I was up at 4:30 AM to finish getting everything ready for my 6:50 AM flight to Arizona. The early flight had seemed like a much better idea when I booked it than when my alarm was going off on Friday morning. Since my flight was so early, I decided that it would make the most sense for me to drive myself to the airport which would allow me to have my car there upon my return on Monday. I am not sure how I ended up in the parking garage and not an outdoor lot, but in hindsight I am very happy that I did because I didn't have to worry about leaving the building or scraping my car on Monday night when my flight landed. Definitely a win-win situation in my book. I was quite surprised to see a long security line before 6:00 AM. It may have had something to do with the fact that a lot of schools had both Friday and Monday off and I saw many families at the airport. I somehow made a wrong turn and ended up at the complete opposite end of the airport from my gate. Once I got myself turned around I realized my plane was boarding so I went on a nice job through the airport and made it in plenty of time. The early flight was made even more painful when a group of girls next to me on the plane talked very loudly for the duration of the flight. There was no sleep to be had on the first leg. I was quite happy to make it to Nashville so I could get away from their chatter! While waiting for my connecting flight I grabbed some water and a few snacks for the flight to Phoenix. After boarding the plane and finding a seat, the nice couple next to me asked what I was traveling to Phoenix for and I told them about the race. At this point, a young mother started talking to me as she was training for her first half marathon. Sadly, she was headed to Phoenix for a funeral. Her first half will take place in Tennessee. We talked a lot about cross training and how we fit our workouts in around our children's schedules. It was a very nice conversation. I did manage to grab a bit of a nap on this flight which was great. Once we landed in Phoenix, I checked on the status of Deb's flight. I saw that it had been delayed so I tried to call her phone but it went straight to voicemail so I figured she was on the plane. After this I texted her husband who had the same results I did when he tried to call her. A short while later Deb called and told me she had to talk fast because they were getting ready to leave. She had graciously called the hotel to see if I could check in under my name so I wouldn't have to wait at the airport. I asked her if I should cancel our facial appointments but she felt she would arrive in Phoenix by 4:00. After I was done talking to Deb I called my inlaws, who are in Phoenix for the winter, to see if they happened to be available to pick me up at the airport and take me to my hotel. When there was no answer, I went ahead and grabbed a cab to the hotel. During my ride to the hotel, Deb texted and said that there was a hydraulics problem so they were getting off the plane. A few minutes later Deb called to let me know what was going on. She decided she was going to call and reschedule her facial for Saturday. She encouraged me to keep my appointment since I was there and would be waiting for her to arrive. At this point, we weren't sure when Deb would get into town but she was certain she would make it Friday night and not have to wait until Saturday morning to fly out. Of course the cab took the long way to my hotel and my total fare reflected that. Oh well, it was better than sitting at an airport for several hours. I got to my destination, checked in and headed to my room. I took a few pictures along the way.
|Path to our room|
The first time I woke up Saturday morning was 5:30 AM. I am sure it was a result of the time change. I told myself that I needed to go back to sleep which I was able to do until 9:45 AM which was much better. I slowly got up and got dressed to get in a short run. I asked Deb if she wanted to join me but she was good so off I went for a short trip around the canal near our hotel. It was pretty warm but the scenery was worth it. After I got back, I did my daily jump rope workout and then got ready so we could grab lunch before our scheduled pedicures. We decided to have lunch at the restaurant in our hotel. The portions were the perfect size and we were left with room for dessert.
|Can you say delicious??|
The alarm went off at 6:15 AM and of course I pressed snooze even though I had slept reallly well. We got everything ready and then headed out to the race start in Tempe. There were a lot of closed roads so it took us a lot longer than we had planned to get to the race. It wasn't that big of a deal as the racce was chip timed so it didn't really matter when we started. By the time we parked, the race had already started. I obviously wasn't concerned when I took the time to stop and use a port-a-potty that had no lines whatsoever. We eventually made it to the start line and jumped in with corral 11. I was supposed to start in corral 3 but it wasn't a big deal at all. I was able to manuever around people and get to my desired pace relativey quickly. Everything was going great and I happened upon Dan Evans from the Biggest Loser around the 2.5 mile mark. I said hello and continued on my way. I was feeling good and happy to be maintaining my pace. In fact I was even happier to hit mile 6 with a slight cushion on my intended pace. However around mile 7 the gradual inclines and speed took their toll on my left knee which I had fallen on back in December when I hit ice. I had to make a decision at that point. Should I push it and go for it or should I back off in order to be able to run another day soon. I took option B and I'm okay with that. My PR goal quickly switched to a just finish it goal. I achieved that goal when I crossed the line in 1:55:11. I started having a slight asthma attack due to the difference in the air. I quickly got it under control with the help of a volunteer. She then took me to medical so I could have my knee looked at. I still have a bruise on my knee from the fall so medical did ask me if I had fallen on the course. Once I confirmed that I had not gone down on the course they wrapped my knee with ice and I was on my way.
(Just) Trying is for Little Girls to let her know I was at the finish line so we could meet up for a quick picture. I spotted her quite easily. We talked for a few minutes and then her husband was kind enough to take our picture.
|Kim and I. The matching wasn't even planned|
|11 states officiallly conquered|
Once again I woke up at 5:30 AM. What is with that? I managed to get back to sleep until a little after 9:00 though. We gathered everything up, checked out, and headed to the airport. Believe me when I tell you neither one of us wanted to return to our respective cities when we saw the weather report....COLD!!!! Since we flew on different airlines we said our goodbyes at the rental car drop off and headed our separate ways. My first flight took me to Chicago. I was welcomed to Chicago by the pilot. "Welcome to the windy city, it's a balmy 8 degrees, bundle up." Of course I didn't have my sweater out yet so I just walked off the plane very quickly. I grabbed some dinner at the airport and then headed to my gate for my flight to Cleveland. When we landed in Cleveland I was once again welcomed by the pilot. "Welcome to Cleveland where it's 14 degrees." Oh boy, a heat wave compared to Chicago! HAHA! I was reminded how happy I was to have accidentally parked in the garage because I never had to leave the building and there wasn't any snow on my car! The roads by the airport were terrible but things cleared up by the time I got close to home so that was a welcomed surprise.
So what's next? Well, we are officiallly signed up for the Indy 500 1/2 marathon in May which will be state #12 but in the meantime we are talking about running the Rock 'N' Roll USA DC 1/2 in March. We figure we have to run in the Capital of the United States as well. I think we will have a final decision on this one today or tomorrow at the latest.
Keep running, you're simply the best, and you inspire me!!