|The view for most of the race. Beautiful!|
If you want lots of detailed information about the story of the lost Dutchman, etc you can read Jim's blog. He's great about giving every detail. I'm gonna "try" to keep this short, as I just don't have a ton of time to blog these days.
I have to admit, I was FAR more interested in the vacation part of this race than I was the actual running of the race. The race looked beautiful, but I'm in about the worst running shape I've been in for awhile. I didn't go into the race with any goals really - just enjoy the scenery and finish. It's Winter here in KC which means days on the treadmill and extra padding pretty much everywhere, so I knew there was no PR in me for this race. I wouldn't even try. I just hoped to be under 2:40 for the half.
|View from our resort balcony|
Over the next few days we would explore the Phoenix area heading to the local Desert Botanical Garden (beautiful), Papago Park - home of the Hole in the Rock, and a few Spring training sites. We had a great time hiking and just enjoying all there was to do. We were on our feet alot though, with hiking, etc. By the 2nd day my calves were tight and I was feeling the effects of all that walking. Probably not the smartest thing to do before a race. Oh well, I didnt' care I was having fun.
I also got to do my favorite pastime while I was there......lounge by the pool!! Who doesn't love being able to lay by the pool in February?? At home it's in the 20s, and in AZ its in the mid 70s and sunny. Not a single cloud in the sky the entire time. The weather couldn't have been more perfect! Of course, I'm super winter white, so I used the 30 sunblock and limited myself to an hour....even though I could have stayed poolside all day!
|Aren't we cute, we are so in love.|
We had already picked up our packets at Road Runner Sports the day before (because we had never actually been to a real Road Runner Sports store before - we were super excited) but we still went to the local packet pickup because they had been out of small shirts the day before, and the medium they gave me hung to my knees.
|Shoe Dog at RR Sports!|
|Super excited to be at RR Sports|
|Pre-race Dance, AZ style - Cactus!|
|Panning for gold???|
|The Desert Crane - AZ State Bird|
|View from the Hole in the Rock|
I wasn't thrilled with my finish time, but it wasn't a bad finish time for me. And for my first race of the year, I'll take it. They can only get better from here right?? I sure hope so.
After the race I hit the food station where they had some fruit, yogurt, and cookies...the basics. They also offered me a burrito. I said no to that, I didn't think a burrito would settle well with me after a race...no thank you. The guy actually seemed kind of offended that I turned it down. Oh well, it was still a good decision.
I then waited for Jim to finish and then we got out pictures with the famous Lost Dutchman and his Donkey. We jumped back on the shuttle and back to our car....race was over.
This is a great small race and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for an Arizona race. The weather is perfect, the scenery is awesome, the people and logistics are great and it's just a good experience overall. The technical tee and medal are also pretty awesome!
After the race we grabbed lunch and then I spent one more hour by the pool...magical. Then we headed out for our final dinner in AZ. We were super excited that by total coincidence Rachelle of Running for Trevor was also in AZ for a different race! She was staying very close to us, so we met for lunch that final night. It was great fun meeting her and her friends Chris and Heather. Rachelle was so super sweet, just like I expected. She had also just set a new Half Marathon PR in her race of a smoking 1:21!!! That girl is insanely fast. She was over an hour faster than me....I just don't have the capability of understanding that kind of speed.
|Rachelle, Me & Jim|
It was a great race and a great vacation. One I won't soon forget.