Arizona Marathon #2
Weather - Chilly/mild at start, sunny and hot at the end
IMS Arizona marathon, I immediately signed up. I bought airfare for about $100, and my friend Ruth decided to join me. Her mom lives in Scottsdale, so the entire race cost me less than a Rock n' Roll!
I booked an 11 am flight out of Denver so that I would have time to go to an expo, etc. when I arrived. A few months later, Frontier (AGAIN) eliminated that schedule, so I didn't end up heading to Arizona until 2:00, arriving around 3:45. Luckily, Ruth was able to pick up the packet (and me at the airport). We did some last minute shopping - Target (for sunscreen) and Sports Authority (so Ruth could get a new visor). We had dinner at Applebee's. I got something different (!!), steak fettuccine, a salad and a beer. By the time we got back to her mom's, I was EXHAUSTED. We chatted with her mom for a bit, and I headed to bed around 9:15, although by the time I got everything ready for the morning, it was probably 10:00 :(
Woke up at 4:30 am, and had slept GREAT. Had a Krispy Kreme at the house and grabbed a banana for later. We were to park at the finish line, and then there were shuttles to take us to the start. We found everything without any problems. I had my banana on the bus. There were indoor bathrooms at the start. By the time we cycled through the line and put on sunscreen it was about 20 minutes to the start and we still had to drop our bags. I ran into Chiara at the start (no picture because I am the worst blogger EVER). We talked for a minute and parted ways so we could use the bathroom at the grocery store before the start.
By the time we got out of the bathroom (right across from the start) we had about 2 minutes to get a picture:
Less than one minute later, the race started. With as crappy as I have been feeling lately, I was REALLY apprehensive about this race. The goal, like always, start out slow and hope I don't die.
I had a really big goal to not walk at all this race. There were aid stations on the course every two miles, starting at mile 1. I took the following pictures at the mile 1 aid stations. Sunrise is so pretty!
I spent the first few miles panicky about my calves seizing up. My left one got a bit testy but never cramped up to the point that I had to stop running. I was keeping what felt like an easy pace and even though the sun was already coming up, it was still a bit chilly. I am still boycotting the Garmin, so I had NO clue what my paces were. Which, turns out, is pretty nice.
We entered our first neighborhood around mile 5 (?). The spectators were the cutest, they all had their golf carts and lawn chairs. Lots of enthusiasm! Two ladies circled drove up and down the neighborhood with tambourines.
I was taking GU (13 month expired Roctanes) starting at mile 3, every 4 miles. I stopped to stretch at the mile 7 aid station because my (right) hip was starting to throb, and my IT band (also right side) was threatening to become a problem too. Luckily, the brief stretching seemed to keep the pain at bay.
|Mile 11 aid station - they gave out Goldfish crackers!|
Around mile 17 is when things started to heat up. My (right) ankle was throbbing a bit (this has been an issue on and off for over 2 years, it is hard to tell when it might flare up), even though I had KT taped it. My right hip was hurting. Overall, I was hurting. I stopped to use the bathroom at the mile 17 aid station, and pretty much from there, I took a lot of walk breaks.
|Aid stations 19, 20, 21 were all hosted by Eagle Scouts with American flags|
The only major hill on the course is about a half mile from the finish - an overpass:
I thought I could give it all I got once I hit the downhill from the bridge. Nope. I walked until I saw mile 26, and then barely was able to run across the line. I crossed with 5:20 on the clock, the "fastest" marathon I have run since San Francisco in July. Even though it was "faster" - I was disappointed with how great I felt the first half and how crappy I felt the second half and how much I fell apart at the end. I never used to have that happen in marathons.
Official Time - 5:20:08
Official Chip Time - 5:16:46 (I don't recall starting this far back, so I'm going with the other time) Overall Place - 279/306 (Time limit was 6 hours so no walkers)
Division Place - 34/38
MMR Time - 5:19:59
MMR Distance - 26.67
MMR Pace - 11:59
Mile 1 - 10:01
Mile 2 - 10:56
Mile 3 - 10:31
Mile 4 - 11:02
Mile 5 - 10:58
Mile 6 - 10:46
Mile 7 - 10:52
Mile 8 - 10:57
Mile 9 - 11:26
Mile 10 - 10:52
Mile 11 - 11:02
Mile 12 - 11:16
Mile 13 - 11:59
Mile 14 - 12:05
Mile 15 - 11:46
Mile 16 - 12:09
Mile 17 - 11:57
Mile 18 - 13:51
Mile 19 - 13:04
Mile 20 - 12:24
Mile 21 - 12:48
Mile 22 - 13:10
Mile 23 - 13:42
Mile 24 -12:52
Mile 25 - 13:43
Mile 26 - 13:08
Mile 26.8ish - 13:32
Somehow, Ruth got me to do a jump at the finish (waiting for official picture). Forgot to get a picture of me with my medal - but don't worry, here is me with a creepy statue at the finish area.
I was able to exchange my size medium shirt for a Unisex XS (which was still big). They had laminated finisher certificates and picking up our bag was a breeze. Somehow, even though neither of us had bothered to look where we parked, we managed to find the car with no issues. On the way back to her mom's house, we stopped and got bacon maple lattes (yes, that is for REAL a thing). Then we sat in the pool/hot tub for an hour or so. By the time we showered and packed, it was time for dinner. Her mom took us to a place named Keegan's, where I had a jalapeno bacon burger, fries, green chili mac & cheese and a beer. THE MOST DELICIOUS MEAL EVER.
- I went into this race with very low expectations. While the course was described as "flat and fast" - I also heard it was incredibly boring. I didn't really find it that bad. The end wasn't great, but until mile 18/19, it was pretty!
- The forecast was for highs in the upper 70s. I am happy that it didn't "feel" hot until the last 8 or so miles.
- I am bummed that my body didn't cooperate better. My legs just did NOT want to run. They were tight and angry and achy. Not cool :-/
- The medal is awesome.
- The race is 100% volunteer run, and they did a GREAT job. There were 16 aid stations on the course and they all had water AND different flavors of Gatorade. There were also port-o-potties ALL OVER the course. (THUMBS UP!!)
- Everything was VERY smooth. Ruth said pick up was a breeze, and the shuttle service was fantastic. Bag drop was easy. There were just over 300 runners, so for me, it was pretty much a perfect sized race.
- For the first time, I clipped my iPod to my hat instead of my shirt (I've been having chafing issues with the clip) - that was a GREAT idea.
- I don't think I would travel for this one again, but if you are local or close, I say do it. It maybe isn't quite as scenic as Lost Dutchman, but it's a flat and pretty decent course.