my top 7 moments from the dodge rock ‘n’ roll half marathon

The pain of my blistered feet, throbbing hips and chaffed private parts pale in comparison to the pride I feel in myself that I completed another half marathon. It was a tough race for me today: it was hot, I had to pee the second I crossed the start line and I was not on my game as much as usual because I was still exhausted from my romp in LA a few days ago. But, nevertheless, I crossed the finish line and have a medal to prove it.

San Diego Dodge Rock 'n' Roll Marathon

Here are my: Top 7 Moments of the Dodge Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

1) Vibing off all of the positive energy at the start line, as we waited (for 45 minutes) to cross. I thought about all of the people that I was running for, those who have lost their lives to cancer, those who are struggling and those who are survivors. As my corral reached the start line, Don’t Stop Believin‘ started blaring over the PA system. We all started singing at the top of our lungs and crossed the start line with somethin’ special in our step.

2) Hearing the first band, just before the mile 1 marker, play a cover of “Hard to Handle” by The Black Crowes which just happens to be one of “my songs” with my bestie Amy who I was running in honor of today.

3) Receiving an impromptu mini pep-talk from my TNT coach, Coach James, around mile 5 as we were headed up the 163 freeway. He jumped in the pack and joined us as we ran for awhile, spouting off words of wisdom and inspiration to get us up and over that hill.

4) Using mind over matter, or maybe I should say, mind over bladder, at mile 9, to convince myself I didn’t have to pee and to forge ahead. At one point I said aloud to my running partner, “I am just so uncomfortable!” But as soon as I said it, I realized that every person there was uncomfortable and that I should just suck it up.

5) The woman handing out pretzels at mile 11. Holy sweat balls, it was hot out there and I was dragging. Also, I was hungry and desperately in need of a crunchy, salty carb. Thank you, nice pretzel lady, whoever you are!

6) Catching my first glimpse of SeaWorld around mile 12, feeling the spirit of my dad begin to take over for my own worn out, aching legs. My dad did a lot of work with SeaWorld when he was alive, so I can’t help but think of him whenever I see it. At that moment, a few tears found their way down my face, hidden behind my wicked awesome sunglasses, and my legs just took off. I had a renewed vigor in my step and I was rarin’ to cross that finish line (I think my running partners were wondering what the hell happened to me and why I was all of a sudden speeding up the pace, sorry gals).

7) Crossing the finish line with my running partners, Rachael and Caitlyn and seeing my kids and husband cheering me on from the side. Nothing can beat that feeling (except the obvious and also peeling an avocado in one fell swoop).

Thank you to all my friends and family who helped me cross that finish line in one way or another today, whether you donated money to my fundraising efforts, watched my kids for me while I went on training runs (that’s you, Ms. Elizabeth), or just “liked” one of my Facebook posts about the run, giving motivation to continue, you all greatly helped my own personal journey. Thank you to Team In Training, coaches James, Cheryl and Dave, my sister Laurie, my friend Sarah and my running partners Caitlyn and Rachael. It was an incredible experience!

Go Team!



  1. 1
    stefanie says:

    You are amazing girl. I remember talking to you months ago about changes that needed to be made and goals that needed to be achieved. And look at all that you have done. As you love to say, and I say to you now with the greatest sincerity, I LOVE YOUR GUTS!

  2. 2
    joser tropicana says:

    whats the website to view todays photos

  3. 3
    T. says:

    Huge Congratulations!!!


  4. 4
    Sherri says:

    Congratulations Mary. Nice going!

  5. 5

    what an accomplishment! well done, mary! :)

  6. 6
  7. 7
    jenn says:

    Congrats on finishing another TNT marathon. I know the high you are on today :) Enjoy a relaxing week filled with Starbucks, sunny days and maybe a pedicure.

    Jenn (from the park)

  8. 8
    Christina says:

    Awesome job! You are a rock star! Congrats :)

  9. 9
    Betsy says:

    Congrats! Great work!

  10. 10

    Beautiful Mar.
    What a great experience. Loved reading every word.

  11. 11
    Natalie says:

    YOU ARE AMAZING!! You inspire me. What a great way to pay tribute to your Dad’s memory. I hope today goes OK, anniversaries can be hard.

  12. 12
    Benjie says:

    Good job Mar! And how great Ms.Yang (if you’re nasty) was there bustin’ ass too! Way to go all of the TNT ladies! And crossing that finish line HAD to feel better than scooping and avo in one fell swoop! Those were a gift from my mortgage broker- such a strange (great) gift. XOX!

  13. 13
    MomZombie says:

    I knew you could do it. Congrats. Maybe a full marathon next?

  14. 14
    Coach James says:

    Congratulations Mary!! What an awesome accomplishment on such an important and amazing day! Enjoy and celebrate …

  15. 15

    Great Top 7 list! Congratulations on your half marathon finish and for your Rock Star fundraising efforts for Team In Training. GO MARY! GO TEAM!

  16. 16
    Cindy says:

    Way to Go Mary! Your Dad would be so Proud of you! Beautiful way to Remember him! :)

  17. 17
    Leslie says:

    Dear Mary,
    Your commitment to the fundraising and running of the 2 half marathons that you’ve done really floors me. I have a bit of a personal connection to TNT. No, I’ve never done it, but my dad has Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was diagnosed July 22, 2002. The average life expectancy for the form he has, at the time, was around 3yrs. It will be 9 years in July and he’s still going strong. He’s had some treatment and now is in complete remission and has been for 1.5 yrs.
    Tragically, we lost a good friend of ours last December to another form of Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She was 34 yrs old. UC Berkley graduate, humanitarian aid worker in Africa, and lymphoma killed her.
    It is people like you, and those who ran with you and fund raised, is how we will beat this hellish cancer. Money is what we need, because research and new drugs will conquer it. I have done lots of work for the Lymphoma Research Foundation and I know how hard it is to fund raise. Thank you for doing this. All of those who have been touched by L & L thank you.
    Anne Lammott, in one of her books writes about a family whose child is diagnosed with some awful disease. She writes something to the extent that the family of the child went to bed the night before the diagnosis in “the land of the normal”, and woke up the next morning in “The Land of the F@cked”. I had read that when my dad was initially diagnosed. When I told my mom, it became our inside joke. Yes, we have a sick sense of humor in my family. You helped us, the residents of the TLOTF. Thank you:)

    • Mary says:

      Thank you for this, Leslie. I’m sorry to hear about your friend but glad to hear that your dad is still going strong. Funny that you mention Anne Lamott, she is one of my favorite authors. She has had me in tears talking about the loss of her dad. And I will be using TLOTF in my own life now too. : )

  18. 18
    Laura F says:

    Was so proud of you after the race and so glad I got to see you for a few minutes afterwards. Way to go girl! You inspire me to exercise more; yesterday I was running around the track at Cal State San Marcos and I thought of you when my legs started to get tired. I just kept going!

  19. 19
    Darrell Denning says:

    Typically, lymphoma presents as a solid tumor of lymphoid cells. Treatment might involve chemotherapy and in some cases radiotherapy and/or bone marrow transplantation, and lymphomas can be curable depending on the histology, type, and stage of the disease..^”-

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