Sunday, January 15
Half Marathon #53
Arizona Half #2
Weather - Overcast, perfect for running
Since we have already raced in Arizona, Rock 'n' Roll Arizona ended up on our schedule only to fill a period of non-racing. Obviously one of the things I dislike about the Rock 'n' Roll series is that 1). They force you to pick up your OWN packet (NO EXCEPTIONS) and you have to do it at the expo 2). They close the expo at 5:00 pm on Saturdays. For people who are traveling, they essentially have to waste an entire extra day just to get there in time for the expo. It's stressful and annoying. Instead of being able to take an early afternoon flight, we had to be gone by noon, landing by 2:00 to give us time to get out of the airport and to the Phoenix convention center.
We had a few friends from Colorado that had flown down a few days earlier, and they were nice enough to pick us up at the airport and take us to the expo. Saved us SO MUCH STRESS. As my long-time readers know, I don't really do well when I'm under a time crunch and trying to find somewhere I haven't been before. Like most big races, the expo was held downtown and we had to pay $12 for parking. But (roll eyes) the expo was free and open to the public!
We normally do not have time to do anything at an expo but pick up our stuff and go. This time... we actually wandered around for about an hour. It was really nice and stress-free! Got my bib, a pretty decent race shirt. Picked up some new AWESOME BANDS from Razzy Roo, tried on some shoes, looked at some apparel, but really was able to get out without having spent really anything at all.
Imagine our luck that right next to the hotel was a Ruby Tuesday's. We weren't going to starve to death after all! L from Because I Can and her friend, B, had arrived earlier in the day. They had gone to the wrong aLoft on the other side of town. Oops. While we were waiting for them, we went ahead and got some dinner.
L and B finally arrived and we hung out in the room, watching the Broncos get massacred and talking. My L was exhausting from having worked the night before, so the rest of us went down to the lobby to down a few more carbs before heading to bed.
|Should I have stopped at one??|
B and L were already experts at the light rail, so we met her two Ragnar friends and heading to the station shortly after 6:00 am. Arrived with no problems at the starting area, although I realized I had forgotten my sunglasses. At least I had brought a visor this time though. We had fun taking pictures and walking around, and even ran into our friends from CO on our way to the bathrooms.
|Left to right: Me, B, L, my L|
|Me, B, L, my L|
Next problem. My iPod quit working just past mile 4. Sigh. I have run without music only a handful of times, and only ONCE during a race, and that was my terrible "naked" 5K I ran last fall. So now I am in pain, running alone, AND I don't even have any music. With NINE miles to go :(
The course was nice though:
I stopped a few times to stretch my legs, loosened my laces sooooo much that if I loosened them any more they wouldn't even be tied. NOTHING HELPED. Other than that race I ran in New Hampshire, I have never struggled so much during a race. This was so mentally defeating for me. I know what I am capable of, and my stupid body was just NOT cooperating. The few times L has run without music, she said she kept herself entertained by listening to conversations other people were having. Only. NO ONE WAS TALKING. I could hear people's music blaring through their headphones, but it was a quiet race. And for a Rock 'n' Roll race, there were only a handful of bands. So awful.
FINALLY make it to the halfway point and relay exchange. This was kinda neat:
Shortly after turning the corner, a lady tapped me on the shoulder and told me she reads my blog. I said thank you, but very rudely didn't wish her luck or ask her name. I'm sorry! I was having a really tough race.
|Somewhere past halfway|
I had done ZERO research on the course. I didn't know where the aid stations were, I didn't know what the course looked like. At the GU aid station though, I only took three this time :D - all roctanes!
I honestly spent probably 90% of my time bargaining with myself not to give up. I was in pain, cranky, tired, and just not feeling it. Which is really too bad, because this would have been a fun course I think on a better day. I think this balloon made dragon arch was somewhere between mile 8 and 9?
And I just loved the scenery. Ignore the guy in the blue shirt that is probably peeing.
According to L, the last three miles were a gradual downhill. I was hoping that would help my legs. It didn't really, but I was mentally determined to finish and tried to give it all I had. I think I picked up the pace a little bit, and the last few miles were sort of a blur. I remember the last aid station being 1.6 miles from the finish (sob), but then at the start of the bridge, there was a beer table. YAY! I grabbed a beer and kept going. And then... OMG!! I saw some cheetah skirts and gave it all I had. I managed to catch up to B and L. B was really struggling, she was having trouble with her hip, she said to go on without her. I caught up to L, talked for a minute, then per her norm, she took off. I saw the stadium, which I knew was the finish, and we were in longest chute ever. And I walked. :( I totally walked in the chute. But I saw the clock around the corner, and started running and SOMEHOW finished in a pretty respectable time. Could barely walk after crossing the line, but I finished.
|I think this is the finish. My hands look weird.|
|Me and B|
Official Time - 2:15:30
Official Pace - 10:21
Official 5K - 31:36
Official 10K - 1:04:06
Official 10 Mile - 1:44:02
Overall Place - 6941/15663
Gender Place - 3348/9505
Division Place - 626/1570
Garmin Time - 2:15:29
Garmin Distance - 13.17 miles
Garmin Pace - 10:17
Mile 1 - 9:38
Mile 2 - 10:49
Mile 3 - 10:04
Mile 4 - 10:21
Mile 5 - 10:31
Mile 6 - 10:27
Mile 7 - 10:05
Mile 8 - 10:38
Mile 9 - 10:31
Mile 10 - 10:34
Mile 11 - 9:35
Mile 12 - 10:38
Mile 13 - 9:57
Mile 13.1ish - 10:12 (totally walked part of this)
I have NEVER experienced such a clusterfuck after a race. It took like 20 minutes to get from the finisher chute to the exit. We didn't even stop for a picture, just grabbed a handful of food on our way out. Being wrangled like cattle and we STILL got separated from each other on the way out. Luckily L and I carry cell phones, and we found each other. POOR signage didn't tell us how to get back to the light rail, but luckily some people helped us out. And then again AT the light rail station, we asked for help so we didn't get lost on the way back. We managed to successfully get where we needed to go. One last picture of the awesome WINNERS:
|I am miniature!!|
I was in a complete rush/panic because my flight was due to depart at 1:15. We arrived at the hotel at 11:15. Super super fast shower. Then while I was getting ready, I noticed I had a voicemail. My flight had been delayed one hour. Which meant... time for BURGERS AT CHILI'S!!
Best. Food. Ever. L and I were in different terminals, so we parted ways. My flight ended up being delayed almost another hour. At least I was not sitting next to anyone weird this time, and even managed to fall asleep for a bit.
More pics to follow...