Phoenix 1/2 Marathon, another Gait Course and Meeting a New Friend
Wednesday, October 29th:
Jim and I met back up at LAX to share the flight to Phoenix. Luckily we were both on time and the flight itself was quick and smooth. I had a car awaiting me at the rental car center but we were so tired we took the shuttle straight to the hotel from the airport and made plans to get the car tomorrow.
|The sun is setting as we slowly begin our descent into Phoenix.|
Our hotel was located about 6 miles from the rental car center so we took the opportunity to get some exercise rather than catch a cab to pick up our car. As you may remember, I've been instructed by my physician to limit my "exertion" to my scheduled races but since I've had 3 days of rest since the LA Half I figured it was okay to do an easy walk-jog this morning.
|Our airport area hotel...not exactly the luxury of the|
LA apartment but it's a nice place nonetheless.
|We're off to the Rental Car Center, taking it slow|
in the Phoenix sunshine.
|We made it!|
|What? Never seen a jogger at the counter before?|
I actually overhead the guy behind me say:
"Runners are weird."
|I used the bread and cheese as a partition between my side of our appetizer|
and Jim's meat-laden side of the plate. For the record, I didn't touch the
bread or the cheese either but my vegan sampler was yummy.
|I didn't go vegan for my entree and opted for|
a perfectly-grilled portion of salmon on Caesar salad.
|SHOCKER! Jim ordered a Beth-meal instead of the usual "burger bigger than his head".|
I must be contagious.
|The ever-developing riverfront in Phoenix.|
|Jim is such a sport.|
The rest of the weekend will be quite busy so today I took the opportunity to get about 5 hours of work done from my hotel room. The remainder of the day was spent attending to errands: grocery shopping for the next 4 days, picking up our race packets, scouting out the race festival grounds and making a quick trip to Fountain Hills so we'll know how long it takes to get there tomorrow.
|I realized when I got to the grocery store that I needed to eat|
some protein because it was time to take my medication. Rather
than go for a big meal or a processed protein bar I found these--perfect!
|Meanwhile, Jim went next door to this cool shop/cafe and ordered|
himself a real sandwich as I shopped for groceries.
|Next was a stop at the Runner's Den to get our race packets.|
Seeing the Boston logo always brings back incredible memories
and emotions for me. I wonder if I'll ever run a 6th Boston Marathon...
Saturday, November 1st:
Last night was low-key for us because 1) we're still on East Coast time and get tired early out here and 2) because I didn't want to get caught up in all the Halloween activities. Usually I LOVE Halloween but with my lower energy levels I didn't want to encounter large and rowdy crowds this year. The upside is that I got another great night's sleep and awoke early to have a great breakfast and do a little work with the help of 2 perfect Decaf Americanos.
As I was glancing through the local paper I saw that there was an art festival about an hour north of Phoenix in the town of Carefree, AZ. Unless I got a last-minute call from the media I figured we had enough time to enjoy the festival and still make it back to Fountain Hills where we'd be meeting up with Jeff Smith and an online acquaintance of mine for dinner at her restaurant. Jim was game, so off we went:
|Yes, this is a real place at the corner of Ho Hum and Easy Streets|
in Carefree, AZ. What better place to spend a morning??
|Okay, so we're in the picturesque town of Fountain Hills but where is the|
|We had time to grab a coffee while we waited...|
|...and sure enough, there it is!|
|I guess I'm holding her shoes while she goes for a dip in the lake.|
|I never know what trouble to expect when Jim and Jeff get together.|
Before our meal was finished Carolyn and her husband, Anthony, came to our table to visit with us. It was so nice to meet them both in person after Carolyn and I have been "talking" online for about 6 months. When their dinner rush was done (Carolyn runs the restaurant operations while Anthony is the chef) we got a tour of their facilities and got a chance to talk a bit more personally.
|The bar area inside Sofrita.|
|An alter with many lit candles in the ladies' room.|
|Anthony makes these crosses himself and many of|
them are for sale.
|In honor of Halloween, Carolyn set up an elaborate Day|
of the Dead altar in the banquet space.
|Jeff Smith, me, Carolyn and Anthony on the front steps of Sofrita. In case you were|
wondering, Carolyn doesn't wear the full Day of the Dead makeup regularly but she
loves getting into the spirit of Halloween.
We woke up again at O'Dark Thirty and made the 15-minute drive to the start line area. Here are a few shots of the race day festivities:
|Thanks to Jim for taking my "I run for Andrew" photo. By now|
most of you know I do this for my little buddy who suffers from
|Jeff and Jim share a laugh over coffee at a ridiculous hour|
in the early morning.
|Apparently I am NOT ready for my closeup.|
|I finish the 1/2 Marathon and get word from Jeff that we have an|
interview awaiting us at the Finish Line area.
I apologize for this, but the live link to this interview is no longer active... many thanks to the 3TV crew for helping us spread the Get Back UP message in the greater Phoenix area!
|Jeff taking ownership of the new BMW i3 electric sports car.|
|Next we pop over to a diner just a few blocks from the finish line|
for a well-deserved breakfast celebration.
|Breakfast of champions.|
|Jim and I entered as Team Get Back UP Today|
in the Couples category. In case you are
wondering, we did not win.
Tuesday, November 4th:
I'm meeting Jeff and Carolyn at a local rehabilitation center for another 4-hour gait course before I catch the red-eye to Tampa for my next event. It was so wonderful to see Carolyn again and to witness the progress she's making coming to terms with having foot drop. She's actually still improving and my hope is that she's one of the lucky ones who may regain total function as the months go on..
|Carolyn looks so beautiful without her spooky face paint!|
|Words to the wise.|
|Jeff makes his dramatic entrance.|
|Another great turnout for Jeff's course today.|
|Hard to see it but Jeff is getting ready to roll the TeamUP video,|
|Airport dinner menu for tonight.|
|You guessed it, more fish tacos.|
|Landing in LAX from PHX...|
|And leaving LAX in the dead of night for Charlotte|
and then on to Tampa.
My overnight flight to Charlotte was fine, though I can never seem to get real sleep on the red-eye flights. Then the delays came and I was stuck in Charlotte for awhile before finally getting on another plane to Tampa. By the time I arrived I was exhausted and ready for a long nap, I've got a long day on tap for tomorrow but luckily it won't involve planes or airports.
|By the time I got to my room it was early afternoon...|
but lucky for me it had black-out curtains.