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San Diego Holiday Half Recap

After I ran the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon last year, I thought it was a “one and done” race for me.  But two weeks before the race, I gave into my FOMO and registered.  It was the race I PRd at last year and thought maybe I could make that happen again for me.  

Though being called the Holiday Half, the race has been after Christmas the past few years.  This year it was moved up and happened before Christmas—I was excited about this because it was once more chance to wear my ProCompression Ugly Sweater socks.  I picked up my bib on Saturday, then went home and got  everything together.  I was meeting Smitha and Jen in the morning to carpool and didn’t want to be late.  

I woke up Sunday morning ready to run.  Last year I had parked at the start line and took the shuttle back at the end. This year, we were parking at the finish line and taking the shuttle to the start line-- such a better plan!  Once we arrived, we met up with others for pictures and catching up.  Last year it was freezing before the start—I don’t know if I was just better prepared this year or if it wasn't as cold, but it definitely felt better this year.  My plan was to start with Jenny who had a goal—I would try to keep up with her as long as I could and then run it from there.  I kept up with Jenny for about half a mile and then we did our own thing, but it was helpful.  I ran the race trying to catch up with her and find her pink hat—I never did but it gave me something to push towards.  

The course itself is boring in my opinion.  Much of the course is along a bike path that parallels the freeway—other than an occasional car honking their support, traffic is never fun to run by.  There are portions of it that are pretty and it’s fun to run by the horse ranch, but hold your breath because the smell isn’t pleasant.  There were plenty of aid stations on the course, but a few weren’t ready for the runners- we had to wait for them to pour water into the cups. Despite the lack of organization at some of the stations, I will say that every volunteer was super friendly and supportive—I loved this!  It was also fun to see all the people dressed up this year compared to last year’s race—I think because it fell before Christmas, people were more in the spirit.

As we ran on, I was trying not to look at my time because I am a mental runner and didn’t want to break my pace.  When I finally did, I realized I was on target to PR.  This was the motivation I needed and I pushed forward.  I finished with a five minute PR and a twelve minute course PR.  So as much as I don’t love this race, I love this race! 

I can’t say whether I’d do this race again or not.  There is definitely some opportunity in the race organization’s communication and use of social media—I certainly hope they improve on both of these things. I love that I get to see a lot of my friends at this race, so if any things brings me back, it will be that.

Have you ever run a race that you didn’t love? 

Until next time, happy running.


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