Considering I started this blog 7 weeks into my adventure of doing a running event every week, I need to catch up on some of the old events, and this would be a good time to do last weekend’s: Rock N’ Roll Arizona!
I went to see my beautiful, incredible, amazing friend Taylor.She is one of the best people I know. She’s super sweet and nice and caring. 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 and this was her first half marathon! I was so happy to be there for it!
I got into Arizona the day before (on the 14th). We went to the Expo and got these super sweet free metal water bottles. (Thank you, Met Life!). We also got tons of free snacks to try, and we 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!
Now, Taylor is an actual runner, runner. I am more…super slow. She was in corral 4. I was in corral…22. I preferred it that way. I wouldn’t want to hold her back. She went up with her other friends and 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,” “trials are blessings in disguise,” and “nobody who gave his best ever regretted it.” (The last one was my favorite of the quotes.)
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 for her brother and thinking about him to get us through.
Taylor’s brother is one of the best people I know. Their parents really must have done something right to have such amazing children. Tyler (her brother) has always been incredible to me, taking good care of me in high school and taking good care of all of us as a Marine in Afghanistan. He has incredible strength.
Taylor and I talked about thinking of him and kind of sending him our strength as we ran and using his strength to get us through. I thought about him a few times in the race (and even did little full-out sprints for him in certain points).
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 parts of these half marathons!). Before you knew it, I could see that finish line! I crossed and I happily got my medal.
Taylor and I went to lunch, and before you knew it, I was back on that Greyhound bus, having to come back to Los Angeles.
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).)
And when I said I had run 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. And when I asked this very out of shape looking man when the last time was that he ran a marathon, he replied, “I’ve been running around all day!”