Race Review, Recap and a Giveaway: Women’s Running Series Scottsdale/Tempe Half-Marathon

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 😊

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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.

They were so much fun, and even more awesome in person than they are in the social media universe. I couldn’t have asked for a better family to join as an honorary member!

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The Expo
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.

Race Day

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My “just in case” alarm reminder for the day

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Thankfully we only ran a short way up this hill before making a U-turn and heading along the canal.

One of the best parts of the course was that several miles were on gravel along the canal. My legs were so happy I almost danced the whole way. Instead, I looked at these amazing mountains.

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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”!

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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.

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I’m pretty sure one of those pics is right before I roared. I told you, I had a blast!

I had just PR’d. Again. I broke 2:30, and I did it on my own. There is pretty much no better feeling than reaching a goal, and not feeling like you’re going to die.

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My post-race #SweatySelfie

The Finale
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.

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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.

You can enter my Giveaway here!

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.

40 thoughts on “Race Review, Recap and a Giveaway: Women’s Running Series Scottsdale/Tempe Half-Marathon

  1. Pingback: My Year in Running – 2013 | Run Stretch Go

  2. My go-to running music right now is a three-way tie between a playlist that I created for my first 5K last year and that I’ve edited ever since then (featuring lots of rap and techno), Tiesto podcasts, and Rock My Run mixes. The #Runchat Fan Mix is great – I love the transition between the Train song and the M83 song – and the BOOST! mix is a great thing to listen to at the end of any run!

  3. Oops, didn’t answer the right question!

    My current go-to music is such a mix that I couldn’t even begin to describe it; basically if it’s upbeat and happy, it’s on the list (Frank Sinatra, Chris LeDoux, Beyonce, NSYNC, Charlie Daniels….so all over the place!)

  4. My iPod mix is SO outdated and I’m getting bored since I’m too lazy to switch my playlists around…I make my husband do it about once every year. RockMyRun sounds awesome for technology-lazy people like me!!

    • You will love it!!! Its so nice to not have to think about the mixes, but have a ton of choice. You can mix it up, without having to make your own πŸ™‚

    • Yay! I’m excited to hear how your big return race goes! Of you see any Team Rhodes runners give them a shout out. Probably half of them are friends of mine from college πŸ™‚

  5. You absolutely ROCK. And I love that you took a picture with someone you didn’t know. Actually, I love everything about this recap!!!

  6. I love rock my run. I first found out about them when they were in there beta stage (like 18 months ago). I have a serious rmr addiction.
    Short runs I like rmr, longer runs audiobooks. I leave my podcasts for at home.
    btw you look so happy at the end, great shot.

  7. I’m in love with the RunChat mix right now! I listen to it even when I’m not running. LOL.

    This sounds like you had a great race. And it totally made me tear up at the end, too. You had so much fun!!

  8. Congrats in the PR! I’m growing tired of my one running mix and listening to podcasts so I’ll happily give this a shot!

  9. Congratulations on your PR! Those last couple hills were rough, but I agree with you on the canal path…my legs were definitely thanking me on that part! The race temps were perfect, we lucked out as we might hit the low 90’s for the high this upcoming week! Glad you had a good time here in Arizona! πŸ™‚

  10. Great post Cyanne! Glad to hear that you had such an amazing experience. I am a new runner, but already getting tired of my own mixes, so I can’t wait to try out RockMyRun!

  11. Congrats on the PR! I’ve never heard of RockMyRun, but I am one of those odd-balls that 90% of the time runs without music. If I’m on a treadmill or a trail that doesn’t cross traffic I will occasionally put Pandora or a Wait, Wait episode on. I can’t tell you how many people have given me funny looks because I’m laughing so loudly while running.
    For the holidays I’m doing a Thanksgiving morning 5k just for fun, a 5-Miler the Sunday after Christmas, and then I’m organizing a virtual 5k fundraiser for New Years

    • I could probably more easily run to nothing then podcasts. I’m just not into them.

      You’ve got an entire race calendar for holidays! I love it. I need to also πŸ™‚

    • No need to apologize! I just put it up this morning πŸ™‚

      And yes, you need a fun new race outfit! Although mine was all old stuff,but it was fun to get people to vote. I might start doing that for every outfit I wear πŸ™‚

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