I’m not really sure where to start with this post… there is so much I want to share. So many little things, funny jokes, amazing moments… if I’m not careful, this could easily turn into a 18-part novel of awesomeness. Before we dive into all the fun at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona Marathon and EMZ weekend, I want to first and foremost thank everyone for their enthusiasm, encouragement, and for spreading the love on this past weekend. I’m truly amazed how this community of runners can come together.
This past weekend had a general outline:
Fri: Land in AZ – hang out with @RunEMZ
Sat: RnRAZ expo, Q&A on stage, tweet up immediately after (with SA2LV reunion)
Sun: Run 20th marathon with RunEMZ pacing me to a sub 3:30
Mon: Fly back to SF at 8:40 a.m.
Any of those days on their own would be amazing, but having them all happen on one weekend was going to be a whirlwind.
Friday afternoon, I landed in AZ and Emz swooped me up from the airport. We jumped straight into all the amazing conversations like we were friends forever. This only being, really, the second time we interacted in real life, I was hoping she was ready for kicking it with me for the weekend.
That night we had dinner with @jenavdg and @estonianrunner and chatted over delicious pizza at La Grande Orange (LGO Bake Shop). We all ordered individual pizzas that were delicious and WAY to huge for us to eat alone. We snapped a couple of photos together, trying to get the right angle and background. We really just needed a personal photographer with us.
Saturday morning came pretty quickly and we started the day off with a trip to Starbucks. Someone said “I like your shirt” and I immediately thought they were talking to Emz (because she has mad shirt swag, for real) but it was @dragonflytweet talking about my Run All Day shirt. We started chatting and exchanging intros, totally causing chaos in the line at Starbucks. After we ordered we sat for a while and talked about everything runner-blogger-social media people talk about. It was a mini tweet up before the tweet up.
When we got to the expo, we immediately met up with Heidi of BananaBuzzbomb.com and she is truly as amazing in person as she is on the interwebs. I’m glad she was able to join in on the crazy fun for the weekend. When I started blogging and tweeting, Heidi was one of my early friends and has continued to be… I’m glad our paths were finally able to cross and I hope it is not the last. After hugs and high-fives, we made our way over to the Chocolate Milk Refuel booth so I could get final instructions for my race the following day. They asked if we wanted to take a picture and I remember telling Heidi “I have nothing funny” in terms of a pose for the photo. She looked at me like I was crazy. Then THIS photo happened and it is hands down one of my favorite from the weekend.
Before we hit the stage, I spotted superstar USA Track and Field athlete, PickyBars co-founder and Oiselle favorite: Lauren Fleshman. I had to runner-nerd out for a minute and ask for a photo. Laura and Seth Rothstein (also see in photo over my left shoulder) were on the stage just before us. They were handing out Picky Bars… note: next time, bring candy.
Next up was the Q&A with me and Emz on stage. This was very casual as we didn’t really have too much of a script. There were some general questions that John “The Penguin” Bingham was going to ask us, but when he saw the huge crowd, the largest the stage had seen that day, he decided to let it happen naturally which meant me and Emz on stage just fielding questions from the audience. It was fun and casual, and I’m hoping that we were engaging. Emz and I are not used to being on stage, but from what I’ve heard, it sounded pretty natural. I’m planning on sharing what was said in a future post (possibly with video) and what some of the questions and answers “would” have been.
Then it was time to have some fun on stage. C’mon, you give a runner a mic and a stage and everyone with a phone and an instagram account, we are going to take some photos. It quickly turned into a picture free-for-all. I wanted to take a selfie with the crowd and I’m glad we did as it turned into some amazing photos.
After the Q&A and a billion photos, we met up for the tweet up immediately after near the stage. We actually had to be asked to make room for the next people up on the stage, so we kind of took the place over. Oops. That’s how we roll. There were a lot of introductions, reunions of old friends and tons of “can you take our picture” and of course some selfies.
All in all, the expo was a great success. Of course, there are always people you wish you had more time to talk with, or more photos you wish you could have taken, or people who you forgot to say hello to or wish good luck to. But I’m always glad to present an opportunity for all of us to interact in real life. After all, where else can you get a bunch of runners together and take awesome photos like the ones above.
One photo that recaps the happiness of this weekend?
Next up on Thursday:
Arizona: All The Running – a recap of the RnRAZ marathon and operation sub 3:30
RnRSF Half Marathon $10 off code: HITTHEPAVEMENT
Sunday, April 6, Register Now – price increase 1/31.
Don’t these tweet ups look fun?