SWAG!

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So how did I run this race for FREE??  Well the Fit Food Race Series offers ambassador  positions for each of their locations.  The ambassadors offer giveaways on their blogs for free race entries.  I found one of the ambassadors on Instagram and ended up winning a free race entry!  You can find her blog at Runs and Roses.

Have you run the Fit Foodie 5k/10k?  What did you think?

See you at the next event!

~SM

The Mardi Gras Run!

Last weekend I participated in the Mardi Gras run (a Wiz Event) and it was definitely a fun, but smaller event.  This race had 4 options: 15k, 10k, 5k run, and 5k walk – I chose the 5k run.  The 5k was $40 and I used a $5 off discount code which brought the total with tax back to about $40.  I don’t normally spend this amount on a race, but I love Mardi Gras (I’m from Southern Mississippi) aaannnd the medal is pretty dope.  Wait til you see 😉

The race was advertised as a “big celebration with jazz music and more great tunes”.  I would say it was more of a mediocre get together with a retired DJ.  You tried your best Mr. DJ, I give you a gold star. 🙂  The event was held at Hospitality Point in the Mission Bay area.  Parking was free and it was fairly easy to find a decent spot.  The venue was a bit smaller than expected, but the course was scenic and easy to follow.  Much to my surprise, however, there were only three Porta Potties along with one women’s bathroom and one men’s bathroom.  I really anticipated more bathrooms given this was expected to be such a huge celebration.

 

The course had nice support from the volunteers and water along with beads and leis were offered at the halfway mark.  The DJ kept up the energy as each finisher crossed and we were met with medals and water as well as bagels, peanut butter, and bananas.

There were a few vendors, but again I expected a bit more…and there was a photo booth along with a food truck offering authentic New Orleans cuisine. Some participants dressed up in festive costumes so I really enjoyed the vibe of this race, but was definitely expecting a bigger celebration.  I felt that there could have been a bit more energy (this is supposed to be Mardi Gras after all) and maybe even some activity stations for the kids.  I didn’t order anything from the food truck because I wasn’t really craving fried food at 9am after running 3 miles and food was not included in the registration price.

I did try a sample of the Arctic Zero frozen dessert.  I tried the salted caramel flavor and was surprised at how tasty it was since it was…are you ready…lactose free, gluten free, GMO free, fat free, and Kosher.  Basically it was made from swan saliva and unicorn blood, but it wasn’t bad.

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Also, let me just say…the organizers of this race clearly have never been to an actual Mardi Gras celebration as there was not one drop of alcohol in sight! Overall, I would say it was a well-organized race with a decent attempt at recreating a Mardi Gras party, but sadly it fell short in the celebration area.  I do feel that it could be improved and I hope to see a much bigger celebration in future years.

So what was the SWAG?

Your eyes are not deceiving you…That is a light up jester hat!

Shirts were offered for an extra $10 so I passed on that one.

A string of beads and a lei.

Free professional pictures.

Beautiful scenery cause I always count that as swag.

And a rad medal.  15k participants received the same medal, but with a fancier ribbon.

I would mostly likely do this race again because I’m a sucker for unique medals…but maybe they will at least have Daiquiris at the next one.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

~SM

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