My alarm went off at 3:20 a.m. on Saturday to wake me up for the Phoenix Half Marathon.
I wasn’t thrilled about my wake up time.
I needed to head to Courtney’s house so we could leave by 4:15 a.m. as planned. I toasted bread and topped it with peanut butter and honey, but I had to put it in a plastic container and take it to go. In hindsight I should have set my alarm for 3.
We hit race traffic on the Loop 202 at Dobson, but we made it to the van pickup location by 4:45. Courtney had been kind enough to pick up our race packets on Friday, so I didn’t get my hands on mine until we pulled up to the Mesa Riverview parking lot. It was there that we discovered we didn’t have safety pins. We wouldn’t be able to wear our bibs, which was a bummer. I ended up folding mine and putting it in my running sock.
We deboarded the bus to find a mass of runners. The lines for the portable bathrooms were 30 people deep. We figured we might as well get in the queue immediately. By the time we were finished the national anthem had been sung and we headed toward the chute. I was grateful for the cool weather sans rain. In 15 short minutes, we were running across the start line.
Courtney runs at about the same as me. We maintained close to that pace for most of the race. I searched the crowds for the pacer who sold me my running shoes last week, but he was nowhere to be found. We stayed just behind the 2:10 pacer for most of the way. By Mile 10, the 2:20 pacer had caught up to us. I started to hit a wall by then. I hadn’t had enough to eat before the race. I typically eat a bowl of oatmeal or cereal and toast before a long run. I had only eaten one slice of toast Saturday. I had to rely on Gu Chomps and persistence to get me through the race.
As we neared the last half mile of the race, the full marathon winner passed us. Courtney and I were so inspired that we picked up our pace so we could see him finish. It was incredible that he finished a full in the time we finished a half. What an amazing athlete!
I’m glad I signed up for a half as part of my marathon training because it renewed my motivation. For the past two training weeks I have been pulling back on mileage because of calf pain and my cold. I am now ready to get back into it. I am actually excited for my next long run.
- The spectators along the way were awesome! It’s always so uplifting to have people cheer you on.
- The volunteers were equally appreciated. I loved the themes at the stations.
- I noticed many runners with T-shirts honoring someone they’ve lost. That’s always so touching.
- The race shirt is my favorite.
Marette Flora is the founder of Floradise blog and personalized gift shop. Marette is a passionate storyteller and creator. She attended the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication.
She is passionate about creating helpful and meaningful things.