Running for Beer & Pizza

It’s been a long few days, and I haven’t had time keep you updated, nonexistent readers.

On Thursday night, I attended the Training Kick-Off Party for the P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘N Roll Arizona Marathon & Half-Marathon. I had a good time and made contact with several charity running organizations. I’m probably going to sign with either Team-in-Training or the Shade Foundation. After making the rounds at the expo and listening to a pep talk from Josh Cox and Susan Loken, I did the 3.5 mile run. It was completely disorganized; everybody just walked up to the starting line and started running. Cox was supposed to be leading the run, but he started from all the way in the back and worked his way up to the front. I paced him for a couple of minutes before he pulled away from me. Unlike my first 5K, I started in the middle of the pack at my own pace of about 9:13/mile and moved up slowly. This will be my strategy for future races. After the run we came back to free beer and pizza. How awesome is free beer and pizza? Infinitely awesome.

On Saturday morning I was scheduled for week 8, day 3 of One Hour Runner, a fifty-minute run. I got up and got dressed, but had a hard time motivating myself to get out the door. I finally dragged myself onto the street and ran the first quarter-mile before I realized that I had forgotten my hydration belt. I knew I would absolutely need it, so I headed back home. By the time I really got underway it was almost 9 o’clock am. Still feeling unmotivated, I slogged out of my neighborhood and into farmland, cursing myself for picking the route. There were no sidewalks and the shoulder was rough, so I ended up running towards traffic on the rarely traveled roads. I had to stop and walk twice to safely cross busier streets, but I kept pushing and pushing myself as the Nike+ announcer counted down my time. When she announced “one minute remaining,” I checked the distance and was disappointed to hear only 4.83 miles. I decided to keep going until I crossed five miles, which only took another minute. When I finally paused Nike+ and checked Runkeeper, I had already hit 5.18 miles. Adding a few hundredths for the time it takes to start Runkeeper after starting Nike+, and subtracting a few hundredths for crossing the busy streets, I calibrated the workout to 5.1 miles. Some days I feel great at the end of a long run, but this was not one of those days; I felt just as crappy for the rest of the day as I had before I ran. The upside, though, is that I finished the run and qualified for the Shoes Challenge.

On Sunday I stopped into The Runner’s Den and registered for the 34th Annual Phoenix 10k. I’m scheduled to run seven miles just two days before this event, so I’m confident about finishing. I’m aiming to finish in just under one hour, so I fully expect the elite runners to be crossing the finish line as I’m completing my first lap.

I just looked at the video highlights from the Kick-Off Party and I’m briefly visible talking to Ron from The Runner’s Den.

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