Thursday, February 21, 2013

IMS Arizona Half Marathon–Recap

The alarm went off early at 4:45am.  My husband wanted to be on the buses by 6:00am and I like to allow myself at least an hour to wake up, shower, let my breakfast digest (you know what I mean), etc.  Of course I didn’t sleep well the night before – but I never do.

We weren’t 100% sure which side of the shopping area the buses would be on but found them with no problem. And we didn’t wait on it for very long before it took off.  I sat next to a lady from Arizona and John sat next to some random guy in the seat behind me.  The ride up to the starting area seemed like it took longer than what 13.1 miles should be! We huddled in some building at the Spring Training Complex for the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals.  Maybe it was different for the marathon start but they made such a big deal about being able to wait “indoors and stay warm” that I thought it would accommodate more people.  There were even people just standing in the bathrooms trying to keep warm.  But we did find some friendly folks to talk to.  People from North Carolina, Oregon & Ohio.  While I was in the bathroom, my husband was talking to a group and one older lady mentioned that her husband was doing the full marathon.  No Big Deal  -  it was only his 320th FULL MARATHON.  He has done a full marathon in every state FIVE TIMES! 


027   028

029 033


Although I brought a couple of throw away shirts for us, they were short-sleeved and long-sleeved would have been better.  Gloves would have been an added benefit too. But I finally thawed out by mile 2 and tossed the throw away at that time as well.  This race was smaller than I was expecting (825 finishers for the half) and there were no “corrals” to start.  Some inner city kids were participating in this race as well and it was fun to see them out on the course.

037   041042    043

I didn’t feel too bad for the first race of the season and considering that I hadn’t really run any distance longer than 6 miles.  My left knee bothered me a little a first and then at some point it was my right knee but I really think my form was out of whack at times.  I ran with my iPhone out and took a few random pictures.  One of the best features of this race – the volunteers at mile 10 were handing out donut holes.  Heck yes, I took one.  Chocolate nonetheless.  YUM!

I also loved the fact that aside from it being chilly in the morning, it was the perfect running temperature.  I sweat a lot when I run.  I know-super sexy, so usually I’m constantly wiping sweat from my brow or the sides of my face but probably did that only a couple of times.  I’m sure the lack of humidity had something to do with it was well.

It is true, this is a flat and fast course but they do send you across an overpass at mile 12.  NOT COOL!  Although I had to laugh at the sign warning us of Monster Hill.  These folks need to go check out the bridge in Wisconsin that is part of the Summerfest Rock ‘n Sole run…now THAT was a monster.

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I found my husband and his cousin right away at the finish line and we then met up with Lindsey. Les & Lindsey did the 5K that morning and actually waited for us to finish the half.  I probably would have gone home & showered and then come back!  We hung out for a little bit but we needed to get back to the hotel to shower and check out.  Luckily, check out wasn’t until noon.  The Holiday Inn Express was a great place to stay.  Not too expensive and the location was perfect. We then met Aunt Bea, Lindsey and Mark at Wendy's for a quick lunch before we headed to the airport.


047   048

This was a whirlwind trip for sure but it was a good one.  I got to see old friends, meet “new” family and if I lived closer, I certainly run this race again.  But State #11 is in the books and its time to focus on the next one. 

Hopefully the next race is in March in Chicago (even though I’ve already completed Illinois) and the next state will be Kansas in April.  Which also has the bonus of seeing old friends as well.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

ARIZONA - Saturday–meeting family & race expo

Saturday morning everyone woke up on their own and after a light breakfast we said our goodbyes and headed to Glendale, AZ to check in to our hotel. Sadly we did not get a picture of the four of us.  Sad smile  We were staying at the Holiday Inn Express just a short walk from the race finish line. The people at the check in were exceptionally friendly. We texted my husband’s niece and then she, her uncle and her grandma met us at the hotel and we followed them to the Expo.  My husband’s cousin & niece are running the 5K on Sunday– their very first!


The Expo was LAME! It was outside so that was nice (and my first outdoor expo) but there was also a Farmers Market going on so parking was impossible to find. All but two (maybe three) of the booths at the Expo were the sponsors so not much for runners. Couldn’t find any GU or other form of race nutrition. We walked around the Farmers Market for a while – which was better than the Expo but then headed out to get some lunch.

We met my husband’s cousin & his wife at Pedro’s (which reminded us of Acapulco Joe’s in downtown Indy). Lindsey and Aunt Bea went with us as well. I had a chicken soft taco & a cheese enchilada. The taco was okay but the enchilada was delightful. After lunch, Lindsey, Aunt Bea, my husband & I went up to his other cousin’s house – after a brief stop @ Aunt Bea’s. This is the first time I’ve met any of these people. They were all so warm and inviting.

Before heading back to the hotel we stopped at Walmart to get some supplies and then it was back to the hotel to rest before meeting EVERYONE for dinner.  We decided on Cheesecake Factory because they would let us do call ahead seating.  We needed a table for twelve.  We were seated outside and it was a lovely evening.  I got some Penne pasta, chicken, basil & mozzarella dish.  It was pretty good but I didn't eat much of the chicken.  The portion was enormous and I only ate about half of it.  We also celebrated family birthdays from January & February.  So that was Mark, Ben & me!  My husband and I split the Tiramisu..but not the cheesecake version.  I’m just not a fan of cheesecake.  Dessert was delightful!



Back to the hotel to get everything ready for in the morning.  We plan on being at the buses by 6:00am so I’ll be setting the alarm for 4:45am.  YIKES!


The alarm went off waaaay too early at 2:45am Friday morning.  Our flight was scheduled to leave at 6:00am and my husband likes to make sure we get there plenty early.  Plus, I needed to do a few more last minute things in & around the house before we left.

The flight wasn’t very crowded so we had an empty seat between us.  NICE!  Landed in Phoenix, got our rental car (a Dodge Charger – nice ride I might add for a sporty car) and we were off.  Our first stop was at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona.  My husband’s uncle is buried there.  (well, technically our first stop was McDonalds; we were starvin’ Marvins)

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Next we were headed to our friends Paul & Kelli’s house.  I hadn’t seen them in over 11 years and had never met their children.  We just hung out in the sunshine by their pool until Paul came home from work. (It was in the 20’s back in Indiana so this was very refreshing to do in February.) 


Although a day earlier than normal, my husband began “carb loading” by drinking Michelob Ultra.  And he carb loaded A LOT.  Paul got home and we loaded up the kids and headed to Red Lobster for dinner.  We lucked out and got seated in less than 20 minutes.  On a Friday night around 6:00pm, that is unheard of and I felt the dagger stares from the other people waiting.  Back to P & K’s and just hung out.  I “rassled” with the boys a little bit – trying to work off those THREE cheddar biscuits I ate.  So. Darn. Tasty.  Then it was early to bed for us.  We’d been up for 19 hours & we were exhausted.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Too old?

Yesterday was my birthday.  I am now 48 years old.  I’ve never really been bothered by what the “number” is and completely think that it is merely a state of mind.  Like they say, you’re as old as you feel.  And having another birthday sure beats not having anymore birthdays.  I’ve still got a lot of life left to live…and more half marathons to run!

But I’ve got to tell you that I think 48 is too old to stay out until 2:00AM if you want to be productive the next day.  I wasn’t even drinking – aside from water of course – but I am completely lethargic today. 

I need to go get on the treadmill but all I want to do is take a nap.  Laundry is the only thing right now that is keeping me vertical.  I have no desire to go to the grocery store; luckily we have enough “supplies” to make it through Monday maybe even Tuesday.

And to top it all of, I’m completely stuffed up from breathing secondhand smoke all night.  SO GROSS!  But I got to listen to my cousin sing which I don’t get to do very often. So that was a good thing.

All in all – it was a great birthday. 

48 & feeling great (except for today) Smile

Birthday 1968     Birthday 1969

Age 3                                    Age 4

Birthday 1970       Birthday 1972 (guessing)

Age 5                                      Age 7

Birthday 1973

Age 8

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Can I be a good leader?

Last night was the first night for a new training group in Indianapolis.  The Circle City Go Girls.  Although having 22 half marathons and 2 full marathons under my belt, I didn’t feel like I NEEDED a training group but was hoping that I could participate in some way.  I really want to help encourage people to reach for new dreams.

This is a Women’s Only group and it’s very reasonably priced compared to other training programs in town.  I really hope it catches on and becomes successful.  Typical format on Mondays will first be a meeting that each week will discuss a variety of topics; shoes, bras, nutrition, etc. and then there will be a group run or walk afterward.  Initially I was asked to lead one of the running groups after the meeting but I’ll admit that I was super nervous about putting that kind of pressure on myself even if I was with the slower runners.  So I said that I would work with the walkers.  I started this half marathon journey as a walker and they need love and encouragement too.  Plus hopefully I can instill in them some good etiquette while they’re out on the course.  Sadly many walkers do not have this: walking 3 or more across even if someone is coming at them, starting in an unrealistic pace corral, etc.

We had a group of 15-20 walkers and we were aiming for a 25 minute walk.  It had gotten dark so we really had to be cautious of icy spots.  I tried to do a good job of alternating between walking with the ladies up front and then joining those in the back as well.  It was nice afterward to hear the girls in the back thank me for checking in with them too. 

An optional group run/walk will also take place on Saturdays.  Although I won’t be able to be there every Saturday because of my own race schedule I will be there for the ones that work   Look like I’ve got a full 12 weeks ahead of me and I’ll need to rethink my running on Mondays now but I’m looking forward to it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

You Gotta Have Heart

February is of American Heart Month.

More Americans die of cardiovascular disease than the next four causes combined, including all forms of cancer. But even more astonishing is that almost 80% of heart disease is preventable.

Do you know your numbers? I just checked mine.