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.

screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-8-56-00-am

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_oOur 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!)

Cruising!

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.

<3

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

 

 

 

 

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Phoenix Marathon Course Preview and a Race Entry GIVEAWAY!!!

This past weekend I ventured out to the start of the Phoenix Marathon course to get a “feel” for the first part of the race.

As you can see, the beginning part of it is a nice downhill followed by a not-so-nice uphill, lol. I have no “real” goal for this race, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t hope to PR. I’m hoping with my NYC Marathon fitness, the downhillish course, and home court advantage will help me lower my sub 4 marathon time. 😀

Okay, fine #realtalk Whenever I think of Phoenix Marathon, I don’t remember my very first ever marathon. Instead, I remember that cold February morning back in 2015 dropping out a little past mile 12 😦  My DNF that year is not how I want to remember this race.  So that’s the biggest reason I want to do well. REVENGE.

I was able to have a running buddy venture out to the start with me (the race is a point to point that begins far out in Mesa in the middle of the beautiful desert, lol) and he joined me for the first 6 miles of the course. My plan was to do the downhill part and the hill–loop around a circle doing the hill a few times for 16 miles total (my first Hanson’s 20 of this cycle).

Unfortunately, I took an early turn and ended up doing a lot of little loops and the Phoenix hill a few more times than planned, jaja!!! I chalked it up to more training for the course, lol!

I should've kept on going to Eaglecrest instead of turning left....oh wells..

I should’ve kept on going to Eaglecrest instead of turning left….oh wells..

Doooown, and then up, and then down, and then up and then down

Doooown, and then up, and then down, and then up and then down

Anyway, it was a good, hard run that left me confident about next month’s race. I’m actually excited. I think because I have a sub 4 already, I don’t have the major pressure of that goal hovering over me. Also, I have a nice, long break awaiting after this race that I’m very much looking forward to 😀

And because I’m a Phoenix Marathon Ambassador, I get “rewarded” with extra entries the more times people use my code (Helly10 for $10 off the half or full). Because everyone is awesome and using it, I’ve managed to snag an entry to giveaway for any distance the race offers–10k, 1/2, or full!! YAY!!

This giveaway is on my Instagram so make sure you check out the deets there to enter. Doesn’t a spontaneous trip to warmer weather sound amazing??? 😀 ❤

–Have you ever won a race entry?

–Do you ever practice/train on the course you will race? (this was actually the first time I’ve done that)