Hello again everyone!
This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to run my first out of state race at the Phoenix Half Marathon. Race 4 of my 14 in 2014.
We left a very chilly Minnesota for Phoenix on Friday morning (which happened to be Ryan’s 40th bday) and went right from the airport to packet pickup.
I should mention that this was the girls’ first airplane ride and they were both very excited and we had a great flight.
Packet pickup was a breeze and warm – definitely a change from the morning. We walked around a little and Claire and Morgan played in the inflatable obstacle course. We made it to Dj’s (Ryan’s cousin in Phoenix) and got all settled in. I got all my race stuff ready because we needed to leave for the race by 4 am. We had some pizza for supper for good carbs and went to bed early.
Morning came along quickly and I got ready and we were in the car by 3:45, after a quick stop for coffee, we were off to the buses. We arrived easy and found a great parking space and Dj walked with me to the buses to make sure I was safe and sound on my way to the start. I visited with a really nice lady on the way and wished her luck on her 1:50:30 goal. I never did get her name, so I can’t look her up to see if she made it or not.
I wandered around the start area, used the bathroom and found a nice lady to visit with while I waited – she had on a sparkle skirt. We talked a while and after about 45 minutes, I decided to get in line for the bathroom one more time. I visited with another nice lady in that line. She is a manager at a Target store in the area. She told me how she gets to visit Minneapolis in September and she loves it – she gets to go to the farmers market that I love, so we talked about that for a while.
After they played the Star Spangled Banner, they let off fireworks. I’ve never had that before – usually its light in MN when races start – it was pretty neat. I walked over to the start in the dark, good thing there were people to follow.
The race started with a few more fireworks and we were off. It was dark for the first little while, maybe 20 minutes, and rained off and on during the race, but never for very long. The first time it picked up I did momentarily panic, but before I got my mind messed up, the rain stopped.
I didn’t wear my watch, so I don’t know how I fast I started out, but my goal was to run, feel good and look around to enjoy the course. I did all of those things and got myself a shiny new personal record to go with it.
I looked around a lot and enjoyed all of the palm trees and people. I found the lady in the sparkle skirt again in the downtown area. I visited with her a minute and then kept going. She started out too fast with the 2 hour pacer and was kind of pooped out. At that point I realized I could probably catch that pacer – she obviously started before me and I knew I was moving at a pretty good pace.
I took the Island Boost that I packed along at miles 2, 5, 8 and 11 – I packed it in my carry on bag so they wouldn’t lose my fuel in my checked bag :). I saved my chocolate one for last. I was happy I did – man that is good! I took the final fuel and knew I would make a good time if I just kept moving.
I rounded the last turn to the finish and knew I still had some left, so I picked it up. I ran with my heart full on that last 3/4 mile. I was happy and feeling great. I smiled the whole time. I finished with a big smile on my face.
Dj was at the finish watching for me. I told him I thought around 2:05, so when I finished with a gun time of 2:03, he wasn’t ready with his camera. He felt so bad that he missed me coming in. I explained that it was no problem – usually I don’t have anybody there to take my picture, so this is no different.
I had a great time at the race and finished with a time of 1:59:02.
It took them a day to get my chip time updated, it was stuck on gun time for a day, I was starting to wonder, so I emailed them to find out the scoop and was told that it would be updated by morning and now it is. So a shiny new personal best in the desert in the rain. 🙂
Now for the rest of this vacation….that will be the next post