I think it took me longer to write the recap than it did to run the marathon. A few weeks ago, I was in Arizona for the Phoenix Marathon. I ran it last year trying to chase down 3:30 (sound familiar), but was ignoring an injury that ended up slowing me down. This year, I had aspirations of making another run at it (literally), but my training was practically non-existent leading up to it.
I tried to get myself ready by knocking out a spontaneous marathon, just to get the legs ready for the distance/time on my feet, but life happened (house got sick, then I got sick) and the next two weeks were low miles at best. That pretty much meant that the race was going to be “for fun” and a toss-up on how well it went in terms of legs being able to run the distance comfortably.
But let’s get into the fun social stuff beforehand. #werunsocial hosted a meet up at the expo with Pro Compression, and it also meant that I got to hangout with @runemz and @carleemcdot a little extra – which is always a win in my book. The meet up went well, we took a bunch of photos, gave some stuff away, and of course, took some more photos.
Race morning was pretty uneventful. And by uneventful, I mean parking at the 5K parking lot then walking all the way to the marathon parking lot and being on the third-to-last bus to make it to the start. We were never “really” worried, because @runemz assured us that “we’re good” and we were.
The plan was to knock out a 8:30 pace for as long as I could. I knew we would start with some downhill miles, then there would be a couple uphill miles (fall back to 9s), but after mile 6 it was mostly to all flat. Knowing this from last year really helped, it’s a downhill profile, but feels flat along the way.
Miles 1-4: 8:22 avg (the downhill part)
Miles 5-6: 9:02 avg (the uphill part)
Miles 7-13: 8:30 avg
13.1: 1:52, 8:32 avg.
Carlee would have you believe that I dropped pace much earlier, around mile 7, but her and EMZ were just feeling so strong and crushing it. They were kind enough to slow down for little old me, even tho I kept insisting they could keep going.
After the half way point, my legs let me know that this was about all that they had at the 8:30 pace. My longest runs for the year were 18 at the end of January, and the 26 three weeks earlier. The rest had all been 7 miles or less for the entire month of February. So holding pace for distance$ was going to be my challenge, but the rest of the way, the pace just got slower and slower.
Miles 14-17: 9:13 avg
Miles 18-22: 11:06 avg
Miles 23-26: 12:58 avg
It wasn’t the race I was hoping for (being able to hold 8:30 longer), but it was at the same time (having some fun running with friends). @runemz and @carleemcdot were great about staying pretty close to me. I knew I was slowing them down (noticeably) after the halfway point, but they would wait for me to catch up at the water stops and I know how hard that can be when you are feeling good.
We caught up with more friends at the finish line, shared our race experiences, took some pictures, and congratulated each other on the day. It was a similar theme of the heat starting to get to people around mile 20. I know at that point, I was dumping water on my head to stay cool.
After the race, the Pro Compression Ambassadors gathered for a group dinner. We had fun getting to know each other a bit more. It’s always great to chat post-race in a more relaxed setting when you are not all sticky and sweaty.
All in all, race weekend was a success. Numbers and finish times don’t always tell the whole story. Part of why I run these things is for the experience. I’m absolutely looking forward to running this race next year.
See you there?
What’s your favorite part of race weekend?