Rock and Roll Arizona Race Report

So.. no need for me to book a ticket to the Big Apple for November…

With that out of the way.. let me just say that the same poor luck I had en route to the airport the other day continued, with my garmin (which I’d plugged in last night) die just as I turned it on at the start line. Fortunately, my Mom who was running the half came to my corral to wish me luck, and selflessly handed over her garmin for me to use. While it didn’t catch the satellites until mile 7, at the least I was able to get my mile splits:

My goal pace was 7:44:

M01: 7:38
M02: 7:44 – GU
M03: 7:38
M04: 8:07 (Whoops!)
M05: 7:07 (methinks a mile marker was off)
M06: 7:38
M07: 7:38
M08: 7:38

By this time I was recognizing the 7:38 pace I’ve seen in training. Evidently that’s the pace I slide into easily. Since it felt ok and was faster than my goal pace, I started thinking of it as my target pace. It was warm, so I took an advil and an eCap. Generally I tell myself that the race doesn’t start til mile 8. At this point I felt ok but not fantastic. For whatever reason, I never really stopped thinking about running: I didn’t really chat with any other runners to pass the time.

M09: 7:36
M10: 7:59 – wha?
M11: 7:47
M12: 7:37 – ok, this is acceptable again. The thing is, I had gotten it in my mind that 7:38 was my pace, rather than 7:45, so 7:47 seemed unacceptable to me.
M13: 7:43

I hit the half-way mark at 1:40:xx on my watch: 1.5 minutes ahead of my goal and in what I figured was a half marathon PR!

M14: 7:34
M16: 7:59

Generally I tell myself at mile 14 that there’s only a Wednesday run to go (with the Pfitzinger plan you have 12 milers on Wednesdays), and at 16 there’s only 10 (+.2) to go. With ten miles to go at 2:03, I had 80 minutes to run 10.02 miles. On the McMillan plan I ran 80 minutes several times a week. no problem, right?

M17: 7:52

A mile 18 I had one of those moments where I forgot what mile I was on, and it was 18 rather than 19, which made me sad.

M19: 7:53
M20: 8:04
M21: 8:21

Mile 21 meant 5.2 to go, so I told myself that that was 42 minutes. However, I’d already run for 2:43, so I was off my goal pace.

HINT: never tell yourself at mile 21 that you’re off your goal pace.

All of a sudden, with 3:22:xx seemingly impossible, I lost faith. As well, we were running against the wind, so even my best attempt to lift my knees and run strong was to no avail. I hadn’t seen this as a race to set a new PR, it was to run a specific time. With that out of sight (and who knows, maybe it wasn’t, but it seemed that way), I resigned myself to just gutting it out.

My quads were pretty sore: not sure if the fact that most of my training has been on a treadmill and a limestone trail have made me “soft”.

M22: 8:22
M23: 9:02
M24: 8:41
M25: 9:17 – I had walked through a couple water stops. This was the only time I walked at a non-water stop. I just didn’t care.
M26: 8:39
M.2: 1:44
my watch says 3:29:31 (which would be a 10second PR), the online race results say 3:30:00 (my second fastest marathon).

So that’s that. I’m grumpy: I missed my goal, and then let my head talk me out of a PR. Even if 3:22:xx didn’t happen, there is no reason why I didn’t still work towards a decent PR. I ran 3:29:41 in 06 and I know I am a stronger runner now. Sometimes, even worse an enemy to a runner than 73F is your own head.