This was the best birthday weekend I’ve had in a long time, and for the first time, it included a half-marathon.
I first need to give a huge thanks to everyone who voted on my race outfit including those on Instagram and Twitter. I want to give a special shout out to Joyce, who suggested that because it looked kind of Zebra-like I would be fast, like a Zebra. I think that was definitely a big part of race day success 😊
I second need to give extra thanks and hugs to Nicole, Brian, Ava, Liam, and Nicole’s speedy mom. This weekend has been in the works since late Spring, and I can’t tell you how excited I was to finally meet the Cookies in real life.
The Expo wasn’t much to write home about, so I didn’t even take any pictures. They did have a small Brooks Running booth, Sparkly Soul, and delicious Luna bars. Most importantly, the local running store had a Rubz. I forgot mine and my feet were tight, it was a lifesaver.
I had my normal oatmeal, PB2 and banana breakfast. Drank some coffee, and drank as much water and Gatorade as my body could literally hold, danced around my hotel room (this is one of my destination race day musts), then headed down to meet Nicole & her mom.
Thanks to Nicole, our hotel was less than a 5 minute walk from the start line. We headed over, hit the pink port-a-potties (the lines to which, moved faster than it looked like they would) and it was time to get into our corrals.
The start area was well organized, the corrals were easy to maneuver, and before I knew it, it was time to take off. But first, the day of hilarious pictures started. I do not now this woman, and I never saw her again. The photographer insisted we get a picture together; I rarely say no to that!
I had my first RockMyRun mix set and ready to go. I started off with The RunChat mix, which is one of my faves, and kicked off the race dancing across the start line.
After the first few miles, I knew I’d started out a little fast, but kept my eye on my pace, and kept trucking along. The first half of the race wound through Scottsdale, with sporadic families out cheering. Around mile 5 we hit the amazing views, and they continued for several miles, and I moved on to the 2 hour 1/2 Marathon mix by DJ Little Fever on RockMyRun.
Thankfully we only ran a short way up this hill before making a U-turn and heading along the canal.
When we emerged from the canal, my pace had stayed within 5 seconds of my starting pace, and we were approaching mile 8. I started to get excited, but decided to take it out by becoming a super cheerleader. There were several points where we were crossing paths with runners ahead or behind us, and I decided to be that girl. So for the next 4 miles I was a constant stream of “looking good ladies”, “you’re doing awesome”, “cool pants”, and the occasional “keep smiling”!
Before I knew it, I’d hit mile 11. You’ll remember mile 11 in this race. Two fairly large hills in rapid succession. Rough. But at this point, I realized I was on track for a PR, so I switched to the Fit to Fight RockMyRun mix, and took off. The next few miles were probably my favorite miles I’ve ever run. I cheered, I danced through the Luna Bar cheer station, and I had a blast. By the time I hit mile 13, Katy Perry’s Roar was playing, and I ran through the chute singing it, loudly. I danced my way across the finish line, got my medal from my military man, and proceeded to immediately tear up.
I’m pretty sure one of those pics is right before I roared. I told you, I had a blast!
This was my favorite race, ever. The weather was perfect, the course was gorgeous, it wasn’t too crowded, and it was brilliantly organized. At the end of the race, there were about 20 options for food and beverages. They had a tent to freshen up with face wipes, spray deodorant, hairspray, and body sprays. There was a cookie bar, and a champagne tent. And (this one I wish for at every race) a tent with race specific gear you can buy in case you changed your mind after the expo. Sadly, they didn’t have my size in the quartet zip I’d been eyeing.
If you’re looking for a fun half to add to your 2014 Fall race calendar, put this on it. You won’t be disappointed!
And now for a Giveaway
Since I got my shiny new PR. It’s only fair to share one of the things that helped make it happen.
RockMyRun is The Best Running Music in the World (TM). Seriously, it is. I started using their free mixes a few months ago, and realized it was so much better than creating playlists, and then I tried the premium mixes. Run changing! They’ve taken the best combination of songs, used only the best parts, and mash them together. It got me a PR dance party, what can it do for you?
RockMyRun’s Chief Rocker, Adam, agreed I should share the wealth, and is giving one lucky reader a 3 month subscription to RockMyRun, so you can enjoy unlimited mixes to rock your way through Turkey Trots, Running of the Santas, or just running off some holiday treats.
Do you have hilarious race pics?
What’s your go-to for running? Silence, chatting with friends, audio books, or like Brian shared this weekend, thinking about numbers?
Are you signed up for any holiday races?
Disclaimer: RockMyRun provided the subscription for the giveaway, but I purchased a subscription for myself several months ago. All opinions are my own.