I just returned from Phoenix, AZ, where we were promoting the Air Force Marathon at the RocknRoll Marathon, Arizona. I really enjoy visiting new locations and I especially enjoy running new races. Due to the time of our flight leaving (and the fact that I'm not fast) I could only manage to fit the 10K in as my race. But I had a blast!
I experienced a lot of "firsts" on this trip, one of which was using Uber. (I know... I am behind the times.) The start line was several miles from the hotel/expo area, so I used Uber to get there. Not knowing the city at all, I was completely reliant on this person to get me there. But the experience became all the more fun, as I waiting to get my coffee to go (on my ride in the Uber) and the girl ahead of me was also wearing a race bib. Of course, chatty me struck up a conversation. What are the chances that in Arizona, the girl in line in front of me is from Lancaster, OH! Small world...
As we began chatting, we decided to Uber together and we carried our conversation into the car and all the way to the start line. The amount of things Christina and I had in common was ridiculous and we stayed talking until the start of the race. She is a little bit incredible in the sense that she does these races like I do (trying to get all 50 states in, and her family isn't into it so she travels alone) but she doesn't even train! She literally shows up and runs... and she is nearly an hour faster than I am! Some people are just naturals. We had a very good time chatting it up until race start. I love the running community in this way.
When the race began, the temperature was low/mid 50s and running in a tank top in January felt really great! The first couple miles were in back parts of the city and not as much to see, but when the 10K and the half marathon split (which they did really well as a race) we went into a park area. It was beautiful. It was along a river and had cactus (or is it cacti?) and signage describing the native trees- which I did not stop to take time to read. The path was wide and smooth and relaxing, honestly. Mile 5 was nearly all uphill, not steep but steady. And the last part was down a bridge into the finish line. I finished with a new 10K PR by one minute! It is my goal this year to get faster and the 10K was a great way to start out my races and even better when I was able to PR. One minute is one minute ;)
I experienced another first after the race ended and that was taking the rail back to the hotel. Those things sound so silly, but for a small-town farm girl like myself who has never really done those things, it is a really great experience.
It wasn't long after that we were boarding our plane back to Ohio. Quick trip, but a really great experience over all.
|Being Silly in the City|
|My New Friend Christina|
|10K PR- One happy girl !|
|My favorite way to end a race- Coffee!|