2017 Phoenix Marathon: Race Recap

I know you’re probably tired of hearing this 😉 , but I got another PR !!! That’s the short of it, but if you want the extended version, here it comes….

(By the way, excuse my absence–my last post should’ve also been titled Blogging Blues, lol!)

Okay, the Mesa-Phoenix Marathon. So, I had friends coming in from Texas–Scott who used to blog and that’s how I “met” him (and in real life in Chicago), his partner in crime and better half Marsha, and a cool dude named Roberto.

Me and Scott after Chicago Marathon 2015

Me and Scott after Chicago Marathon 2015

I had convinced them to come because Marsha was looking to BQ and I knew she could do it on Phoenix’s course. When we first met back in Chicago, she had, unknowingly at the time, gotten super close and didn’t need a whole lot to shave. I was certain she’d get the sub 3:45 she needed.

With her goal being sub 3:45 and my PR being 3:58, I figured I’d just hang with her for as long as I could and see how it went. I didn’t mind combusting if that’s what happened; this wasn’t a race I was going for a real time goal anyway. I could risk it.

Marsha also wasn’t putting too much pressure on herself to BQ. While it would be great if she did, she wasn’t going to be fixed to her watch and causing herself race anxiety.

Having that mindset, we went into the race stress-free and full excitement for a long run with friends. That’s how we were approaching it.

Shakeout run with the Texas gang

Shakeout run with the Texas gang

The race started out bright and early at 6:30 a.m. in the middle of the mountains out in nowhere. We saw the sunrise the first few miles and we were in really good spirits promising everyone tequila at the finish.

“You get tequila!”

“And you get tequila!”

“Everyone gets tequila!”

(Spoiler: I did not have tequila at the end, lol!)

Scott had pacing duties so I never looked at my watch, instead, just followed his lead.

This was a pretty steep downhill so I was proud of how controlled we stayed. Thanks, Scott!

This was a pretty steep downhill so I was proud of how controlled we stayed. Thanks, Scott!

I felt good and when we approached the only hill of the race, I knew if I just stayed close, I’d be okay.


We didn’t skip a beat going up and my pace for miles 5 and 6 were 8:31 and 8:35!

It was a nice downhill for a while after that and our pace stayed relatively steady between miles 7-15.

17091307_10107563239000311_618192374_o Our conversation stayed steady too. We were running calm and enjoying the absolutely amazing weather we were having. We joked, we sang a little, we told Marsha to slow down. It was the most fun and relaxed I’d ever run a marathon… ever.

When we got to mile 16, I felt myself slowing down and I decided then to plug myself in and prepare for the last ten miles. I kept Scott and Marsha in my sight though, so I wasn’t too far behind them.

I stayed steady at around 8:30ish for a few miles

Call me Miss. Consistent :D

Call me Miss. Consistent 😀

and felt pretty good despite having slowed down a little (and really, I couldn’t believe I was still running an 8:30 something in the back end of a marathon!)


Mile 19–Cruising!

At mile 23, the cramping started. But like New York, I just accepted it and ran with it. They slowed me down, and I could feel them with each step in my calves, my shins, my quads, the tops of my feet–but I knew I had a sub 3:45 if I just kept moving.

And would you believe that the miles I ran with cramps were in the 9s?!!??!! I mean, I honestly am just in shock that that was my pace with freaking cramps!!!

You guys, seriously!!!

You guys, seriously!!!

Must. Get. To. Finish. Line.

Mile 23–Must. Get. To. Finish. Line.

I turned the corner, and I finally saw the person I hoped to see–my husband. I knew that he’d finish before me and be at the finish line waiting, and it was that which kept me going.

Started and finished with a smile :D

Started and finished with a smile 😀

Me and my 3:17 marathoner <3

Me and my 3:17 marathoner ❤

As soon as I crossed the finish line, I saw Scott and Marsha who had also just finished. I could see the huge smile on Marsha’s face and I knew it–she had BQ’d!!!!! Scott snagged himself a nice little PR coming in after her (but before me)– we all finished within 4 minutes of each other!

We're awesome.

We’re awesome.

I cannot get over how amazingly awesome and FUN this race was. I know that all races won’t be like this one, but I’m glad I finally had a race that was absolutely a blast from beginning to end. The PR is the cherry on top but honestly, it’s the people that made Phoenix Marathon unforgettable.

My two halves though--and average pace--I can't believe it. CAN'T.

My two halves though–and average pace–I can’t believe it. CAN’T.



–Have you had a race that was just an absolute blast??





43 responses

  1. Congratulations!!!! I have never run with a group during a race and not been the pacer. I am hoping someday I get to enjoy it like you did!! It really sounds like it made the race! So happy for you!

  2. Woohoo! This was the post that I was waiting for! What an awesome race you had. I seriously thought about flying out for the half, but couldn’t find a reasonable airfare. One year I’ll be there.

  3. I love ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING about this post except….I WASN’T THERE!!! I am so, so proud of all of you. Especially because you just went out and ran. No pressure. No stress. Just RAN! Love what happens when you run with your heart. I’m going to be re-reading this post berfore Boston. And channeling you! xoxoxo

  4. Come on now, save some PR’s for the rest of us geez lol. Way to fight through the cramping, I know all about that late in races. Wow 3:17, I need to run with that guy lol.

    I have a lot of training runs that are a complete blast. Races not so much. I must be doing something wrong lol.

  5. Awesome work!! I need some friends that run marathons at my pace!!

    I keep thinking back to the CIM and how much fun I had at the race, even running by myself the whole time. I loved every minute of it, even when I was hurting so bad in the last 6 miles…. I think I need to sign up for it again!

  6. You are a rockstar!!!! so so so happy for you! you’re really having an incredible season, and your just a total testament to not knowing what we’re capable of til we do it. You’re gonna BQ! Enjoy every moment of the post race high. I am thrilled for you!

  7. I am so thrilled for you. I had no idea you ran it with Scott and Marsha. How fun. Kind of makes me want to come do this race. Such a fun crew makes me think this must be one awesome race. Congrats!!

  8. Great race report and pics Helly…and congrats once again, wow!! Maybe it’s a residual effect of all that work with the Hansons training that you put in last year!! We were talking about this race last week and may add it to the list one year, even though I already have AZ. Not that it’s likely I could ever get close to a BQ but if I could it seems like this would be a great candidate for an attempt. Enjoy the PR celebrations, cheers!!

      • That’s awesome Helly…and yes, if we do make it back to run Phoenix, it would be great to meet you in person…of course we may end up at another start line in some other State too some day!!

  9. Pingback: Let’s Do This!! …Again!! | hellyontherun

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account.Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account.Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account.Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account.Log Out /  Change )