Half Marathon training run and Peach-faced lovebirds

Early this morning, I dropped Binita’s cousin off to the airport and subsequently met the LLS group at Granada Park at around 6:45AM. It was cold out. The sun had yet to show its warm face. There were about 20 of us gathered in the chill to train for the upcoming Arizona Rock ‘n’ Roll Half and Full Marathon in mid-January. It was nice to see a few familiar faces including Melissa, Emily and Rich.

By the time we started running, it was around 7:20AM. Half marathoners were to run for 2 hours and full were to run for 3 hours and 12 minutes. Since I am only running the half, I decided to run no more than 13.1 miles. This would be my first long run since New York.

Unfortunately, I had forgotten my nutrition and had to ask Melissa to give me some calories. Fortunately, she had some spare Gatorade gels worth about 100 calories; definitely not enough to run 13.1 miles but it’ll have to do.

I started running Southeast by the canal towards the Biltmore. My hands were frozen. The sun was up but we were running the shadows. It took me a good 4 miles to warm up. Once I got going, I felt good. My plan was to run exactly 6.56 miles and then turn around. It took me about 55 minutes to run to the turnaround point past 44th Street to OHSO Brewery. I was running slower than usual but was conserving energy for lack of calories. At the turnaround point, I consumed 50 calories and started running back.

By the time I finished, I had consumed all the gels and was craving for more. Fortunately, with my lower heartrate, I didn’t bonk. I averaged 8:22 per mile for a total time of just under 1:50 for the half marathon distance; not bad for a training run!

Peach-faced lovebirds in Arizona

On my way back, I saw a flock of these Peach-faced Lovebirds. They have lovely hues of green, blue and peach. I stopped and took these pictures with my iPhone. They had flown from the trees down to the canal banks and were eating some clay. I’ve seen documentaries from South America where Macaw Parrots exhibit the same behavior. I think they eat the clay for its minerals.

I took a short nap in the afternoon. For dinner, we went out to a really good restaurant in Fountain Hills called Flourish with Don and Debbie. Good times roll on…

Tomorrow, I am excited that I will bike for the first time in 18 months!

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