Thursday, January 23, 2014

Rock and Roll Arizona Recap.

The day that Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast my "brotha from anotha motha" Eric and his brand new wife Linda moved to Arizona the day after they got married in my back yard <3.  I knew I was going to visit them in the winter since I hate cold weather so of course I looked for a race in Phoenix. Isn't that what everyone does when planning a vacation???

So when I saw that Rock n Roll Phoenix was in January I was sold!  One of the best parts of this is that Tom would actually want to come with me to visit Eric and Linda!!  I figured a 4 day weekend would be awesome so I booked everything.  In hindsight I should have added at least one more day because it is on the other side of the country so Friday and Monday were all travel.

We landed and picked up our rental car and headed to Eric & Linda's.  Something neat was that at the Phoenix airpot's car rental is a whole second airport like facility.  Huge and perfectly organized.   We went right out to dinner as we were all hungry.  The restaurant was OK but the dessert was EPIC!!!

Giant Cotton Candy!!!!!!!
Saturday was a day to just hang out check out downtown Phoenix and hit up the expo.  I have to say I think Phoenix is one of the cleanest and most quiet cities I have ever been to.  It was strange to be walking down city streets on a Saturday and there were no other pedestrians or cars.  We didn't spend too much time at the expo because Tom, Eric and Linda really had no interest and if you have been to one RnR expo you have been to them all.  Don't get me wrong they are great they are just all exactly the same.  So we grabbed lunch and hung out for a bit.  I spent a lot of time with Chloe, my new BFF

After dinner I packed up and headed to Tempe to spend the night in the hotel.  Tempe was also super quiet!  So weird.   I laid out my outfit and watched a Will & Grace marathon since I had to be up at 6 to leave the hotel at 6:30 to walk the 3 blocks to the start.  Start time was 7am****  after all.

**** = more on this later.

My first race wearing my Digital Running shirt as an ambassador.  I was pretty excited and decided to wear as much green as possible.  Luck of the Irish LOL  I was going to need it since I had not run in a month for sure.  I had already decided that I was just going to take it slow and not care about how long it would take me.  I did wish I was not there alone but I had my camera and I was in a state I had never been to before.

I was up before my alarm for the first time ever I think.  I am thinking the time difference had a something to do with that.  Drank my tea and headed out.  It was chilly but nothing like it was at home in NY that is for sure!!  I got to this parking lot that was FILLED with porta potties but no people.....where the heck is everyone it is 15 min before start time....

I even had to unwrap the toilet paper......

Even the corrals were empty, WTF???

I checked the start time at least FOUR times the week before the race and it said 7am so I pulled up the web site again on my phone and it said 7:50am ?!?!  WHAT????  I could have slept another half hour at least!!!!  SO I just went into my corral, hit the bathroom a few more times and tried to stay warm.

The sun finally started to come up and people started to file into the corrals.  I was cold, pissed and bored when two ladies that were standing next to me started chatting with me and even took a trip to the porto potty with me.  They live in the area and had done this race before.  Sandra also was just getting over being sick so she said she was going to be taking it easy.  With out saying anything we all just decided to stick together for the race and I was BEYOND thrilled!

Mother and Daughter BFF Team Tracy & Sandra 
You can see how cold we were LOL (I bought pics already)
FINALLY at 7:50 the corrals started to go.  We were in the 16th corral so it took over a half an hour but we finally got to and through the start.

I won't lie I could feel how long I had not run in my legs and lung right away.  Buuuuuut at the same time it felt good to be moving.  From the very first step I was so grateful for Tracy and Sandra being there with me and even thought I didn't like her not feeling well and having a hard time but I was soooooooo relieved Sandra was suffering from bronchitis and had to take it slow because I don't think I would have been able to keep up with them otherwise.  We walked quite a bit but we chatted, took pictures and I saw some beautiful scenery.

And your excuse for not doing a half marathon is what?!?!?


So fun!

Not sure what happened......

This vet office had separate entrances for dogs and cats - brilliant!

ASU Engineering school - neat!

Cacti in real life!!  
Right about here I was really getting tired!!  This was the 9 mileish mark and I was losing energy FAST.  I had my power bar fruit pouch at 6:30 thinking the start was 7am and I was hungry!  I hadn't brought anything else once my stomach is usually very off and I forgot my energy bits :(.

We came upon my very favorite water stop / mile marker.  It was the PF Change stop and there were Taiko Drummers!!!  It was AWESOME!!!

After this stop was a GU station but I didn't take any because I was afraid of belly issues.  This was also the only hill in the course and the scenery was amazing.

We had to stop at the turn around to take a few fun pictures before heading back down the hill.

We headed back down the hill and into the last 3 miles of the course.  We were all so tired by this point and even though we were enjoying each other I think we all just needed to be done already.  I found myself looking at my watch much more often to watch the distance slooooooowly tick by.  Finally we came to the bridge that was just before the 13 mile mark and then down and around the bend to the finish.

We were so happy to be done
We crossed the finish line and got out medals and chocolate milk.  The finish area was a bit more hectic than RnR races usually are but this was the first RnR I did that also had a full running at the same time so maybe that was it.

We met up with Tracy and Sandra's husband who were awesome and drove me back to my hotel because I was sore!!  I am quite confident that I made two forever friends during this race and THAT is the best part of the entire day.  I can't wait for them to come to visit me here in NY!!!  However the medal is pretty awesome too.

I didn't have very much time back at the hotel so I called Tom and told him I would be back soon.  I took a shower and put on some compression socks to help with how sore my legs were.  I did bring compression capris to wear but it was too warm for 2 pairs of pants LOL.

Gotta love hotel wallpaper lmao
I headed back to Eric's and so we could all go to lunch.  I was in heaven, driving in a tshirt with the windows open blasting The Clash in was awesome!!!  We went to Cracker Barrel for lunch because I have to have breakfast foods after running.  After that we headed back to Scottsdale to do some hiking.  Yes after running 13.1 miles we went hiking.  Strange thing is my legs were fine but I had a horrible sinus pressure headache.

Eric and I

Tom and I

Linda and I (she is not that short lol)
I had to head back to the car before everyone else because the pressure in my head was getting unbearable.  I saw a couple of women at the parking lot and they had tissues so after a few minutes I had blown my nose so much my head cleared a bit and I felt better.  We then grabbed dinner and relaxed back at the apartment since our flights were at 7am (too bad it wasn't 7:50 LOL)

The airport was super fast and we were on our way home as the sun came up.

I am not sure why this is uploading blue but if you saw it on my Instagram it was better LOL

Sunrise colors on the plane
The flight is long and going forward I will fly out of LGA instead of LIMA so we don't have to have a layover in Baltimore.  We landed as the sun went down.....too long to be traveling!

This also uploaded strange.....I guess you all just need to follow my Instagram :)
All in all I had a great time.  I was so happy to spend time with old friends, make new ones and get my legs moving again.  I think my first race of the year was a total success.


  1. It was so much fun and meeting you made the race for me!

    1. This would have been a very different post if I didn't meet you guys!! Thank you!!!

  2. Sitting here in -2 degrees outside Michigan and reading this make me super envious. Glad you had a good start to the racing year. And now you've got me pondering doing something like this next year. Hmm...

    1. OMG the weather was perfect and when i came home it snowed the next day.....I say do it if you can!!! I am headed to Florida in 2 weeks for Ragnar - anything to keep warm. I have a 5k this weekend in 20 degrees :(

  3. NIce! I seriously need to entertain a destination race next winter. If it's like this winter though, the plane may never get out. Glad you made new friends and enjoyed!

    1. You really should if you can!! Running in new places is so fun!!

  4. Oh what a nice break from all the cold you've been getting up north! Looks like a fun race too! Great job even with not running for so long and still recovering from sickness!

    1. Thanks!! next year my plan in NoLa...we will have to do it together!!!