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.

  • Although you didn’t meet your goal, it sounds like you still had a pretty strong race and just missed the PR. The Garmin outage, the warm weather and the wind late in the race doesn’t help. Keep your head up and I’m sure you’ll have a big PR and a NYC qualification in your future!

  • A: Still sounds like a really solid effort. Pretty impressive to have a “bad day” and still PR (or come damn close). I’m sure there are a few takeaways from this that will make you stronger next time. I predict a big PR out of you by Summer’s end…Best, G$

  • Hey, congrats on finishing. I know you wish you had run faster or finished stronger, but sometimes things happen in 26.2 that are out of your control. The danger of fixating on just one goal is that if you realize you’re off the pace somewhere in the late stages it is extremely difficult to push through…by that time, your mind no longer cares and your legs are more than willing to comply. Hope you get to enjoy your marathon a little. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Running your second fastest marathon is a great accomplishment. You should be proud.

    • the most annoying part is that now that I think about it, I run negative splits in my PR races, so being a second behind at 20 really isn’t a big deal. So now I’m frustrated that I ‘gave up’ too soon! 🙂

  • I’m so sorry you didn’t make your goal, but hopefully you can qualify for NYC in your next race! As Lam said, you still did a great job running at a really fast pace, and hopefully it can just be training for the next one.

  • congrats on finishing and running what is still an excellent time! i know how disappointing it can be to miss your goal, but try not to beat yourself up. all of the mishaps along the way certainly didn’t help either. i’m sorry you missed the 3:23 mark but i know you have it in you! you got another valuable lesson in mental toughness and next time it doesn’t stand a chance. still sounds like you had a good race and i’d kill for a 3:30! maybe you can run a half early spring and get your qual there? i’ll send you my wings:)

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