Rock n Roll Arizona: The Expo and Pre-Race!

 

I’m back for a second year as a Rock ‘n’ Blogger (RnR Ambassador) so I was excited to represent this year and take a closer look at things so I can (always truthfully) relay info back to y’all.

This year, there was a 1 miler race on Friday and a 5k race on Saturday morning. I had friends do both and who said both were fun. One said the band playing after the 1 miler was legit–a Tom Petty cover band! I was already having FOMO and that just intensified it.

@runlaurarun28

There were some changes made this year (new company!) and I noticed it as soon as we walked in to the expo on Saturday. There were computers available at the entrance of the expo building where you could search your bib number and fill out your waiver–away from the crowds and totally convenient (because I forgot to print mine out, lol!)

Easy walk through to get my bib and shirt but when we entered the actual expo, there were these cool computer screens wishing us luck… by name!! I’m thinking they “got” the info from our bibs?? but either way, I thought that was a nice, new touch 🙂

The expo seemed small, but I don’t mind small expos. I did a loop and half, snagged some Honey Stinger waffles then took a quick ProCompression pic and I was done!

I like that the expo is in downtown Phoenix (where the marathon starts) since we rarely make it down there, and it’s a good excuse to take our time (that, and parking costed $12 so I was going to milk it!). If you’re coming from out of town and doing the half marathon (which starts and ends in Tempe, not downtown Phoenix), you can easily take the light rail to the expo.

We ate a new-to-us restaurant and enjoyed the beautiful 75 degree weather day 😀

RACE DAY

As I mentioned, the half marathon starts and ends in Tempe, Arizona (but goes through Scottsdale and a tiny little section of Phoenix). People complain that it’s not “scenic” but you’re in the city, and I’m not sure how scenic it could be. I think if people are coming to Arizona because they want desert, they need to hit the trails. RnR Arizona does what it can in providing a visually appealing course–it’s start in Tempe’s Mill Ave district and ends at Tempe Town Lake. The middle portions are city streets which is unavoidable–you’re in the city. There’s a nice section (where the big hill is at at mile 9) that takes you around the Desert Botanical Gardens area and is a bit more desert-y. I like that it ends at Tempe Town Lake because it’s a huge area where you can hang out with friends/family afterward (with plenty of food options walking distance). Plus, the band is literally right there. Super convenient. By the way, this year Everclear performed and I totally relived my 90s youth.

Anyway, my husband and I are pros at this race as we’ve done it the past….oh 5 years?? We drive to a park-n-ride off the freeway (in Mesa) and take the light rail to the start line in Tempe–which happens to be at my alma mater, Arizona State University. Big reason why I love doing this race. I love coming back to my old campus stomping grounds 😀 Go Devils!

We arrived suuuuper early, because that’s how I roll, and because I also had to squeeze in 2 warm up miles and attend 2 group pictures, LOL!!

Moms Run This Town AZ

Pro Compression Ambassadors

Rockin’ the Arizona PC sock!!! ❤ #keepittight

It was while I was handing things over to my husband for gear check that I realized I LEFT MY SPIBELT WITH GU INSIDE IN THE CAR!!!! And remember, my car was back IN MESA!

I could feel my anxiety rising and tried hard not to panic. “It’s only a half, I will survive,” I told myself. But because I was shooting for a PR, I really wanted everything to be perfect. This was not perfect.

One of my MRTT girlfriends said she had an extra Huma gel she could give me and even though I hadn’t tried Huma gels before, I figured something was better than nothing. I mean, it’s not like they say to not try anything new on race day or anything.

Sigh……

I tried to get back in the zone. Like I said, I’ve done this race many times. I know this course. I know exactly what’s coming.

Race deets: Always on MLK weekend, always at ASU.

I knew that from the beginning, it’s a slight uphill that at parts you can see/feel and at parts not. I also knew there’s a “big” hill around mile 9 but that after that, you’ve got a fast finish 5k. I told myself to work it to the hill.

Get. to. the. hill.

Actual Race Re-cap tomorrow ❤

 

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2017 Scottsdale Half Marathon–PR!!

I love this course. I really do. It’s been sooo good to me and Ben and we’ve always done well here. It’s a pretty much a *flat*, fast, loop in Scottsdale, AZ–nothing majorly scenic, but it’s pretty in Scottsdale and even though you’re passing through businesses and residential areas, the landscaping is well maintained and pretty to look at, lol!

My goal was to sub 1:40. I hadn’t really been vocal about that goal (except here), but my marathon training has me doing tempo miles at that pace and I figured it was a good time to give it a go.

And I got close….

So close.

I wore my Shalane F*CK YES! Momentum bracelet because I was on a mission for a sub 1:40 Eff Yes moment. When I crossed the finish line, it was more just like, F******CK. Lol!!!

Turning the corner and looking at the clock tell me I didn’t make it.

And because I’m honest, my immediate reaction crossing the finish line was disappointment– and I wanted to cry. But because my team’s tent was at the finish line, I was immediately met with hugs and congrats and I couldn’t cry. I mean, I PR’d, how could I be upset? I didn’t want to cry and be a baby with everyone so happy for me. So, I put a smile on my face and rejoiced, even though deep down I was sad.

My brother ran it, too!

My MRTT/AZTNT crew

I know PRs are going to get harder now. So after I pity-partied a bit, I truly began to celebrate my accomplishment. I’m pretty damn happy. Sincerely.

I ran fast, and I ran fast from the very start. I went in with a goal and I wasn’t afraid to fight for it from the get-go. From beginning to end, I raced.

That is so freaking awesome to me. I’ve come such a long way in the mental aspect of running. I remember telling my husband after I first ran a sub 1:50, that I didn’t think I could top that. That I would be perfectly okay without bettering that 1:48. Well, here I am, a 1:42 and a 1:40 later!

I’m wanting to get faster. I’m not afraid of running fast anymore. I mean, I still sometimes get freaked out when I see myself running sub 8s, but I’m getting used to seeing them more often and getting used to making it my “new normal”.

It’s insane. I never thought I would run the way I’m running now.

4th in Age Group, what?!?

And to think that I want to run faster! That my race day mantra now is: Make It Hurt.

It indeed was a F*CK YES! moment. Who was I kidding! A 2+ minute PR!!!

Turn and burn!

Love ya, Scottsdale!

The road to Boston continues! And that’s the real goal 😉

–Do you have a favorite local race?

–Do you like running fast?

–When was your last F*ck Yes! moment?

2017 RnR Vegas!!!!

FINALLY!!!

I’ve been wanting to do this race for LONG TIME!! It always just seemed like a good time and while I’d been to Vegas before, for bachelorette parties, I’d wanted to go as just a solo vacation. So, because I’m a Rock ‘n Blog Ambassador, I was able to pick a few races to run and there was no hesitation choosing RnR Vegas!!

Some backstory–you know me and my crazy ideas, lol!!!! I had this GREAT PLAN to run the inaugural Revel Mt. Lemmon (in Tucson) Sunday morning and then drive to Las Vegas to run Rock ‘n Roll Vegas! Two half marathons in two states in ONE day! Doesn’t that sound awesome!!!?? I somehow convinced my husband and I got us all registered.

Then, he broke his toe on Monday.

Yup, completely random injury–his toe was swollen blue and purple and after x-rays confirmed what we already knew, we decided to nix Tucson and instead, I would run Vegas on Sunday solo.

Except my husband is a stubborn man (he’s also a runner soo…..) and said he felt good enough to run with me at my pace. My goal was 1:45 which would be 13.1 miles at MGP (8:00). I told him that if at any point he didn’t feel good, to walk and he promised he would.

He’s such a champ. ❤ him

The Expo was huge and we stood in line for our traditional race coffee mug and got out of there. The race shirts were super cute and I was glad I went with the Medium (they ran small). I didn’t hang out at all but knew I’d see some #WeRunSocial peeps the next day before the race.

I was able to snag a quick pic with Carlee and Brian–I’ve seen them the past couple of years at Phoenix Marathon and a few other races. I finally got to me Slacker Runner too!!!

And then we were off!!

As I’d mentioned, I wanted to keep at goal marathon pace. The first mile was insanely crowded so I wasn’t worried when we saw a 9 something minute sound off. The second mile was 8:20something and by the third mile, we settled in at 8 or just under.

But then before we reached mile 5 mile, my watched beeped 7:22!!! and a.) I knew we hadn’t hit the mile marker and b.) I knew I was running well, but NOT that well.

I was bummed that my watch was now skewed but decided to just keep running. I felt at each mile I was holding on to my pace even though I didn’t have the watch splits to prove it. The way I gauged it was that I WAS PASSING PEOPLE THE ENTIRE TIME and having so. much. fun.

I can count on one hand the races I’ve done where from beginning to end, I passed people. I just felt good (or maybe people were slowing as the race progressed, lol!) and just held on. At mile 10 we had to do a little u-turn to head back towards the finish and it was then I felt the pace become, still doable, but a tad uncomfortable. I held on, still breathing fine, but feeling the legs a little heavy.

As we reached the finish, a girl I’d been keeping pace with said, “Let’s run it in together!” except she clearly had energy left in her and I was dying trying to keep up

I finished right on target at 1:44:36 with an average of 7:59/mile!! 😀

I was so ridiculously happy for running the race so well. I didn’t get caught up with the crowd or try anything ambitious like trying to PR (which I think the world did at Revel Mt. Lemmon earlier that day). Instead, I ran my race, at my pace and still kicked ass! It was such a confidence booster as I continue on my journey to Boston. I don’t know when I’ll get there, BUT I WILL GET THERE ❤

Thank you, Vegas! ❤

–Have you done RnR Vegas? If not, consider it! 😀

–Do you use races as training runs?