Way to totally redeem yourself Rock N' Roll, I knew the stories of your fantastic races had to be true. This was such a fun race, loved everything about it! Besides being a little difficult to get to in the morning because of backed up traffic, which is to be expected with 30,000 participants, it was perfection. I flew into Phoenix early (6am flight) on Saturday morning and went to straight to the expo. Maybe we just got lucky because we were there early but we were in and out of the expo within 15 min. The shirts are once again adorable and I got a fake tattoo pacing bracelet from P.F. Chang's that told me exactly what time I should hit each mile in order to get a sub-two hour and we were out of there.
The rest of Saturday consisted of a 1-year-olds birthday party, relaxing, eating a lot and drinking only two beers:) We left at 6am on Sunday morning to head to the race start and barely made it on time; had a momentary panic attack in the car. However, thanks to this race being way better organized then Vegas, it ended up being perfect timing. We parked around 7:15 and I had used the bathroom, gear checked and got into my corral by 7:25 and the gun went off at 7:30.
The first few miles were pretty uneventful but I held a nice steady pace around 9 min/miles and just kept it going. It took me until mile 4 to get into my groove. The course itself was flat, not extremely scenic but very desert like, which is what AZ is, so I enjoyed. The bands and crowd support were in full effect and kept me going! It was flat with a few slight (much appreciated) downhills. I checked my pace bracelet every mile and now I don't think I can run a race without one. Around mile 9 I started to feel extremely dizzy and my upper body became numb and heavy, something I've never felt before. I knew I had not properly hydrated the day before and had eaten TONS of salt so even though I knew I was on pace for a sub 2, it wasn't worth it! I walked through the long aid station, slowly sucking down a peppermint GU and drinking at least 5 cups of water. I started up slow again and felt fine the rest of the race...bizarre, but I am glad I stopped when I did.
At mile 11 I knew if I really pushed those last two miles I could get awfully close to 2 hours but I just didn't have it in me and was already enjoying that I was going to PR regardless. I crossed with 2:02:22 (9:20 min/mile), considering 2 is my lucky number, I thought that was pretty cool. The finishers cute was not at all crowded. I got food, water, my gear and BOTH my medals within 10 min and then enjoyed a couple hours of laying in the grass, listening to the B-52's and stretching while I waited for Leslie to finish the marathon.
I flew home that night and was in bed, with my sexy compression socks on by 10:30pm. Nice little Sunday. I would definitely do this race again. Here's the bling: