I'm so pleased to introduce new blogger, Laura Moriarity! I had the pleasure of working with Laura a few years back, and I'm thrilled she's willing to contribute the occasional guest post on GirlsGoneSporty. I can't say enough good things about her, so I'll simply leave you to enjoy her wry humor and incredible sporty experiences! Look out for more posts from Laura coming soon, and please, enjoy! - Laura Williams
My hubby knows me well. Realizing he would be gone on business for most of January (leaving mamma home alone with the two
fit throwing toddlers spirited little ones) he knew I would need some serious therapy relaxation and got me the best Christmas gift ever: registration for a ½ marathon in sunny Palm Springs.
I flew into San Diego and felt like I was on a different planet coming from the monotonous gray that defines the Oregon winters. I met up with an old friend who I had run with years before part of a group in Minneapolis (running together is staying together!). We tossed our bags into the car and set off on the 2.5 hour trip into the desert. With the help of my handy iPhone and Google Maps it only took us 3.5 hours to get there (unfortunately we are both seriously challenged when it comes to navigation). But, the drive was worth it as we stepped from the car into the (warm to me) desert air.
We used Friday night to enjoy a few glasses of wine and partake in some much needed girl talk that (now that we are in our 30’s) consists of recipe sharing, the coolest DIY’s on Pinterest and our hopes of having more time in our lives to volunteer. (For those of you under the age of 30, we aren’t totally lame - we did get a noise complaint at 8:00 p.m. for talking too loud - embarrassing, but kind of awesome).
Saturday we ventured into downtown Palm Springs for lunch and walked right into the Tour de Palm Springs. We learned that the same weekend as the ½ marathon there is a 100-mile bike ride, and those who participate in both races receive a ‘brick’ award (brick is a term used to describe a workout that consists of a bike ride followed by a run). The bike race was just ending and downtown was buzzing with so many people in spandex you would have thought it was 1989. We found a quaint restaurant and enjoyed people-watching and a wonderful quinoa stuffed acorn squash. The highlight of the day was witnessing a spunky woman well into her 90's sporting a dark green velour sweat suit and cat-eye shades pushing her dog in a baby stroller (awesome!) down Main Street.
We turned in early and made sure our running gear (water bottles, Shotblocks, sunscreen, gum and shoes) were present and accounted for and set our alarm for 5:00 a.m.
The energy of a race is like nothing else. The camaraderie and competition in the air is palpable; and standing in line for a port-o-potty before running 13.1 miles seems to bring out the best in people.
The race started. As the front-runners passed the masses, cheers and clapping filled the air, motivated by respect and admiration for those that can run such distance at an
absurd amazing pace. The backdrop of the run was dramatic - the surrounding hills were a brilliant red as the sun rose; a stark contrast to the brilliant blue sky. We kept an even pace along the flat course, the goal being to enjoy the 13.1 miles that lay ahead of us. The crowd and volunteers were delightful; young teens were directing traffic, boy scouts were handing out water and a few residents came out to drink mimosas and cheer us on. My favorite moment of the run was not the finish line, or the guilt-free Oreos I ate post-race (although both were pretty great), it was running (for a few moments) beside a man who was easily in his 90's jogging along in running shorts, a tank top and carrying a cane.
Overall, the weekend was amazing and another affirmation that all the days spent running in the rain, pushing a stroller are worth it. The feeling of accomplishment and friendship a race can provide are really worth every (sometimes agonizing) step.
- Palm Springs ½ marathon information: http://www.kleinclarksports.com/page2/page15/page15.html
- 2012 registration: 55.00-75.00
- Course: Flat, fast and residential
- Overall experience rating: 3.5 out of 5
Laura is a mom of two hilarious kids (Presley-Bean [3, going on 13] and Cohney-Bear [13 mo.]) and wife to a hard working hubby who travels a lot for work. She has a Master’s degree in Youth Development (but has learned way more from the time spent with her kids [oh what they don’t teach you in school!]). When she's not working full-time, she can be found grocery shopping, cleaning, forgetting things (her keys or cell phone), putting off folding laundry, or day dreaming about sleeping more than 5 hours straight. And, of course, training for her next race.
The last four years have been a self-inflicted blur of moving, changing jobs and having babies, and she's excited that her 30s may bring some semblance of calm.