2016 Phoenix Marathon–Half Marathon Recap

They say it comes in 3s!!!

For the 3rd weekend in a row, I was able to snag a PR! I can’t believe the month of February. Can’t.

For those who want the Cliffnotes version, I PR’d my half marathon time by OVER SEVEN MINUTES! 1:55:37 —> 1:48:04!!

And here are my splits:

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For those willing to hear the long version, here goes:

The Expo was on Friday, the day before the race (which btw, I really like Saturday races) and I really wanted to meet some Instagram/We Run Social friends from last year’s race.

Carlee, Me, Kindal, and Brian

Carlee, Me, Kindal, and Brian

We Run Social was started from last year’s Phoenix Marathon and has blown up to become a year-long running party 😀

Both the marathon and half marathon started at 6:30 so my husband and I had to be there at the same time which was nice because we could drive together (he was running the full). Runners had to arrive suuuuper early to catch busses that would drop off runners at the start of the point to point courses, so we left at 4:30 and scooped up my BRF Runner Jenny along the way. It was pushing it because the last bus left at 5:15 and we got there right at 5. Traffic was insane and we decided to drop my husband off and he ran to where his busses were. But me and Runner Jenny had no idea where the half marathon busses were! I asked a volunteer who took out a map and pointed me towards the direction we had just come from. What?!? We went back and saw my husband and run club coach who told us, no, the half busses were the other way! Runner Jenny and I scrambled (and ran seriously about a half mile) to the right place and luckily on time.

After about a 20 minute bus ride, we reached the drop off point and I immediately got in line for the porta potties. It was a long line but I was able to do what I had to do just as the announcer called runners to the start line.

My long time buddy Nadia was with me and planned to help pace me to a PR (which was my goal, but I seriously had no idea I would do it by so much). She wanted to make sure I started conservatively, while I really had no idea what I was doing. Thank God for her because I know I would’ve started out too fast.

My beautiful friend, Nadia. Friends for over 20 years <3

My beautiful friend, Nadia. Friends for over 20 years ❤

In my overly ambitious head, I wanted to be at 8:15, but Nadia wanted me closer to 8:30, at least at the start. We found the 1:50 pacer and decided we’d stick with him for as long as we could as he said the pace was an 8:23/mile and that was a happy medium for me and Nadia.

I began my attempt to get my I-pod ready; I had purchased a little shuffle thinking I’d avoid another FroYo music fiasco, lol. No such luck though because I had no idea how to make my playlist play. It would play the songs out of order and I didn’t know how to fix that. I started panicking a little, frustrated that I was dealing with this, but Runner Jenny was nearby and calmed me down, reminding me that before then, I never listened to music anyway. She was right. Music or no music, I’d be fine.

I never got the shuffle to play the songs in my playlist order and it ended up not being a big deal at all.

Mile 1 was navigating through crowds and it went by quickly at 8:24. We settled in and I just got in a zone, only looking at my watch when I felt it buzz a mile split. The pacer was actually going a little faster than planned as miles 2-7 were between 8:14 and 8:19. This pleased me as it was what I had wanted and I was feeling good. Really good. Sometimes I would feel myself start go a little ahead and then I would pull back, go a little ahead, and then pull back. Nadia’s presence a reminder of the plan.

And each time I felt the watch buzz and saw the mile split I would just grin. I was doing it! At mile 7, I unplugged an earphone, turned to the pacer and Nadia and said, “This is officially the longest I’ve ran at this pace!” I was doing great!

At mile 8, the pacer returned to his plan as the split buzzed at 8:21. I was a little bummed to see a 20something after feeling so good in the teens, and I told myself that if I was feeling good at mile 10, I would let myself pull away.

Mile 9 buzzed away at 8:20 and mile 10 at 8:26. As soon as I saw that mile 10 split, I decided to let go of the pacer. I was going to finish this on my own.

Even without Nadia.

After mile 10, I dug my heels in and picked up the pace. I didn’t look behind me or next to me. I didn’t say a word to Nadia (who later ended up stopping to call 911 for a runner!), I just went, telling myself I had a 5k left and to leave nothing on the pavement.

Mile 11, 8:17.

Mile 12, 8:03. 

Knowing I had a mile left, I was going for it. I knew the last mile was a decline and I used that and the adrenaline of having a sub 1:50 nailed to give it all I had at the finish.

Mile 13, 7:37.

HELL YEAH!!!

HELL YEAH!!! 1:48:04!!!

I roared my way into the finish line. I was so ridiculously happy. I couldn’t believe that in 3 weeks, I’d managed to PR in my 5k, 10k, and now my 1/2 marathon time. With the adrenaline I was feeling, I could’ve signed up for a full marathon this coming weekend! (Spoiler alert, I didn’t LOL)

This was the first race, in all distances, that I felt good the entire way. That I felt confident and strong the entire way.

I never once felt like I couldn’t do it.

Nadia’s plan to start with the pacer was perfect. I think had I tried to do it on my own, starting off right away at an 8:15 pace, I might’ve tried to go faster and lost control. I was lucky that the pacer went a little faster earlier in the race, closer to what I’d wanted, because that let me be consistent and I feel that was huge in allowing me to feel so good the entire way.

I’m also extremely freaking proud that I took the risk of pulling away after mile 10. I think the “old me” (I’m not sure what that means yet) would’ve been too scared to leave the pacer, afraid that I would burn out.

But I felt so confident in myself. I’ve never felt this way before. It’s like I just knew that I could go faster–at mile freaking 10!

Ringing the PR bell :D

Ringing the PR bell 😀

When I finished, I immediately grabbed my stuff from gear check. I had signed up to receive tracking alerts from my husband and sure enough, he had crossed the half way point already right on target.

Not long after, Runner Jenny and Nadia met up with me and we waited for my husband to finish. I got the 20 miler alert and then finally, we saw him. I screamed my head off as I saw him cross at 3:37:46!!! A PR for him too!!!

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It was an absolutely fantastic day. Being surrounded by friends (my running club is amazing), having my husband with me, and finally feeling like I ran a race the way I knew I could has me the happiest girl on earth. I’ll be taking a break from racing (but not from my blog, so don’t worry 😉 ) and plan on riding this high for a long while 😀

Thank you all so much for your kind words on Instagram and Facebook and here. Thank you for following my journey. ❤

–How do you build confidence in your running? 

–When’s the last time you felt you “nailed” a race?

 

A Rock and Roll Weekend (RnR AZ Recap)

I didn’t run RnR Arizona as most of you know, but my husband did and I was still very excited about this race because of that reason and several others.

I’ve been very lucky to have met several blogger buddies and this past weekend I was able to scratch two more off my long list!

I found Suzy last year and it was love at first read. She swears a lot (which I do in real life–right, Scott?) and often when I read her blog, I’m just nodding at how much I relate to what she’s saying. If only I was as fast as her….oh wells! 😀

Anyway, we Facebooked messaged leading up to the race to figure out how we could meet up. She’s from Canada so we couldn’t text so thank goodness for technology. I managed to sneak away to the expo Friday so I could catch her–my husband wouldn’t be going til the next day.

And as I was walking in, she was walking out–as soon as our eyes met, we squealed!

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Suzy and me

She’s so pretty. She’s beautiful in her writing, but in person… ❤

The next day, Saturday, I went back to the expo this time with my husband. I was texting with Mar all morning to make sure we met up and as I looked up mid-text, there she was! Oh man, had I been waiting for this day! I somehow missed Mar when I was in her hood for Marine Corps Marathon and we vowed to not let the chance escape us this time. We seriously chatted for almost an hour there at the expo like we’d known each other forever–which 2 years in the blog world kinda is, lol!

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Me and Mar

At the expo, they had a special for next year’s race and since this is a race we always do (it was both of our first half marathon) we signed up!

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First race of 2017! (wow, lol!)

I hit the Lululemon booth and snagged these really cute shorts

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and used a coupon they gave to buy some pants 🙂

The ProCompression booth was nearby so I was able to visit my Instagram buddy Shane. He is super sweet!

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Race day was the next day and my husband and I ventured out early in the morning. We’re pros at this race as it’s become a yearly thing for us. I wanted to get there a little earlier than usual though, because I was hosting a meet up spot for the Arizona Moms Run This Town chapters. We had a good group turn out for the pre-race photo and it was so much fun meeting women from different chapters around Phoenix.

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Arizona Moms Run This Town

 

After, I walked my husband to his corral, corral 2, and he was off! I waited along the corral fences holding my sign and cheered the runners as they started. I even got to see Mar again! I waited til the very last corral, corral 19, and had an absolute blast. Some people recognized the MRTT name and posed with my sign as they waited for their start. It was so cool!

My husband had been running for about 30 minutes when the last corral started. The start line and the finish line are just under a mile apart so I began making my way there to catch him.

Thanks to tracking, I knew how much time I had before he’d be approaching the finish. I was able to catch him turn the 13 mile corner and he waved to me as he ran to the finish line.

We took a post race pic and hung out for a while and then we went home! It was such a fun weekend that I hardly noticed I didn’t race 😉 (you guys know that’s not true, lol!)

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He let me keep his medal ❤

How was your running weekend? 

Have you met bloggers/social media friends at races? 

Have you had fun at races you were supposed to run but didn’t? 😀

No Running–Week 2 Recap

This is awkward. A recap about not running….

It was quite the eventful week despite no miles and I’m now 4 weeks away from hopefully getting back into the game 🙂 In fact, I have an appointment in two weeks to see how things are progressing.

Monday found myself at the dentist as I had been having some serious teeth pain from two molars. This pain had been happening for several weeks and I actually had an appointment upon returning from San Diego; but, I got sick and they would not perform oral surgery if I had any issues with my sinuses…so, more time with pain.

But finally, Monday came and I had never looked so forward to getting teeth yanked out. It was a complete disaster as what was supposed to be a simple procedure turned into a Saw movie. My teeth broke as the dentist was trying to pull them out and because he had to get a good grip, mechanical utensils were brought out. I heard every single thing as I had chosen to not be put under. Good times.

I took the day off from work Tuesday as I was pretty much an immobile, starving mess.

The doctor had said no exercise for 2-3 days so Wednesday was day 2. I made it to work and spoke as little as possible telling my students to make sure they brush and floss daily and to lay off the soda.

Thursday was actually the day I felt the worst but I pulled up my big girl panties and went to work. It was also beautiful in Phoenix that day and I really wanted to take advantage of the weather since we were getting a cold front the upcoming weekend. So after work, my little family went to our zoo’s annual Christmas light show ❤

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A lot of hilly walking but I felt fine. No pain at all.

It was a tough day on Friday though, not because of anything injury related, but because I finally announced something I had been thinking about for a few weeks. I wouldn’t be returning to work the following semester. My students took it pretty hard–most actually like me!–but they understood once I explained.

My husband has been taking on new responsibilities at his job the last few months that have required him to travel extensively, sometimes out of the country and sometimes for multiple weeks at a time. It’s been tough on me as I become the sole caretaker for our kids–I’ve mentioned my 45 minute morning and afternoon commute before and when my husband is not home, I have to get myself ready, my kids ready, drop them off at school, then drive my 45 minute drive to make it to work by 7:45–if there’s traffic or an accident, that time increases and inevitably I don’t make it to work when the bell rings.

I knew it was becoming a problem when I was late several times and had to call security to cover my classes. And my decision was sealed when I tried waking my kids up a little extra early so I wouldn’t be late–seeing them sleep so comfortably and wanting to wake them up at 5:30 in the morning so I could get to work on time absolutely killed me. I just couldn’t. And I knew that I would have to make a decision. It was a no brainer; my kids are my first priority.

I don’t know how long this teaching hiatus will last, but I feel good about my choice.

I was glad we had some more family fun time on Saturday because I needed a pick-me-upper. We went to our local rec center and had breakfast with Santa 🙂

My son was not impressed.

My son was not impressed.

And on Sunday, my husband ran the Fiesta Bowl 1/2 Marathon. This was supposed to be our goal 1/2 marathon race for the both of us but of course, I couldn’t run it. He did, and absolutely killed it finishing with a new PR of 1:36:31!!! He also helped our run club finish 1st team overall 😀

My champ.

My champ.

Many of my friends finished the race with PRs and it was fun to be there cheering them on. Fun, but I’m lying if I didn’t say I wished it was me. I know things happen for a reason, yadda yadda yadda, but I miss running dammit. If anything, I’m glad that I’m finally starting to feel a little better from this teeth business and I can finally get myself to the gym. I need some sweat time. Need.

To end on a happy note, last week’s Hot Chocolate 5k/15k pics were released this week (and were FREE). This was my favorite pic as I crossed the finished line with my walking buddies ❤

I think we had fun.

I think we had fun.

Anyway, there’s my no running recap! I hope you all had a great week–tell me all about it!!

–Any dentist horror stories? Do you like going to the dentist? I have friends who actually do. Of course, they have perfect teeth.

–Share with me a high point of your week something positive 🙂