2017 RnR Vegas!!!!

FINALLY!!!

I’ve been wanting to do this race for  LONG TIME!! It always just seemed like a good time and while I’d been to Vegas before, for bachelorette parties, I’d wanted to go as just a solo vacation. So, because I’m a Rock ‘n Blog Ambassador, I was able to pick a few races to run and there was no hesitation choosing RnR Vegas!!

Some backstory–you know me and my crazy ideas, lol!!!! I had this GREAT PLAN to run the inaugural Revel Mt. Lemmon (in Tucson) Sunday morning and then drive to Las Vegas to run Rock ‘n Roll Vegas! Two half marathons in two states in ONE day! Doesn’t that sound awesome!!!?? I somehow convinced my husband and I got us all registered.

Then, he broke his toe on Monday. 

Yup, completely random injury–his toe was swollen blue and purple and after x-rays confirmed what we already knew, we decided to nix Tucson and instead, I would run Vegas on Sunday solo.

Except my husband is a stubborn man (he’s also a runner soo…..) and said he felt good enough to run with me at my pace. My goal was 1:45 which would be 13.1 miles at MGP (8:00). I told him that if at any point he didn’t feel good, to walk and he promised he would.

He’s such a champ. ❤ him

The Expo was huge and we stood in line for our traditional race coffee mug and got out of there. The race shirts were super cute and I was glad I went with the Medium (they ran small). I didn’t hang out at all but knew I’d see some #WeRunSocial peeps the next day before the race.

I was able to snag a quick pic with Carlee and Brian–I’ve seen them the past couple of years at Phoenix Marathon and a few other races. I finally got to me Slacker Runner too!!!

And then we were off!!

As I’d mentioned, I wanted to keep at goal marathon pace. The first mile was insanely crowded so I wasn’t worried when we saw a 9 something minute sound off. The second mile was 8:20something and by the third mile, we settled in at 8 or just under.

But then before we reached mile 5 mile, my watched beeped 7:22!!! and a.) I knew we hadn’t hit the mile marker and b.) I knew I was running well, but NOT that well.

I was bummed that my watch was now skewed but decided to just keep running. I felt at each mile I was holding on to my pace even though I didn’t have the watch splits to prove it. The way I gauged it was that I WAS PASSING PEOPLE THE ENTIRE TIME and having so. much. fun.

I can count on one hand the races I’ve done where from beginning to end, I passed people. I just felt good (or maybe people were slowing as the race progressed, lol!) and just held on. At mile 10 we had to do a little u-turn to head back towards the finish and it was then I felt the pace become, still doable, but a tad uncomfortable. I held on, still breathing fine, but feeling the legs a little heavy.

As we reached the finish, a girl I’d been keeping pace with said, “Let’s run it in together!” except she clearly had energy left in her and I was dying trying to keep up

I finished right on target at 1:44:36 with an average of 7:59/mile!! 😀

I was so ridiculously happy for running the race so well. I didn’t get caught up with the crowd or try anything ambitious like trying to PR (which I think the world did at Revel Mt. Lemmon earlier that day). Instead, I ran my race, at my pace and still kicked ass! It was such a confidence booster as I continue on my journey to Boston. I don’t know when I’ll get there, BUT I WILL GET THERE ❤

Thank you, Vegas! ❤

–Have you done RnR Vegas? If not, consider it! 😀

–Do you use races as training runs?

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2017 St. George Marathon Race Recap #likenoother

Oh man, what a race….

We drove to St. George, Utah on Thursday and hit the expo Friday morning. After, my training buddy  Ashley and I drove the course to check out what awaited us.

Me and Ash at the Expo #InBobWeTrust

There were SO many ups and downs, ups and downs that I began to worry if I’d even finish the race. I had not prepared for that undulation. And I knew me–hills are just not my strength.

This is NOT an all downhill course. Do NOT be fooled. 

Nevertheless, I knew I was there to get to the finish line and get there with a smile.

———-

Race morning had us getting bussed to the start. We took the earliest one as I like to have plenty of time for things to settle if you know what I mean. But I had some issues….and that threw me off the loop for a bit. Whatever, I had a race to run.

I ran alone and had absolutely no idea what my race strategy was going to be. I just ran and the first mile chimed in at 8:28. I was fine with that as even though I wasn’t sure what my goal was, I knew my PR average was around 8:30.

But as I ran, the miles kept getting faster. I only looked at my watch when the mile would beep. I was just letting myself run.

Early miles smiles

I knew Veyo Hill was coming at mile 8. I knew that there were more after that, and I knew that it was going to suck. The only goal was to NOT STOP, and I didn’t, but man it was getting hard to move.

Going into the halfway mark, I was in dour spirits. The hills had crushed me. Thoughts of bagging it started creeping in. When I couldn’t bring myself to quit, I told myself a sub 4 would be an amazing time and if I could pull that off, it would be an accomplishment.

But I knew deep down inside I wanted to PR.

So I began to fight.

The sun would throw a punch, and I would just keep going. The rolling hills would get in good ones, but I would just keep going.

I could start to feel myself wearing down and wanting to give the race the W.

But somehow I’d find the strength to keep punching back.

The 3:45 pacer caught up to me and I said YOU WILL NOT PASS ME.

The last mile I ran as hard as I possibly could. I was beaten. I was broken. But I was not defeated.

I ran and fought for it.

You bet I passed teal shirt girl.

3:44:43

I have never been so happy to match my PR in my life. I am not the least bit upset that I didn’t beat it, that I didn’t finish 18 seconds faster. I worked SO HARD for that time. So freaking hard.

I’ve come away from St. George ridiculously happy. I’ve seen how my mental strength has grown by what transpired on Saturday. I had so many outs. So many excuses to use to give up.

But. I. Didn’t.

I’ve come away motivated, pumped for the next one (Phoenix next year). I thought St. George would be a bust, a miserable race to end a difficult training cycle. Not even close. I am so, so happy.

Thank you all SO MUCH for your love and support. You all have no idea ❤

–Have you fought with a race and won?

 

 

 

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??