It was sparkly, what can I say?
I can officially call myself a half-marathoner! I’m currently sitting with a beer to my left and reflecting on a great morning of running. I definitely feel as though I’ve accomplished a big goal and believe it or not, I am already looking forward to my next race!
I’ll start where I left off last time – at Saturday’s race expo!
There were a lot of free samples, including Clif Shot Roks and energy bars.
Do you like my sparkly nail polish? 😉
The gear at the expo was all very tempting! The clothing I needed most were socks, so I kept my eye out and ended up going in on a Buy 2 Get 1 Free deal on Feetures with Melissa. These were incredibly comfy on race day and 100% better than my FootJoy golf socks (yikes).
I also picked up a couple pairs of running shorts. By the end of the expo, we were ready for race day!
Mama and Papa Bender really delivered on pre-race eats. When we got home for lunch, Mama Bender had an incredible spread that included cantaloupe with chicken salad (I previously blogged about it in September)…
…as well as three types of Baba Foods hummus (roasted red pepper, tomato basil and avocado cilantro) with garlic crackers and spicy tortilla chips.
When we finished eating, she also treated us to the Cave Creek Art Festival. I loved looking at the various paintings, sculptures and interesting pieces of artwork. There were a lot involving food that I wanted to take home!
The pictures above seriously looked like photographs – hence the sign!
When we got back, Papa Bender had prepared a carb-friendly dinner of pasta!
There was a meatball and vegetarian option with plenty of veggies.
He also served up swiss chard, with extra tomato sauce and Parmesan cheese.
I can’t think of a better way to prepare for 13.1 miles than a gigantic plate of pasta – it was great!
Then came dessert.
We went to bed around 10:00 pm for our 5:00 am wake-up call.
Before we knew it, race day had arrived! We were up and getting ready to go out the door to get down to Phoenix with enough time to spare. I had a mug of Coffee Cocoa with peanut butter and jelly toast as my pre-race breakfast.
There were also several Sour Patch Watermelons at the starting line, but who’s counting? The skies were overcast and the temperature was roughly 50 degrees as we prepared for the long run ahead.
And then at 8:30, the race began! Jill and I were in corral 16 (my lucky number, and Jill’s lucky number is 1 + 6 = 7 so it was perfect) and we finally reached the finish line roughly 20-25 minutes after the official start.
It was all downhill from there, right?
I was incredibly proud of us! Running 13.1 miles is not easy but we paced ourselves and went the distance! As you can see in the chart above, we stayed very consistent between 12 and 13 minutes per mile. It really helped to be wearing Silly Bandz (oh yes, we did) on our right arms. We transferred one of the bands over to our left arm after each mile as a motivation booster.
Our biggest challenges came starting at mile 9, which is exactly when the course began to go uphill and the sun started shining. A very warm and tiring combination! A few necessary breaks were taken for water and Clif Shot Bloks. But we were determined to see it through to the end with smiles on our faces – and that we did.
We crossed the finish line at 2:51:07 with our hands held high in the air, earning our gorgeous medals and meeting up with Melissa, who rocked her own race in under two hours!
After a bit of stretching, we headed to meet Mama Bender for a post-race hug.
We’ve come full circle since 1987!!
I was a little too small to run back then. 😉
After reuniting with Mama Bender, we had ourselves a photo shoot.
Then it was time for lunch at the only place you should eat after running 13.1 miles…
No, I didn’t eat two burgers. But I could have because they were excellent! My mom and I each got a cheeseburger. I had everything on mine with the “special sauce.”
We also shared an order of their fresh-cut fries. Best damn fries I’ve ever tasted.
And then…we were spent.
Currently, I am enjoying my post-run recovery beverage.
Honeymoon beer is the best source of electrolytes. No joke!
I’m going to have some wine later to replenish my antioxidants.