Rock n Blog Team 2018 | Rock n Roll Marathon Series

In case you hadn't seen it on my Instagram page, I'm so happy to announce that I am part of the Rock n Blog Team for the 2nd year in a row!  The Rock n Blog Team is a group of likeminded peeps who love to run races and have fun doing it! Plus, we get to earn some awesome bling along the way!  

Last year, I had so much fun running in new cities and experiencing the awesome races put on by the Rock n Roll Marathon series.  My favorite was running the Remix Challenge in San Diego.  I ran the 5K on Saturday, then ran the half marathon on Sunday.  The courses were so much fun, especially the half marathon.  You can read my recap of that race HERE

The Rock n Roll Marathon series put on a great race! There is always a nice crowd of spectators cheering for you along the way and the DJs, cheer & dance teams, and bands really keep you pumped up throughout the race.  The series offers the full marathon distance and depending on the city, they also offer relays, 10Ks, 5Ks, and kid races.  There is definitely something for everyone! 

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Here's what I have planned for the Rock 'n' Roll series this year:

  1. Arizona Half Marathon | January 14
  2. Nashville Half Marathon | April 28
  3. Las Vegas Half Marathon | November 11
  4. San Antonio 5K + Half Marathon | December 2 & 3
  5. (tentative) Denver 5K + Half Marathon | October 20 & 21

Who's ready to join me? How about a discount code to help convince you? Use code RNB15 to get $15 off your half or full marathon registration!  Some restrictions apply.  

Have you ran a Rock N Roll Marathon race before? What's your favorite? Let me know!! 

Las Vegas Rock N Roll 5K + Half Marathon Race Recap

Another half marathon done! This is my 11th half marathon since I started running!  There are lots of reasons why this year's Las Vegas Rock N Roll Half Marathon was special to me, but the main reason is that this year my running came full circle back to where it all began.  The Las Vegas Rock N Roll was my first half marathon ever in 2013.  I remember how nervous I was about running this event. Everything was so new to me and I am so grateful to my marathon running cousin, Anel, who traveled from Texas to Vegas to run my first half marathon with me.  I will never forget that and how helpful it was to have a pro showing me the ins and outs of race day. 

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My first time running the strip at night, I had all my family and some friends cheering me on from the sidelines.  They held signs and gave me high-fives as I ran past them around mile 5.  It was such a rush! They were there for me at the finish line and we even got a hotel room for the night so we wouldn't have to deal with traffic leaving the race.  We ordered In N Out (fancy!), did some tequila shots, and celebrated together this accomplishment! Well, as you can imagine by the 11th half marathon and countless other races in between, the fanfare has diminished.  Can you blame them? There were no family members giving me high fives along the half marathon course or waiting for me at the finish.  But, no matter what, I know I still have their support and encouragement always.

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This year, I got to run as part of the Rock 'N' Blog team and I couldn't be prouder to be a part of this running community!  I decided to run the Vegas 5K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday, as part of the Remix Challenge.  You can read more about what's a Remix Challenge HERE, on a post I wrote for Rock N Roll Marathon Series Tempo Blog!

For the 5K, my hubby and kiddos came to cheer me on, along with a friend and her 2 daughters who came from California and were also running the half marathon the next day. Parking for the race was pretty easy.  The race started at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds across from the SLS Hotel at 6pm.  The security was tight, which we were definitely expecting, and they were only allowing the clear Rock N Roll swag bags we got with our registration.  I honestly don't remember seeing this posted at all during the registration process or at the expo and of course, my husband had a camera bag they wouldn't let him in with. At least we had enough time and he was able to make it back to the car and drop it off before the race started.  Being a Las Vegas local, I wasn't too excited about the course for the 5K, it was an out and back and ran down Industrial Blvd, a side street that is parallel to the strip but nowhere near as glamorous! Although the course was not amazing, the energy and the participants made it fun! There was plenty of lights and music along the course and lots of runners in costume and neon flashing lights on them! After the race and once I met up with my family and friends, I went to get my finisher beer and we sat together for a bit before heading out to our cab loading dinner at Bucca Di Beppo.  We didn't stay for the concert.  My kiddos have no idea who the Goo Goo Dolls are!!! 

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Sunday morning I had a good brunch and took my time prepping for the race.  I met up with my friend, Emily and her friend, Mike, who drove us to the race (no entourage this time!) We parked at Mandalay Bay and took the monorail to the start line area.  Although it was crowded and busy, everything was still organized and calm.  It was nice to have some friends who were running while we waited for our start time.  Bonus: This was the first race where I didn't have to wait in a long line for the port-a-potty! Total Win!!

Wasn't this announcement for start times just awesome?!? 

Wasn't this announcement for start times just awesome?!? 

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The race went well for me.  I started slow, felt good in the middle, but by mile 10 I lost steam and struggled to keep my pace.  The energy from the crowds along the strip was great and I especially loved the lights and music towards the finish line!! There was even an acrobatic performer hanging from a crane and swinging and twirling at the finish line.  Only in Vegas! Also, only in Vegas do you get to walk openly with your finisher beer and take photos with Elvis!! These are some pretty fun perks for sure!

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Of course, getting to run on the strip is pretty epic! But for locals the traffic due to so many street closures can be pretty bad, so getting picked up after the race was kind of a nightmare.  I think next time I run this race, I'll play tourist and book a room on the strip like we did for my first one.  I'm never one to say no to a staycation! All and all, it was a great time and I'm so happy I got to run this race again!  

Love my race bling!!! 

Love my race bling!!! 

Rock N Roll San Diego Remix Challenge | Race Recap

During the first weekend of June I completed my first Rock N Roll Marathon Series Remix Challenge in San Diego!  The Remix Challenge medal is earned when you complete two days of running during a Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event. Any combination of distances qualifies for the Remix Challenge Medal. You need to complete one event on Saturday and one event on Sunday during the same Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event weekend.  I chose to run the 5K distance on Saturday and the half marathon distance on Sunday.  

 This is my first year as a member of the Rock ‘n’ Blog team and I am loving it so far! As part of the team I received a Global Tour Pass, which allows me to run any of their races worldwide (travel costs not included). My next tour stops will be Seattle, June 18th for the Half Marathon and  Las Vegas on November 11-12 for another Remix (5K and Half Marathon).  

We left a little later than we wanted to on Friday afternoon from Vegas, so we arrived for packet pickup with just under one hour before the expo closed.  The good thing about cutting it so close was that there was no line to get my packets :) I was given a specific wrist tag with my bibs and was explained that I was to wear it on Sunday’s race to pick up my Remix Challenge medal after the race (woohoo!).  Afterwards we walked around the Gaslamp Quarter and grabbed some sushi for dinner before checking in to our room and crashing! 

This was my first really big 5K event and it was a great experience. The atmosphere was relaxed and everyone was ready to have a good time. Although, I told myself I would take it slow, I couldn’t help but get carried away by all the excitement and I took off a little faster than I wanted to.  But after the first mile or so I slowed myself down and started to enjoy the sights of Balboa Park. Jason was right there cheering me on at the finish line and then we made our way to the beer tent.  As ya'll know, I am much more of a wine girl myself, but after a race there's nothing better than a cold beer.  Trust me on that one!

The rest of the day was spent doing a little shopping and catching a movie, which is a rare treat for us to do without the kiddos.  We then made our way to Ocean Beach for burgers and beers at Hodad's and to catch a glimpse of the ocean!  Do yourself a favor and check it out next time you're in the San Diego area.  It's got a great vibe and the burgers are delicious! 

The next day, was a little less relaxed, as thousands of half marathon and marathon runners made their way to the starting line.  But, it was still a Rock N Roll event and the atmosphere was one of fun, if not a little more focused on the longer distances to be conquered that day.  I know I was feeling nervous and excited too! The half marathon course was a blast and although my legs felt a little sluggish the first few miles, I found my groove and had a strong finish!  The best part of the race was running through the Normal Heights neighborhood, where the neighbors were out supporting the runners with everything from jolly ranchers to alcohol.  Loved the makeshift bars they set up serving beer, mimosas, and even shots of liquor! I chose to pass on the libations, but it was super entertaining to run by and see other brave runners take their shots! Another favorite was when we finally got the the nice downhill area along the park! Running downhill is my favorite, so a downhill finish was a great relief from an otherwise kinda hilly course.

As with all big races, the finish line area was crowded and busy.  Jason was looking out for me so we met up soon after.  We made our way to the festival area and to the Heavy Medal tent for my Remix Medal! And then of course, it was another race so another beer at the finish! It was also great to see some friends at the festival who had ran the relay race.  We chatted a bit with them before we had to get going to check out of our room and make our way back to Vegas! 

But, first we had to stop at our favorite Temecula winery, Wiens Family Cellars, for some wine tasting.  We brought a few bottles home with us too and way may have also signed up for their wine club (again!) 

If you’ve never ran the Remix Challenge, I definitely suggest you try it at least once.  Not only do you leave the weekend with 3 awesome medals, it really makes it for a fun-filled running weekend.  Plus, you get to doubly enjoy what the Rock N Roll Marathon races are all about: fun, community, bling, music, and just an all-around good time!  

Even though it was a weekend with 2 back to back races, the hubs and I still got to spend a much needed weekend away without the kiddos.  It was the perfect start to summer break and I think we may have to turn it into a yearly tradition, with or without a race ;)