My Sister Rita’s Phoenix 5K

Hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi!

Y’all – I’m so excited for my very first ever guest blogger – my dang sister Rita who was just in Arizona with her Seattle pal Diana. Here’s her blog:

My friend Diana and I recently met up in Phoenix for our annual backpacking trip.  We hiked 27 miles over four days in the Superstition Mountains, making friends with desert squirrels and dancing lizards. Wildflowers were killer! Typically at the end of these adventures, we want to do 3 things:  
1. Get out of our stinky clothes
2. Eat all the things
3. Find a hot tub for our sore legs

Not on our radar:  Running a 5K.

But when my brother Jack mentioned the idea of a Just Me (Just Us?) 5K, we thought WHY NOT?!  We’d keep our activity level high, be able to eat even more things, and see a bit of Phoenix.  Plus, he made us rad race bibs (see pic below.)

PHX Route Options
1) Mall City: our Chandler hotel had a super helpful map of nearby running routes all around the suburban shopping mecca. 
2) Tempe Town Lake: Easy path along the water
3) Papago Park:  Several paths in red-rocky area, including 3.1 mile fitness trail (Ding! Ding!)  See map highlighting trails and nearby Hall of Flame museum!  Note all these exclamation points – this is the one we chose!

Race Highlights
1) Making friends: Right out of the parking lot, we ended up following two dudes who ended up pausing to check out some rock formations. They motioned to us & we thought they wanted us to take their pic.  Instead they wanted pics with us. Again, why the heck not?!

2) Running among wildflowers & cacti: Cheering us on as we ran, offering friendly-looking but avoidable prickles.
3) Ending at the Desert Botanical Garden: Also in Papago Park with a supes cute gift shop

Pro Tips
• Phoenix is hot!  Good gravy – go early.
• The Papago Fitness Trail isn’t well marked.  Be prepared to wander & wonder a bit.
• Maybe don’t run after a backpack or celebratory post-backpack cocktails
• Reward yourself at Matt’s Big Breakfast.  Highly recommend the waffle, egg sammie and all the bacon.  Soooo good.  
• When you can, go with a bestie.  They’ll walk when you’re melting, push you to run a bit more & hug you when you’re sweaty.  

And! Here’s Diana’s addition to the Just Me 5K Spotify playlist: Gold on the Ceiling by The Black Keys! 🎸🎸🎸🎸

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