For anyone who lives in the Pacific NW or has spent any time during the winter here, you can imagine that it is a necessity to escape and seek some sun at some point! So for the January long weekend holiday, we decided to escape to Mexico. We found a good deal on airfare to Cabo and decided to go for President’s Day weekend. Hours after clicking purchase (literally)…and just out of curiosity, I googled “half marathons in Mexico.” Boy was I surprised to find that there was a half marathon….in Cabo…..the weekend BEFORE we just purchased our flights for! I did some quick research and found that we could change our flights within 24 hours of booking, and it would actually be cheaper if we went the other weekend. Now I just had to convince my boyfriend why this was a perfect idea! Luckily he is very understanding of my race habit, and agreed to change our trip – which as it turns out worked out rather well, since I ended up having to cut our Mexico vacation a day short to head to Scotland for a work trip….more on that later.
Our plan was to fly into San Jose del Cabo, rent a car, spend a few days in Todos Santos and then head back to Cabo for the race. What a brilliant idea. Todos Santos was an adorable small, quiet town. We walked to a nearby beach and pretty much had the place to ourselves, aside from a few others we passed along the way and the 4-5 whales we watched playing around in the water! The weather was absolutely gorgeous – sun was shining, but the heat wasn’t unbearable.
The hotel that we stayed at (Guaycura Boutique Hotel) had a wonderful rooftop deck where we sat and watch an amazing sunset, while enjoying some drinks. The hotel was right in the center of town and everyone was super friendly (even those the system was down when we got there so they couldn’t get us our room key right away! Not a problem….we were on vacation! We were really surprised at how empty the town felt. For such a cute, artsy town we expected there to be a ton of people (but of course were relieved that there wasn’t!)
After our time in Todos Santos, we headed to San Jose del Cabo, stopping in Cabo San Lucas for lunch on our way. Talk about two cities being as different as possible! Within minutes of being there we both agreed that we made a very smart decision by going to Todos Santos. It was just so much more our style. Cabo San Lucas was just way too built up and crazy. Maybe if we were still in our early twenties on spring break!!
After lunch, we continued on to San Jose del Cabo, where the race was and where we had rented an apartment through AirBnB (our first time!). The city was a happy medium between the quiet, laid back Todos Santos, but still lots of options of Cabo. After getting settled into the apartment, we headed to the packet pick up. I wasn’t sure what to expect, not really knowing the size of the race. It was pretty organized but relatively small compared to other races. There were a few tables set up from local vendors selling running gear and medal displays. Nothing particularly great. Afterwards we found a spot for dinner, away from the blaring music!
The night before the race I didn’t sleep particularly well. When I woke up, I wasn’t very optimistic about the race.
We got to the start line, which was conveniently just a few blocks from the apartment we were staying at. I was very surprised at the amount of people who were actually wearing the race shirt. Maybe I’m a bit superstitious, but I don’t think you can really wear the shirt until you actually run the race! That and I’m a big believer in not doing anything new on race day. You just never know what sort of chafing the shirt could cause!
I felt pretty good the first two miles. I spotted a girl who was keeping a good pace – just fast enough to stay ahead of me but not too fast that I couldn’t keep up. …until we hit the hill and I passed her! Guess she doesn’t do much hill training!
The course had a few out and backs which were great since I was able to see Michael a few times along the course. He was amazing support! Each time I saw him I got a burst of energy. The last time he jokingly said that he’d better start heading back to the finish line so he could see me cross, and he’d better hurry since I was doing so good. I hadn’t really been paying much attention to my watch throughout the race (shocking for me!) so I was really surprised to look down and see that with only a mile left I could end up finishing under 2 hours! Considering how great I felt and I didn’t really feel like I had been pushing myself, I was super surprised, and also super motivated to get myself to that finish line under 2hours!!!
And I did it!!!! With 54 seconds to spare! (if you’re not a runner you probably don’t think that is much….but trust me it is!)I got my medal, found Michael and walked around the post party set up for a bit before heading back to the apartment to shower, get food, and pack…..I had a flight to Scotland to catch!!!!