On January 18th, I ran my 4th Rock n Roll Arizona Half Marathon, and it was my best one yet! In fact, out of the 37 half marathons I've completed, this one came in at #3 in terms of finish times!
We are so blessed here in Arizona with fantastic winter weather. However, in January, you never know what you're going to get. Luckily for us, this year was picture-perfect weather for the race.
I was very disappointed that I didn't participate in RNRAZ last year. I went so far as to look for race entries on Craigs List at the last minute, but to no avail. So I vowed I wouldn't miss out this year. I'm so glad I listened to myself!
To kick things off, my awesome running group, #RunEatTweetAZ, held a social meetup/lunch the day before near the expo. We had almost 40 people show up, and it was fun to connect with both locals and other runners & bloggers who were running the race.
I made the very wise choice to take the light rail to the race this time. It was the best decision ever! I have had many traffic issues in the past. Since I live less than 15 miles from the start area, I decided it was not worth the drama. I arrived more than an hour early for a 7:50 AM start. I discovered that I had time to hit up Starbucks before the race. That was my second best decision. I got to sit and sip and chat with other runners and spectators and just relax. Not to mention the awesome caffeine boost! I had very low expectations for this race. Even though I have been running literally every day for 7 weeks, my pace has been off. I figured I'd be lucky just to stay under 2 hours.
Then it was time to head to the corrals for a selfie with the other #RunEatTweetAZ runners.
This was the calmest start for the race yet. The corrals were not overcrowded, there was no excessive fanfare, we just had a wave start and headed out. Nice and smooth.
I felt a surprising amount of energy, not sure if that delicious cappuccino had anything to do with it or not! Seriously, I thought there was no way I could keep this up. I was cruising around 8:20 splits for the first few miles. The race is totally flat until around mile 9. I didn't feel like I had to dodge a lot of people, which was great. That is one of my pet peeves.
I was able to keep it up, even at the "hilly" part from mile 9-10. It's so pretty that it does provide a slight distraction from the pain!
The final time? 1:52:51! It was 12 minutes faster than the last time I did this race! Yippee!
It was crowded at the finish area, but I worked my way over to the beer tent (naturally) to enjoy my beer that I earned. By then it was about 65 and sunny. Glorious!
I'm so glad I did the race this year. We did have a brief scare that the medals would not arrive on time, but thank heavens, they did! And I remembered that the medal is part of a 4-year medal series where each one will fit together to make one large medal. So now I'm pretty much committed to the next 3 years!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!