Saturday morning came pretty quick! We decided to leave the house at 4am so I got up at 3:45am and quickly got ready in order to make it for the buses around 445. I had a peanut butter bagel with an orange mango energy nuun, and had grabbed a banana for the bus ride. I had no idea the traffic we would face heading to the drop off, we made it to our cut off in about 30mins and sat there for just under an hour. Needless to say I did not make it for 515. But thankfully they were holding busses and I made it to the start line with no further issues.
When I got to the start I quickly lined up for the portopotties. I loaded on the sunscreen, finished getting organized and took some peptobismol while I waited. Thankfully the girl behind me held my spot while I got rid of my check bag!
I made it to the start line just in time to hear the national anthem, and watch some fireworks! Man do Americans know how to start a race!
I hadn’t finished my water from the trip in so I decided to keep it with me until I was done it or sick of holding it. Turned out great, I ended up taking a salted watermelon Gu at 6km and it tasted so good with orange mango nuun! I was happy!
Around mile 8, I saw the cutest brother cheering on his sister, he made a huge deal about her running ( because it is pretty amazing) and gave her a big hug,l. Even though he wasn’t cheering me on, I appreciated his love and excitement for his sister, and that pushed me forward.
Mile 9 (I think) I grabbed a vanilla cliff shot from the course hydration, dumped a water over my head and kept going. I only slowed down enough at aid stations to drink water and / or take a gel. I knew if I slowed right down my legs wouldn’t want to carry me. Probably due to the lack of stretching I do while training, is something I know I HAVE to get better at.
Mile 10 there were the two super cute fans cheering runners on, and I just had to high five them! The smiles they had were super cute, and made me excited to see my girls at the finish line!
Fueld again at mile 11.
I was mostly feeling great the entire race and I will say that my mental game was on point! I knew that I could do it, and was hoping to beat my time, but mostly I wanted to run happy! I am an emotional person to start so at times during the race when songs came on or I passed things that reminded me of family, I’d choke back tears say a prayer for them and move on.
I was coming into the last mile, had turned onto alma road and was waiting for the last turn when I heard sirens and saw a fallen runner. Friends, this. Was. Rough. It honestly shook me to the vote. EMS was performing cpr, and he had a couple other runners with him. I did not know him, and knew he was in good hands, but I cried. And prayed and prayed and prayed. Part of why I love running is to do it for those who can’t. So I ran the rest of my race for him. ( Ihave since contacted phx marathon, and they have let me know that he is safe and recovering)
As I rounded the last corner I saw the finish, took out my head phones and listened to the croud support. I could even hear my husband cheer me on!
I got my medal and took an official post race photo. At that time I wasn’t 100% if I PRd as it was so close, so I opted not to ring the bell.
The food selection was pretty amazing! I wish I had more of an apitite because I would have been in food heaven. They had what looked like Bbq ribs and sliders, amazing French toast ( that’s what I ate), fruit cups, yogurt parfaits, creamsicles and tons of muscle milk.
I wandered for a few mins when I finally found my family! The girls had their cow bells ringing and were pretty excited to see me! I did a quick stretch, hubs took a pic and we headed to find me some pop and head back to the house.
The house we stayed at did not have a heater so the pool was icy cool, perfect for standing in post race. We took the rest of the day easy, I snuck in a couple power naps before we had to pack and get ready to head home to Canada. We headed to chick-fil-a for dinner, I had never been and was excited to give it a try. The fries were amazing.
I had initially heard that the Phoenix half is not very scenic and slightly boring, which had me a little nervous, I run for the views. I had to disagree, yes it is through the streets of Mesa, but there were sections lined with orange trees, and I was able to run with the moon and stars and then to the sun rise, to blue skies and mountains in the back ground. It was more then I could ask for. All in all I could not have asked for a better race day, I can honestly say after finishing the race I cannot wait to run it again!!