My alarm went off at 3 a.m. today for the Phoenix Half Marathon in Mesa. It felt like Ragnar Del Sol all over again. I had to leave my house at 4 in order to get to Mesa Riverview in time to catch a shuttle to the start line. I got to the start line before 5 a.m., so that left me with an hour and a half to sit and wait next to a heater. I used the time as an opportunity to people-watch and hydrate. As 6 a.m. neared the wind picked up and I felt sprinkles of rain. I regretted wearing a tank and not bringing a jacket to toss or wrap around my waist. I prayed the rain would let up before the race, but it continued through our start time and for at least the first mile. The water on my face made it impossible to see, but I just kept moving. Before long the rain stopped and I continued on the 13.1 mile journey back to Mesa Riverview. I tried to keep a pace of 9:30, which is faster than the first half I did, in 2012. I felt great until Mile 7, when I started to lose motivation. Luckily Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)” inspired me to keep going. The people cheering for us also helped a lot, especially those who tried to make me laugh. From Mile 10-13.1 I struggled to keep my pace and energy. I powered through it for a strong finish, which for me is around 2 hours and 8 minutes (unofficial). Now I look forward to hopefully getting to a 2-hour half later this year!