But Friday I finally had a day where I felt like a normal human being again. Running sub 7min pace didn't feel terrible. I could actually run and not feel like I was struggling to breath through a straw. I came home from my run feeling happy.
Side note - Norm and I are very excited about Caroline's new adventure. Caroline and her husband are opening a restaurant in Solvang. Make sure to check out their wine and their restaurant Hill Haven Provisions.
We decided to get a hotel room on Friday night because Norm, Brandi and Enzo had to be at the race on Saturday morning at 4am. I was meeting Caroline on Friday night to go over details. Norm and Enzo had already been working since 4am that morning. After I got home from work Brandi and I packed up and headed out. We stopped for hotel room snacks and Starbucks before making the agonizing Friday afternoon trek to Fountain Hills.
We actually stayed right outside Fountain Hills at The Marriott Courtyard across from the Mayo Clinic. This place is a hidden gem! Small and quiet. The rooms have balconies and there is a restaurant on site. Yes it was pricey, but the food was good. I would definitely stay here again and might go back just to get some me time.
Caroline met me at the hotel and we spent some time catching up. She brought a bag full of so many amazing treats that I could hardly lift it! Norm and Enzo showed up and Norm joined us for chatting. We finally went over the plan so poor Caroline could get back to her room to rest. Coming off of a significant injury it was a plan with a back up plan of anything could happen.
After Caroline left the kids came down and had dinner with us. I really wanted to get some hot tub time, but they were all tired and had an early day I was just happy that I got to catch up with Norm. I hadn't seen him all week. He has been working for Aravaipa all week to get everything ready for the race. He left when I was sleeping and he came home when I was sleeping. Before we went to sleep Enzo asked if we could stay a second night in the hotel if he split the cost with me. Since they had to be back at the race at 4am on Sunday, I said okay. Hope they all like rice and potatoes!
The family got up and left super early. I struggled to fall back asleep but dozed off and on. I got up, had coffee and enjoyed the cool temps on the balcony before heading to the park to crew for Caroline. I had decided against a run in case I ended up pacing Caroline later. I got there a bit early so I could visit with Hayley before her day got too crazy. I have only been to Javelina Jundered once and it was briefly at night to pick up Enzo when he first started working at the races. I really didn't know what to expect, but I also could not have been less prepared! All these people had set up canopies. I didn't even have a chair or bring my own water. I had some ice from the machine at the hotel but it was almost all melted by the time I was setting up for Caroline. Luckily some very kind ladies (Dana and Xanthe) felt sorry for me. They were probably pretty surprised to learn that Caroline and I were competitive runners by our ridiculous set up. I had forgot a blanket to set her things on so I was using a canvas bad that I carried things in to now set things on. Good grief! Anyways, the kind ladies offered to share their chairs and tent with me. They had come in from Boulder and had bought a lot of things last minute, but it looked like a pretty sweet set up to me! The nice ladies were there to crew for Ryan Van Duzer. (By the way, Dana owns the Walnut Café in Boulder. Go eat there! She just has the best energy and we should support people like that!)
Caroline was not the first woman to come in from loop 1, which was a little concerning. Charli McKee who came in first was step up right next to me. Caroline did leave before Charli so back into first place she went. Caroline reported that she was feeling good, but that it was hot. I couldn't disagree with the hot part.
I had 3 hours to spare so I walked back over to Hayley. I ran into Norm and got a ride in the Gator. You know that quarter mile walk is strenuous. I chatted a bit with Hayley and enjoyed the huge evap cooler that was blowing in command central. I decided at 11am I should go grab a pizza. If I did go out to pace Caroline I needed to have time to digest my food. Freak Brothers has a new gluten free crust that is amazing! It is probably the best gluten free crust I have ever eaten. I am not just saying this because I am friends with the owners. It is delish!
I sat with Enzo for a while. He was working at the entrance to vehicle and tent camping. So if some kid told you that you couldn't park there, that was my kid. Hope you were nice! Everyone seems to love Enzo. People keep pulling up and bringing him food. Seriously, people were just offering him all kinds of food and drinks.
I expected Caroline around 1:30pm. I headed back to get her bottles ready and chance in case she wanted me to head out with her. I bought a bag of ice. I put what I could in my tiny cooler and placed the rest in my new friends cooler. I didn’t think they would be sad about having extra ice. Brandi had come over right before Caroline was due to come in so I asked her to stay and help me get Caroline in and out quickly. Extra hands would be really helpful especially if I had to get my own hydration vest on and head out with Caroline.
Caroline came in and seemed a little surprised when I told her she was still in first. She also seemed like she might start crying at any moment. She wasn’t really in the mood for food. I believe her exact words were, “it all looks disgusting.” But she did take some cookies. Off she went and the wait for the finish began. And I cannot lie, I was pretty happy that she did not ask me to pace her. Man it was hot out. Running 20 miles in the heat did not sound like fun. Of course I would have done it with a smile. But I was also smiling when she left without me.
I hung out with Enzo a bit more. I got a glitter tattoo from Brandi. When Norm finished working we hung out together watching people come in and go back out. Caroline finished in 9:34 and was 1st female and 2nd overall at the 100K. I walked her over to our new friends set up. We gave her a chair and some water. She had really battled for that finish.
I left to go get Caroline a pizza and while I was gone the two ladies who shared their space with me had returned. Later Norm tells me that who couldn’t believe who the canopy belonged to when they showed up. The day before Norm had been working in parking and they had a bit of a disagreement over the parking situation. All ended well, but he was a little surprised when they were the ones who showed up.
Everyone left super early again to be at work at 4am. I dozed off and on and woke up at 5:45am and had coffee while trying to plan a running route. The plan was to get a long run done. I was brushing my teeth when I got a text message from Norm. He had a bad vertigo attack and he had gone down. He was sill feeling off balance and was having trouble getting his eyes to focus. I had to put my foot down and say no more work. I got in the car and went to pick him up from the park.
I am glad we have the hotel room because it is only a ten-minute drive and I have him back to some place where he can rest. We stayed until 11:00am before heading home. He might need to rest but I still have a lot of work and errands.