Monday, February 8, 2010

Adventures in the land of Kokopelli.

Well, better late than never is what they say, and as I am currently the Queen of Procrastination it's a motto I love to live by...

The Arizona Rock 'n' Roll 1/2 Marathon was held on January 17th, 2010. Sheri and I flew down together early Saturday morning (thanks to Kelly for getting up early to drive us!). We met up with Bob (who flew in from San Jose) at the airport and proceeded with our adventure.

Our adventures started right there at the airport, where we picked up the car from the rental agency which was the smallest "Full Size" car I've ever seen, and was definitely not meant for a 6'3" driver. Bob could barely see out the windshield. Also, Bob had brought his golf clubs in a hard case and well, that hard case would not fit in the trunk of the car at all! I wish that I'd had a video of the three of us trying to figure out a way to fit it in, but in the end poor Sheri ended up in the back seat with the case going all the way across the car and resting in her lap. Let's just say that she didn't need a seat belt or air bag. If we'd have gotten into a wreck she would have been safely wedged back there for good.

After depositing said golf case at the hotel, we went to the Expo to pick up our race numbers. It was one of the busiest Expos I've been to so far. Perhaps going on the Friday before the race is a really good idea. We grabbed our race bibs and shirts, made a cursory check of the booths, and hot footed it out of there. Meanwhile, Bob had found a sports bar called Coach and Willie's where we were able to grab something to eat and watch the Arizona - New Orleans game, however we decided to leave at halftime so that we didn't have to watch all the Arizona fans cry in their beers!

After checking into our rooms we went out and went to meet a friend of mine who lives in Phoenix for some Mexican food and to watch the Ravens - Colts game. Yeah, it seems we spent a lot of time going from meal to meal...

Sunday morning the weather was perfect. A little chilly at the start, with a high overcast, but it ended it up being the perfect temperature for the duration of the race. Sheri and I weren't in the last corral this time, but it still took us 45 minutes from the time the race started until we actually crossed the start line. John McCain was there to personally give us the "thumbs up" and we were on our way. I set a PR for the 5K split at 57:50. Considering that my first 5K (last May) time was 1:13:00, I was very happy with that.

The course was pretty ugly for the first 10 miles... For those of you familiar with Las Vegas, think 10 miles of walking down Bonanza or Lake Mead between say Decatur and Nellis. Not much to look at, so it was great to have lots of entertainment along the way. The bands were much better than the ones had been in Las Vegas, and the cheerleaders were VERY peppy. However, it was mostly flat for the first 10 too, so we managed to maintain a pretty good pace, even with our potty break...

Mile ten brought not only some prettier scenery, but the start of some rolling hills. I don't mind hills, but I prefer down to up. By mile 11 I had developed a headache (note to self: wear brimmed hat next time!) and was ready to quit. Luckily, I had my pal Sheri with me, so although I thought of many, many reasons to quit, I didn't. There was a reason that we did this, and I knew that if I just pushed through it I would be pleased with myself at the end. Besides, we did it for the BLING! If I didn't cross the finish, I wouldn't get the medal, and that was too much to bear!

Mile 12 took us over the bridge across the Tempe Town Lake... I love water, and it was really a great way to end a desert race. After the bridge it was a long walk to the finish, but we were done! The only bummer of the day were that they ran out of medals for the 1/2 Marathon before we finished. Yeah, they'll send them to us, but it's not the same. We wanted our bling NOW!!

But, the important thing is that the race went really well, and Sheri and I beat our San Jose time by eight minutes! Our finish time was 4:10:58. My goal was 4:10 or less, and since the clock didn't tick over to 4:11 I'd say we did it!!

Sheri flew out that night, and although Bob had intended to take me out to dinner as payment for our bet on the Raiders - Steelers game, our dinner ended up being pizza in the hotel room because we were too exhausted to go out... We bought some supplies to make cocktails and just relaxed and watched 24, then had dinner delivered! It was fun, and it is so nice that we are still such good friends, even though I haven't lived in Santa Cruz for so long...

Monday brought an end to the adventure. A storm was moving in and there were a lot of delayed flights, but hanging out at the airport was fun, and I was sad that it was time to go home. All in all, I had a great time and can't wait to do it again!

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