This would be a good time to do last weekend’s Rock N’ Roll AZ!
I went to see my beautiful, incredible, amazing friend Taylor. She’s one of the best people I know.
She’s spent months in Africa helping people. She teaches in a special needs classroom. She’ll be applying to medical school soon. Everything she says is filled with understanding for whomever she’s talking about.
She’s also up for adventures. This was her first half marathon, and I was thrilled to be there for it.
The day before, we went to the Expo and got some cool free swag. (Thanks, Met Life for your rad water bottles!). We also saw all the medals for the heavy medal series (and now I absolutely must achieve “Pop Idol” status – the medal is almost as big as my head!)
We met up with some of her cool friends, went to eat, had a great long bedtime talk about life and things, and went to sleep.
Boom! We woke up as though it was Christmas morning! It was time to go race!
I preferred it that way – I wouldn’t want to hold her back. She went up with her other friends. I made some new friends in the back of the pack.
By the time corral 22 crossed the start line, she was probably already on mile 5.
I really enjoyed running through the Phoenix/Tempe/Scottsdale area. I wouldn’t say it was the most “scenic” route ever, but I passed some restaurants I had gone to with friends before. It was a nice little trip down a small memory lane.
Around I think mile 10 or 11 there were a bunch of awesome, inspirational signs. Some of the quotes included: “If you don’t give something, you will not get anything,” and “nobody who gave his best ever regretted it.”
Of course by the time I’m on mile 10, Taylor had long finished. She was a sweetheart, texting me words of encouragement.
We had talked the night before about doing certain miles while thinking of her wonderful Marine brother (Ty), whose strength inspires us. Mile 12 and a good portion of mile 13 were “Tyler” miles. I thought about him a lot, and made sure I put forth the strength to jog the whole final mile (which is nothing to real runners, but I’m out of shape, and walk many parts of these half marathons!).
Before you knew it, I could see that finish line! I crossed and happily got my medal. Sadly, before you knew it, I was back on that Greyhound bus – having to come back to Los Angeles.
Unimportant side story: There was a funny man at the bus station when I got back who asked why I was wearing a medal. (Yeah, that’s right. I wore it all the way home (instead of tucking it away in my bag like a normal person).)
When I said I’d finished a half marathon he scoffed and said “You only did a HALF marathon? You couldn’t do a WHOLE one?”
Now, I’m as crazy and competitive as the next person. And sure, I’ll think I’m pretty cool when I’m running marathons, but I did think this was a super funny comment coming from a stranger.
When I asked this (very out of shape looking, in case you were wondering) man when the last time was that he ran a marathon, he replied, “I’ve been running around all day!”
*pats head* Okay, marathon guy. Enjoy your judgement. I’m gonna hold this medal dear anyway.