Please don’t take my lack of posting about my recent half marathon as an indication that said half marathon was somehow not that great or not worth mentioning. It? Was AWESOME. EPIC. AMAZING.
But before I tell you about the race itself, in excruciating detail (just kidding, I’ll just mention a few highlights), I have to tell you the adventure in trying to get to Phoenix.
It all began the Thursday of my flight when lo and behold, it started snowing. In a place such a Minnesota or Canada, the snow that was falling was nothing to be concerned about, but in a place like Knoxville, it was nearly a State of Emergency. There is snow! And it is falling! So therefore we all must drive 2 miles per hour on the Interstate! We’re all going to perish!
Luckily I did finally reach the airport, where I met my friends at the bar (obviously). Thanks to “all the snow,” our flight was delayed, but supposedly (this is what we in the business call “foreshadowing”) we had pleeeeeeeeenty of time to make our connection in Houston. We chuckled about how when we originally booked the flight months and months ago, we had each paid a little more to fly through Houston instead of Chicago in order to avoid weather delays and here we were having weather delays in K-town.
After a mix up with a frightened pilot and a malfunctioning de-icer truck, we were off! Like a herd of turtles! When we finally landed in Houston, we had exactly 10 minutes to run approximately 47 miles to the next terminal to make our connection to Phoenix. Dripping with sweat, carrying my purse and carry-on luggage, we made it in 9 minutes where we were told that there were no seats left. Apparently, United Airlines wasn’t planning on us being runners, capable of actually making the flight, as they had given away our seats. It didn’t help that the lady working the desk at the gate was a big ol’ meany head.
Anyway, United Airlines gave us food vouchers and hotel rooms and booked us on a flight the following morning. I mean, it wasn’t ideal, but it did lead us to discovering the Most Delicious Sandwich Ever (TM). Spread with herb cream cheese, this toasted asiago bagel was topped with turkey, cucumbers, and sprouts. Our once sad panda faces were suddenly transformed into amazed faces, happy to be eating this most delightful sandwich–in an airport, no less.
You know, food really does make things better sometimes.
And now, the race recap.
I’ll skip over the horrors of the port-a-potties we encountered before the race. Let’s just say that I’m scarred for LIFE.
The thing about running is that some days are just great and some days just suck. You pray for the great days on race days, where you ate the exact right amount of food, not so much that you get stomach cramps, not too little that you have no energy. You pray that you are, um, well, able to take care of business before the race so that you don’t need to go along the way. You will your body to not break down anywhere along the route. You hope that the weather is right, not too cold, definitely not too hot. Everything needs to be just right.
That’s just exactly what happened, too. Everything was just right. Phoenix weather in January is gorgeous, the race started in the upper 40′s and ended in the upper 50′s to low 60′s. The race was well organized, with plenty of time between corrals so that there wasn’t a huge jumble of racers clogging up the pace. I felt great for most of the race, gradually getting faster with each mile.
Before the race we’d heard about this Killer Hill at mile 9. I was really worried about this thing. Mile 9 is a place where you’re feeling pretty pooped and the thought of a Killer Hill was more than a little daunting. It turned out to be nothing more than a teeny tiny little incline, causing me to feel a little smug. Hill? That wasn’t no stinking hill.
At about mile 11, I began to feel a bit Horrible. My stomach was cramping and I had a terrible side stitch. I drank some Gatorade and walked a tiny bit, but by mile 12 I had mentally given up. My brain was saying, “You know? You did the best you could. Just walk the rest of the way.” My angel Amanda saw me struggling up ahead of her and she ran up to me and made me keep going. We moaned and grumbled the whole last 1/2 mile, but crossed the finish line holding hands. It was THE BEST feeling. The race couldn’t have ended in a better way, I’m so thankful that she wouldn’t let me give up.
My goal was to run the race in 2:15, and I got close:
Not too shabby. I’ll take it.
Afterwards we celebrated with malts, hamburgers, and mustaches.
My goodness, I love these girls.