Hello all! We’re still collecting our thoughts and prayers pictures from this past weekend’s Phoenix Marathon. We’ll be posting our experience here in the coming days, but in the meantime, we have a video for you.
We carried a GoPro through the entire race and shot clips of us as we passed each mile marker. Once we got to the wedding site (mile 26), we had several friends Facebook-Live the event. Well, we have combined the videos into one epic one.
Oh, and at the end of the video there’s a bonus…As we were walking back to the car, parking attendant Kevin surprised us with a serenade of sorts. Once he found out we had just gotten hitched, he ran to his car and put together is saxamaphone. It was so sweet.
For everyone who wasn’t at the wedding, we hope this provides the experience for ya. We tried to keep it is as short as possible to prevent any viewers’ from Blair Witchiness enforced puking.
Hope you enjoyed that! Like we had said, we’ll post our review post asap.
So, in a matter of days we’ll be running the Phoenix Marathon. But not just that, we’ll also be getting married during the race. But yes also, we ran this race last year. So for those of you who may be running, or thinking of running this race, we’re here to give you the highdown.
First off, people like to say this is a downhill race. It is…But it’s no Revel. We’re sorry, but we gotta say that we are not fans of the Revel races. Running thousands of feet downhill just seems like cheating. Well, doesn’t seem, it probably is. Thousands of feet net decline?!?! We mean, come on. That said, Phoenix is downhill, but that’s deceiving. It’s a net 800 feet or so down from start to finish (not 5000 feet like a Revel). But also…there is a good 2 mile incline in the full. It goes a little something like this: You run downhill a few miles, you run uphill a couple miles, you run downhill a few more miles, then it’s flat, flat, flat, flat the rest of the way. That’s the nature of the beast. It’s still a runner friendly course: It’s a bit downhill net, it’s point to point, and the course is mostly straight roads (not many turns), around 20% of runners BQ, and race pics are freeeeeeee!
OK, we thinks we’ve gone off on a tangent…let’s regroup.
This is a great race…We love it! This is where Marsha BQ’d!!! This is where we’re getting hitched! This is where our besties live. This is the Valley of the Sun.
And no, this is not the Rock n Roll Phoenix race. That’s the first thing everyone always axes. This is the Phoenix Marathon. Phoenix like the bird who comes back to life from fire. Which is admittedly weird because this race doesn’t even take place in Phoenix, technically it’s in Mesa.
Here’s how it goes: You get up at the butt crack of night to drive to the race finish area. They bus you up to the top of a mountain. It’s freezing cold. They have fires going to keep you warm. It’s pitch perfect dark. They warn you not to wander off the road lest you may encounter a chupacabra or the like. There are no corals. It’s very chill. The race starts early. Early. The sun is not yet up. But once you start running, the sun slowly rises. There is no more glorious sight than the first break of dawn crawling over the cactus covered mountainous desert.
up on a mountain and it’s freezing!
As we said, you go downhill a couple miles. But then you hit the uphill. It’s a good two miles. It sucks. But once you conquer the zenith, you the get reward of going back gravity towards. This part goes through a little mountain side neighborhood. There’s not much crowd support in this race, but this is one of the biggest athletic supporter areas.
Once you get off the mountain, you’re ground level. You are running flat the rest of the way. One thing we love is that the roads are so flipping straight. You don’t have to worry about breaking stride to make turns. You just keep on cruisin.
B to the W, the weather is great. Being the desert, there ain’t much humidity to speak of. Ain’t much wind neither. Last year it was 37 degrees American at the start…Around 50 degrees American at the finish. Perfecto. We went with Helly to Wallfart the day before the race to buy $2 sweat clothes to wear at the start (We threw them off a couple miles in). Again, perfecto.
But alas, here in lies the rub. Lettuce give you our experience, race-wise. Marsha really wanted to BQ. She needed a 3:45, which meant we wanted a 3:40 to be safe. That’s roughly an 8:25 pace per mile. Scott was the pacesetter. Helly said before the race that she wanted to run with us as long as she could. She had just PR’d at NY a few months earlier at just under 4 hours. But she’s a strong runner, getting stronger by the day. So off we went. Scott spent the entire race saying, “Moooooon (his nickname for Marsha).” Meaning, “Marsha, slow it down.” Moon. Mooon. Mooooon. Moooooon. Moooooon. Mooooooooon. The theme of the race. Keeping Marsha in check so she didn’t burn out early. Helly termed this, “In Scott we trust.”
A couple miles in, another nameless friend said, “I can’t keep running this slow.” He took off (we would see him again later, walking around mile 20). But we were focused on the pace goal. It worked. We were cruising. It felt like a jog. The best marathon we had ever run. Around mile 18, Helly put her earphones in. We knew that meant she was starting to ride the struggle bus. She trailed off a bit. We kept on keeping on. At mile 20 Scott said that since we felt good, we could start to push it. We did. These were our fastest miles of the race. Not to brag, but that is so smart…keeping it in the tank so we had something in the tank for the end of the race. “Banking” time is dumb, fo real doe. It’s way much better to finish strong.
But then something bad happened. At mile 23, Scott had to stop. His foot said, “No more, hombre.” But he didn’t want Marsha to miss out on her BQ, so he told her to go on and finish strong. She did. Scott had to limp in the last 3 miles. It sucked. It hurt. It was like a lime had been put in the bottom of his shoe. Turns out his foot was broken, but we didn’t know that until later. Yeah, a stress fracture had fractured his foot. But he still finished in a PR of 3:43, despite having to hobble in.
Marsha, meanwhile was focused. She was focused on finishing strong. She was focused on all the negative things people had said or done to us the past few years when we found each other and ourselves. She used that to embody determination. She turned it positive. She used it for fuel. She used that to BQ. She finished in 3:40.
At the finished line she waited as Scott hobbled in. We were pleased. Then something else amazing happened, we turned around and saw Helly hight tailing it. She had pushed through to finish a little behind Scott with a 15 minute PR! Then we saw her hubby, he had also PR’d (he’s much faster than all of us, so we won’t talk about times ;)). Then we saw our friend J, who had PR’d the half and breaking 2 hours. Even our nameless friend who burn out early had rallied and ran some 20 minutes faster than the marathon he had just run in Houston. It was all good.
The post race party was aight. No free beer like at most races now-a-days, but no worries, we had tequila in the car. And we were happy.
Can’t wait for the Phoenix Marathon! Can’t wait to see everyone! Can’t wait to get married! Can’t wait see how it all goes!
Have you ever run this race? What makes a race special for you?
We’re not running this race this year, but we ran this race last year. So we’re here to give you the lowdown.
Where it be: In old McKinney at the Tupps Brewery.
How it works: You and your partner run a 5k. They combine your ages and finish times. They determine winners based on those combined times/ages.
What’s the course: Basically an out and back with several turns along the way.
What we think: We had a few problems with this race. First and foremost, the course was almost a quarter mile long. And don’t tell us that it was our Garmins. It wasn’t. It was long, and that sucks. We knew it was long when we hit the halfway point and still had a ways to go before the turn-around. Just look at the stats in the first picture of this post. That said, it was the same for everyone. But hopefully they got it fixed for this year.
The next problem – No free beer after the race. We mean, come on! It’s held at a brewery for crying out loud. Not even one free beer? If you want a beer, you have to pay for it. And personal opinion: we don’t really like Tupps beers. They are all so hoppy. Not our style. That said, the brewery itself is pretty dang cool. Nice location to chill out at.
How’d we do: We finished 2nd overall!!! We weren’t too far behind first place, but unfortunately that team had the overall race winner – somewhere around 16 minutes, so that’s how they won. But hey, we got another trophy!
Oh yeah, one last issue – Each team had to come up with a team name. Ours was “Team S&M, Bringin’ The Pain!” Clever, right? Well when they announced we had come in 2nd, they wouldn’t announce our team name. They thought it was too NSFW. Sheesh, that’s living in the Bible Belt for ya, lol. It was innocent – S&M stands for Scott and Marsha. And 5k’s are painful, so that’s where we got the name <wink wink>.
Oh yeah again, one last issue – We asked our friend Alex to take our photo. He did this:
Actually, we don’t have an issue with this – we do it to people all the time. Even strangers who ask us to take their picture. Haha, such characters we be.
What’s the conclusion: It’s an OK race, hopefully they got the distance worked out. We hope everyone has fun running it!
Apologies, when we decided to start this blog, we had grand aspirations. We’d be regularly updating you on all our many adventures. However, life gets in the way. Between work, running, and having a blended family, we don’t get much free time for blogging. We’re going to try and change that.
we swear little girl G…
smiles in pics….
Birthdays, 2 weeks apart from one another!
We’ve been up to a lot recently. We’ve had a ton of birthday celebrations for the kiddos. We’ve been trying to prepare for our wedding at the Phoenix Marathon. And prepare for our Dallas reception. That said, we have made some headway…Did you see our fancy marriage license on our Instagram?
We’re very excited for it all! We’ve got some friends and family coming to the event. Scott’s parents are going to fly in for it and our friends Laura and Ray! Marsha’s long time BBM now iMessage turned friend Nikki and her husband coming in from Cali. Plus a few others. And, Scott’s cousin even got ordained so she could perform the ceremony!
We’re also going to have some social media friendzies there too. Can’t wait to meet longtime blog bud A Fast Paced Life. We just found out our dino-loving Dallas dude Carlos the Runner will be there. And of course, our Best Man and Woman, Helly on the Run and her hubby Ben will be on hand, and also said their run group is going to be there waiting on us too!
We hope to have some more surprises too, but we need to keep those cats in their bags until we can confirm them. Stay tuuuuuuunnnneeeeeddddd!
And as for the Dallas reception, we just keep hearing better and better news. We are truly overwhelmed by the response we have gotten from friends and family. All the people who are flying in from around the States – you can’t imagine how touched we are.
Ben and Helly
Robyn & Doug
Shout out to y’all out of towners coming to Texas!
We weren’t expecting anyone to be able to come, so we truly feel loved and honored. We can’t wait to see all of you!
That all said, as far as the marathon goes…we are not in any sort of racing shape. Scott has been sidelined most of the year with a stress fracture in his foot. And Marsha has been battling hamstring issues. But we’re doing the best we can to get ready on limited time. We were able to run 14 miles this past Saturday, so that gives us some hope, somewhat. We have no time goal, we just want to finish and have fun along the way. Maybe by race day we won’t be in race shape, but hopefully we won’t be pear shaped either…somewhere in between would be nice.
Besides us, we have several friends like Helly, Ben, Hector, Ray, etc. who are going to be trying to BQ the race. Man, that would be sweet if they all did. Like we said, It’s Going Down In Phoenix!
Oh Em Gee, you need to see our racing outfits. We found these online from Red Shirt Running online and they were able to customize and get them to us lickity split. Perfect, amirite?
OH, and we keep forgetting…people keep asking us where we’re registered. We haven’t actually registered anywhere. We’re at a point in life where we want to minimize, we don’t really have space/use for random stuff. That said, we do enjoy tequila – so a gift card to Total Wine would be boss. We also LOVE getting hand crafted furniture from the UH-MAZE-ING folks at Unique Wood Furniture. We have a couple pieces from them, and they’re just the best! So any gift card things to them would be dope. And of course, we always need groceries, so Target, Kroger, etc. gift cards are radical. We’ll also accept race entries 🙂 But in the end, all we really want is to see your smiling faces.
But we need some help y’all – WE NEED A HASHTAG! We know y’all are a creative lot, can you help us out with suggestions? If we like yours, we may even send you a thank you gift, wink wink.
OK, this post is all over the map. We hope you can navigate it better than Dora the Explorer and make some sense of it. Maybe we should wrap it up before your brain marbles get corfused. Hopefully after this, we’ll be posting more regularly as to avoid random brain dumps like this.
OK, it’s you’re turn. Help us with a hashtag…and…GO!
Yes, you read that right. We’re going to be getting married at the race….or should we say IN the race! That’s our plan. We will run the first 26 miles, then pause our Garmins Suuntos, because at Mile 26 we will take our vows, then run the final point two to the finish line. So yeah, we’ll become officially official during the race. Eeeek!
Before we get to the hows and whys and whos and such, let’s quickly mention how we got engaged. It was during a run, duh. You can read that story HERE. Or if you’re feeling lazy, just watch the 1 min vid we put together of the engagement run:
On to the plans. It’s all very on the fly, as far as wedding planning goes. But we knew a couple things – we didn’t want to wait long to get married, and we wanted to do it while running. Running brought us together. So naturally, we want to make it a part of our big day.
Who is going to officiate? Well, that was a tough one. But then we were reminded that Scott’s uncle lives in AZ…and he’s ordained! Sweet! Unfortunately he will be out of town that weekend. Not so sweet. But his daughter (our favorite cousin) said she would get ordained and do it. Super duper sweet!!! Ain’t the internet grand?
And what about a wedding party? Well, it’s always going to be a party as long as we’re around, but if you mean the actual members of the party, then we got that covered too. Our Best Man and Maid of Honor will also be running the race. Yup, the world famous Helly On The Run and her hubby will be doing the honors.
Now, they are racing the race to try for a BQ. After all, it’s a great race to go for that. Marsha qualified at this race just earlier this year. But we’ve been injured since then, so we’re not in any kind of shape for racing, so we’ll be taking it easy. We just hope Helly & Ben’s tired legs will still be able to carry them back to meet us at the wedding!
As for guests of the wedding…We had discussed eloping. But then Marsha said, “Scott, you can’t elope.” But then Scott replied, “Don’t call me a cantaloupe, you melon head.”
Awesome jokes aside, we’re expecting a handful of close family and friends to be able to make the trip. We understand that doing a fairly rushed wedding out of state makes it challenging for people to get to. But that said, we feel very honored to anyone who will be there. We even hear via the twitters that A Fast Paced Life will be on hand (and feet as she’s running too)!!! And of course, the cheering race spectators will hopefully send us off in loud fashion!
And for those who can’t make it to the Valley of the Sun, we’ll be having a second location reception a couple weeks later back in Dallas. Where? At a brewery of course.
But there’s more details on that to come. In the meantime, we’ve got a wedding to plan!
Our blog selves must’ve been eating too much cheese, because we haven’t been very regular. Apologies, but life with a blended family tends to get in the way. Soccer games, orchestra concerts, school pick-ups, work drop offs….it’s crazy round these parts. Oh, and something else had happened… WE GOT ENGAGED!!!
Here’s the story. Scott’s sister was in Californ-i-a for work for a few months. She wanted to run a race before being sent back home and there was a half marathon coming up in the wine country. Welp, we looked up airfares, not expecting to be able to go, but guess what had happened…they were cheap AF. Round trip DFW>OAK=<100 skrilla units. Sold!
So our trip was set. We’d fly to Cali, Sis would pick us up, We’d stay with her, Run the race, Drink some vino. But then a not so funny thing happened. Sis texted saying her boss is sending her home early. Dang. Then, Cali erupts into flames. Race canceled. The only reasons we were taking this trip were gone in a flash (literally).
Do we cancel our flight? Nah, not the RDL style. We go anyway. Book last minute car, hotel in San Fran and AirBNB in Pacific Grove. And Scott does something sneaky…he goes online to one of those athletic silicone wedding ring websites and orders some to be sent to his work address. Why did he do this? He decided that since the original trip reasons were ruined, to make lemonade out of gatorade.
When/Where would the proposal come? Marsha had recently commented that she saw on the Instagrams the sweetest proposal between Emma Coburn and Joe Bosshard WHILE THEY WERE ON A RUN. Light bulb moment for Scott. Sooo…Scott had looked up google street view for possible locations to pop the question while running in Pacific Grove. You see, it’s on the ocean. Lots of scenic views. He saw a few possibilities, but nothing set in sand. He’d wing it.
Scott didn’t want to wait long. After arriving at the BNB, he determined the next morning’s run would suffice. Suffice to say, it worked. The run started through the old town. Lots of 150 year old houses. Gorgeous. Then we hit the coast. There was a park called Lovers Point. Perfect spot, right? Nah, too cheesy, thought Scott. We’ll find a better spot.
It was overcast. The waves crashed along the rocky coast. Such a beautiful spot to run. We got away from town – heading towards the 17 mile drive (Carmel, Spyglass, Pebble Beach, etc.). There was an old lighthouse. Golf course. Just awesome. Scott kept scouting for spots. Here’s a nice cove – oh wait, there’s another proposal going on – they’re not going to steal our thunder. Oh, here’s a nice cove – what’s that plaque? Oh, this is where John Denver crashed his plane and perished. Nevermind. Here’s a picturesque cove…Scott just has to set up the phone to video the experience…Damnit, it won’t sit against the bench. “Just ask someone to take out picture.” yells Marsha. Nevermind, there’s too many people here now.
We continue the run back to town. Scott begins to think it won’t happen this day. But then a so funny thing happens. We get to Lovers Point Park. The crowds disperse. We’re alone. Scott finds some rocks to prop the phone up against and hits record. Marsha is cold. Wants to keep moving. Scott takes her gloves off. “Why?” she asks. “So you can put this ring on.’ He retorts.
She says yes.
We finish the run. We celebrate. But the celebration is another story. You’ll hear that next.
Peace & Love, Y’all,
S&M – RDL
Questions: Do you have a proposal story? Do you take runcations?
This weekend is the Chicago Marathon. For all y’all running it, we wish you the best of times! We ran it in 2015 – our first marathon together – and absolutely LOVED it! This post gives you our advice…take it if you want, give it back if you don’t.
RUN FOR CHARITY:
Both of us ran this race on behalf of charities. M raised money for the Special Olympics, as M’s brother has Downs Syndrome. S raised skrilla for Alzheimer’s Association, as S’s G-pa passed away from it. This is a great way to run this race if you don’t want to go the lottery route…Or if you just want to do some good! Combined, we raised a few thousand dollars!
This is a bit of a beating. The site is quite a ways from downtown. There are shuttle busses. The ride is long, but at least we had good company.
The expo is pretty crowded and overwhelming at times. But they do have free beer, so hooray for that. Brews are needed to deal with the crowds and commute.
This is fun. A day before the race, tons of people met at The Bean. We took selfies and got a little 2-3 miles in along the shore. Then more selfies, duh.
Get there early. A crap ton of people run this race. You gotta navigate people to the tune of 40+ large to get to the porta-johns, gear check, and corrals.
They paint a line on the street throughout the course – this line is the shortest distance of the race – try to follow it. It will help you hit your tangents.
Everyone says the race is “pancake flat”. Mostly true, but like grandma’s mashed taters, there are a few lumps in it. Mainly the bridges over the rivers. Don’t be surprised by them*.
1st half of the race is downtown and mainly in the shade from the skyscrapers**. This is a good thing. Helps keep it cool. 2nd half of the race is on the outskirts of town. It can be sunny and warm. This was not a good thing. Be ready for it.
Those same tall buildings that shade you, also jack with your GPS**. Everyone, we mean everyone, around us had inaccurate mileage on their Garmins. Mile alerts were beeping at random times. Don’t worry about it, just run your race and don’t obsess over your watch.
Crowd support is AMAZING! Nearly 2 million people cheering their Windy City heads off. And the ethnic neighborhoods have themes – dancing lions in Chinatown, mariachis in Little Mexico and drag cheerleaders in Boystown. Soak it in.
Do. Not. Go. Out. Too. Fast. It’s easy to do in the shaded and boisterous first half. We both made the mistake of thinking we could go faster than we could in the beginning. Suffice it to say, we did not have negative splits this day.
There is a hill*. At. The. Very. End. Of. The. Race. “Pancake flat” they said…yeah, not at the end it’s not. Be ready for that stoopid hill.
Enjoy the after party – beer, music and really really tired people make for a good time.
After you recover a bit, spend the next couple days sightseeing sightseeing sightseeing!
OUR CHICAGO STORY
Personally, we learned a lot running this race. It’s one of our best and favorite marathons ever! We both PR’ed by 20 minutes S: 3:48:28 & M: 3:45:50. Our only regret was that we did not run together. We were assigned different corrals, but we should have found a way to start together. And after seeing our splits online, we realized we would have been right next to each other, just like in training.
We spent the entire 26.2 miles looking for each other. It was an amazing race, but we were sad we didn’t share it together step by step. After that day, we promised ourselves we’d never run separately again. Since then, we’ve run every half and full marathon side by side.
That said, when S crossed the finish line he immediately stopped, turned around and desperately hoped to see M. But there were 40+ thousand folks in this race. How could we possibly find each other in that mess? But about 30 seconds later, it happened: M crossed the finish line we had the biggest hug. We were happy we had a good race result, but happier that we had found each other.
This race also brought us our best good friends in the whole wide world of sports…
First, M got to meet S’s college bud, Rexy (who is fast AF – she ran this race in 3:05). And even though she lives in the great state of Ohio, we’ve all become very close. That’s what happens when good chill people come together. LOVE HER!
Second, we got to meet in person for the first time, the ever so internet famous HellyOnTheRun!
Her and her Hubby have since become our bestest friends ever…our “ride or die”. They even made us Godparents to their sweet little Benny! Can you believe that?!? Some people who we first met over the internet are now so important in our lives. And Chicago was the first in-person meeting. Destiny.
And with this motely crue of misfits, we spent the next couple days frolicking around Chi-Town. It was the. Best. Time. Evah.
GOOD LUCK to everyone running Chicago this weekend, YOU will ROCK IT! And who knows, it may even change your lives for the better forever.
Questions: Do you have any tips for running the Chicago Marathon? Do you have any questions about Chi-Marathon? Have you ever met someone from the internet in person?