(#34) Arizona Half Marathon

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

I woke up in the middle of the overnight bus ride to Phoenix and saw nothing but tail lights. We were in stopped traffic. Luckily, I had a buffer zone. It didn’t matter much that we were an hour late.

Someone I’d met at the airport over a year ago picked me up and drove me to Goodyear! We got some Starbucks, and caught up.

In this race, we ran out on a long road in the desert. We saw more desert. We ran back on the same road, and saw more desert. In the second half, we went on a different road and saw a different part of the desert.

(I’m not complaining. I knew what I was signing up for. Also, imagine me telling you that with a slight laugh in my words. Ha, ha, ha – desert everywhere you look.)

It was a small race. The volunteers were very nice, but I didn’t see many people except volunteers and police officers (not really any spectators, cheerleaders, musicians, etc.).

With a race coming up tomorrow, I decided not to jog this race, but to just stomp it out – sometimes like I was a model on a runway, sometimes like I was walking through water, sometimes like I was dancing in a music video – whatever stomping I felt like at the time.

I put on some good stomping tunes. What are my best stomping tunes, you may ask?

To name a few – Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems,  and Bad Boy For Life. (How can you go wrong with Puff and Biggie?)

I started to get slightly nervous when 20 minutes had gone by, and I hadn’t seen a mile marker yet! I thought I knew my pace pretty well. I was sure I should’ve seen one.

Turns out, I had passed mile 1. There were no mile markers in this race. That was sort of a bummer. Between desert, desert, and more desert, signs would’ve added something.

One thing that was different about this race was that there were different Gatorade flavors at different stations. I’d never seen that before.

I was often switching between last and second to last place. The girl who kept passed/getting passed by me was a run/walker, so she’d run ahead then get passed on the walk. There came a time when I passed her for good. I thought, “Boom! Not last.”

Later, she quit the race. I caught up with two other people, passed them and managed to not come in last. Yee haw!

At the end of the race, I grabbed my pretty rocking medal, and started going up to groups of people and like a super weirdo saying, “Anybody headed to Phoenix? Phoenix anybody?”

I got a ride with Lisa a Doug, an extremely lovely, fun, wonderful couple. Lisa talked about never squashing a dream, and all the fun projects/careers her kids were chasing after.

We talked all the way to the airport, and I bid farewell to my new friends. Since I had a half marathon the next morning, I went ahead and splurged on taking a flight instead of a bus. (Worth it.)

Let me tell you the saddest story about my flight, though. So, I had these delicious cheese fries and a wonderful glass of milk. During the flight, I set them on my tray table. Then I dozed off. When I woke as the plane was landing, I was starving and excited to eat them…

They were gone! Apparently, says the person next to me, the flight attendant tried quite hard to wake me up, but I could not be woken.

I guess what I’m saying it not to all people and future me – do not ever leave any special perishable things on your tray table. If you fall asleep, they could be gone.

And note to flight attendants (but also a note to me): If the flight attendant had saved my precious fries somewhere and given them to me after the flight, he would’ve been totally my new best friend. Please don’t throw away wonderful food.

(The reason that’s also a note for me, is it’s a good reminder to think about what you can do (especially things that are easy to do) to add happiness to another human’s life. I know this is a really small example – just cheese fries. But, it’s a good reminder, nonetheless.)

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