Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rock N' Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon Race Weekend

Last Friday I was obsessively checking the airline website to make sure that my flight was still on time and in fact going to be leaving Cleveland for Phoenix.  I was pleasantly surprised to board the plane right on time.  We did spend quite a bit of time on the runway while our plane was de-iced.  In the end it was a pretty uneventful flight and we arrived in Phoenix right on time.  Once to the airport I headed to grab my rental car and then headed to Chandler to find Nikki's sister's house.  Nikki's sister was kind enough to let us stay at her house as to not have to worry about hotel costs.  I found her development with no problem which is impressive for me as I have a horrible sense of direction (there's a reason Deb always drives when we go places) however I was having a hard time seeing the addresses on the houses so I had to get out of the car and walk on the sidewalk to make sure I was in fact at the right place.  I can't even imagine walking up to the wrong house and trying to open the door with the key.  Shortly after getting settled in I decided to call it a night.  Of course with the time change I woke up at 4:40 AM on Saturday morning but I managed to convince myself to try and go back to sleep and fortunately I was able to.  Once I woke up for good I noticed how nice it was outside and knew I had to go out for a nice, slow run to take in the scenery.
My view during my 3 mile run

The entrance to Nikki's sister's development

After my run I got ready and headed out to grab some coffee, something to eat, and some food for race morning.  Fortunately there was a Starbucks and a really good deli in the grocery store so I was able to take care of everything with one stop.  With all of my purchases made I headed back to the house to wait for Nikki and her family to arrive.  I decided to sit outside, in January, and read!
Poolside reading

Nikki and her family eventually made it to the house and then Nikki and I headed out to the expo to pick up our race packets.  Several times during the drive to the expo we talked about the race and how weird it was not to have Deb with us.  We certainly missed her!!  I had emailed RNR Arizona and asked if I would be able to at least get Deb's shirt for her and they were more than happy to help me out so Deb at least has a part of the race now.  I really like Deb's I-fitness belt that she runs with so I decided to go ahead and buy one at the expo.  I am very happy that I did.  It worked perfectly!  Nikki and I grabbed a map before we left the expo so we could figure out parking for race morning and then headed back to the house to grab her family so we could go out to dinner.  We grabbed dinner at Oregano's and then headed back to the house to get some much needed rest for the race.  Sunday morning Nikki and I were up bright and early getting our race gear ready and getting on the road to Phoenix since we had a 30 minute drive.  Nikki took care of the directions while I did the driving.  Of course the exit we were supposed to take was backed up at least four miles so Nikki had me go to the next exit and we didn't run into any traffic at all and decided to make a pit stop at McDonald's as to not have to use the porta potties once we arrived at the race.  The parking was perfect as it was right next to the finish line and it was free.  We parked the car and made the walk to the start line.
Nikki and I at the start line

Once we were at the start line there was an announcement that the start would be delayed by ten minutes as some people were stuck in the traffic that Nikki and I managed to avoid.  Of course I found it really funny that after they finally started the race, there were two more delays for "train crossing".  Seriously?  Who starts a race by running over train tracks?  It definitely made for a good laugh!  Our corral finally started the race at 8:00 AM.  I really didn't have a plan going into the race and I mentioned to Nikki that I would be happy with a 2:07.  My plan was to just run by feel and whatever happened I would be okay with.  I saw all kinds of fun people during the 1/2 marathon.

-Around the 2 1/2 mile mark I came across Dan Evans from The Biggest Loser sporting an orange tutu to support the Kids Fit Foundation that he runs for.
- Just after the 5K mark I came across Dan's brother who was also running the race.
-At mile 6 I came across a lady wearing the same exact shirt that I had on.  We joked that we must be on the same team.
-At mile 7 I came across a brother and sister running together who had run the Tough Mudder in Mesa on Saturday.
-Just before mile 9 I came across papa smurf and his smurf family complete with blue faces.
-At the 9 1/2 mile mark I passed the PF Chang's dragon.  One of the people holding up the dragon tried to get me to hold it for awhile but I told her I was good. 
-Just prior to mile 10 I came across a group of girls with shirts that said "running from the snow" on the back and I was almost positive I knew what the front of the shirts were going to say.  Sure enough I was right...CHICAGO!
-After seeing the Chicago girls I saw the most beautiful scenery ever....mountains and catci all along the course!
-At mile 10 I saw my watch, yes you are reading that right.  I looked down at my watch and saw my time (1:30) and realized that I had 30 minutes to run a sub-2 race so I kicked it up a notch and ran my fastest 5K of the entire race.
-At mile 12 I came across a group of girls wearing aqua leggings and rainbow knee socks.  According to their shirts they "belonged to a drinking club with a running problem".  Great shirts!!
-At mile 13.1 I saw the finish line and a fellow runner with some awesome socks!
Love these socks

I was very pleased to see my finish time of 1:57:43. 

My race results...pretty consistent
After I made it through the maze that was the finish line I was able to get my Desert Double Down medal for running Vegas and Phoenix 6 weeks apart.  After grabbing my medal I people watched while I waited for Nikki during which time I saw the three little pigs.  It was quite comical to see 3 grown men in head to toe pink pig outfits.  Once Nikki made her way to me we headed back to her sisters and decided to sit in the hot tub for a bit and it definitely helped with the leg muscles and I actually woke with zero leg pain on Monday morning.  After we sat in the hot tub we all went out to grab a bite to eat and then I packed everything up in preparation for my return flight home on Monday morning. 

Aside from the fact that we missed Deb, it was a good weekend. 

With state #8 complete, we were planning to run DC in March but we realized it was sold out so Deb did some research and our next race will be in Louisville, Kentucky at the Kentucky Derby Festival 1/2 Marathon in April!  Looking forward to another amazing trip with Deb and Nikki and anyone else that would like to join us!!

Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!


  1. Wow, you seriously kicked up the pace that last 5k! Great job on another fun race.

  2. Great job out there! It seems like a really fun race with lots of sights. I wouldn't enjoy the train tracks, either. I once did a marathon where the final few miles were on cobblestone- not cool!

    I'm also glad you're doing KY Derby! I grew up in Louisville, and I've done the full marathon there. I think you will really enjoy it. Also, check the course map. I know the full runs through KY and IN. Maybe the half does too?

  3. Hooray! Congrats on a great race! You finish right around the time my husband did (although you clipped him by abut a minute). I am glad you enjoyed your trip to Phoenix!