Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Race Recap

Thank you to everyone that entered the giveaway for Klean Athlete’s Protein Isolate.  The 2 winners are Miss Zippy and Anna.  Please send me an email ( with your address and I’ll get your protein powder out to you.  Enjoy!

My family and I drove to Phoenix on Saturday and went straight to the expo to get my race packet.  We did the usual walking around, checking out the booths, and getting some free samples (I love the little bite size Larabars!).  We didn’t stay too long, it was really crowded and while the hubs and I could hang out wandering around the cool vendors for hours, the kids not so much.  So we left to get checked in at the hotel and then met some of our friends that were also running the half marathon for a yummy dinner at Oreganos.

Race morning was fairly low key.  The race started at 7:50 so I didn’t have to get up too early.  We even had time to grab some breakfast at our hotel before driving to the start.  We left the hotel around 6:50 and my family dropped me off about a half mile from the starting line around 7:15.  Plenty of time to wait in line for a porta potty and then make my way to the start.  I was in Corral 2, so it took a while to weave through the crowds to get there, I think there were something like 20 starting corrals!

My view of the starting line and PF Changs dragon that runs the race too!

My view of the starting line and PF Changs dragon that runs the race too!

The race started right on time (yay!) and my corral started about 5 minutes later.  Going into this race I wasn’t sure how it would go, I don’t run many half marathons, so pacing is always a bit of a guess for me and my training hasn’t been what I would call stellar the past couple of months.  I was hopeful, but not entirely confident, that I could run a 1:45.  I decided to start off in the low 8s for pace and see how I felt.  The first few miles always seem easy in a race, so I tried to hold myself back and conserve energy.  Around mile 4 I saw some of my friends that were running and caught up to them to say hi.  Then I saw that I was close to the 1:45 pace group which had started about 30 seconds in front of me.  I decided to slowly catch up to them, and by mile 6 I tucked in with the group and tried to relax and let them do the pacing work for a bit.  For those that care, here are my first half splits:  8:08, 7:56, 7:46, 7:56, 7:54, 7:59, 8:01).

Running with the 1:45 group, I'm in the center in the blue top

Running with the 1:45 group, I’m in the center in the blue top

I had heard there was a decent hill around mile 9 and the pacer told us about it coming up and said to take it easy on the uphill, then cruise on the downhill.  As the hill started, I went with how I was feeling and started pulling in front of the pace group.  The hill was about a half mile long with a turn around at the top.  At the turn you get to then fly back down the hill you just climbed, this was tons of fun, and since I was feeling good I was able to make back all the time I had lost on the uphill section.

Miles 10 to the finish were a gradual downhill so I started to pick up my pace.  I reminded myself that this was a race, so suck it up and push the remaining few miles.  I did just that, until mile 12.  At this point I had 1.1 miles left and I was feeling it.  I decided to pull back a bit on my pace for half a mile and then give it all I had to the finish.  Great plan, however, a guy I had been running next to saw me falling behind him and told me to stick with him.  Oh no, that meant I couldn’t take it easy for the next half mile like I wanted to!  I thought that it was so nice of him to encourage me and want me to stick with him, that I just had to try.  It was a struggle, but I was able to stick with him until about a quarter mile to the finish when I told him to go catch his friend that was in front of us (this was just a “training” run for my new friend, Tyler, and my hard pace was his easy pace).  With the last few hundred yards to go, I gave it everything I had and ran my fastest mile of the race!  Second half splits (8:03, 7:57, 7:45, 7:27, 7:25, 7:05)

The last 100 yards to the finish line

The last 100 yards to the finish line                  (thanks to Rick M. for the pictures at the finish!)


I had to include this picture because it shows me passing a guy near the finish!

I had to include this picture because it shows me passing a guy near the finish!

My time was 1:42:10 and I was 34th out of 1,141 in my age group!  Overall I’m really happy with my race.  It felt great to have a good race where I feel like I paced it well, didn’t go out too aggressive, and finished strong.  It’s been awhile since I’ve done that!

My awesome support crew!

My awesome support crew!

My husband does a fabulous job of navigating a race course, my family saw me almost every 2 miles along the course!

My husband does a fabulous job of navigating a race course, my family saw me almost every 2 miles along the course!


I'm blessed to get to go to races with great friends.

I’m blessed to get to go to races with great friends.

Now it’s time to get into marathon and triathlon training mode.  More on that in a future post!

First Race of the Year

I am heading to Phoenix to run the PF Changs Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on Sunday.  It will be my first race of 2014 and I’m nervous, yet excited, to see what my legs can do after a long holiday season.  My last race was the Nike Women’s Marathon in October, so it feels like it has been awhile since I have raced.  I did the full marathon at the Phoenix Rock ‘n’ Roll 2 years ago, but this year I decided to just do the half, although I’m a little sad about that right now, because we all know how much I LOVE the marathon distance!  I took it easy the past few months and have not done any long marathon training runs, so I know it would not be smart to push my body the full distance this weekend.  Instead, I’ll enjoy racing “only” 13.1 miles.

Running the Phoenix Rock 'n' Roll Marathon 2012, Sherri in the purple, me with the Jazz hands!

Running the Phoenix Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon 2012, Sherri in the purple, me with the Jazz hands!

This race brings back some memories for me, because when I ran the marathon here in 2012 I was in the midst an MS flare-up.  However, at the time I did not know that I had MS.  I had been experiencing a variety of symptoms including tingling and numbness in my feet and legs, a pain in my ribcage, and an electrical shock sensation every time I bent my head down.  About 6 weeks after the race I was diagnosed with MS and have been on this journey ever since.  So, it’s a little bittersweet having these memories this weekend, but the sweet part is that I’m still healthy and still able to run, which I am immensely grateful for.

If you haven’t had a chance to enter my giveaway yet, you have until Tuesday night at 10pm MST.  Or to get 20% off an order of the Klean Protein Isolate, use the coupon code ISOLATE20.  And try out some of their other products (I use the Endurance, Multivitamin, Cognitive, Probiotic and Antioxidant supplements), and get 15% off with coupon code RACEKLEAN.

Like Miles and Trials on Facebook and follow on Twitter for posts and pictures from Phoenix this weekend.

Any one else racing this weekend?

Klean Athlete Protein Powder Giveaway

A few months ago Klean Athlete selected me as the winner of their Klean Oath Contest.  Since then, I have been nothing but impressed with the company, their products, and their people.  I even got to meet, Nancy Murray, the Klean Athlete Marketing Director, when I was spectating at Ironman Arizona.  She raced IMAZ in 2012 as her first Ironman and she gave me some great advice and encouraged me to sign up for the race this year.

Nancy and me

Nancy and me spectating at IMAZ

Klean Athlete gave me some of their Klean Whey Protein Isolate and I have been spreading the love with some of my triathlete friends locally, and now I want to offer up some to my internet friends as well.  I will be giving away 2 canisters, (1 canister to 2 different winners!).

I have been using this protein powder for a few weeks and love it.  I use it in my morning smoothies after I workout as a recovery drink and to get some extra protein for my day.  I have even added some to a cookie recipe, which turned out tasty.  My current favorite smoothie recipe is to blend a scoop of the protein powder, a cup of dark chocolate almond milk, some ice, and a handful of spinach.  Delicious.  Even my kids like it!


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FOR BONUS ENTRIES: (simply leave a separate comment below for each additional entry so I can count them all!):
Giveaway will be open until Tuesday, January 21st, 10pm MST.  I will be picking 2 winners to each receive a canister, so your odds are good!  Good luck!
Sorry, I can only ship to residents in the Continental U.S.
Klean Athlete provided the giveaway products free of charge. I received no additional payment for this review, all opinions are my own.

2013 in Numbers

I might be a little late in my recap of 2013, but I feel like I’m just now coming up for air after the busy last month.  I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and are off to a great start to 2014.  I thought it would be fun to look back on my year and document some of the fun (and some not fun) times that I experienced.

  • Ran 4 marathons
  • Ran 2 marathons with my arm in a cast
  • Ran my first Boston Marathon (I will never forget that day or the lives that were lost and the many people that were injured)
  • Ran 1,715 miles
  • Spectated at 1 Ironman race to support my hubby and friends
  • Volunteered at 1 Ironman race and subsequently signed up for an Ironman race
  • Biked 150 miles in 2 days to raise money for MS Research and Awareness
  • Paddle boarded in 2 different states with my family
  • 1 unexpected trip to New York City to cheer hubby on in the marathon and meet John McEnroe
  • 3 days getting IV infusions of an MS trial drug
  • 1 Brain MRI to check in on this nasty little disease of mine
  • 121 injections of MS drug given to myself (keep in mind that I hate needles!)
  • Many amazing friends that support and encourage me on my journey
  • 1 wonderful family that help make all the above things possible
  • Countless blessings that God has bestowed upon me and my family

Share some of your 2013 “numbers” with us in the comments. 

How is your 2014 starting off?

Check back next week for a giveaway that will help you start your year off in a healthy way!