Rock n Roll Arizona: The Expo and Pre-Race!

 

I’m back for a second year as a Rock ‘n’ Blogger (RnR Ambassador) so I was excited to represent this year and take a closer look at things so I can (always truthfully) relay info back to y’all.

This year, there was a 1 miler race on Friday and a 5k race on Saturday morning. I had friends do both and who said both were fun. One said the band playing after the 1 miler was legit–a Tom Petty cover band! I was already having FOMO and that just intensified it.

@runlaurarun28

There were some changes made this year (new company!) and I noticed it as soon as we walked in to the expo on Saturday. There were computers available at the entrance of the expo building where you could search your bib number and fill out your waiver–away from the crowds and totally convenient (because I forgot to print mine out, lol!)

Easy walk through to get my bib and shirt but when we entered the actual expo, there were these cool computer screens wishing us luck… by name!! I’m thinking they “got” the info from our bibs?? but either way, I thought that was a nice, new touch πŸ™‚

The expo seemed small, but I don’t mind small expos. I did a loop and half, snagged some Honey Stinger waffles then took a quick ProCompression pic and I was done!

I like that the expo is in downtown Phoenix (where the marathon starts) since we rarely make it down there, and it’s a good excuse to take our time (that, and parking costed $12 so I was going to milk it!). Β If you’re coming from out of town and doing the half marathon (which starts and ends in Tempe, not downtown Phoenix), you can easily take the light rail to the expo.

We ate a new-to-us restaurant and enjoyed the beautiful 75 degree weather day πŸ˜€

RACE DAY

As I mentioned, the half marathon starts and ends in Tempe, Arizona (but goes through Scottsdale and a tiny little section of Phoenix). Β People complain that it’s not “scenic” but you’re in the city, and I’m not sure how scenic it could be. I think if people are coming to Arizona because they want desert, they need to hit the trails. RnR Arizona does what it can in providing a visually appealing course–it’s start in Tempe’s Mill Ave district and ends at Tempe Town Lake. The middle portions are city streets which is unavoidable–you’re in the city. There’s a nice section (where the big hill is at at mile 9) that takes you around the Desert Botanical Gardens area and is a bit more desert-y. I like that it ends at Tempe Town Lake because it’s a huge area where you can hang out with friends/family afterward (with plenty of food options walking distance). Plus, the band is literally right there. Super convenient. By the way, this year Everclear performed and I totally relived my 90s youth.

Anyway, my husband and I are pros at this race as we’ve done it the past….oh 5 years?? We drive to a park-n-ride off the freeway (in Mesa) and take the light rail to the start line in Tempe–which happens to be at my alma mater, Arizona State University. Big reason why I love doing this race. I love coming back to my old campus stomping grounds πŸ˜€ Go Devils!

We arrived suuuuper early, because that’s how I roll, and because I also had to squeeze in 2 warm up miles and attend 2 group pictures, LOL!!

Moms Run This Town AZ

Pro Compression Ambassadors

Rockin’ the Arizona PC sock!!! ❀ #keepittight

It was while I was handing things over to my husband for gear check that I realized I LEFT MY SPIBELT WITH GU INSIDE IN THE CAR!!!! And remember, my car was back IN MESA!

I could feel my anxiety rising and tried hard not to panic. “It’s only a half, I will survive,” I told myself. But because I was shooting for a PR, I really wanted everything to be perfect. This was not perfect.

One of my MRTT girlfriends said she had an extra Huma gel she could give me and even though I hadn’t tried Huma gels before, I figured something was better than nothing. I mean, it’s not like they say to not try anything new on race day or anything.

Sigh……

I tried to get back in the zone. Like I said, I’ve done this race many times. I know this course. I know exactly what’s coming.

Race deets: Always on MLK weekend, always at ASU.

I knew that from the beginning, it’s a slight uphill that at parts you can see/feel and at parts not. I also knew there’s a “big” hill around mile 9 but that after that, you’ve got a fast finish 5k. I told myself to work it to the hill.

Get. to. the. hill.

Actual Race Re-cap tomorrow ❀ 

 

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Week 11: #itsgoingdownatphx

With the countdown getting closer to go-time, I have to say, I’ve never felt so confident about a training cycle. I’ve mentioned being nervous with how good things are going, and it’s really freaking me out–but I’m trying to tell myself that this is what happens when you prepare, train smart, and put in work. You feel good! πŸ˜€

Monday, January 1st–5.25 miles

I celebrated the new year with some easy miles around the ‘hood. There was no other way I would’ve liked to have kicked 2018 off.

Welcome, 2018!

Tuesday, January 2nd–8 miles

I had a 6 mile tempo with 1 up and 1 down. I tried really hard to make sure these tempo miles stayed close to the target pace (7:40) and not faster (my coach is big on that).

7:37
7:29
7:34
7:35
7:39

There was a 90 second rest interval after each mile, too, so that was nice.

Wednesday, January 3rd–Strength, Stretch, Roll

Did some arm workouts, planks, stretches on the mat, and some rolling. It was my husband’s birthday and we celebrated with a yummy pasta dinner. I had gotten us tickets for a concert for Friday so were really looking forward to that πŸ™‚

Thursday, January 4th–8 miles

This was a doozy of a workout. I had 2 miles of warm up, then 3×9 minutes (3 min fast, 3 min faster, 3 min fastest), 2 miles cool down. I wanted the intervals to be at targets paces 7:40, 7:25, 7:05 but yeah, I didn’t do a very good job of that.

Friday, January 5th–Rest

Today was concert day! It was at night so I could’ve done something during the afternoon….but didn’t πŸ˜€ We went to go see one of my favorite Mexican singers, Pepe Aguilar. I’ve listened to him pretty much my entire life and couldn’t believe that I was actually seeing him perform LIVE. It was a major moment crossing that off my list.

Saturday, January 6th–5 miles

Post concert recovery miles, lol!

so much fun!

Sunday, January 7th–12 miles

I moved my long run to today. It was a fun little fartlek with the last 10 miles having 1 minute pick-ups at the beginning of each mile.

Which brought me to 40.71 big ones for Week 11! This week my coach has given me a mini taper leading into Rock n Roll Arizona 1/2. I’m gonna be shooting for that sub 1:40 again so if you can send me all the good luck juju you can, I would appreciate it!!! ❀ Check out my instagram for “live” results, lol!

–What musician/band(s) would you like to see?

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Week 10: #itsgoingdownatphx last week of 2017

Hi!! Hope your 2018 has started off on the right foot! Or left, whichever is your go-to.

I realize it’s Friday and this week is coming to a close, so I’ll just quickly recap last week as there’s more exciting stuff to share πŸ™‚

Monday, December 25th–Rest Day

It was Christmas and I just spent it with my family. No running, just eating.

Tuesday, December 26th–5 miles

It was a mini-tempo run so a simple mile WU–9:13, then 7:42, 7:34, 7:45, mile CD 8:58.

Wednesday, December 27th–2 miles, Strength, Stretch, and Roll

Hopped on the treadmill to make sure the thing still worked. We bought last year for Christmas and while it’s nice knowing it’s available, we rarely use it.

Thursday, December 28th–5 miles

Met up with a friend for what was supposed to be “easy” miles (she was pushing her 4 year-old in the stroller) but we found ourselves going at a pretty nice clip at an 8:39 average pace. I need to slow the easy runs down.

Friday, December 29th–5 miles

Took this run to the hills and slowed things down, 9:18 avg.

Saturday, December 30th–18 miles

Took this run to the hills again and met up with my coach and some of her athletes. This stretch of road is up and down and up and down and probably not the most ideal route for a long run. But I need the hill work (for the lone hill in Phoenix Marathon, lol).

I stayed slow and steady knowing there were hills spread throughout. I even had a 9:55 mile in there somewhere. I also knew that the last three miles were to be at half marathon pace (7:40) and I had no idea if I would be able to do it. Luckily, there was a nice gentle decline at the end and I was able to nail it at 7:38, 7:18, 7:12.

Sunday, December 31st–Rest, Roll, Stretch

Nada. My husband and I vegged binged on pizza and wings on the couch and watched movies all day. Okay, I did a little rolling and stretching before bed, so there’s that.

It was a good week and the 18 miler while hard with the hills, was a confidence booster as I’ve always been intimidated by the longer distance and honestly, I’m not so much any more. So crazy to think that!!

–Do you long runs scare you?

–How did you spend your New Year’s?Β 

–Do you have a treadmill in your house you rarely use?