Rock n Roll Arizona 1/2 Marathon Recap

I’ve been noticing a trend with my races lately–the less I stress and the less pressure I put on myself has proven to be the best race strategy. I went into the Fiesta Bowl 1/2 Marathon last month not sure what I wanted to do and ended the race with a killer PR of 1:55:37 (beating my previous by almost 3 full minutes). On Sunday, I was debating about treating this like a legit training run or going for another sub 2 (but not at all thinking about a PR).

My husband, who was also racing, my daughter (who wasn’t racing 😉 ), and I didn’t spend too much time at the Expo itself. We got our bibs and shirts and took a few quick pics:

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Checkin’ in!

My little runner <3

My little runner ❤

After, we started making our way to a group social–I’d planned on meeting up with my #RunEatTweetAZ peeps 🙂

#RunEatTweetAZ :)

#RunEatTweetAZ 🙂

The meet up was so much fun! There were a bunch of giveaways and the grand prize was a free race entry from a local racing company, StartLine Racing. Guess who won? MEEEEE!!!!!

I'm a winner!!!

I’m a winner!!!

My daughter had had a blast at the social, even getting to meet Elsa and Anna! and then we had lunch downtown. It was such a beautiful, relaxed Saturday.

Me with the princesses

Me and 3 princesses

I carried that momentum to the next morning as I got ready. We arrived to the race early and well prepared. Prepared as in I was not cold. I know, I know, I’m in Arizona but cold for us lol! It was actually supposed to be a gorgeous day–and it was–but the morning was a bit chilly (41 degrees is COLD! lol!). I had on sweats and a sweater and was very comfortable up to the start. We gear checked our stuff and then made our way to our corrals.

I met up with with one of my running buddies and wished him luck. Along the way, I ran into another friend from my running club, Harry, who is super fast (he’s attempting a BQ time at Phoenix). I asked him what his goal time was and he said that he was just going have fun with this one and was going to help a friend pace. Their time was around what I had thought I’d like to be, 9 minute miles. I figured I’d hang out with them and see where it took me.

My husband wished me luck and he moved up to his corral. The gun went off and we were on our way!

We started off at a very good pace and I felt it was smart that I had decided to start easy and relaxed. The first mile ticked off 8:51 and I thought, this is good. So far, so good.

I could feel myself start to pick up the pace a little but still felt good and mile two went by at 8:47. It was here that Harry and I somehow lost our other friend. She had made a pit stop at the first water station unexpectedly and we couldn’t find her. Harry even went back to look and met up with me later when he couldn’t find her. We continued on our way and stayed consistently near 9:00 up to mile 9.

Mile 7 was a Gu stop and Mile 9 was a killer hill.

Mile 7 was a Gu stop and Mile 9 was a killer hill.

I was very pleased with mile 9. The entire first 3/4 of the race is an incline that culminates with a huge hill at mile 9. This is usually where I bonk (last year miles 8 and 9 were 9:26 and 9:22) so when I saw 9:09 I was so happy! It had felt like a 20 minute mile lol!

nice...steady...incline

nice…steady…incline

Seeing how well I had done up to that point motivated me to continue. I ran the last 4 miles strong and the last mile with all heart. I had done the math, I was going to kill last year’s time (1:58:11)! This fact made me so incredibly happy; I had no idea that I was actually going to be close to a PR. Had I known, maybe I would have pushed it but because I was so thrilled with how I was doing up to that point, I wasn’t at all thinking about even being close to PRing. As each mile clicked away, I became more and more elated!

Yaaaay!!!

Yaaaay!!!

And somehow, I ended up finishing 15 seconds away from my PR (1:55:37) on a muuuuch tougher course!! I was (and still am) on cloud 9!!! 😀

There was no plan, no strategy, I just started out with what felt good and carried my momentum the rest of the way trying my best to stay consistent.

What capped off the race, how could it possibly get better you might ask, is that my husband did absolutely amazing. He way surpassed his previous year’s time at this course (1:48) and then beat his PR from last month of 1:42, finishing RnR AZ at 1:40:49. One-freaking-forty!! He’s come such a long way for his short running career; I’m so pumped for what his running future holds for him ❤

Me and my speedy <3

Me and my speedy ❤

Partaking in some post race celebration hydration

Partaking in some post race celebration hydration

yaaaaay!!!

yaaaaay!!!

This was a race that was by no means easy; I felt like I was working the entire way. But, I wasn’t dying at the end (my race pictures show otherwise lol!) or felt like I had overworked my body. I just felt really good.

Strong. I felt strong. And that seriously is the best feeling ever 🙂

–Do you always have a race/game plan/strategy?

–How would you describe yourself (or the way you feel) at the end of a race?

Marathon Training Week 10 (and The Color Run winner!!)

Hello, hello!!! I do have TWO winners from The Color Run Giveaway!! Congrats to……

This Mama Runs For Cupcakes aka: Sue
and
Magdalena Vargas

Congrats to you both!! I know you’re going to have a blast at the race!! Check your e-mails for some details..

Thank you to all who participated and if the The Shine Tour makes it your way, sign up!! It is the Happiest 5k On The Planet after all…

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I hope everyone else had a good weekend! Mine is still happening as I enjoy this Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday off from work 🙂

When I ran the Marine Corps Marathon last October, on my list was visiting the MLK memorial. I love literature and I love history and I seriously was so exciting about visiting so many places in our nation’s capitol.

The MLK memorial did not disappoint.

As you enter, the walls surrounding the memorial are engraved with some of King’s best quotes. I was delighted to recognize a few and completely moved by new ones I hadn’t heard before.

LOVE this!

LOVE this!

Then, the memorial itself. It was quite impressive. I’m not a big architecture buff, my husband started out a major before switching to Chemical Engineering so he appreciates stuff like that a lot more. But even then, I know something good when I see it.

The structure is two pieces with the piece of King himself separated from the second part. I took it as a metaphor for him stepping out, going away from the norm to stand apart from the rest.

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If you haven’t visited the memorial, make sure to put it on your list when you visit D.C. 🙂

Okay, back to our regularly scheduled recap lol!

It was a pretty uneventful but eventful week jaja! Monday was a rest day from running. I did a couple of ab videos at home and some wall sits and leg stuff but pretty boring day overall. Tuesday I met up with my run club and this time my husband was able to join me. I had 5 miles planned but my husband wanted me to run 4 faster ones so we could get home with plenty of time for bath day–the kids bath day that is. So 4 fast ones it was!

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Wednesday I met up with my club at the track. They’d started Yasso 800s a couple of weeks ago but I hadn’t been able to make it until that day. So, I started right where they’d left off doing 6×800. I wasn’t sure what pace I wanted to do. My coach said to do an 800 at the time I’d want to finish my marathon but that meant choosing a specific time. The pressure!! I knew I had to choose something so I decided to just run the first 800 at what felt comfortable and see where that put me. 4:06. Okay, there’s NO way I think or plan to finish my marathon at that time but that felt comfortable for me during the workout so the next 5 800s I shot to keep my pace there. And guess what? I was +/- 2 seconds each 800!!

When I came home, I checked to see what pace a 4:06 marathon would be and was surprised that it was a 9:25/mile pace. Why did this surprise me? My last 3 long runs of 14, 14, and 16 were all +/- 2 seconds from that pace!

All I want from Phoenix Marathon is a PR and if all the stars align, a sub 4:30. My training has gone really well, better than what the two times above would get me, but I’m being very cautiously realistic with my expectations. You never know what the day, your body, the world will be like come race day and 26.2 miles is no joke. I’m still not sure what my “strategy” is exactly but I plan to start off at what has been my comfortable long run pace and just go from there. I’ve found in my two most recent races that going in relaxed and with no pressure-filled goal has yielded me great results.

Thursday I was thinking about all of this and really felt like going for a run. I didn’t want anything harboring my thoughts so I went sans watch. It was a run to just run.

10922760_834012439996392_6540892640910240662_nFriday was my usual rest day and Saturday was Expo Day! I had a race on Sunday (that I’ll recap later but woohoo!!!) It was funny because Thursday was sans watch day and Saturday my NEW watch arrived in the mail!

I took it for a mile test run :)

Isn’t she lovely?? I took it for a mile test run 🙂

Overall, a pretty good week that was topped off by an awesome race. No PR on Sunday but I was pretty darn close–I’ll tell you all about it later this week but if you’re following me on Instagram or Facebook then you know that I am a very happy girl 🙂

Total Mileage: 23.4

Water Intake: A+

Success!

Success!

How was your running week? Did you race or long run?

Do you have today off from work (those stateside)? Have you visited the MLK memorial?

Do you ever run sans watch?

The Color Run Just Got Brighter!!! {a Giveaway}

Oh man, I’m super bummed I won’t be able to run The Color Run this year. SUPER BUMMED. Last year, I learned about it after it passed my city and this year, I for some reason didn’t check the date and scheduled a commitment preventing me from going.

😦

I don’t usually do “fun runs” but if I’m going to do one, I want it to be amazing. And I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about The Color Run. And from a good source too!

So what am I missing out on? I’ll lamentably inform you.

This year, The Color Run is calling 2015 its Shine Tour, which to me sounds like color+bling(shine) which of course equals awesomeness.

Is that....glitter?!? YES, that IS glitter!!!!!

Is that….glitter?!? YES, that IS glitter!!!!!

From what I’ve heard from friends who have run this race, they all say that it’s a stress free environment where no one is at the starting line staring at their watches waiting to press the start button. No, this is a race that is all about the fun. And sometimes races need to be just about that. I think that is what the appeal of this race is to me. It’s not a mud run or an obstacle course, “fun” races that would undoubtedly stress me out in some way. The Color Run is a race I could do with even my non-running friends because it’s all about having a good time while still getting some bling at the end. (Because really, what’s a race without bling?)

The Swag:
1. custom race tee
2. gold finisher’s medal
3. tricolor headband
4. brand-new shine packet
5. shiny tattoos
(why am I not doing this again?)

Ultimate SWAG

Ultimate SWAG

Throughout the course there’s spots for photo ops with friends and get this, a Sparkle Zone. Runners finish with a bang as there’s a confetti cannon waiting at the end. It all just sounds like an absolute blast.

And even though I won’t be able to go, TWO of you can!!

All of you have to do is leave a comment
telling me the color of your current running shoes
and enter using the Rafflecopter link below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Additional giveaway entries are optional.

The giveaway will end Monday at 12 a.m. and two winners will be announced on the blog that day. If you’re not selected, definitely still consider running–at least to see what the hype is all about right? Check the website to find out when the tour reaches your city and register to become a VIP to get alerts of price increases.

Hope you get to experience the Happiest 5k On The Planet!
❤ helly

I was provided with 2 free entries for this review. All opinions expressed in this post are my own.