I chose this race because I knew it was a stunning course. We cycle out by the McDowell mountains and I love it out there. Every time we ride I think why don't I come out here to run it's beautiful.
Today didn't disappoint.
Though it was freezing at the start line. I didn't know much about this race so I got there early.
Thank goodness for the fire.
Chilling by the fire in the desert, surrounded by snow capped mountains, talkin shop with run nerds is about the perfect way to kick off a Sunday.
If they'd had Smore's, sigh..... that would've been heaven.
Porta potty lines, always. No matter how many orange thrones they bring to the start; it's never enough.
Checking to make sure I still had feet. I couldn't feel my toes. Kinvara's are light and fast but warmth isn't in their vocabulary.
I was standing in line for the bathroom, still freezing and the announcer was telling us we needed to turn in our warm cloths to the bag drop.
GAH, WHAT?!? It's coooold. Says the wimpy desert rat. I managed to keep my hoodie until the last minute and by then the AZ sun was in full effect.
There is a brief moment of cold when the sun rises here in the desert but once it gets up high in the sky it gets right to the bushiness of warming you up.
Thank you Sun.
Most of the first mile is a climb out of the campground. Nothing to steep but enough to make ya get to huffing right outta the gate. When you crest that hill you are treated to the most stunning views.
I was so torn. I wanted to capture every minute of it for you.
Imagine snow capped mountains, green desert, towering cacti, rolling hills set perfectly in front of the majestic rock mountains off in the distance.
I wanted to snap a picture every minute.
Of this ENTIRE race.
Except the part where I died.
I didn't have a goal going into this race. How does one race a 15k? Hard and fast, conservative at first then pick up the pace, or a steady pace run? No clue.
I know this course, I knew it was rolling hills followed by a good climb and then a few more climbs before the finish.
I also know I am more armadillo than billy goat so my goal was to race comfortably and then if I didn't die after the hill try and bring it home hard.
I didn't die too bad but it wasn't a stellar performance on the hill either. I lost a lot of time and the main pack of runners I was with on the climb. Bummer.
I think I say this every week but good golly I need to run some more stinking hills.
My 5k split was at an 8:34 pace, my 10k split pace was an 8:35; just call me steady Eddy. The hill was right after the 10k timing mat. Hence my overall pace was an 8:40. Not a major jump up but I would prefer to finish faster than I start.
I can't be to angry about my armadillo performance though. You get out of a race what you put into training. My training has been pretty low key and void of any billy goat training so I can't expect to much.
I wanted to have fun and race out in the beautiful desert.
It was a gorgeous day and a fun race with free massages, pizza and beer.
I mean who doesn't love an ice cold Kilt Lifter at 10am?
More importantly who doesn't love finally getting to meet some local bloggers that you stalk!
Zucchini Runner hammered out a great marathon last week and then came out and beat me at a 15K, so basically we broke up the same day we met ;-)
Nah, I don't mind getting beat by awesome people.
Remember Dana who I cheered for at the Phoenix Marathon?
Guess who was out cheering today?
Yep, we finally met face to face. No more twitter stalking, it's the real deal.
She is just as sweet as her tweets.
Her brother and sister-in-law aka Parents on the Run where out there too. Derek brought home a 3rd place Age group award, which, in the stacked field of crazy fast runners is impressive.
I can't say enough about how blown away I am at the local bloggers here in Arizona. They are all so talented you really want to hate them but then they have to be all nice and so you can't.
They are so nice and supportive, even if you climb like an armadillo and they run like a cheetah.
Hope you all had an amazing Sunday!
Mine was pretty sweet.
The whoopie pie has left the building.