March 3rd 2012 was the very first Phoenix Half Marathon. It started out by the Phoenix sign near Usury Park in Mesa. It was by far one of the most fun, best organized, and easiest half's I have ever run. If there hadn't been a head wind going up Power Rd. It would have been absolutely perfect. Over half of the course was down hill which I love while running it. The next couple days after you pay for it though, but so worth it. I ran with some great women and even got to take a picture with John from the Biggest Looser at the starting line. Next year we have all signed up to do the full marathon which will be the first year for it. I am so excited to have a marathon here in Arizona that is in the spring and on a Saturday. No more St. George Marathon training for me in the summer, thank you very much. I will have to go there for their amazing Snow Canyon Half in the fall so I can still visit all my sweet friends in beautiful St. George, Utah.
On March 27th & 28th I participated in the Ragnar Del Sol Relay. It was my second time doing it. If you are not familiar with what it is, it is a 200 mile relay that begins in Wickenburg, goes down to Tonopah, then to Surprise, up to Anthem, over to Cave Creek, through Fountain Hills, Scottsdale and then ends at Tempe Town Lake. There are 12 people on the team with 6 people in 2 vans. There were over 400 teams participating in it. The Ragnar staff do an amazing job in putting the whole thing together. This year was more of a challenge than last year. When I was in the middle of running my first leg in full sun and 84 degrees it took all I had to finish. I wasn't used to running in the heat since last Fall. Thankfully my team mates followed along with me and kept offering me water and pouring cold water all over me to cool me down. I was worried about running my second longest leg at midnight in the middle of no where that ended in Anthem, but it ended up being my best and most enjoyable run of the relay. After that it was time to try and get some sleep while the other half of our team kept running. We only had about 3 hours to try and sleep in a camper that one of our runner's husband so graciously set up for us in a Cave Creek parking lot. I think I slept for about one hour after we got back in the van to start our next segment of the race. At 10:00 the next morning I started my 3rd and last leg of the race for our half of the team. It was north west of Fountain Hills and it was getting pretty warm but the hardest part were some really steep long hills that took a lot of praying to make it up them. I tried to focus on how beautiful it was to be running in that area. I think if I had not been running on basically no sleep it wouldn't have been as difficult as it was. I was so happy to see my team mates cheering me on to hand off the relay slap bracelet to the next runner.
Participating in a Ragnar Relay is one of those experiences that when you are in the middle of it you ask yourself why you would put yourself through such misery, but after it is all done you remember all of the fun parts and you can't wait to do it again. We had such a great team with all of the best women you would ever want to spend 32 hours with in a cramped van driving all over Arizona. Team Sparkle Rocks !!!
We had so much fun going to lunch together. When I asked her where she wanted to go she quickly said, "Sweet Tomatoes". She only likes to eat 3 things on their menu. They are macaroni and cheese, a brownie muffin, and ice cream cones. After lunch we went to Target so she could pick out her present. We had so much fun.