As I sat by the pool for 5+ hours on Friday, I kept thinking about the 15-miler I had scheduled on Saturday. I hadn’t been eating very well (I mean, I was on vacation!) and I knew I also hadn’t been drinking enough fluids. Sitting in the sun didn’t help that either. So after lunch I moved to the shade and took a 45-minute nap under the palm trees.
That evening my cousins Shari, Jasmine and I met up with my parents, aunt and sister for dinner at Don’s & Charlie’s:
It was the only meal I’d have there and the ribs are my absolute favorite and I couldn’t not have them. So I ate half a slab but did have a baked potato. Pretty much the only carbs I had.
When we got back to the hotel, I stopped at the 24-hr shop and got a bagel since Regency Club didn’t open for breakfast until 7 am.
We wanted to be at the ballpark when it opened at 11 am the next day. It would take at least 30 minutes to get there, and I’d need at least an hour after running to stretch and clean-up. Which means I’d have to start my run by 6:30 am at the very latest. Having run here before and experiencing the desert sun, I was more than okay with this.
My alarm went off at 5:30 am but I didn’t get out of bed until after 6ish. I had laid all my stuff out in the bathroom (including that bagel) so as not to wake anyone. I stumbled around and got ready in the dark, downed the bagel and headed to the concierge to find out the recommended running trail.
They gave me the same card as last year and my plan was to do the 5.8 loop three times. I hadn’t packed any fuel belt, water bottle or gels with me so I figured each time back I’d run to the 24-hr shop and get a drink of water from the free water station they kept at the counter.
My first few steps out of the hotel – the sun wasn’t quite up yet:
Just as I was about to start, I saw this little guy hopping around:
I headed out along the main road outside of the resort. It ran for about a mile and was pretty non-descript. A little into the second mile I veered onto the bike/jog path around a man-made lake. It was a mile out and back. Had I headed back to the hotel at this point would have been to repeat last year’s short run.
Instead, I crossed under the tunnel and headed in the other direction to finish the 5.8-mile loop. Only thing is I missed road that I was supposed to take to head back and instead kept running north. I zoned out and wasn’t paying attention to my Garmin. By the time I figured out I had missed the turn; I decided to just keep running and see where it took me. The path ended at 8-miles here:
At this point, I had no idea where I was. I had my phone with me, but the map app wasn’t working right. So I turned around and headed back in the direction that I came.
When I got to this point…
…at around 10-miles, I figured out where I had missed the turn.
I got back to the main road at 12 miles, so had to repeat a little bit to finish out the last 3 miles.
Since I didn’t have any water or gels with me, those last 3 miles were pretty tough. The sun was already out and I envied people I passed who had a drink bottle in their hands. I was almost tempted to ask one to let me have a drink. You’d think in Arizona that there would be water fountains along the path…but nada.
I got back to the resort right before Regency Club closed and was able to snack a few pieces of fruit and lox, and downed 2 huge glasses of water.
When I started out, I honestly didn’t think I’d do all 15. I didn’t feel prepared and told myself I’d be happy with anything between 5 miles and double digits. I’m pretty happy I got all of the miles in…even though those last few felt like death!