Tough Mudder Team Name....and that they were.
Dinner at Maggiano's, carbo loading for the Tough Mudder.
Tough Mudder. Awesome and crazzzzzy! 12+ miles, 29 intense obstacles assembled by the British Special Forces, or something like that. They were dirty, cold and wet for 4 hours. We chased them around miles of obstacles, cheering, yelling and heckling anyone who would listen.
This was Sara's idea of getting ready for a full marathon the next day. She is nuts.
RnRAZ, Part Deux.
I won't do a full recap of the course, because I didn't LOVE the course. However, I ran this race for free, with no expectations or goals except to have fun and don't suck too bad. Having said I would never pay for a RnR/Competitor event again...I will say, they did a decent job. We had a new course, new starting location, the full and the half were different locations for the start (like different cities)...but I think the logistics worked. Both races started late, which is a total fail in many peoples minds...but I understand WHY it happened and am sure those kinks would be worked out prior to 2013's race.
Both of my "goals" were achieved. My #1 cheerleader and overall bada** of a husband decided to wake up at 5am with me to pace me (aka, he didn't register and was jealous of my running atferglow I would soon have) after putting his body through the ringer the day before at TM. We were both dyhydrated, not properly carbed up and had tired legs.
Again. No expectations.
Plus, that whole signing up 8 days before was a bit daunting.
The weather was perfect, high 50's and a light cloud cover. The crowds were HUGE and so supportive. People were happy, festive and excited.
As I was running past mile 7, with Wade next to me..I thought back to 1 year ago. My FIRST half marathon, here at RnR. I was so scared, so unsure, yet so excited to be doing this. I was in a different crowd of "runners" this year. Last year I started in corral 14 or 16. I was surrounded by heavy over exuberant women in tutu's, old men shuffling along, 1st timers (me) and a lot of walkers. Nothing against any of that....but it really skewed my vision of this race...is this race more of a parade? I spent a lot of time and energy last year weaving through all those people to keep up a reasonable pace. I didn't know any better.
This year I started in Corral 3. I was surrounded by Nike Tempo shorts, Garmins and a lot of really really nice legs. The people surrounding me as I pounded 13.1 mile of pavement were athletes, they were there with PR's on their minds, they fueled their bodies with GU at mile 7, this was not their first rodeo...they gave the competitive spirit to this event. It wasn't a parade or a festival this year. It was a race. (well kind of, I'm still not very fast but you get the point)
Starting out (Wade, Kara and I) we agreed to run a 9:00/pace as none of us were very prepared and all had the same goals in mind. Finish without injury. Have fun. Finish under 2:00.
As I mentioned, I didn't love the new course. It was 100% better than the old one that ran through the 'hoods of Phoenix "showcasing" the most hideous parts of our town. There was a slight incline almost the entire time, for the first 10 miles, and that really sucked. The last 3 dipped up and down. We lost Kara around mile 6.5...I turned around and she had disappeared in the crowd. I felt bad. Wade and I asked each other if we should stop and wait, but I knew she would be pissed at us for doing that....so we kept going. I got tired at the end. My legs were just doing what my brain told them to do. My IT band was screaming at me. My chest was burning. Wade was pointing at his Garmin and telling me to keep running faster. I wanted to punch him at mile 11.5.
I had a negative split. I cannot believe it.
My last 3 miles were my fastest. That makes my PR goal for 2012 seem somewhat within reach.
On to the good stuff. Wade and I met up with our friends Erin and Richard (Junk) for drinks and food afterwards...Erin ran the half as well and Junk came for the beers. It was a bum day for a few, Kara had a hurt foot as did Erin and our buddy Brian had a not-so-great race either. Shit happens I guess.
We gabbed, slurped down a few adult beverages, and had some delicious food. I was in a hurry to get back to the finish to see Sara cross the finish line. Except the restuarant was SO busy and our waiter was SO slow, we missed her. I found Brian coming in the last mile...looking sad, defeated and in pain, so I ran with him for a few minutes to help get him to the end. We hopped off the course and into our car to go meet Sara the Marathoner and our friends Ann and Marcel.
Sara has been talking about a doing a full marathon for a while. I knew she would do it. She did it. She killed it. She was SMILING the whole time. She gives me Faith in MYSELF to do one someday as well. She had heart and I'm really proud of her. We celebrated. I was happy to be part of her monumental achievement.
Excellent weekend my friends, excellent.
One more thing....I was left yesterday feeling the want or need of
something greater...half's are fun, but I need a new challenge
to set my mind on. News to come...I think.