I did it! I ran my 10th Half Marathon yesterday! It was a great race!
But first, let’s back up! The night before, Irving and I went searching for some Italian food to carbo load with. There were plenty of Mexican restaurants, but Italian was surprisingly hard to find in Phoenix! We ended up at a great place called Nello’s.
The menu was perfect. Lots of options and reasonable prices.
I went straight for the Pasta. Sometimes simple is best. I didn’t want to take any chances before race day.
It was delicious! The pasta was homemade and cooked al dente.
Washed down with a few hydrating glasses of H2O.
When we got back to the hotel, I laid all my race gear out.
GU and Shotbloks: check
Garmin and Ipod: check
Fuel Belt: check
Fuel Belt Bottles: uhhhhh…. NO CHECK!
I totally forgot my Fuel Belt Bottles…. If it wasn’t on my list, it didn’t get packed! Next time, no beer while making packing lists.
But the race must go on –with or without my liquid energy. Luckily, I knew they had Cytomax and water on the course, and that’s what I run with anyways, so of all things to forget, this was probably the best case scenario. In the past, I’ve forgotten my Garmin, and that’s the worst!
Moving on… I pinned on my race bib, and set my alarm for 5am!
I slept fairly well, but still felt a little groggy in the morning. I knew I’d be fine once I started to get excited about the race. I wore my Boston Marathon shirt to give me a little extra confidence boost. haha I also rocked the Zensah compression socks. This will have been my first race running in those.
Ok… let’s do this!
We parked at the golf course club house where Irving was going to play golf, and then I walked to the shuttle busses across the street. The line looked long, but I was able to get right on a bus. It took about a half hour to get to the start line, but it was so cold, I was thankful for heated transportation.
The start line was organized and spread out, so it wasn’t as crowded as I thought it would be.
They were giving out water bottles, which fit perfectly in my fuel belt. Score!
I met up with some Team in Training friends and we chatted for an hour or so.
I kept my sweatshirt on for as long as I could before I had to check my gear bag. It was so cold, maybe 35 or 40 degrees?
I was SO glad I had my compression socks on. At the very least, they kept my legs warm!
Then I made it to my corral and waited to start.
They assign corrals based on estimated finish time. It took 35 minutes to for us to cross the start line. I just put my ipod on, blasted the music and tried to forget how cold I was.
Once we passed the start line, I started running. At first I was annoyed that I’ve already lost 35 minutes behind the first half-marathoners before we even started, but then I realized what a great perk this was to the race. It was SO nice to be with the same group of people at the same pace for the whole run. I really appreciated that. I didn’t get trampled by fast people, or slowed down by walkers. It was just right. I was very thankful that they did this. Just one more reason why “Rock N’ Roll” marathons get it right.
And not long after that, the sun came out and the air warmed up a bit.
I hadn’t really trained properly, so I just ran when I felt like it and walked when I had to. I definitely ran more than I walked, and that was pretty much my goal. I had no real time expectations. I rocked out to my music, and muted it during the bands along the course.
Just for the heck of it, I ran through this tunnel of hula hoops. Total energy booster!!
I cruised through the first 8 miles or so. I got into a rhythm of running/walking intervals. My body was in tune with my mind, which is sometimes the hardest part to overcome.
I had been nibbling on Shot Bloks here and there every couple of miles, but I had this Chocolate Cherry GU at mile 9. It was SO GOOD! It had two shots of caffeine in it too.
For the most part, the race was a point to point course down one main road with very few deviations. It was starting to get a little boring until we finally got some glimpses of the beautiful Arizona scenery.
How funny is this giant inflatable rock and roll man?! Rock on!
My knees were starting to get crunchy around mile 11 with two miles left to go. I’d start running and my knee cap felt like it was going to fall off. But then I realized that it only hurt when I jogged, not when I was running full out strides. So I started sprinting pieces of the last two miles.
I looked down at my watch and saw that I could break 3 hours if I kept up the pace. My best time was 2:40 and my worst was 3:13. Coming in under 3 hours would put me right in between (not bad for a bad training season!)
It’s always exciting towards the end of a race when the crowds get a little thicker and you can hear the cheers getting louder.
I never saw the Mile 13 mile marker. But my watch read 13.1 miles about a half mile before the finish line!
I crossed the finish line officially at 2:56:44.
Here’s the stats:
I was really thirsty at the end (no fuel belt bottles, remember?) Don’t worry, I was drinking every few miles, but it was starting to get hot, and I was parched!
I gathered up all the post race swag: frozen yogurt, cytomax, fruit, pop chips… and headed out to find Irving. He was still playing his last hole on the golf course, so I plopped down on the nice grass on the course (the golf people didn’t seem to mind.)
Zensah Socks: huge success. My shins didn’t hurt at all during the race.
I entertained myself by taking self portraits.
The medal was huge! It was heavy duty!
I was saving my frozen yogurt for Irving, but he took too long and I got bored, so I ate it!
Soon, I was reunited with my golfer.
Mile 1 – 11:28
Mile 2 – 11:49
Mile 3 – 12:11
Mile 4 – 12:53
Mile 5 – 12:36
Mile 6 – 13:53
Mile 7 – 14:23
Mile 8 – 14:24
Mile 9 – 14:33
Mile 10 – 11:38
Mile 11 – 15:05
Mile 12 – 13:26
Mile 13 – 12:23
Mile 13.56 – 12:15
Garmin told me that I burned 1210 calories, so I decided to make up for some of it by heading to:
I normally don’t condone eating fast food in a car (and we NEVER eat it at home…) but the prospect of a cheeseburger being delivered to me was too tempting to ignore!
Soon our waitress on skates arrived with the goods!
When we got back to our hotel, Irving went out to play another 9 holes of golf. I, on the other hand, chose to take a two hour nap.
Later that night, we went to a blogger meetup that was organized by Skinny Runner. If you don’t already read her blog, you should.
Virtual life meets real life!
We met at Seasons 52 (which I’ve been reading so much about on some of the Florida blogs lately.
The food was fantastic. They claim that everything on the menu is under 475 calories.
It was fun to chat with so many great like-minded people. So nice to meet all of you!
Sarah, Pam, Diana and me! (Not pictured: Risa!)
After dinner, Irving and I used my ‘Buy one, get one’ coupon from the race swag bag at Mojo.
I didn’t put too much because I was pretty full from dinner. But I added some nice looking chocolate toppings.
It was as good –if not better—than Menchies! Hit the spot!
I slept like a rock last night. My body was just exhausted. I woke up with incredibly stiff legs though, and there was only cure:
LA desperately needs to get DD!
After a couple hours of reading by the pool (I’m already half-way through Meb’s book!) we grabbed lunch and began the 6 hour drive back to LA.
Arizona was a blast. What a great (long) weekend!
Just a few weeks until the Surf City Half Marathon!