Rock N’ Roll Phoenix Half Marathon Recap

I did it! I PR’d in the half marathon– but let’s start from the beginning…IMG_6537

First thing you do on half marathon morning is go the restroom. The second thing is put on sunblock. I put it on before I put my shirt on so I don’t miss the spots around my neck. Don’t let these Mexican genes fool you – I burn like a box full of newspaper.


Unfortunately, I forgot my spray sunblock and had to slather lotion on my part in my hair. Boo. Once I was properly slathered with the white stuff I brewed some coffee for fuel. IMG_6523

I always fuel up for a long run with toast and almond butter (or PB). I wasn’t sure what I would want so I brought a variety of options Smile


I took the shuttle from the hotel to the starting line. Once I was there I got in the porta potty line. Finally it was time to line up! Even though I’m a little burnt out on races I am glad I’ve been racing more.  (If you’re new to RER – here is my last marathon recap and the reason I’m burnt out.) It’s really helped with my nerves. Usually I’m a mess, but today I was just in it to have fun.

I lined up in my corral and realized the 1:45 pacer was there too. I decided to stay behind that group. I know I’m not ready for a 1:45 half just yet – but I am notorious for starting out way too fast. No. Today I would run a smart race. I made sure to NOT pass that group and I think it paid off.

I finished with a time of 1:49:28. Not too shabby. (Pressed start again on accident after I crossed the line.)IMG_6542

My half marathon in Las Vegas was 1:51:16. So, I PR’d just a month later!


After I crossed the finish line I grabbed a protein bar and Cytomax drink, stretched, peed and went to find Tina. IMG_6536I planned to find her around mile 23, but the street I walked up took me to mile 24 – it worked.

After cheering on some amazing running strangers (and a reader spotted me too! Hi!!) I spotted Tina. She said she didn’t feel that great, but she still looked good.

I ran the last 2 miles with her.


Ben rented a helicopter to cover this event spotted us from the parking structure right before the finish line!


There we are! IMG_6531Go go go! Finish strong!


I’ve never ran a race with anyone before so it was fun to have a non-stranger to talk to for a bit Smile


It felt really good to PR and run with Tina on her first full marathon! She totally beat her goal too – read her recap & tell her Congrats at CarrotsNCake.


After 13.1 miles, plus a few more I found Ben in a sea of people. At this point I needed a shower and some food asap.


The only negative of the day was the ridiculous traffic trying to get out of the parking structure. It took us at least 30 minutes. Then, we encountered the usual bad race day traffic because so many streets are closed. We are going home today and only had the hotel room until 2pm so we had to rush back so I could take a quick shower and grab our stuff! I seriously got ready in 10 minutes.

I always say you should wear your medal for the rest of the day even if you take it off to shower and change. Put it back on after. You earned it! And it’s really the only day you’re ever going to actually wear it.  (Unless you’re Flava Flav or something.)IMG_6574

We got on the road and then I realized, “I am pretty much going to pass out if I don’t eat right now.”

We got off the freeway and found a random burger joint – Smash Burger.


Ben ordered veggie fries. They were tragic. Just greasy veggies. Supposedly “flash fried”, but the seemed a little too soggy for that.IMG_6547


And the portion was skimpy too. Live and learn.


I don’t mess around when it comes to fries and I got sweet potato.


And a salad. I think I’m still a little dehydrated because I just wanted a big salad with tons of veggies. Ah. So good.


While running the half I spotted someone with a Dunkin Donuts cup. Is it sad that I was in a race and noticed what someone was drinking? Maybe. And that’s okay.IMG_6554

I became obsessed with DD when I lived in Maryland (thanks in part to Tina raving about it all the time). I had to have a large iced coffee. IMG_6553

I also got a few donut holes for dessert. Race PRs, races in general or even just getting out of bed in the morning all justify donut holes Winking smile


Today was a great day and this was just icing on the cake  iced coffee on the cake!


Now I’m blogging while Ben drives us back to Southern California. IMG_6570

Congratulations to all the racers today! A few blog readers and runners said they saw me too – hope you guys rocked it!!!


  1. says

    Congratulations on another PR! I’m running a 1/2 with a blogger friend in Feb and she wants to break 1:50, too. What an impressive time!

  2. Ashley C says

    Congrats! Awesome job & So cool that you ran across the finish line with Tina! I bet she was really happy to see you for those 2 miles! Congrats on your PR, that’s amazing!!

  3. says

    Congrats on a great race and a PR – so awesome that you got to run with Tina at the end of the marathon too!
    Loved the comment about wearing your medal all day – Flava Flav made me chuckle. Would love to see someone rocking all of their medals at once (oh, wait, remember the Michael Phelps cover after the Olympics? :) )

  4. Jennifer says

    Congratulations on a great PR!!! It’s amazing what happens when we are determined to achieve something. So, when is your next race? :)

  5. Maren says

    Congrats girl!! You are amazing!!! Funny how you weren’t as stressed on this one, and it was your best!! Super cool!

  6. says

    You are AWESOME! congrats on the PR!

    All I can think about now is Dunkin Donuts and how I need to try their iced coffee. Why aren’t there any DD’s in California? Ugh.

  7. says

    that’s a great PR, monica! hearty congrats!
    isn’t it funny what you crave after a race?! and totally agree that you MUST sport the medal the rest of the day – you earned it!

  8. Danielle C. says

    Way to go on the PR! I was the reader that spotted you while you were waiting for Tina. I was like WAIT I KNOW HER!

    • says

      Hi Danielle! Very cool that you saw me – I wish I was cheering at the time. You caught me when I barely realized that I should take off my half mary shoe tag so I didn’t get “checked” twice. I thought I would get busted and I was freaking out in my head. Ha!

      How’d you do?!?!?

      • Danielle C. says


        It was my first full so automatically a PR 4:03. I was pretty much hating life from mile 16 on, my left IT band was grumpy and I had to stop and stretch a few times. Definitely a great experience, though the course was boring. I’m from Seattle and didn’t want to do a course with hills for my first, I think I kinda missed them (especially the down hill stretches).

  9. says

    Atta girl, Monica! Isn’t it amazing how even when you are feeling burnt out and KNOW you need to take a break, you end up surprising yourself and setting a PR? It makes the time off so much more worth it because you know when you get back to hardcore training you will be better than before. Have a rockin’ evening and congratu-freakin-lations.

  10. says

    I dont think ive ever commented, but im a long time reader. I wish i knew you were gonna be there i would have stalked you to say hi haha. I had a bunch of family/friends running so i was there all day.

  11. griselda says

    Hi! Great job today! :) After reading your posts I always get so hungry. Even if I am full! The iced coffee looks great! Also, I love your blog….I mostly lurk and never comment but I wanted to let you know :)

  12. Wazzup says

    Congratulations on a great run … You are now faster then I am, which truth be told does upset me a little :) Ah Jealousy, the best form of motivation 😉

  13. says

    Congrats Monica!!!!!! U rocked it girl! So nice you got to run with tina for a little too! Yes her and Mal did awesome as well!!!

    Rest up girl! xo

  14. says

    Congratulations on such a speedy race! Im running my first half marathon next month and i’m really excited about it! Especially to wear my medal afterwards all day 😉

  15. says

    CONGRATULATIONS! That is amazing and inspiring. My long-term goal is to complete a half-marathon and while I’m only on week two of C25K, it is so wonderful to see other people completing and surpassing their very own goals. It gives me hope that I will be able to do the same thing one day.

  16. says

    Hey Monica,

    Congrats on the Half PR!! Arizona seems like a great course. Might do it next year.
    I’ve been meaning to comment that I was sitting down the row from you and Ben at the Hood to Coast screening on 1/11 at the Spectrum. I was going to come over to say hi but my bf said that that would be weird and he didn’t want me to bother you guys. Plus, the movie was about to start.
    Anyways congrats!

  17. silvia says

    Just found your blog browsing through other food blog….LOVE it! I love reading about food and recipes and….I’m a runner too. I live in the Netherlands and one of my biggest passions is traveling the US…I’ve been there a couple of times now…mostly on vacation…and sometimes combining that with running a (half) marathon. Reading your blog makes me reminiscing….

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